“Barry, I don’t want a traditional funeral…”


23 The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,  for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.               Genesis 2: 23-24 NIV

Shortly after Libby died, I read those two verses in a email I received from Grief Share along with the following commentary which seemed to vividly describe my feelings: 

The pain that comes from the loss of a spouse is much deeper than most people realize because in a marital relationship two people become one flesh and when part of your flesh is abruptly taken away, there is a ripping and a tearing that leaves a huge, open wound. Until you have experienced the death of a spouse, there is no way you can tell someone how deep the hurt is. The Lord says that we are one flesh, and suddenly half of that flesh is torn from us,”

Several months before she died, Libby gave very specific instructions about her funeral, or more correctly, her memorial service, when she said, “I don’t want a traditional funeral with people standing around crying, and I don’t want a bunch ‘funeral songs’ sung, instead, I want upbeat music and a celebration. After the service I want all of my friends and family to visit with one another and eat together.”

Then Libby asked me for a favor that, at the time, I wasn’t sure I would be able to grant: “Barry,” she said, “I want you to tell some funny stories during the service, keep it light and make people laugh. But if you think you are going to cry you need to skip that part.”

I told Libby, “I’m not sure if I can do that, besides, what makes you think I can come with any funny stories?” Libby rolled her eyes at me the way she always did when she didn’t believe anything I was saying.

Made Perfect…



“But Honey,” I whined, “What does it matter if every single tassel on the stupid rug is pointed in one direction ?” The drama was repeated nearly every time I vacuumed the throw rug in the living room because, apparently, the tassels of the throw rug need to be “combed” into one uniform direction by the beater bar of the vacuum cleaner.  To be clear, just in case the sarcasm didn’t work, I don’t like vacuuming and I definitely don’t like combing the tassels,  which is what lead to more than one serious debate.

Ever since Libby and I were married I teased her about her perfectionist tendencies; whether she was remaking the bed because I allowed the sheet to hang over the edge one inch more on the right side than it did on the left side, or making sure the tassels mentioned above were “combed” before the vacuuming was finished. Libby lived by the old adage, “If its worth doing, its worth doing right”.  While I, on the other hand, was blessed with no such tendencies.

Even though I teased her about being a perfectionist by calling her Miss Perfecto on occasion (okay, a lot, I called her Miss Perfecto a lot) Libby was way too humble to believe that anything she did neared the level of perfection and she certainly didn’t like for me to joke that she was perfect.

One day toward the middle of March while taking care of Libby, I was trying to determine what she needed and I asked, “Does your back hurt?”….”No”…” Are you cold?”…”No”… does your belly hurt?” each time she shook her head “No”.  So I said, “Well if you are not hot or cold and nothing hurts then you must be perfect.”  Libby shook her head, frowned at me with a disapproving look that I had seen many times in our 35 years of marriage, and said,  “If I were perfect then I wouldn’t be sick and in this hospital bed.”

Later that same night I told Libby, “I feel so helpless, I wish there were something more I could do. I am so sorry this is happening to you.” Libby turned her head toward me (again with the frown) and said, “Barry, don’t feel sorry for me, I have the easy part, you’re the one who has the hard job.”

Incredulous, I asked, “What do you mean by that?”  Libby’s answer still echos in my ears, even I as write these words exactly two years later, ” I mean,” she said, “My part is easy, all I have do is lay here while you take care of me for a few more days and then I will be in heaven, but you have to stay here and go on living without me.”

On March 25th it was just past midnight when I made the difficult decision to tell Libby something that, at the time,  I didn’t really think she was able to hear, much less comprehend, becasue by then she had been asleep for three days solid. I remember saying, “Libby, I love you but you need to know that I will be okay.  You were an amazing mom to our boys and although they will miss you, they will be fine. Bethany and our new granddaughter will be okay as well, you have fought hard but you don’t need to keep fighting for us.”

That was it, no long speech, no change in Libby’s expression and absolutely no indication that she heard it; instead there was a calm, spirit-filled peace that filled the room and I just remember thinking we would both rest better that night.  I leaned over to tuck in Libby’s covers but as I did the loose board next to her bed squeaked and without ever opening her eyes, Libby strained upward for her kiss.

 Caring Bridge entry March 25, 2014:   … This morning a few minutes after 5 AM Libby was made PERFECT… 



The Kiss

me and Libby

Several years before Libby was diagnosed with breast cancer we remodeled our house and replaced the carpet in the living room with hardwood flooring, the only problem was that a squeak developed in one section of the living room.  The culprit was a loose piece of sub floor that now happened to be right beside Libby’s bed; the exact spot where I put my right foot nearly every time I leaned over to kiss her.

