There are people who come into your life and touch you in ways you can't even begin to describe properly -- they're that important and meaningful to you. Just such people are Barry and Allegra.
I was taken under Allegra's wing when I joined a Yahoo bead group years ago, and after lots of emails and chats, met her and her husband at a Bead and Button show. It was like we'd known each other forever. Sadly, Barry had just been diagnosed with not one but two cancers. You never would have known it to hang out with him that week, and he blazed past doctor's dire predictions.
Then came more horrible news -- not only did Barry have two cancers, but now Allegra was fighting cancer, too. This is about the time I had a long talk with the sky and asked WHY do things like this HAPPEN?
Through all this, they've been stoic and strong. We still emailed and called, and I remember quite fondly Barry and I conniving on how to get Allegra's favorite and very hard to find tequila (legally) across state lines for her birthday. Giggling like school kids were we -- Allegra is very hard to buy for and we knocked her socks off with that one.
It was easy to forget Barry was sick. He sounded robust on the phone, would write up Allegra's blog posts and emails when she was too sick to do it, and he had just been doing so WELL. Allegra's health kept scaring us and I've asked for prayers for her before, but she always rallied and Barry was always her rock.
This weekend, that changed. He had taken a sudden turn for the worse, and we were told to expect the imminent.
Monday, at age 59, Barry passed. And I don't know what to do.
I don't know what to do for Allegra, who is still battling a vicious cancer. I don't know what to say, how to help. We live all the way across the country from each other. I love her, I loved Barry (still do) and I am angry and saddened by this loss. They are like parents to me, in a way -- friends, mentors, no-nonsense sounding boards.
I write this to memorialize a beloved person gone way too soon, and to express absolute love for a friend way too far from me. A lot of people come into my life, but I've been touched by this family in a majorly endearing and important way.
Please think of Allegra right now. I believe that whether or not you know someone, if you beam good thoughts and prayers their way, they'll light upon their shoulders and comfort them. You don't have to know someone to have compassion or to care.
Much love to you all.
Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking here. She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book Bead Soup.