Barbara (Emsnana) - A Beautiful Memorial Service

Most of the time life keeps us from doing things we would like to do if only this...or that. This is one time I was fortunate enough to listen to my heart, and not have any regrets.


My head and my heart debated and debated. In the end, they somehow reached a consensus, and my heart smiled. My head devised something new.

Instead of Murphy's Law which basically states that whatever can possibly go wrong eventually will, we came up with, we, being the many voices in my head, we came up with Morphelia's Law.  She is the Counterpoint to Murphy.

Her law states, what are all the possible things that can go RIGHT. I like Morphelia, and I need her voice. She is a new voice and I am glad to have her in my head.  I want her around as my friend for a long long time.

The consensus was reached and I decided to go. I made all the arrangements.

Lee Ann Womack wrote and sang the song "I Hope You Dance"

At the end of Barbara's memorial service on Saturday March 31st in Decatur Georgia, with Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" playing and filling the rafters of the Oakhurst Baptist Church, two young dancers, oh somewhere between the age of 12 and 14, danced a beautiful, lyrical, emotional, tearful and joyful dance.

It was a beautiful service from beginning to end. It started with one of her granddaughters playing guitar and singing with a rich, almost opera-bodied soprano voice, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, with another family member singing Harmony.

The pastor who had retired about a year ago from the church, came back to minister over the memorial service.

He spoke of Barbara's  good, kind, and extremely generous heart, and how she went out of her way  to help other people, even when she was debilitated by pancreatic cancer. Only at the end did she allow others to take care of her. That is how she was.

Three of Barbara's daughters and one son gave passionate, tearful words and stories. They spoke of her cherished wisdom as a parent and how she was a wise counselor and friend in life and how sorely they already miss her.

It was one daughter in particular that spoke of the repeated chemo rounds and the strength it took to endure and withstand such punishment to her body, that really tore at my heart and had tears streaming down my face.

The dance at the end ... I could not help but sob, I was so moved. The song is about living, and making the most of the time we have....don't sit it out, get up and dance...feel joy, feel lots of things, but feel.

Afterwards, I got to meet Barbara and Laren's daughters, and I got to give Laren a hug for all of us. That alone was worth the trip. Many times over.

By the way, when I first arrived at the church I was early. There were only a few people inside and the two young girls were practicing the dance and the song I Hope You Dance was playing and, it felt like I was supposed to be there.

It just felt like one of those signs, and I already had tears in my eyes, before the service even started.  It just reaffirmed my belief that all our loved ones are all around us. All I have to do is see with my eyes and listen with my ears, and, open my heart.


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Thanks for giving Laren a vicarious hug Neal! I bet he was so happy to see you there and felt so comforted. Our former house was a couple of doors down from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which came in handy on Sundays that it snowed. It was always a good experience to attend their Sunday service. Did you follow the program "Northern Exposure"? There's a touching episode where one of the characters who's getting up in age purchases a burial plot for herself. The episode ends with her dancing on her future grave by moonlight with another regular character, a 20-something Cree. It was one of those scenes that affected me and I never forgot it.😘
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Thanks Neal for coming. I am reminded of an African story who ran twenty miles to deliver a special flower to an ill friend, only to be told, “It’s such a long way for a gift!” The response was, “The Journey was part of the gift.” Surely your journey was part of a sweet gift to honor the love of my life, and I hope Emilee can share that moment with Barbara. I wish we had had more time to visit. I was a little overwhelmed by the whole experience and the ways in which all our friends, both old and new, made such a effort. Thanks for the incomparable gift.
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The gift went both ways I assure you. I too wish the visit was longer. I like your story. I have no doubt Barbara and Emilee shared in those moments. Thank you for your note. 💝
Thank you for sharing this with us, Uncle. Brought tears to Nan's eyes and peace to her heart. Thank you. By the way, more people should get to know Morphelia! :*)
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Neal, it was an amazingly kind jesture for you to go to Barbara’s service. I’m sure her family is touched. I’m convinced pc takes the best of the best. Thanks for giving Lauren that big hug. I wish I could have too!
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Neal thank you for being able to go and give that BFAC hug to Laren. I did get to go a few years ago to Texas Jeff celebration of life. It was most humbling to be there and I'm so glad I was able to do that...XO Jeanne
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Jeanne... humbling is sooooo right. I am so glad you were able to go to Jeff's celebration. I felt very grateful and honored to be able to go and by proxy, bring all of Barbara's BFAC friends as well. It was one of those experiences I will not forget. Thank you so much for your comment
Jeanne... couple of things. I noticed in one of your comments a while back you mentioned working in Manhattan. I And my wife were in Manhattan on 9/11. A lot of emotion and images from that day.

I know you suffer from the effects of radiation treatment. I am just wondering if you know of anyone that has had any success with healing using Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy.
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February 10, 2017

North Haven, Connecticut 06473

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Pancreas Cancer

Stage 4


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