Regardless of how deeply Libby slept or how much pain medication was given, the Pavlovian response to the creaking board was always the same; Libby would turn her head toward me for a kiss and the scene would be repeated dozens of times every night.

In some ways my attempt to sleep during the three months of Libby’s Hospice care was like that of a mom with a newborn unable to get into REM sleep. Similarly, in order to be close to Libby, I either slept in my recliner next her hospital bed or about twenty feet away in my (or rather OUR) bed, making constant trips each time she called or needed a drink. As exhausting as it was to get up dozens of times during the night to check on Libby, it was far worse when I did sleep soundly becasue then I woke up in a panic realizing that I had gone an hour or more without checking.

On the same night following my failed attempt to snuggle with Libby and the subsequent Taco incident with the hospital bed, she was fully alert and wide awake.  Libby took my hand and said, “Thank you for taking care of me, I love you”.  Embarrassed by the attention, I looked down at our hands and asked, “Do you remember the first time we held hands?”  Libby didn’t have to answer and I could tell from the confused look that either she truly didn’t remember that particular “first” in our relationship or the cancer had stolen that memory as well.

“We were on our way home from a date,” I began, a little too proudly, “We were crossing the bridge over Chattanooga Creek on South Broad Street in my ’79 Camaro.  I remember the exact spot becasue we could smell the leather from the Scholze’s Tannery where new saddles sat on the window sills.” On a roll now, I continued my narrative, ” I used one of my irresistible lines which went something like, ‘Libby, you have such small hands, put yours next to mine and lets compare’. Then I closed my grip and I held on until we pulled into the Flintstone Baptist Church parking lot next to your house.”

I was so proud that I had remembered such a detailed account from our dating years and even though it was now dark in the house, I was sure that Libby rolled her eyes when I described my move to hold her hand.

When finished I waited for Libby’s response but then I realized that she had fallen asleep somewhere during my monologue (probably about the time I made my “move”).  Trying not to wake her, I reached over Libby’s hospital bed to tuck her in but my right foot landed on the creaking board. Unconsciously Libby pursed her lips and strained in the direction of the squeak to get her kiss and our nightly ritual began again.


Our Love Song


Following Libby’s final oncologist’s appointment we settled into a routine with Hospice Care coming to our house twice a week and many of Libby’s dear friends volunteering to sit with her while I went to my office in a futile attempt to work.

By the end of February the cancer and the pain medications began to take their toll on the amount of conscious time that Libby had for visitors as I weighed the needs of Libby’s failing health against the well-intentioned desires of those wanting to see her.  Weekends were especially busy around our house and Sunday February 23 rd was no exception as our friends Corey and Andrea had driven in from Nashville to see Libby but she was in a deep sleep by the time they had arrived.

Corey and Andrea Garcia were college friends of Nathan and Bethany while at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Nathan and Corey’s friendship went back even further to kindergarten in our church when Libby was their teacher. Libby was a self-appointed surrogate mother to both Corey and Andrea during their college years as she encouraged and counseled them both during their courtship, marriage and Andrea’s fledgling music career.

Weeks before their visit, I asked Andrea if she would be interested in writing a song about Libby to tell our story.  I had written an outline of sorts which described the “new love” during our dating years and how it changed into something much deeper as time went on. Then when faced with horrible news, how that new love turned into a “blue love” as both love and faith were tested.  I went on to say that real love is not always some warm fuzzy feeling portrayed in the movies, it is a choice to love that one makes everyday.  Now, it was obvious that I would never be mistaken for a songwriter so I left my ramblings with Andrea.

At 9:30 on that Sunday evening after Andrea and Corey had gone out for coffee with Nathan and Bethany, Libby woke up more responsive and more alert than she has been in weeks and asking, “Where is everybody?” I explained that it was late on a Sunday night and although a lot people had come by to visit, everyone was gone now.

After telling Libby the names of all of her visitors I explained that she had just missed Corey and Andrea so she asked me to call them. Within fifteen minutes Nathan, Bethany, Corey and Andrea arrived as Andrea pulled me aside before going into see Libby and said she had finished the song we had discussed and she asked if she could play it for her.  I told her the timing was perfect and that she was very alert.   The following video was recorded on that Sunday night using my cell phone then edited later to add photos:


I wrote this on the Caring Bridge entry that night after everyone had left, “I believe we have been given this time to say goodbye to someone that in my completely unbiased opinion, is the best wife, mother, teacher, counselor, prayer warrior, mentor and friend this world has ever seen.”

