I have to tell you about my friend, Barb.
About 12 years ago, while driving in bad weather, she and her husband were in a car accident. Her husband was slightly injured and while in the hospital healing, he contracted a staph infection.
He was diabetic (he got diabetes as a youth) and the staph infection took his life.
Barb was left with two small children...the youngest was just about two. I can't even imagine...
Somehow, at a random wedding a few years later, this California girl met an Iowa farm boy and they married. They settled in Iowa and her husband became an amazing second dad to her boys. She flourished and made friends everywhere she went...became active in town both socially and philanthropically. Barb was and is a good friend to countless people---she knows everyone. She has great style and creativity. She can entertain like no other. Thoughtfulness and passion. Barb, after only living in town for a couple of years, knew more folks than many of us who've grown up here.
Last fall, Barb, only 42 years old,was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
And so we run. Barb's Army. Her prayer warriors. Friends who have been touched by her passion, her energy---it doesn't stop. Even in the face of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Last year, 2 teams ran in the Des Moines marathon to honor and celebrate our friend Barb and the battle she courageously fought.
This year, 5 teams--over 20 women-- ran to honor and celebrate Barb. She still fights and she is WINNING. Lots of chemo. Lots of wheatgrass. Healing touch therapy. Acupuncture. Family support. Cutting edge surgery. And mostly, prayers. Prayer warriors...thus the name, "Barb's Army".
Due to all the sickness going around, my sweet husband was pulled into the mix. He ran the first leg for our team (5 miles) of the race. I ran two legs (10 miles. For anyone who cares about pace, I raced about 7:18 miles. I think I get a bit faster after each baby. Go figure.) due to another friend coming down with the flu.
And afterwards we toasted Barb with champagne...We talked, laughed, cheered and shed a few tears. Even though Barb couldn't be there (she was off at the Pancreatic Cancer Forum in L.A.)...she was touching lives. Inspiring us and raising awareness to something that shouldn't be.
Keep it up, Barb. We are all with you.GAME ON!
Oh. And of course, the day before the marathon, I had to take my little Edie vintage shopping with me. AGAIN.