If you love someone, call them today!

Today, at 9 am I heard the news of my friend Barbara Bancroft’s passing. She was a lady with a golden soul that touched SO MANY lives on TuDiabetes and offline…

barbarabanner

The amazing @MrMikeLawson did this in memory of her

Barbara was a staunch believer and a relentless supporter of Diabetes Hands Foundation. She was a super-active member on TuDiabetes, as part of the admin team, a surrogate mom to so many that latched to her her understanding and motherly nature, a generous donor and chair of the community fundraising campaign 2012-2013 at Diabetes Hands Foundation (you can see some of her messages here and here), and above all… a great friend.

I had the fortune to meet her in person multiple times:

She joined us for a #TuDiabetes meetup at LOVE Park in Philadelphia, back in the summer of 2012:

Barbara and I, at the LOVE Park #TuDiabetes meet-up (Summer 2012)

Then, we had a lovely meal in King of Prussia as I was driving up the east coast in September of 2012:

With Barbara. You can see her license plate: JRTPUP. (Sep. 2012)

In April 2013, her family opened me their doors. I stayed with her, her brother, and her sister-in-law, for a couple of days, before and after a friend-raising event we had in Connecticut:

Barbara and I in front of her brother John’s home (April 2013)

August 2013 was the last time we saw each other. It was in Philadelphia for the AADE conference, where she was (as usual) a BIG helper at the DHF booth:

Mila, myself, Barbara, and Brian at our booth during AADE (Aug. 2013)

We stayed in touch through the rest of last year via email, text message, and occasional phone calls. Earlier this year, I heard through Emily Coles (Head of Communities at Diabetes Hands Foundation) that Barbara’s health had taken a turn for the worse. This was our last email exchange, dated January 7, 2014:

Me: I need to call you in the morning… How are you????
Barbara: Waiting ;)

I got busy. I didn’t call her the next day…

She was a cancer survivor. Last week, she had a stroke after an operation to discern if her cancer had recurred. She never regained consciousness.

I know Barbara would want me to forgive myself for not calling her when I said I would. But I cannot help but think that there was nothing more important for me to do than to call my friend when I told her I would, specially when she was going through so much.

You will be eternally missed, amiga.

Rest in peace, Barbara!

15 thoughts on “If you love someone, call them today!

  1. Oh Manny, this is so sad. Do not blame yourself. I am sure your friend understands. It is hard to keep up with everyone in our lives, isn’t it? I saw your blog post title and thought, if I called everyone I love… I’d be on the phone all day. Today and every day. We do the best we can. We send out our love. It looks like you and Barbara had a wonderful friendship (and DHF had a fantastic advocate) that I am sure she treasured as well. And she left with a winky smile, huh?

  2. Beautifully said, Manny. And I would strongly advise not beating yourself up over that missed phone call. In the first place, Barbara will be mad at you if you do. In the second place, we all have had missed opportunities that we regretted afterward. The key thing is to let those occasions motivate us to “carpe diem” henceforth. As one of Barbara’s friends said in the chat room the day before she left us, “none of us is guaranteed tomorrow”.

    Peace, and love

    David

  3. Manny…thank you for making this possible ♥
    How were you to know Manny….the stuff of life. Pup knows, she loves and understands; smiling…hugging. I refuse to use past tense…for she IS.
    Thank you pup….for the gift of you.

    love you forever,
    baskets of hugs….linda

  4. Manny, Thank you for your message. Your words really touched me. I know exactly how you feel. You did tell her how much you loved her in many ways. She knows. You sending this message will help other people realize how important it is to share their feelings and gratitude. By sharing this, you have given all of us a sense of being closer to you, and to Barbara. Sending encouragement, Zoe

  5. I am both happy and sad that I got to meet Barbara at AADE in July. She was a wonderful advocate and will truly be missed – especially in the tudiabetes community! <3

  6. I my condolences to you Manny about Barbara some one emailed couple days ago that she was ill,Thoughts are with you and guys at TU and to Barbara yes she was best word i can think of a true character and something that is rare these days my best to her family also.

    Gareth

  7. Thank you, Manny, for sharing such wonderful memories.

    Barbara was such a special gift to this world, and will be so dearly missed. I am thankful to have had the chance to bask in the light she so brilliantly radiated.

  8. Hi Manny

    Thanks for replying,Yes married to akiko as told once i think,My elder step is in unwell but we will see her thyroid is packing up so we should find out in all what problem this friday, Seeing my cardo here in the UK today lot of yearly tests you know what the regime what ever any one gets with bloody diabetes manny what point me ranting on about it am luck am still here,I can complain,I have seen TU thread for Barbara very poignant quotes i think pup would liked that manny,Try get some sleep and rest if you can manny,Yes i do miss TU but moved on in life we all have,Akiko and mish also send their best to you and your family,

    Best

    Gareth

    Grareth

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