Monday, May 21, 2012

   I saw Barbara on Sunday. We walked and talked about being widows. After only a few months as a widow she seems to have moved past the state of surprise or shock. During the last month she was able to join her children at a meeting with the CEO of the hospital that poorly managed her husband's care. Even though they did not come forth with all the information Barbara needed, it did relieve some of the anger. Her children will continue to pursue the missing information (Why did the doctor disappear? Why is he not at the meeting?). But Barbara seems relieved that justice will be served.
     The big surprise for me yesterday was that Barbara's time was limited. I thought she would need lots of time. While we were walking around the town she received a call from a husband seeking help. Barbara replied, I will be there by 3. Little did I know, but Barbara is part of a social ministry. Through her Lutheran Church she is part of a network that has served strangers with kindness, coffee, and good humor.  Yesterday, she left early to spend time with a diabetic woman who had recently become an amputee. Her husband had kept watch, and now needed a break. 

        Giving, Barbara told me, is what has helped her most during the last two months since John died. Giving to strangers.

        All I can remember the first few months after Bob died was coping, not giving. Barbara deserves an A+. Before she left, she showed me the trunk of the beautiful car her husband bought two years ago. The trunk was empty. Tomorrow I am trading it in for a new car.  All  I could say was A+.

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