The Beginning of a Dream



Libby’s love for children has never been disputed and that love caused her to constantly look for ways to engage all children, ensuring that none were ever overlooked, which is why she commented on more than one occasion that our church needed a playground.  After visiting area playgrounds during the summer of 2013 and doing additional research, Libby’s vision of a playground soon faded when we learned that the costs were far more than either of us expected with even the smallest playgrounds costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Fast forward six months and Libby was still struggling to recover her health while doctors tried to determine the exact cause of her horrible headaches and the loss of a third of her body weight. Because of Libby’s precarious health I had to limit the number of visitors which created a sense of helplessness among our friends and family and left many of them wondering how they could help.  Suggestions were made to hold bake sales, road blocks and even a 5 K run, all to raise money for Libby.

My initial impulse was to graciously decline any fund raising efforts for Libby since we had good insurance and money for the deductibles.  What I finally came to realize was that it was never about the money, the fundraising effort gave our friends and our community a purpose and and a feeling that they were helping contribute to Libby’s recovery. That’s when I remembered the discussions about the playground during the summer and so without asking for Libby’s permission, I made a few phone calls, launched a fund raiser webpage and formed a non profit called “Libby’s Living Legacy” to begin collecting money to build a playground to honor Libby’s love of children.

After the proverbial reins were released people began calling or texting with ideas on how they wanted to help and with little more than an, “Okay by me”, Libby’s Living Legacy fundraisers began springing up throughout the community of Chattanooga Valley. It was an amazing outpouring of love for someone who had touched so many people in our community.

An incident happened one day as some of the students from Libby’s children’s program lined up to each hand over a dollar of their allowance to help build a playground for Miss Libby. I hugged each little girl in turn thanking them for their gift but the youngest stood off from the others and nervously looked down at her feet shuffling back and forth.  I looked over and asked, “Can I get a hug?”  She shook her head “No”. So I asked, “Why not?” and she answered shyly, “Because I don’t have any dollar”.  (She got the biggest hug ever until she said, “You are squeezing me too hard, I can’t breathe”).

It was the gifts of pennies and dollars from children and the $9.67 earned by selling lemonade during a Saturday afternoon that I remember more than the corporate sponsors and large donors as this fundraiser started to pick up some serious momentum.

Within days of starting Libby’s Living Legacy the dream of creating a community playground began to develop a life of its own, meanwhile, still in the hospital, Libby was still fighting for hers.


Good News


DSC00262Following a rough few days in which Libby hardly even moved, she suddenly sat straight up in her hospital bed on Monday morning and shouted, “Dr. Schlabach!”.  I jumped at the sudden outburst fearing the worst, but Libby had heard the voice of her favorite oncologist making morning rounds and her face lit up for the first time in days (yes, I was a little jealous).

Dr. Schlabach had been vacationing with his family since Libby had been admitted to the hospital and although I had talked with him on the phone it was his first day back at work we were both happy to see him. Following a quick update, Dr. Schlabach ordered a spinal tap to help determine the cause of the nausea, headaches and seizures and he asked us to pray that the test result would be bacterial meningitis because that would be better than the alternative.

When the transport team arrived to take Libby for her procedure she stood up to get on the gurney and then immediately passed out. I caught Libby before she fell and as I lay her back onto her bed, she had yet another seizure, but there had been so many seizures in the past few days I took care of her myself, not waiting on the nurse to get there.

Although it was a struggle just to keep my voice calm, I immediately began talking to Libby and I watched the clock on the wall so I could report the duration of the seizure. I held Libby’s hand and caressed her face as I asked her a series of questions waiting on a response to each: “What’s your name? Do you know what day it is?” I took a glance at the clock and continued. ” Do you know where are you?” all with no response.

Our nurse had said that a familiar voice was important to bring a patient “back” and Libby had told me after several other seizures that she knew who was there and she was even able repeat back everything being said while she was unconscious but she was frozen inside a body that wouldn’t work.

