My goal is to help you create a lifestyle of positivity and possibility. I am smiling!

– Warmly, Honey

THE LOSS OF MY DEAR FRIEND, BARBARA Y. ROSENFIELD

The Loss of My Dear Friend, Barbara Y. Rosenfield, Honey GoodI lost the soul sister I always wished for. Her funeral was last Wednesday. It was a very dark day for me. I tell myself that the darkness will lift because that is what Barbara would tell me. 

The first time our eyes met was at a woman’s board meeting. I noticed her smiling face, long blonde hair, and the candy pink sweater she was wearing. She noticed me because I was the new stranger on the board. I was in my forties and had just moved from Honolulu to Chicago. 

After the meeting, she approached me and we talked for a short time. For twenty years, I did not see her again because I dropped off the board due to extensive traveling. She lived in the suburbs and in Florida. I lived in the city and California.

Twenty years later she and her husband moved to California and, from that day forward, we spoke every day. We saw one another often.

Over one year ago we had our last phone call but we never lost contact. I texted her almost daily for over one year and when she could she texted back. 

Barbara and her husband chose not to disclose her illness to anyone other than their family. I have a strong feeling her illness prevented her from talking because she loved to talk on the phone. She was interested in all her friend’s happenings and never missed a beat in keeping up with their lives. Every day she called her daughters and her grandchildren too.

A DEDICATED FRIEND

She was a dedicated friend; the type of woman you were lucky to have in your life. Her priorities never veered off track.  She was a woman of substance, a role model mother, wife, grandmother, and girlfriend. Barbara was a first-rate version of herself, not a second-rate version of someone else. She was beyond principled. My friend was humble, she had inner strength, she was radiant, always projecting her authentic self. 

She grew up in a small town, Aurora, Illinois. Barbara was the only Jewish girl in her class and was voted Prom Queen. She was religious, she celebrated Shabbat every Friday night but made it holy the rest of her week. Barbara would never ride in a car after sundown on Shabbat.

The Prom was on a Friday night. Shabbat. The yearly ritual was for the Prom Queen and her court to ride in cars. For Barbara…they walked.  

Barbara believed in her religion and God. I don’t think she feared death but I am sure she did not want to leave her husband, family, friends, and her beloved pooch, Lola. I know she fought to survive. She fancied life.

I have dear friends but Barbara will always stand out among them. I know her other close friends feel as I do. There will never be another Barbara.

OUR TEXT CONVERSATIONS

To learn her true essence here are a few of our text messages. Looking back and rereading them is so painful. There are no words. For over one and one-half years, we stayed in contact through constant texting.  

Honey: I miss our in-person friendship

Barbara: Friendships don’t go away

Honey: I know. That is the reason I continue to let you know how much your friendship means to me.

Barbara: You don’t need to tell me. I know.

Honey: This is my hope for you. That each day forward is better than the last.

Barbara: Thank you for your beautiful message. Please let me be a part of your life by texting me what you are doing. Talking is difficult but I look forward to hearing about your exciting life through your texts. What are your plans for today? Where did you have dinner last night? I only wish I was sitting next to you at a table, chatting and laughing! Love you my sweet, caring friend.

Honey: Thank you for answering me. Sending love to you and a bouquet of flowers.

OUR TREASURED LAST CONVERSATIONS

I dated some of the last ones.

September 29th

Honey: Are you recovering?

October 3rd

Barbara: Thinking about you. Hope you are having a great day. What r u doing? I am working on getting stronger. Takes time, I know.

Honey: You just made my day and week and month and year! Being the optimist I take your message as a positive!?!

Barbara: Your messages reach women around the world giving them hope, encouragement, and sound advice. You have changed so many lives. That should put a smile on your face every day forever. I want to thank you for telling your readers about our special and loving relationship. I was so happy that you and I connected at that board meeting so many years ago. Palm Springs was fun for me because you were there. What would I have done without you? Thank you my dear, loving , caring beautiful girlfriend. All my love, always.

Honey: Sending love from my heart to yours. I feel so in the dark. It has been over a year and I still have no idea about your health situation. 

October 25th

Barbara: It was a very tiring day. 1 therapist in the morning and another soon after. Marci ( her daughter) is here with me. I like the color of your hair!

Honey: Thank God there are therapists! Right? Sorry you are tired. You have been through too much… I wish I could come and be with you and help you. I would dress up like Florence Nightingale and we would laugh together. Nothing much is new. I am content. I miss you very much. But I know you are a text away. Thank God. Sleep tight .

November 3rd 

Honey: I have not heard from you????????? I  miss u!!!!!!!!

November 9th

Honey: I am so worried about you. Please send me a message.

The message did not come in a text. It came in a phone call.

AN UNEXPECTED CALL

And, then sweet reader, I received an unexpected phone call from Barbara’s son. I was in a busy and loud restaurant. I left the table. The conversation went over my head and I hate myself for not understanding what the call meant. It was a goodbye. I thought it was hope. I cannot remember all the words because of the noise.

Hi, I am calling for my mom.  She wants you to know how much she loves you. I replied how happy I was to hear from him and to tell Barbara I love her too. The conversation was at least five minutes long and very loving but I cannot remember all that was said. It just never dawned on me that this was the end. I was so dumb. 

Returning back to the table, I was excited to tell my Ultimate Concierge and friends that I heard from Barbara’s son. I am going to see him over the weekend, I told them, and he will tell me. 

