Monday, September 13, 2010
Barb Boylan Schager
Barb Boylan Schager closed her eyes for the very last time here Thursday, a day before her 45th birthday. I like to picture her lying wrapped in the loving arms of her husband and her two sons as she did so, head tilted back, smiling, fearless and looking upward.
I am told I am not far off.
There are truly no adequate words to describe the stalwart determination, grit and grace Barb displayed in the face of one of the world's most horrific and disgusting diseases: pancreatic cancer. While most of us would have turned inward, she turned out, inspiring children, mothers, sisters, brothers...everyone in her path to fight like hell, to put your faith in God and under all circumstances, keep smiling.
She leaves behind two beautiful, blue eyed sons, who cannot possibly begin to fathom the ripple effect of love their mother left here. It is her sons who I most often think of when I imagine her gone...now here without any living biological parents, and yet left with an angel/father nonetheless, chosen perfectly for them by their mother.
None of us will likely ever understand the purpose behind the degeneration and pain cancer leaves in its wake; the early goodbyes or the gaping holes, but I believe we all understand why Barb came here, a California diamond in the Iowa rough, choosing for her sons, the man and path they now follow, her family, friends and everyone in those ripples she created; better, wiser and eyes wide open grateful for each and every day.
Rest in sweet peace Barb...the community you created will not soon release your sweet boys and husband from our warmest embrace.