During the worst part of the seizure, Libby’s eyes had rolled back and her eyelids were fluttering but the spasms had stopped and now her eyes were closed.  I asked, “Libby?…Hey Libby can you hear me?” Still no response and so I asked, ” Who is the best looking guy in the whole world?”   A crooked smile crept across her face as she said out of the corner of her mouth, ” Barry is…” I looked over at the transport team and the nurse who had just rushed into the room and said, “Clearly the girl has come to her senses and the good news is, there is definitely no brain damage!”

Fully awake now, Libby slowly shook her head back and forth, rolling her eyes, this time in disgust, and said,”He thinks he is soooo funny,”





On A Scale Of 1 To 10…



Spending Saturday with family was amazing!  I’m not sure if Libby just happened to have a fantastic, pain free day or if she rallied by saving all of her small “feel good moments” and stringing them together into one long “feel good day” because, although short-lived, it was a  miraculous, unforgettable blessing that I will never forget.

While the sound of our family’s footsteps still resonated through the hospital corridors, Libby left her chair where she had enjoyed animated conversation and fried chicken and returned quickly to her bed. Soon afterward Libby donned her customary damp rag to cover her eyes as another massive headache slammed her, overshadowing the pain free day. Within two hours she was hurting so badly that she limited out on the allowed pain medications and our roller coaster began its descent into the darkest thirty six hours period of Libby’s hospital stay.

Anyone who has spent time in the hospital will recognize the standard pain scale question asked by the staff: “On a scale of 1 to 10, with zero being no pain at all and a ten being the worst pain you have ever experienced how would you rate your pain for me now?” Even though Libby was in tremendous pain she considered the question carefully and said, “It’s an 8”. Knowing how much she was hurting I asked, “So, Libby, even though you just said it was the worst thing you have ever felt, it’s not a 10?”  “No,” said Libby, as she tried to explain, “I’ve never died and I would think that dying would be the worst pain possible;  dying must be a 10, so this has to be a 8.”

Later that same night as I paced the floor beside Libby’s bed she asked,  “Is that you Barry?” her eyes still covered with the damp rag.  “Yes,”  I said.  “Please pray for me,” Libby said, reaching for my hand, “It feels like my head is going to explode.” I pressed the call button and once again asked the nurse for more pain meds and then I prayed, but the nurse never came back in.

I like to think that I am a patient guy, but as Libby began squeezing my hand and the pain in her head continued to increase, my patience was exhausted. Then Libby pulled me closer and whispered,  “My head,”  pausing every other word to draw in a breath, “Hurts soooo bad… I know….why people……. want to kill…… themselves…This is a 10.”

That was it, my patience was gone. I found the frazzled night-shift nurse at the end of the hall near the nurses’ station and I said, “Look, I’m sorry, I know you have lots of patients and that you are just following orders but we are going to get those orders changed right now. My wife is in unbearable pain, so we have two options here; either you get in touch with the on-call doctor right now and get my wife some pain meds or I’m calling Dr. Schlabach’s cell phone and wake him up at 3 AM to get his approval, and trust me, I will get his approval!”

Libby received a pain injection through her I.V. within five minutes of my tirade and within five minutes more she was snoring softly.  I, on the other hand, catnapped only occasionally feeling a bit uneasy about sleeping in the darkened hospital room while the night nurse walked next to my makeshift bed with an arsenal of sharp needles.




The Last Great Day


There is a common term within the cancer community or more specifically, within the terminal cancer community, often called the last great day. The problem is (or maybe it is a blessing) that by definition neither the patient nor their caregiver know that they are experiencing the last great day while it is happening:

Because of Libby’s declining health by end of her first week in the hospital we called all of Libby’s sisters and asked them to come in Saturday for what we thought might be their last opportunity see their sister but by the time they arrived things had changed.

When Libby woke up on Saturday morning she was not the same person that she had been the day before, she was alert and free of any pain or nausea. I explained to Libby that her mom and all of her sisters would be there soon which buoyed her spirits even more and she said, “If everyone is coming I need to wash my hair and get a shower”. I cautioned her about doing too much too soon but she was already out of bed and towing her IV pole toward the bathroom.

Now, to put things into perspective, Libby had barely put three words together in a sentence since she was admitted to the hospital seven days earlier.  The pain was such that she spent most of the time with a damp rag covering her face and the total extent of our conversations consisted of whispered two-word sentences such as “Morphine please” or “Bathroom, please”.

But on that Saturday it was as if Libby had awakened in a new body, she was giving me instructions on which set of pajamas to get out and how she wanted her mom to fix her hair and makeup.  In addition Libby said she was tired of being in a hospital bed, she wanted to sit in a chair and she was ready to have the IV taken out of her arm because she didn’t need anymore pain or nausea drugs.

