I joined my bible study group in 1996. For the first few years I didn't take it very seriously. I liked it, but I attended only sporadically. I'm not sure exactly when or why something changed. I started to go to monthly meetings regularly and became closer to others in the group, some of whom were already friends. The closeness grew. We prayed together, studied together and eventually came to celebrate holidays and vacation together.
Three of us came to call ourselves "The Calendar Girls," after the movie of the same name. I'm not sure here, too, how the tradition began, but Pene, Barbara and I started to celebrate our birthdays together. We were born in a row, July 6 for Barbara, July 7 for Pene and July 8 for me. We were born in different years, but no matter, we were "The Calendar Girls."
Now we are two. Our beloved Barbara passed away this morning, ending her pain and suffering and leaving an extraordinary void in so many lives. Barbara was intelligent, thoughtful and devoted. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, who adored her four grandchildren. She was a devoted daughter to her mother who died last summer at 99 and a devoted sister. She was devoted to her friends, her congregation -- Barbara rarely missed several services each weekend -- and to good deeds. She quietly attended to many in need, with great caring and humility.
Barbara was also the smiling woman you see in the photo. There was more times of laughter than I can count, whether it was New Year's Eve and word games, Saturday afternoon lunches with a dozen people at the table talking and laughing or quietly relaxing by the pool in Sedona.
I cannot thank all of you enough for your prayers for Barbara and kind thoughts. It has meant a lot to me and I am grateful. We were so blessed to know Barbara and now G'd and the angels share the blessing we will cherish in our memories and hearts.