Sunday, January 11, 2009

My friend Babs

This lovely lady is Babs. Her full name is Barbara Williamson-Wood. She passed away this weekend from a long, hard battle against Stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer might have won, but it never broke her Spirit, and now the Lakota Writer, is on her mountain in Big Timber, Montana, finally at peace.

I 'met' Babs in a writing group called The Writer's Life. She was a writer, who wrote great books, and poetry. At the time I joined the group, she was living in Florida, going through a really rough time, and decided to move back to Big Timber, Montana, where she had been very happy as a child. She sold what she could not pack to take with her and moved to Big Timber with just what she carried. She found a place to live with the help of one of the group members, and was soon writing again and working on her books. Her daughter, Mataya, soon came with her son to live closer to her mother. I am glad she had some family with her at the end.

I spoke with Babs a couple of times after she had made her big move, and she wrote to me a beautiful letter that I will cherish always. She was funny, thoughtful, and had a heart as big as the sky in her homeland. She always remembered your birthday in the group until she was too ill to take on that responsibility. She said she would write until she died, and I believe she probably did.

I was a little relieved to hear that she passed peacefully in her sleep. I am also feeling guilty that I didn't keep in touch with her more often. I sent her a Christmas card this year, and it saddens me to send a sympathy card to her family so soon.

I just remember my last conversation with her and how she made me laugh, and how I admired how determined she was to make it home. I also remember the joy in her voice, at finally reaching her destination. She loved to drink Drambuie, so Babs, as a toast to you, I hope your next journey finds you more joy and happiness, the kind I hope to have someday in my journey.

Is there someone in your life you haven't talked to in a while? Someone you had a disagreement with? Is it really that important that you let it come between you? Leave the past in the past. Don't keep dragging that around with you. Don't wait for them to make the first move. Pick up the phone, or a pen and call or write to them and make contact. Don't keep waiting for the "right time" because by the time that happens, they may be gone.

Live your life, live your dreams, we only get one shot on this planet, so we might as well make the most of it.

I'll miss you, Babs. Be at peace.


Dorothy Thompson said...

Omg, I forgot about the birthday reminders. She had a heart of gold. I blogged about her, too. What a beautiful woman none of us will forget. See what happens when you give of yourself willingly without expecting anything in return? It's a lesson learned for me.

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the touching post. You're so right and thanks for reminding us.

Rebecca Camarena said...

A few months after I joined The Writer's Life group Babs sent me a birthday card. That's something i will never forgot a group where the members were so nice and kind and each person was so willingly to go the extra mile for you. Babs, I hope you find peace and can be free in the mountains of Montana. Your spirit will live on.

Karen Magill said...

A very beautiful, touching post. So well written. Thank you.

Jeni said...

Excellent -absolutely an excellent tribute post to a grand lady!
We should all be as gracious as Babs was -a fine example she put up for all to try to follow.

JM said...

This post is a wonderful tribute.