January 31, 1951 – February 10, 2021
Spouse; Malcolm David Haylock, July 25, 1970 – February 1980
December 2000 – February 10, 2022
Barbara was everything to many people. She was a passionate person, who often brought families together, but also at times drove them apart. Throughout her life she had an insatiable desire for knowledge, this was in-part the story of her life. Even in our early years together she could not just sit and watch TV, she would be knitting or crocheting. She was an excellent seamstress, making most of Melanie’s clothes as well as her own, I often wore Ties or Cravats made and Tie Dyed by Barbara. In later years, while watching TV, she would be reading a novel, then more recently she would be on the Laptop, that sat beside her recliner, playing games, or possibly a webinar or searching for information. Her mind was always very active. She needed multiple activities to keep her mind occupied.
From a very young age Barb developed a love of animals. While living on Duncan Road in Oakville, she had a pet Raccoon, along with her siblings. Cats and dogs were always a part of her childhood, this was the same for me. From the beginning of our marriage we had, cats, Tiger, Susie and a dog, Mistie (a rescue dog) This never changed throughout our lives. In 2005 we had 7 cats living with us, we had 3 cats, then we inherited 4 cats from Daughter Jill. People would often remark how different Barb’s cats were, how friendly and sociable they were. This is reflective in her online moniker “The Cat Lady”. The last of our loving cats passed in his sleep in early 2020, Tie Domi, Aged 19. At this point we reluctantly decided not to adopt any more cats, because we new we would not be around long enough to care for them. This was the first time in our lives we did not have a cat to share our love.
Barb loved to nurture, her niece Kayla Oakley (Syd & Shirley) was born in 1989, Barb quickly recognized Kayla had a very inquisitive mind, that was hungry for knowledge, much like herself. While staying at a cottage one summer, Kayla was maybe four, Barb took her fishing, Kayla was not satisfied to just sit with the fishing line in the water. She had to know how to bait the hook, what happens after the fish is caught? Barb showed Kayla how to filet the fish, opened the fishes stomach to see what it had for lunch. Then how to BBQ for supper, Barb the nurturer and teacher. Kayla has a whole lifetime of stories of the influence her Aunt Barb had on her.
When we were apart (1980-2000) the home computer evolution occurred. This was a natural fit and challenge for Barbara. Off she went on a journey that lasted for the rest of her life. She became the family “Go Too Person” for computers, set-up, trouble shooting etc. She became a DOS programmer (worked as a Programmer). She was knowledgeable in Hardware, software, printers etc. She did not build computers (That was her brother, Doug) but she could put systems together, for family or businesses. When windows became the new standard operating system, Barb adapted, became a Windows programmer, then she transitioned moving to PC’s, Laptops, tablets and eventually to Smart Phones.
Barbara was always an avid reader, from Crime, Forensics Pathology novels and her favorite, Historic novels (non-fiction and fiction). She also had library cards for every Library in our region (both for reading material and Genealogy). When the first digital book readers came out (Kindle) Barb had to have one, from then-on she only read using a tablet. It took her about 5 years to convert me to reading using a tablet. I loved reading hard cover books and the newspaper. Now I only read digitally, unfortunately.
A long with the PC evolution in the nineties came the Internet. This further fueled Barbara’s thirst for knowledge, no longer constrained only by access to the libraries, or books or printed articles. Information was available at the push of a button. This fueled Barb even more, just like wind fuels a forest fire. In the mid 80’s she enrolled in University of Western Ontario, Business School MBA program as a mature student, where she excelled and was right at home with Academics, she could debate with the best, she was never afraid to aggressively defend her position or ideas.
Early in our marriage, she got interested in Photography, as influenced by me. We took Photography classes together at Sheridan College, Oakville. Also following me, Barb became an avid car racing fan, attending most major events at Mosport in the early 70’s, these included, Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 1. By 1972 Melanie joined us at Mosport, we would stay at Noon’s Motel, we trailered 2 Yamaha 125 Mini Enduro’s (We both had got our motorcycle licenses), at that time we were allowed to ride the bikes anywhere at Mosport. Melanie’s first race was the 1972 Can-Am, she became a car racing, Motor bike and Photography enthusiast for life. During this time period, we traveled to races at Mount Tremblant and Watkins Glen, NY.
