It's a cold, grey day in Grey County. Looking forward to the first frost - only because we brought in the hibiscus yesterday, so she's snug and warm in the sun room.
My sister died last week. We knew it was coming. She had been ill for most of this year, but it still was a bit of a gut punch.
She's the one in the middle. Barb. Fluffy, for the siblings. Mom gave her that nickname when she was wee. She said that, as a child, she 'fluffed' around a lot. Meaning she was always busy. A habit she maintained through all the years.
She was 74. She had two great kids who are in their 40s now - married and all grown up. And four grand kids, who are amazing young people.
Barb loved helping. Almost a dozen years ago, when Rob and I moved to the farmette, she pitched in with her wee truck. We hired Mike the Mover for the big stuff, but all the small things went in to our Jeep and her trusty vehicle. When I wrote her obituary, that's what I was thinking about. She also loved to help her kids and our other sister Sandy. Help was her middle name.
She had a goofy sense of humour, too.
On one of our three-sister trips that were often cooked up by the youngest one - Sandy - we stopped into a store where they had all kinds of Christmas tchotchkes - which of course, we had to try out. Obviously during the pandemic.
She loved sports, and was, ahem, enthusiastic about cheering on her grandkids. For a woman who was only five foot two, she had a big presence when it came to Madisyn's baseball games, Hudson's hockey games or Avery or Lily's volleyball games.
She was rabid Jays fan and a keen follower of Canadian curling. She was supposed to go with Sandy and I to the Brier in London the day she had her initial surgery.
Instead, her daughter Melissa went with us and got autographs of all the professionals - with Brad Gushue's in a prominent place on the top of the decorative box she bought for the occasion. Barb treasured that memento.
We will miss her. But we have soooo many good memories of this kind, generous and loving woman.
Cancer is a bitch. She fought very hard with treatments and drugs and everything medicine could throw at the evil disease. Finally she was just exhausted. Her son Darren had to carry her to the truck for the last trip to the hospital. So frail. So not Barb. Rest in peace Fluffy. We love you and will always hold you in our hearts.