A Tearful Good-Bye to Bakie

bakie wardIn the wake of several weeks of declining health, my dear friend Bakie Ward left her earthly body this morning. My heart is breaking.

We met in early 2001 as a group of eight women joined together to read Cheryl Richardson’s Life Makeovers and see where that journey might take us. We called ourselves Chicks in Change (and eventually just Chicks) and met every other week.

From that auspicious beginning, our little book group brought forth treasured friendships that have seen marriages, divorce, and other adventures in romance; graduations, career explorations, and job changes; relocations, road trips, and vicariously enjoyed travels; aging and spirited discussions about health; and, a myriad of joys and sorrows freely shared. These women have been an incalculable blessing in my life.

As I hold Bakie in the light, I feel the warmth of love reflecting back on me. For indeed, Bakie was love incarnate.

  • bakie readingShe loved her family and reveled in all the moments they shared together.
  • She loved her friends – those with whom she shared a life time, those who entered later in life, and those who had the privilege of more recent acquaintance.
  • She loved books and the beauty of language. She dedicated her life to supporting those who enjoy the written word.
  • She loved bridge and was a skilled card player and enthusiastic (and patient) teacher.
  • She loved learning and pursued with enthusiasm anything that piqued her curiosity.
  • She loved life and sustained hope, gratitude, and optimism even when things weren’t rosy.

No doubt the gates of heaven have opened wide to welcome its newest angel.

“But should the angels call for [her],
Much sooner than we’ve planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.”  – Edgar A. Guest