During our second life together, I would be at Mosport doing photography at most race weekends, Barb didn’t attend often but she usually always came for the VARAC Vintage Race weekend, she also came with me once for the Molsen Indy, she was especially thrilled because she got to meet one of her idols, Paul Newman, because we were on track, photographing Paul celebrating the win with Sebastian Bourdais, who drove the Newman Haas Lola.
Through Barb’s interest in history led her to Genealogy which she dove into with her usual 100% commitment. She used the internet, Ancestry.ca, libraries, various Archives, the Geological Society of Ontario, local groups and meetings. She developed extensive family tree’s; Barr’s, Jamieson’s (Maternal), Haylock’s, Cole (Father’s Maternal), and Davidson’s
(Mother’s Maternal from Belfast Northern Ireland). I remember with my family tree she was able to find records in England dating back to the 16th century. Her Paternal ancestor David Barr, enlisted with the 100th Regiment on the 05 May 1812, in Belfast Northern Ireland. He soon found himself in Canada, fighting the USA in the War of 1812. At the end of the war, he was offered 100 acres of land in the Ottawa Valley (township of Goulbourn) West of Ottawa, we obtained copy of the Land Deed, from the local museum/archive. We were able to visit the property and walk on it. He was Barbara’s Great, Great, Great Grandfather. The feeling of history was amazing, which is what makes Genealogy so rewarding for Barb, the sense of accomplishment, the sense of bringing history to life. Genealogy is a form of detective work and forensics work, requiring a lot of patience. Which also follows Barb’s choice of books she read. This consumed a lot of Barb’s time, she would leave it for a few months, then go back at it, I would suddenly get questions about my past and ancestors. She so enjoyed the process and the challenge it presented.
TRAVEL – England the Land of History – 2001
In the summer of 2001 I had a business trip to England, for two weeks, but it included three weekends. I had to do some work at a Multimatic damper plant in Thetford, Norfolk. The plant was only 13 miles from my hometown of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and 138 miles from Brighton, Sussex where my parents lived. On the weekends we stayed in Brighton, Barb got to reconnect with my parents, which was wonderful for everybody. During the week we stayed in historical Angel Hotel, on the Angel Hill in Bury St. Edmunds across from the famous Abbey Gardens. Bury was the main market town for East Anglia (Suffolk + Norfolk) it dates to the Roman times, many buildings date back to Norman times (the Norman Tower – 1066) the Abbey got mostly destroyed during the rein of Henry the VIII, it is said the Magna Carta was signed in Bury (Disputed by historians – Runnymede?). We stayed in the Charles Dickens Suite, famous because Dickens stayed in the room in the Angel Hotel and wrote one of his many novels, A Tale of Two Cities, the actual writing desk is still in that room today. Barbara was in her element, she got to live and breathe, feel the history she had read about for so long. When I was at work Barb would take our standard transmission hire car and drove all over Norfolk and Suffolk, adapting to driving on the left side of the road, the narrow roads, lanes and villages, roundabouts, crazy English drivers, she never missed a beat, just amazing to see and watch. Of course she visited many famous castles, and other sites, including, Sandringham house where the Queen and the Royal family spend their Christmas holidays every year. I remember as a youngster going to Sandringham at Christmas time, with my parents and my grand parents (Haylock’s) to watch the Royal family walk from the house to the Church on the estate, in those days it was all very casual, remember this was the early 50’s. It was a magical visit, Barb in her element, meeting my Parents again, so much different this time, she had not seen then since 1980. One of our favorite things to do was to have Pub lunches, my father loved his pubs, one reason they retired back to England, settling in Brighton in 1989. We explored the Royal Pavilion, built by George 3rd was started in1787, to having a delicious lunch in a 600 year old Elizabethan pub with doorways only 5 ½ feet tall, with ancient ceiling beams at 6ft, was challenge for me but so much fun with history that we were able to relive. Visiting Arundel Castle, (dating back to 11th century, the home of the Duke of Norfolk) near Brighton in West Sussex, my favourite castle in England, having a Devon Cream tea in tea shop on Arundel main street overlooking the castle, with Barbara so magical and beautiful. We even, managed to fit in a trip by ferry to Calais, France we spent whole day in France, another new and unique experience for Barb. Finally, she got to see, feel and experience history that she had read about all her life. Unfortunately, we only had a short stay in England, but we accomplished a lot in such a short time.
