February is over, and we are exhausted and drained. It has been a brutal month, as my mother-in-law Barb Taylor completed her final journey in her battle against lung cancer. My wife Julie, her dad Dan, her sister Karen, her brother David and her aunt Karen worked around the clock to help her on this final journey. Spouses like me were home, trying to keep “normal” household operations going. Unfortunately, small cell lung carcinoma is an aggressive cancer, and it finally took Barb’s life on February 16, 2017. This is the first of two articles and podcasts dedicated to Barb Taylor. Part 2 can be found here.
Barb Taylor’s Kindness
I have known Barb Taylor for more than half my life. I met Julie’s parents when I started dating her when I was in 10th Grade. She was there for friends and family in good times and in bad times. She always had a smile on her face, even when she was telling you that something “wasn’t her favorite” (meaning she hated it).
Barb was so giving, so loving and so helpful. As I look back on my life, she has been there for so many different and significant events:
- Barb organized and planned our wedding while creating all the flowers
- She watched Danny at her home daycare when he was young
- Barb came to Florida and helped us when Ryan was born
- She let us stay in her basement while we save money and purchased our first house
- Barb helped us renovate our first house
- She introduced Julie to floral design and the wedding floral business that eventually became Julia’s Blooms
- Barb was there for us in our darkest times looking for Danny in Colorado, even though she had been diagnosed with small cell lung carcinoma
We will carry that legacy forward. I am proud of the hours and work Dan, David, Julie, Karen and Aunt Karen put in taking care of Barb. We will help and be there for Dan, and Julie and I are reaching out to family to reconnect and forge new relationships. The time for temporary living and autopilot living are over. Our time on this planet is too short.
Barb Taylor’s Strength
Barb Taylor was diagnosed with cancer during our darkest hours looking for my oldest son in Spring of 2015. It was devastating leaving her in Minnesota and going to Colorado looking for Danny, but Julie, her dad, David and I all went. We had to find Danny, and those that stayed behind tried to help Barb however we could. Those were difficult times, especially when the original diagnosis did not give her much time.
Barb was a strong woman. She beat the original diagnosis and fought cancer for almost two years. She rarely complained. Even at the end, we asked her how she was doing, and Barb would smile and say, “I’m good.”
Because of her strength, she experienced life:
- Seeing Danny returning home, run his first marathon, become Assistant Manager and go to college
- Trips to Florida, Georgia and California
- Seeing her grand daughter Abbey graduate from high school and attend college
- Celebrating her birthday and other events with family
- Watching her grandson Ryan play High School Varsity Basketball and Traveling Basketball (her last outing was to Ryan’s basketball game against Richfield High School) for two years
Barb Taylor was an exceptional woman. We love her, and we miss her dearly. We know, however, that she is here in spirit and lessons learned over time. I hope that gives you some comfort.
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YouTube – will be posted soon
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