Thank you for enriching the lives of all those you met.
There is never a good time to say goodbye to the ones we love, but for Barbara Sue, we were lucky enough to have an entire year to do so. Let me explain…
This time last year, my mother was hospitalized and given hours to live after her heart stopped on the operating table from an anesthetic which preceded her three-valve repair heart surgery; as a result, the surgery never happened. We were told she had only hours left. She made it through the day and then we were told to look for a hospice. Yet, later that night we were surprised by a phone call from the hospital informing us that my mother was out of bed, hungry, and the kitchen was closed, so they asked if “it would be possible to bring her a gluten-free meal”?
And that was the beginning of my mother’s last year. She and Connie moved into an apartment at Red Oak in Kanata, where my mother thrived. She loved to socialize, tell stories especially of her family’s history, listen to others’ stories, and practiced as many languages as she could gain exposure to.
So we were blessed to have Barbara with us for another Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving celebration with family. We enjoyed many visits to Ottawa with the grandkids too. She laughed a lot, lived a life of ‘no worries’, and savored each day as if it were a gift from God.
She was blessed to have her lifetime partner, the love of her life Connie right by her side. He made her special eggs with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce every morning, wheeled her on her walker (against doctor’s orders) whenever she was too tired to walk, and enjoyed the social connections that she made too.
Barbara Sue was way more than a mom, a wife and a grandma. Most people don’t know this but she was a teacher, a nutritionist, an entrepreneur, and an invaluable assistant to the doctors at the Federal Government’s, Medical Services, Health & Welfare/Citizenship until she retired.
She didn’t slow down in her retirement either. She wrote and published a book called “A McHenry Family History comes to Life”, which is the result of a lifetime of genealogical research and story gathering — a true legacy to her family. She was a successful investor, volunteer, avid bridge player, curler, and world traveler. She even learned Spanish fluently and finished it off with a trip to Spain on her own. She played the piano and she loved to watch tennis on TV.
All the while, as long as I have been on this earth, mom was always supportive, loving and my rock. Never did she ever say “you should”; she was accepting of people for exactly who they were. My mom was a very strong woman and knew what she wanted, researched things she needed to know, and fulfilled all of her life’s dreams.
I hope to help her realize her last project — a book about her father’s side of the family, the Walkers. I am sure as a family, we will pull together to finish it — another legacy in her honour.
Mom we love you to the moon and back, and we all stand here to give you the standing ovation you so richly deserve.