Back to the Story
Another example of Barbara’s diverse talent and wide variety of interests was Meteorology, if things had been different for girls in the 50’s, she might have become a meteorologist. She loved to study weather, radars charts and patterns, etc, especially with the advent of the on- line weather networks. She would say that she thought the forecasters were wrong with their forecast for a coming storm. The storm would not be as bad as predicted because the Great Lakes would split the storm and we in the GTA would get off lightly. Many, many times, she was right! This is why I married Barbara all those years ago, not only because she was beautiful, but she also had this beautiful incredible mind, that could constantly challenge and push me forward.
When I met Barb in 1969, she was working in a company office doing clerical duties. She became a bookkeeper, but her restless nature, the constant need to be challenged was ever present, so she became a Real-estate broker, naturally she passed the exams with flying colours. In the early 1970’s was not a good time for real-estate. she spent most of her time manning and selling Model Homes. I put this anecdote in to show how versatile and capable she was. Many friends and family would not have known about some of her exploits. If Barb put her mind to it there was no limit to what she could do and accomplish. She also had quite a career with Random House Publishing company which got interrupted when I moved our family to Tilbury, to work for Rockwell International in early 1979.
Barbara was, a Daughter; Earl (d. 2015) and Mildred (d. 1988); A Mother; Jill and Melanie; A Wife; Malcolm, Chuck (d. 2000) Malcolm; A Sister; Bruce (d. 2004), Shirley and Doug and A Grandmother, Great Grandmother; An Aunt, Great Aunt, and her huge extended family. Sure made up for my lack of extended family. Barbara was always willing to provide, help, with wise council, sometimes it wasn’t always welcomed or appreciated at the time. But often understood over time that her approach was right. Sometimes her approach at the time was too blunt or forthright. Her mind was so incredibly logical, even under stress, she could find the solution to a problem. This one of the reasons she excelled in the computer world, because it is based on logic.
THE JOURNEY WITH IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS (IPF)
One fall Friday evening around 7.30pm, 2010 Barb got a call from our family Doctor, he told her she had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) This changed our lives forever. We new it was not good news, Barb immediately went. on the internet to find out about IPF. Now Barb’s quest for knowledge had a defined purpose, the various skills she had learned in life would be put to full use. Our initial findings, showed that this is a terminal disease, with life expectation of 3-5 years, scarring occurs in the lung, which means the lungs no longer can extract oxygen form the air into the blood stream. Not a promising start. We quickly found out that not a lot is known about IPF. It’s probably where Cancer research was 50+ years ago. Also many respirologists have little understanding of IPF, it is now classified as a rare disease. Barb’s Richmond Hill respirologist of many years, diagnosis of her Lung problems was “She had sensitive lungs”.
All this took awhile for both of us to comprehend and understand what was happening to us, both physically and emotionally. We learned that just in 2009 Toronto General Hospital (TGH) had started an Idiopathic Lung Clinic (ILD) under the direction of Dr. Shane Shapera. Thus began our 11 year relationship with Shane, Dr. Matthew Binnie, Barbara’s respirologist, and TGH family. Early on in her research about IPF, Barb found out there was a non-profit foundation for IPF, it was the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation of Canada (CPFF). It was founded by Robert (and Heather) Davidson, who had IPF and was double lung transplant recipient. We both became intimately involved with CPFF, promoting, advocating, educating, medical professionals, Governments, politicians, patients. care givers and fund raising.
