Nov. 7, 1950 – Dec. 15, 2018
For the past 16 months, I knew I was going to have to write this but now that the time is here, all the wonderful prose earlier conceived is gone. I therefore will try to simply convey some important elements from my heart. During the early morning hours of Dec. 15, 2018, I lost my love of the last 48 years when ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) took my beloved Barb. She went peacefully in her sleep. A wonderful reprieve from the daily anguish of ALS.
Barb was a critical part of my life. Her strength of character, courage, devotion and conviction to and for her ideals all made me a better man. Her love made me whole. While apart now, be both have no doubt that our purpose here on Earth is to nurture and grow our spirit, soul for many. Barb grew exponentially during the challenges of ALS. She eventually obtained, what I can only describe, as a state of grace, it was miraculous.
At her core, Barb was an artist. She immersed herself in her pottery, painting, exercising, gardening and cooking. From a young age, she drew and sketched; later learning acrylics. She always was envious of her beloved Aunt Jan Cowan for her skill with water colors. About 30 years ago, her painting of unglazed ceramics led her to throwing her own pots and also dabbling with sculpture. She would spend countless hours working in her back yard studios, coming out when with the lure of a kiss and glass of wine upon my return home from work.
She loved the rush associated with working out HARD. Thirty years ago, she became a licensed Jazzercise instructor. When we moved to Bend she took up cycling with her friend, Di Durham and became a bit of a gym rat, training in body building and power lifting. Later, she stepped back a bit with yoga.
On a trip to Europe 25 years ago with many friends from the North Bend School family, among several other countries, we spent time in Italy. She fell in love with everything Italian. Later, with our dear friends Frank and Candy Wheeler we spent a week at an Italian cooking school, followed by a wonderful week in London. She went to an immersion language school with her friend Mary, staying in a bed and breakfast in the village of Stroncone. I then joined her at the end of the school, after Mary and others had explored northern Italy. We stayed in an “apartamento” out in the country, surrounded by vineyards. Each day we would jump in the car, explore the countryside, trying to get lost while relying on her language skills to find our way and meet the people. It was glorious.
We have been blessed with having a half acre here in the eastern edge of Bend. Barb liked to refer to us as East Enders from the BBC series. We have always had wonderful neighbors. We loved to spend hours and hours in the yard. Each spring we would raise four to five hundred annuals from seed. A lot of work, but it brought us great joy. It also brought some great grazing for the deer until we identified the flowers they didn’t like!
In short, a full and diverse life. She was ready for this next step.
In the end, ALS prevented Barb from being able to communicate her love and appreciation to others. I have attempted to reach out to many of you, but for those I missed, please know how important it was to her for you being in her life. She was especially grateful for the quality and compassionate care she received from the medical community here in Bend and Redmond, with a big thank you to Dr. Ugalde and her assistant Mekenna who run the ALS Clinic and always had the time to help.
Allow me to especially note the strength and comfort provided by the love from her daughters, Danica Frischman and Brie Delvin. The steady presence of Danica’s husband Joe and her grandsons, Kyle and Matt who have always warmed her heart. Of special note is the time, laughter, commitment and love of her brother, Al Levage and his wonderful wife, Kadie.
Finally – To my darling Barb, “With the love of turtles” we will find each other again.
Please visit the online registry for the family at www.niswonger-reynolds.com.
Leave a loving comment on the online obituary.