Barbie Dearest

Barbie is the name I endearingly gave my friend who I met at a yoga class in a dark church basement many years ago. 

During our introduction, we learned that we were neighbors. It became our practice to meet every Tuesday evening at the corner to walk together for our class. We got together more often, and walking became our time to talk, laugh, cry and confide our innermost feelings on anything about life and challenges. Barbie listened and never judged. She was always kind and generous to family, friends, and primarily strangers in need. As she was ten years my senior, but her attitude towards life was ten years my junior. One thing she taught me was to seize and enjoy life to the fullest. Fear of trying a new experience was not on her vocabulary. 

One day in August last year, Barbie went to see her doctor for excruciating pains that made her move around a challenge.   She was immediately sent to the hospital for more tests, medications, chemo, and other treatments. Dearest Barbie never came home from the hospital. She left our world alone in the quiet of the night in the hospital a few months after. Finally, she was ready to go and be relieved of her physical suffering.

A visit to Barbie in the hospital or hospice was never about her; she was always concerned about the welfare of others. As she was a single mother who raised her son to be independent, confident, and has a great sense of humor just like her. Her only family was her son and daughter-in-law, whom she loved very much. During one of my visits, her only request was to continue remembering her family on holidays and special occasions, just as she always did.

I lost an excellent friend, but I gained another family. Jason, Kimberly, and I will continue this relationship which started when Barbie got sick. Their presence in my life will be Barbie’s legacy.

Shared by Gloria Cheng

3 responses to “Barbie Dearest”

  1. This blog was another touching one. James Taylor’s song “You’ve Got A Friend” made me cry for many reasons. I’ve lost two of the most important and influential friends I’ve ever had of almost 50 years in the last two years and it has left such a hole in my life. We never know what a day brings or takes away.

  2. Gloria, thank you for sharing your story of friendship… and how special that she left a legacy for you which I believe is of love. Now you have her family to share life with forever. What a gift… that’s what friendships do for us.

  3. A very sincere and sadly relatable occurrence these past 2 years, reminds us that we need to treasure and hold the people who matter to us and let them know how much we treasure them, beautifully written essay Ms. Gloria.

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