The early years went Okay, the disease progress slowly, Barb had enrolled in a drug trial for OFEV, the trial was run by Dr. Martin Kolb with the Hamilton Firestone Lung Institute. This drug slowed the progress of the disease. Soon supplemental oxygen was prescribed, Barbara lost her freedom! There were a couple of exacerbations, usually in the winter months, one time (2012?) Barb spent 2 weeks in Southlake Hospital, Newmarket, that was a mistake. Southlake had no knowledge or understanding of IPF, they only seemed to know about COPD, the more common lung disease. We vowed when hospitalization was required, I would have to drive her downtown to TGH for the proper care she needed. For IPF patients Breathing is hard work, what we take for granted. With supplemental oxygen, Barb was tethered to her at home concentrator by a 50 ft plastic hose and annular, which allowed her to go out front door, back deck and upstairs and downstairs. When she went out, she would have to fill one or more portables from the oxygen reservoir we had. Number of portables was decided by the length of the trip, including margin of error. As time progressed the oxygen prescription increased, is the beginning she was on 2-3 litres/minute, by the time of her lung transplant in June of 2017 the prescription was 15 litres/min. We had 2 large concentrators blasting away in the dining room, 2 oxygen reservoirs, high flow portables. By then each portable would only last about 30 minutes, so any trip required many portables to accompany us. Freedom Lost.
The decision to have a transplant was a long and at times a difficult discussion, we had over a few weeks. We were both like minded in how to make a difficult decision logically, we put all the facts, issues and concerns on the table, divided them on “Pros” or “Cons” – we went back and forth many times before it was agreed, Barbara would apply for a Lung Transplant. The Transplant program and team at TGH is world class, there is a reason why TGH leads the world in transplant, specifically Lung Transplants. Barbara was in Good Hands. Just to qualify for the transplant was a big undertaking, it included, ourselves, Doug and Brother-in-law Syd. This process was spread over 6 days, it involved group sessions, many medical tests, HD CT scans, X- rays etc., for Barbara. Followed by interviews with Doctors, Transplant surgeon, Anesthetist, Medicine, Pharmacists, Social Workers, very extensive and involved. She was approved in 2015. But it was too soon, we did not put her name on the Transplant waiting list.
By early 2017 she was ready, her health was failing, she now needed 15 Litres/minute of oxygen, she tired easily, her mobility was very poor, she needed a walker to move or walk.
The preparation TGH required for a lung transplant patient was extensive, she needed to lose weight, she lost 100 lbs, she had to attend rehab at TGH 3 times a week, this also included x- rays and blood work with each visit, considering the status of her lungs she got into incredible shape, this was a big factor in her quick recovery after the transplant.
We got her first call, after about 3 or 4 months on the list, it came in mid-afternoon, when you got the call you had to be at TGH within 3 hours, I was at work Doug took Barb to Emerg at TGH, I went from work. They immediately start prepping Barb for the transplant, blood work is done, X-rays taken, intravenous is started, the Anesthesiologist attends, then after about 5 hours, a doctor tells us the “Lungs are not Suitable” you can go home. Quite an emotional let down for both of us! Nothing happened for the next month, then another call came in we were both home this time, put suitcase on the car (suitcase was already packed by door, part of TGH preparedness plan). We drove to TGH, process is repeated, including again after 5 hours, lungs not suitable, just go home! Wow, when we were driving up Hwy 400 the sun was starting to come up, what an amazing roller coaster ride. This happened again about 5 days later, by now we were both emotional wrecks, we were both pretty strong people but this pushed us to our emotional limit, to say the least, nothing could prepare you for this. About 3 days later we get a call around 1.00 am, June 20, 2017, this time it was the real thing!