Libby’s headaches and five seizures made Friday one of worst days that I had ever experienced, but Saturday, she was having a great day. Then, in the middle of getting ready, Libby looked up at me with a quizzical look and I was sure that she was feeling the effects of all the day’s vertical activity, instead she said “How long has it been since I’ve eaten?  I’m starving!” I told her it had been almost a week since she had any food but I would check with the nurse immediately to see if they could bring up some soup or dry toast.  Libby turned up her nose at my offer saying, “Toast? I want some real food”.  I made a few other suggestions such as a Subway, although I really thought that even a plain turkey sandwich would be pushing our luck.

Her mom and sister had arrived by now and Libby was being tended to as if she were a movie star about to be called out on set. The pampering may have brought out Libby’s inner Diva because she turned up her nose at the Subway sandwich suggestion and said, “You know what I really want?” I was so happy to have my wife back I said, “You name it and I’ll get it.”  Libby said, “I want some Champy’s chicken.”

In theory I was willing to get Libby anything she wanted but I had cleaned up enough vomit in the past week to know this was a bad idea so I gently questioned the wisdom of introducing fried chicken to a stomach that had not seen anything other than ice chips for a week. Once again Libby frowned and said, “Barry, you asked me what I wanted…you said name it… and what I really want is some Champy’s chicken.”

I left the oncology floor of the hospital to get Libby some chicken but not before she shouted, “And don’t forget the spicy dipping sauce”.  “Yes, dear” I said out loud, then under my breath, “I am going to have a real mess to clean up…”

I bought enough chicken to feed our family, the nurses on the oncology floor, the doctors, assorted residents and most of the patients (or at least the ones who could keep it down). Our family sat around most of the afternoon telling jokes, reminiscing, and eating way too much fried chicken (with spicy dipping sauce).  Libby never did get sick as she sat in a chair the entire day while we feasted and used the hospital bed for our dinning room table.

As it turned out I was felling a little guilty for “calling the family in” because when the doctor made his rounds that afternoon he said, “Wow! You look great today! It looks like that experimental drug finally got out of your system.  If things continue like this, you are definitely going home in the morning, little girl”, Then the doctor looked over at the bed he asked, ” Is that Champy’s chicken?” Libby handed him a cup of dipping sauce as he joined our party and we all celebrated this new answer to prayer during our incredibly awesome, really good, very great day!



“I think you’d better call that ambulance”


Following a rough New Year’s Eve when Libby began vomiting uncontrollably, she actually slept well during the night and woke up feeling great on the first day of 2014.  We were confident that the suspected stomach bug had run its course, but then after getting dressed Libby developed a knee-buckling headache.

For the past 24 hours, Libby’s constant companion was a small pink plastic bowl that hospitals “give” to nauseous patients. Immediately following the crushing headache Libby was once again sick at her stomach.  I carried Libby, her pillow, her blanket and her pink bowl to the couch so she could lie flat.

The doctor had called in some anti-nausea drugs which Libby tried to keep down and I kept encouraged her to drink water and Gatorade so she wouldn’t become dehydrated.  By noon I had made the decision to take Libby to the hospital but she still couldn’t sit up, much less stand up and walk outside to the car.  Libby’s biggest concern was, of all things, her fear that she would ruin the seats and the upholstery in the car on the way to the hospital.

Lying perfectly flat on the couch and staring up at the ceiling, Libby was attempting some measure of control over the situation as she declared, “Call Miss Helen and see if she can help me get to the hospital.” Libby’s best friend, Helen Hawkins, had been  “Miss Helen” to our young boys and although they were grown, the habit remained.

To be honest I was a little hurt by Libby’s desire to have someone else help get her to the hospital so I asked a little too defensively, “What can Helen do that I can’t do?” Libby answered graciously, “Miss Helen will be able to hold my head in her lap on way to the hospital and I need you to drive us there…besides I want be as nervous if she is with me”.  I picked up the phone and began dialing, as Libby added “Oh yes, and tell her to bring some plastic Wal-Mart sacks and a change of clothes… this may get messy.”

