Sunday, January 25, 2015

This is What I Know.....

Ann Barnes, Rest in Peace

I may not know much, but these are the things I can say that I know,

about my husband’s dear Mom….

and my daughter’s dear Mamaw.....

She was a loving and committed wife.

Her marriage to Brian’s dad represented all that is right about the institution of marriage.  Anyone who was around these two could tell they loved one another deeply and genuinely.  They not only loved one another, but they enjoyed being with each other.  They had their little quirks and funny banter, and it was endearing and true.   She was patient and agreeable, loving and committed. 

She was a good mom. 

How do I know this?  Because she has five wonderful kids.

All of her kids are good people.  And I don’t use this term “good” in a generic sense.  They are easy to get along with.  They are funny.  They are kind.  They are hard working.  They are thoughtful.  They are generous. They are caring.  They are just good.  Good kids don’t just happen; she was a good Mom, therefore they are good.

She was a present, interested and caring grandmother.

A birthday would not pass, nor a holiday or special occasion, without a card or gift in the mail for Lucy.  And her cards where never generic; usually religious in nature.  And she didn’t just sign with the typical, “Love, Mamaw", but always wrote a thoughtful and considerate note, giving details about the goings-on of her life.


Recently I found a card from her that she sent Christmas 2013, before she got sick.  She wrote: “I wish you lived closer.”  It was important for her to be involved with her grandkids and she made efforts to do this.  Like when she went to school with Lucy on a visit last February....... 


Lucy loved her Mamaw.  She cried deep tears when she heard the news and wanted to immediately hold onto a Clifford dog Mamaw had given her.  We will be sure to never let her forget the memories she had with her while she was still here with us….for they are treasured.  

She was a loyal daughter and sister.

Over the years that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the Barnes family, I have had the distinct pleasure of being involved in all kinds of family events.  And what I always witnessed at these gatherings was priceless and endearing.  She was connected to her siblings and their lives.   She was involved with her mother. When you would see her with her family, it was obvious they got along with one another.  They would have fun with one another.  They were interested in each other. More importantly than these things, it was obvious they liked one another.  She participated in her mother’s care in the later years.....true to her history of always trying to stay involved and help where she could.  In a family the size of hers (ten), all of this is saying something.


She loved God.

She was devout.  She was devoted.  She was involved.  She often wore a cross around her neck, and would be sure to pray when prayers were needed, and I am sure even when they weren’t.  I believe that all of the kindnesses that she showed in her life, in her last days came back to her.  One example of this: a few weeks prior to her death she was placed in a home-like, free-of-charge hospice facility that many years prior she was a part of helping to establish within her community.  She literally reaped what she sowed. And I am certain that now, spiritually, she is reaping what she sowed during her 74 years of life--- with her Creator that she knew and loved well.  

There are so many other roles that Ann filled in her life.   As an aunt, an in-law, a friend, a cousin, a nurse....I would venture to guess that if you asked anyone who knew her in one of these capacities, as I did, they would echo my sentiments.  She was just loved....and liked, by so many.

We will miss her greatly.

But the simple and genuine way that she lived her life, grounded by her values and morals,  will be her legacy.  

We will use this as our compass for how to live our own lives.

We love you, Ann.  Rest now.
You are home with your husband and mom.


Eileen said...

This is very special, thank you for posting this Karen. Ann will be greatly missed. -Eileen

Silvia Bonilla said...

I've met her very briefly many years ago when I traveled to the US and went visit Maureen, (my US sister). As I was reading your words that is how I remember her exactly. Her kindness, her smile, the way she made me feel welcome and at home. I wish we could all leave at least some of that kind of legacy when our time comes to meet our Creator. I am sure she is now full of joy at the presence of God and may God give comfort to all her loved ones.