It should be noted that this is not unusual, some people we know have had 5 or 6 Dry runs!
She went under the knife probably around 8.00 am, the operation was over by about 1.00 pm, the story of her operation is for another time. She came thru with flying colours. I brought her home 11 days later, she walked from the car into our house. There was one huge disappointment, she only had a single lung transplants, her left and native lung was still full of IPF. We both understood the disappointment but never really discussed it. We were not done with TGH, Barb had to do rehab at TGH 3 times a week, for next 3 months, with a spotter, Kayla often helped here since I was still working. She also had to Bronchoscopy every 3 months for the first year, then every 6 months after that. This operation was the only way Doctors could ensure her body was not rejecting the new lung.
The native lung started causing issues early on. The left lung is the control lung in the body, telling what the right lung what to do, but this was the healthy lung, so a fight between lungs occurred, along with the normal tendency of the body to reject the foreign lung in her body. Because she went through with the transplant we all got 3.5 years more with Barbara, which some people to reconnect with her.
I could talk at great length about the medication and the amount required for a transplant patient, initially over 40 pills a day, at an approximate monthly cost of $4000. Thank god for OHIP and ODP. These drugs cause damage to the other major organs in the body, since they all have to work harder, trying to reject the transplanted lung, plus it took more effort by her body to simply breathe.
If Barb has not had her transplant in June of 2017, she would not have survived to see 2018. IPF like many diseases when one starts really going down hill, goes very quickly in the end. Initially things went well, she didn’t need supplement oxygen after about 10 days at home in recovery. Barbara was free again. Life was good. Then the Native lung progressively got worse basically was no longer working. She was back on supplemental oxygen, Freedom Lost Again, this was a huge blow to Barb, initially it was 2-3 litres/minute. We both new and understand what this meant but we didn’t speak about it. By the time she passed on February 10, 2021 her prescription was for 8 litres/minute. But now it was barely helping, other issues were catching up to her, other organs were too stressed (her Kidneys were failing), she had infections in her body that seemingly could not be cured.
Barbara focused particularly on Patients and Care Givers, she advocated and started Care Givers support groups, in London, Hamilton, TGH and across the country. Around 2015 Barbara became Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of CPFF, she was often the Voice of CPFF after Robert Died, not only in Ontario, but the USA, England and Ireland, through advocacy groups, webinars etc. One example of how Barb turned a negative into a positive was in 2012, she was in TGH for a lung biopsy, a very evasive procedure, but necessary to determine what type of IPF she had. I arrived one day to visit, she is surrounded by about 10 interns (mostly Females as I recall) she was explaining details of IPF, what happens to the lungs and need for supplemental oxygen. She explained the unique sound that the lungs of an IPF patient made, so she each of them use their stethoscopes to hear her lungs “Crackle”. I’m sure each of those interns never forgot that teaching moment provided by Barbara. I certainly didn’t and this was only year 2 with the disease. She was in TGH for over a week for this evasive procedure. Barb was constantly learning, teaching, and advocating constantly. That is why Dr. Shane Shapera, head of TGH ILD, would tell anybody that Barb was more knowledgeable about IPF than many respirologists. IPF has come a long way from the way it was back in 2010, it is no longer the unknown disease nobody has heard of, which Barbara and CPFF, had a big hand in making it happen.
ICLAF International Conference Mt. Tremblant, QC 2014
In September 2014 CPFF sent Barbara and myself to attend ICLAF 2014 at Mount Tremblant, QC., ICLAF is an international Conference held every two years, on Airway and Fibrosis Diseases, brought together 300 of the worlds foremost expects, Researchers, Scientists, Doctors and Academics, to present their findings, research in one forum. The conference was hosted by Dr. Martin Kolb and his wife (Hamilton, Firestone Lung Clinic Director). Barbara already new Martin and his team, since she was participating in a drug trial (OFEV) at Firestone. Also in attendance were our friends from TGH ILD, Dr Shane Shapera and Dr. Matthew Binnie and their wives.
