This morning, I learned of the passing of one of my dearest friends, Barbara Holl.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Barbara for over 10 years. I first met her online through a rubberstamping group. She became a customer, and about 10 years ago, I was fortunate enough to actually meet her in person.
I will always remember the day I met her. My friend Kathy and I were preparing for the Puyallup rubber stamp convention. It was our first time in Washington and we had reserved a certain hotel because it was inexpensive. When we got there, the place was a flea-ridden dive. We decided to check out right away, go to the convention center and set up our booth and worry about a hotel later. Barbara was there helping someone else set up their booth and offered to help us with ours. When we told her about our hotel situation, she offered her home to us. She insisted we stay with her as she had 2 spare bedrooms. Mind you, she didn't know us from Adam!
Barbara was always the most giving and caring person. We stayed with her and her husband Frank in their lovely Tacoma home, just minutes from the convention center. They fed us, looked after us and we were grateful. From then on, twice a year, Kathy and I traveled to Washington for conventions and stayed with Frank and Barbara. They always has warm beds and warm meals waiting for us.
Barbara enjoyed so many hand crafts. She love cross-stitching, card making, making plastic canvas boxes and teaching all the wonderful techniques she learned. In the years of knowing Barbara, we learned she was a grade school teacher before retiring, a military wife who lived in Germany and Hawaii, and a wonderful mother. She loved wolves, teddy bears, cats, the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners, nature, art, and all things of beauty. She also loved sharing everything she had and everything she knew.
When I stopped doing conventions, she always asked me to come up for a visit to rest up and relax. Kathy and I took her up on the offer 3 years ago. We spent an entire weekend in our pajamas making cards and admiring her albums full of creations. She was so talented. Since then, she asked me numerous times to come up for another weekend, but I was always "too busy". Now I regret not taking the time to go visit. I will never again have the pleasure to spend time with her.
For all of you who knew Barbara, you know exatly what I mean. Barbara was a vibrant lady, always full of laughs, smiles and energy. We will all miss her greatly.
Knowing Barbara, I know she would have never wanted anyone to cry for her, fuss for her, or feel sorry for her. Her family has asked that no flowers be sent, but donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in her memory. (http://www.lls.org/hm_lls).
Barbara is survived by her husband Frank, her son Rick and her daughter Joyce. If you would like to send cards to Frank (he is a dear dear man, the dearest man ever!), please send them to me at: 186 Ayres St, Eagle Point, OR 97524, and I will forward them on to him.