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More than...

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Can you think of the person in your life who just gets you? That person you are so lucky to have, that always picks up your call, listens, just truly listens and offers advice only when it is solicited. Can you think of that person who you can cry with, you can laugh with, and you can sit in silence with…. That was Barbara, for me.

Barbara LeVeque was officially my Step-Mother but that title does very little justice to who she was. She was all the above and so more. She supported me, pushed me, and guided me through good times and bad. She always knew how to explain the other side in a way that was understanding and equalizing. She had tricks, tips, and grounding advice when it came to mothering struggles. She knew how to make you feel seen, effortlessly and made every holiday and celebration memorable. She was a mother figure, a business partner, and a best friend.

In December 2018, on the first day of a business trip for our new business adventure, Barbara was told she had cancer. With a whirlwind of 32 hours, we were on our way back to Ohio so that she could immediately see a specialist and begin a treatment plan. I can’t even begin to imagine the bera of emotions she processed within those 32 hours. My only emotion - shock. I was in dismay for what the future may hold. Sitting next to each other on our flight back home, I told her it would be ok, that she is stronger than anything put in her path, and that she would set a true example of grit and grace.

Grit and grace is exactly what she was. Throughout her three year journey, she never let anyone see her struggle. She shined through with such a contagious glow that the word cancer was hardly in our vocabulary. She still answered the phone, listened, offered advice, laughed, and cried. She never once missed a beat and lived by example all along the way.

She always had compassion for others and never met a stranger. She knew everyone and everyone loved her - she was that person. The one who sees you, loves you as you are, and truly enjoys your company. I have never met a light like her before in my life, and may never again. Barbara taught me how to live, how to embrace all of life, and how to be grateful for even the difficult and most challenging times.

Things Barbie has taught me:

Always say Hi to anyone you encounter

Kindness and compassion will get you much farther in life than hatred or indifference

To enjoy and love our children as they are

To enjoy and love others

How to properly pass the salt

That sometimes you have to work harder than others - but it's ok

To follow your intuition and never give up when it comes to your health

To laugh big and often

That little cups of ketchup are much cuter on the table than the bottle

To never be ashamed of what makes you happy

To go after your dreams

That you can create the life you want

To choose happiness

And that wine and cheetos are the greatest combination

I miss Barbie. No one will ever fill the void of her in my life - no one could. But I am incredibly grateful for the time we shared. I was not blessed with her by birth, she came into my life by love and I will never take that for granted.

I hope that you have a Barbie at some point in your life. I hope that you thank the universe for their grace and their presence. I hope that you soak up their energy and spread it. I hope that you are able to be grateful for the time you share with them. I hope you learn their lessons and pass them on - this is their legacy. I will always pass on Barabra’s legacy to all I encounter - to choose happiness.


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