We drove from King City, the car was packed with all the portables we possessed (5) along with a battery powered portable concentrator. The trip took over 6 hours, so we needed all the portables we had. Thru CPFF we learned how different Provinces handle, rare diseases, drug approvals, hospitalization and supplemental oxygen. Quebec does not have liquid oxygen!
When we travelled overnight Barb would have to arrange with her oxygen supplier to provide an oxygen supply at our destination. When we checked into our hotel in Mont Tremblant, they advised us they had upgraded our room to a suite, since there were 40 oxygen cylinders, a concentrator, regulators, hoses, etc for Barbara to be able to breathe and move around.
This year there were over 300 attendees, from all over the world, this year marked the 30th year for the ICLAF conference, the first year there were only 15 attendees. The growth, knowledge and understanding has grown exponentially, even since we got involved in 2010, all good news for the future. The conference was in its 3rd day of 4, when following a presentation by a Scientist on, molecular research, each presentation was followed by a question and answer
period, Barbara got the microphone and asked, “What about the Patient?” there was a palpable moment in the room, these scientists and researchers work in labs so far removed from the Patient, they sometimes need to be reminded why they are doing what they do. Barbara was one of a few actual patients attending the conference. Sometimes a reminder is needed to understand what this is all about – Stand up Barbara, which is exactly what she did. She was sought out by many attendees for the remainder of conference, they all wanted to hear what Barbara had to say, which she was very willing to share her incite from IPF patient point of view. We were able to share some lovely walks through the woods, across a stream, in the beautiful fall season in Tremblant, remembering our trips to the Circuit Mont Tremblant to watch the Trans-Am and Can-Am races in the early 70’s. We had not been back since.
When I was calling family about friends to inform them of Barb’s passing, I was talking to Dr. Shane, he told me his lasting memory of Barb was at ICLAF, looking out his hotel window, seeing her trudge up the hill (Conference Hotel was at the top of the hill, we were 2 hotels down the hill) with her briefcase, pulling her oxygen bottle, each day, “There is someone very determined” This was Barbara, nothing would stop her from her intended purpose. Dr Matthew remembers her from ICLAF as well, for making sure all attendees remember why they were here and doing what they do, remember the patient dying from this terrible disease.
Barbara new this would not help her, but it would help patients down the road. Barbara seeing and understanding the bigger picture.
Lions Foundation DOG GUIDES (LFDG)
Our last great adventure together began sometime in 2018, Barb through her constant searching on-line, she out about Dog Guides foster program, run by the Lions Foundation of Canada. We had a family discussion about whether we should participate, we went ahead, submitted our request, a LFDG came for an onsite interview with us. We were approved. In Early February, cold day, we drove to Breslau, to pickup our new 12-week old foster puppy, Mandy, a Golden Lab. It is a big responsibility to be a Foster parent, Mandy was not a pet, we had to adhere to strict rules and guidelines and had many responsibilities to essentially put her through, Public School and High School after spending about 12-14 weeks with us.
At this time Barb was frequently going to TGH for blood work and other tests, so along went Mandy, they would ride with me into work, I would leave them at TTC bus stop at Finch and Weston road, taking the bus, subway and then walk to TGH, all part of Mandy’s training.
Naturally Mandy became a big attraction all of the various, clinics, and labs that Barb frequented at TGH. At the end of the day Barb and Mandy did the reverse trip taking the Finch bus to my work. Tank would always get very excited when Barb came to my work, even more so when Mandy came. Barb would then take both doggies into the Hydro field for a little walk. Before we all drove home together. Tank treated Mandy as if it was his puppy, he was so good with Mandy.
