The above photo was taken on a ski trip to Big Sky, Montana in Dr. Schlabach’s cabin.
When Libby and I first began dating I wanted to do everything possible to make a good impression and so I would purchase fresh flowers before our dates (because, that’s just what you did) but the bouquets never seemed to generate the excited response that I had expected.
After a few dates Libby finally admitted, “Barry, I really appreciate you going to all of the trouble, but I’m not much on flowers”, she explained that since flowers are so expensive and only last a little while, the money would be better spent on something else. “Wow,” I remember thinking, “This girl is awesome and she thinks logically just like me”, of course as time past, and we got to know each better, I still thought Libby was awesome but I can’t remember ever saying to myself again, “she thinks logically just like me!”
Because of her pragmatic view of flowers it was no surprise to me that 37 years later, when Libby and I were discussing her memorial service she would say, “Please ask people not to buy flowers, I want the money to go to a good cause, not wasted on flowers”, and I knew just the “… good cause…” for that money.
From the moment that Libby went into the hospital on New Year’s Day, friends and family asked if they could raise money or help in some other way and those constant offers to help were some of the reasons for setting up the Libby’s Living Legacy Fund. The initial goal of the fund was to raise $15,000 to build a small community playground but three months later as I was planning Libby’s memorial service the fund had already doubled that goal with no signs of slowing down.
Prior to Libby’s memorial service I asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Libby’s Living Legacy for the sole purpose of building community playground to honor Libby’s love of children. It was a credit to Libby’s friends and family that there were almost no flowers at her memorial service but the playground account swelled to nearly $45,000 because Libby wasn’t “much on flowers”.
The attached video is from Libby’s Celebration of Life performed by Holly Rudge (left) on viola and her sister Bethany Gilley (right) on violin. Assisting Bethany is her daughter Elizabeth (lower right).