Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, deacon, teacher, and advisor.
“I believe when times get tough it is God that carries us through. I find joy in many things and contentment in each stage of life I find myself in. Whether it’s being married, single or widowed I believe in always finding joy. I want to leave a legacy for my grands and great grands. I want them to know the importance of faith and having a relationship with God. I hope they’ll remember me and the good memories we had together. I was made fun of as a kid. I was told I had big lips. I was flat chested and skinny. I was made to feel ugly. Those girls who made fun of me – I could read their lips. I remember watching 2 or 3 of them walk toward me mouthing, “here comes that skinny Barbara”. Because I was called big lips I never smiled, I would hold my lips – until one day a male classmate said, “don’t hold your lips like that, you have a beautiful smile”. After that day I started smiling. 60 years ago, when I was a new bride, I remember feeling like I was not good enough because I had not gone to college and I didn’t know how to cook. Over the years, I learned that a strong romantic relationship comes from a continued spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation and open communication. You must also have fun, play and find joy together. I remember one time my husband and I lost power in the house. Grown adults we were, and we decided to play hide and seek! That was us having fun and finding joy. I’d tell a 12 year old me that she is beautiful, that she is uniquely and wonderfullly made by God. I wish young women today knew how to enjoy being female. Success to me is doing things with excellence. Right now, I’m most proud of my hair! It’s longer than it’s ever been, and I only have a few strands of gray. Many people think I color my hair at 77, but I don’t. I’m an artist, I’ve always loved to sew and draw portraits. It’s hard these days with my difficulty breathing, but I love to dance. I’m graceful and meditative. I’m a loyal confidant. I am Barbara. I am woman! My faith in God is my legacy.”Barbara
Kristie Dean, Barbara, 2022. Digital Photograph. ©Kristie Dean. All rights reserved.