Naturally Barbara got fully involved with LFDG, we did fund raising, attending events, always promoting LFDG and being a foster parent. We got to meet many wonderful people through LFDG, some of whom I am still friends with. Because LFDG you cannot leave a Puppy alone for more than 3 hours, we did a lot of puppy sitting, some for just a few hours, some for a few days, in one case we had a very rambunctious young black Lab for 4 months while they found a new permanent foster home for him. Tank helped raise many LFDG puppies, he was good at it, he had a ball and gave him a new lease on life. We had an amazing 13 months with Mandy, then we had to take her back to University at LFDG in Oakville. Unfortunately, she failed, because of stomach allergies. About 2 weeks after Barbara passed, Melanie and I had just left my Bank where we had done banking associated with her death, when I got a phone call from LFDG, “did I want to adopt Mandy?” I was not able to adopt Mandy, much as I wanted to, I could not afford the special food she needed, the vet bills, or even be able to exercise her properly at my age. I was asked if I would like to be contacted after Mandy was adopted, I said yes, but one year later I have not heard anything. I do plan on contacting LFDG in the future to see if I can have a visit with Mandy.
The Holst Farm
In early 2010 Barb and I reconnected with her cousin Maryanne and her soon to be husband Carl Holst, they had recently purchased a farm in Elmwood, Ontario near Hanover. In August 2010 Maryanne and Carl planned a surprise wedding at their Annual Jamboree on the farm, they were now Maryanne and Carl Holst. Barbara soon began to enjoy our visits and stays on the farm, it soon became her home away from home. This reminded Barb of her summers of her youth which she spent helping her Grandma Hazel on their farm near Pakenham, she learned to love her time helping her Grandma, doing the chores, churning butter, taking care of the chickens and other farm animals. This was a lasting memory for Barb, the Holst farm became her new escape from her normal life, constants trips to TGH, blood work, tests, scans, x-rays and specialist visits.
The first place we visited after Barb’s transplant was the Holst farm, these visits always refreshed her, getting back to nature, digging up potatoes for supper, wandering in the woods and paths. Barb could be herself without having to act or put on a show. When Carl and Maryanne decided to visit cousins in England, Barb farm sat, I would drive up and stay on weekends she was definitely at ease reliving her favourite childhood memories. By this time Tank was with us full-time, he loved visiting the Holst farm, running with their doggies chasing the utility cart. Maryanne and Carl took a second trip to England, Barb farm sat again, she was back in her happy place, this time not only did Tank go but so did Mandy, what a time everybody had.
Back to the Story
Barbara loved to spend quality time with her extended family, grand children, great grand children, nieces, nephews and cousins. Available time and peoples busy loves and other issues did not always allow many visit. Barb would always cherish these visits, whether they were short or infrequent, they were special to her. No matter what happened she was committed to her extended family.
This final chapter is the hardest writing I had to do yet. 2020 was very hard on both Barb and I. Her health was failing, her breathing a bigger struggle than ever, more supplemental oxygen was needed, her energy level was down, everything was a struggle and harder on her. Her zest for life was gone. We all (Barb, me, Melanie & Doug) had COVID before Christmas, some got over it reasonably well, Barb did get pneumonia on her native lung and was hospitalized for a week, but she recovered, only to be brought down by a serious bacterial infection, the TGH could not identify, this required another stay at TGH, biopsy’s were taken, finally it was identified. Multiple antibiotics were prescribed including one that required a Public Health nurse to change the bag every day, none of this helped, her energy levels decreased even more, her brilliant mind was starting to slip, she became forgetful, she became less interested in her laptop. In later January Barb turned to me in tears, saying she can’t go on any longer, I joined her in tears, saying I couldn’t go on any longer either, at this time I was having bring her every meal, some days she couldn’t leave the bedroom, she was spending much of the time sleeping now. Her organs were starting to shut down. This is what happened to her early of the morning of February 10, 2021, when she passed quietly in her sleep, no longer in pain, no suffering, no problem breathing. Her Kidneys had failed, her body was full of infections.
It was a hell of a journey, with much joy and happiness, upsets, setbacks, interruptions, Love, Tears and more Love. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a minute of it. Thank you, Barbara, for being in my life, R.I.P.
All My Love, Malcolm