Helen agreed to help but I was still wondering how we were going to get to the hospital, but Libby was still planning and she said, “Go into the basement and get that red ‘thingy’ that you use to roll under cars;  you can roll me off of the couch , onto the red thingy and then push me out to the car.  Then get your brothers to help lift me into the backseat like I’m on a backboard.”

mechanic creeper

I stopped laughing when I looked down at Libby’s face and realized that she was completely serious. I told her, “I am not about to carry you to the hospital on a mechanic’s creeper (red thingy) and the last thing you should be worried about is messing up the upholstery”. I was only half-way bluffing when I added, “If you can’t sit up in a car long enough to get to the hospital then I am just going to call an ambulance!”

Another 5 minutes passed as Libby tried, unsuccessfully, to sit upright on the couch and said “Barry I think you better call that ambulance…”

Because of some close calls while pulling out of our driveway over the years, I relocated our driveway to the top of the hill for better visibility, which caused me to have to move our mailbox. Moving our mailbox, in turn, resulted in a call to to an E-911 official who suggested that we should change our address because we were told that it could be difficult for anyone to find our house if we needed emergency responders (something I never thought I would need).

On New Year’s Day 2014 Libby and I both heard the faint sounds of the ambulance’s sirens within just of few minutes of my first ever 911 call.  I was in the bedroom packing a small bag “just in case” we had to spend the night in the hospital and Libby, who always looked to find the good in every situation (and in every person) called out to me from the couch,  “Now see, aren’t you glad we changed our address…everything is going to be alright…”




Hair Today…Wig(s) Tomorrow

Libby always had gorgeous dark hair, it was one of first things I noticed about her during Coach Killen’s gym class at Chattanooga Valley Junior High School; well, her hair and the fact that no one really wanted to pick her to play on their dodge ball team.

Libby’s hair remained roughly the same length and style for her entire adult life (except for that teased, big hair, 70’s look). Libby spent a lot of time cutting, curling and fixing that hair, so and it was traumatic when a few days after her first chemo treatment, all of that gorgeous hair started coming out by the handfuls.

Libby snowshoing

Soon after her hair came out Libby said, ” The worst part of chemo isn’t necessarily loosing my hair, it’s that people treat me different without my hair because now I look sick.”

Libby in hat

Years later Libby’s opinion changed slightly and she said, “The worst part of chemo is not that my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows all fall out, its having to deal with all of that while still shaving my legs, because for some dumb reason, my leg hair is resistant to even the most toxic chemotherapy drugs known to man!”

In the five years that Libby dealt with breast cancer we spent a lot of time (and money) on wigs and they became a fun diversion because just as she did with so many things in her life, Libby made the best of a bad situation.

Libby had on her favorite wig one day as we were visiting my dad at his house on the lake; he had been feeling ill and like most southern ladies, Libby believed that home cooking could heal most any sickness. Using my mom’s recipe and her old black iron skillet Libby decided to made some cornbread to go along with the meat and vegetables that she had cooked.

It was difficult to determine if the cornbread was done by simply turning on the oven light and peering through the dark glass, so periodically Libby leaned over and opened the lower oven door to make sure it was golden brown.  After cooking, Libby decided to let the cornbread cool on the stove top and join me for a boat ride across the lake.

As we were walking back to the house after the ride I mentioned to Libby that she needed to check her wig in the mirror because she had a wind-blown look as if we were still flying across the lake in the boat. When Libby found a mirror, I heard a scream and uncontrolled laughter as Libby came into the living room with her wig in her hand explaining that the hairs had evidently melted from the heat of the oven and then cooled on the boat ride. The wind-blown look was permanent because the synthetic hairs melted together forming a cohesive wave and it looked as if she was moving fast even while she was standing still.

Later we decided to take a short family trip to the beach and Libby thought that she should buy a blonde wig because, “Blondes and beaches just somehow seemed like they should go together.”


It was rare that we could all get together as a family since Nathan and Bethany were in Augusta but the late fall weather was perfect and I was able to spend some time walking on the beach with my newly blonde wife.

Libby learned a lot about wigs and wig care, mostly through trial an error, for instance once you get the shape and look that you like in a synthetic wig, maintaining that look is easier if it is placed over a round object instead of putting it back in its box.

Unfortunately on our beach trip we didn’t take any of the styrofoam heads to hold the wig’s shape at night so Libby found a roundish lamp shade to support her new favorite wig.  The only problem was that during the night someone decided that particular lamp would make a good night light and synthetic wigs do not do well with heat (see cornbread story above).

Yea, we may have gone through a few wigs during Libby’s five year illness but with Libby life was never dull, just ask the lady at the wig store, we helped put her son through college.