MY LAST TEXT TO BARBARA BEFORE SHE DIED

November 10th

Honey: I was overjoyed to speak to your son. Thank you. Please stay in touch as best you can. Sending love…

November 13th

Honey: How’s my girlfriend?

November 14th

Miss hearing from you tooo much.

Then I learned the news. My girlfriend Barbara Y. Rosenfield had passed away.

November 17th

You were the soul sister I never had. I will treasure your value and miss our friendship. Your words of wisdom, your religious strength, your kindness and laughter, and goodness will resonate within me. I will try and live up to you. You are a woman of valor. Rest in peace. Sweet dreams. God will bless you. I have no doubt.

AMEN.

Warmly, Honey

36 Comments
    1. Thank you, Laura. Thank you for taking your time to send me a message. Sending wishes across the miles to you and your family for a blessed and fruitful New Year in 2022. Warmly, Honey

  1. Dear Honey, I’m so sorry to hear this very sad news! You and Barbara had a special friendship. Hang onto that! I know you will!
    Shelle

    1. Thank you, Shelle. I will hang on to her, in my head. Thank you for writing to me. Messages mean so much and words even more. Warmly, Honey

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. May all the wonderful memories comfort you. Prayers for you and her family.

  3. Barbara was a customer of mine when I worked at Neiman Marcus. She was such a lovely lady. I’m sorry for your loss. I have to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy the “messages” that you send in each blog. Thank you for sharing your goodness
    Sara Bazef

    1. Thank you for reaching out to me, Sara! I am so touched that you read my musings. I am glad you knew Barbara. Stay in touch. Happy New Year in 2022. Ever so warmly, Honey

  4. Dear Honey—- Susan! I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful friend that has passed, she lives on in your memories and those who knew her.
    Hugs from your old friends at Tamarisk…. Jack and Chris, plus Wheatie Stella

    1. I am so happy to hear from you. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I am so glad you read my musings. How special you make me feel. I wish you and Jack and Stella a happy holiday season and a fruitful 2022! I will answer your email soon. Sending hugs back…America sends licks to all. Warmly, Susan

  5. My heart hurts for your loss. A true soul sister comes to us just once, i also have one. I feel blessed every am at 930 when we talk. Be strong. She will always be with you.

    1. I love that you and your soul sister talk every morning at 9:30am. I am happy for you. Thank you for writing to me. Your comment means a lot to me. Warmly, Honey

  6. I too lost a dear friend on the 18th of November. She was my daughter’s mother-in-law and we had been close friends for almost 40 years. Although we never lived in the same city we stayed connected by phone and texts. We spoke often on the phone about books, shared grandchildren and life in general. She had a strong faith. She was also my soul sister. Our grandson’s wedding was September 18 and we were able to be together again. The wedding was full of love. He danced with both of his grandmothers after his mother. It was such. a Joyous occasion. Even though her strong faith helped many of us when she passed it has been emotionally harder than I expected. I miss my friend so very much but I know she is at peace now.

    1. What a tribute to a mother-in-law from a mother-in-law. I am sorry for your loss. 40 years of friendship and now no longer is very hard to bare. My thoughts and prayers are with you, truly. Warmly, Honey

  7. Oh Honey, I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart knows that pain and is breaking for you. It sounds like she was a beautiful blessing in your life and you were a beautiful blessing in hers. Sending you love, hugs and prayers for comfort. May all your wonderful memories help to bring a smile back to your heart.

  8. So touching – I’m in tears. I too lost a friend like that a few years ago It leaves a hole in your heart. You wrote a lovely tribute to Barbara. I wish I could have met her. Be strong and continue caring.

    1. Thank you, Debby for writing to me. I wish you could have known her, too. I am sorry for your loss. This is the first friend I lost and one so special I will never have again. Warmly, Honey

  9. Dear Susan..

    I am so sorry to hear of Barbara’s passing..I cried while reading your beautiful tribute.. I am proud to say I can also call her my friend…we enjoyed many canasta games together and you are so right..a beautiful, happy woman who loved life and was all about family, friends and faith..a woman of valor indeed…may the father of peace send peace to you and all who knew and loved her..May her memory be for a blessing to us all…Fondly,
    Lynne Luskin

    1. Thank you so much for taking your time to write to me. I am glad you knew her. She was so unselfish, gave to all and stood up for what she believed was just. I hope you are doing well. You remind me of her. Warmly, Honey

  10. Dear Honey,

    I can only begin to tell you how sorry I am your dear friend has passed. She loved and appreciated life as you do. She will always be a part of you and you will remember her always. I know, because I, too, have lost dear friends. Friendship is definitely a gift–a long lasting gift. Memories of shared experiences live on and we are fortunate to have had these memories.

  11. YOUR NOTES ABOUT YOUR FRIEND BARBARA WAS SO TOUCHING…LEFT ME IN TEARS. YOU ARE SO VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUCH A DEAR FRIEND.
    PAT

  12. So sorry to hear about the passing of your very dear friend. My heart aches for you. My “soul” sister passed away in March and I miss her everyday. She also fought a ling hard battle but always kept the faith. She always had a positive attitude as she went from one battle to the next. Hoping you find peace in your memories your your Sister.

    1. Thank you for your message. I am sorry for you for your loss. As for myself, at this point… there is one word to describe how I am feeling…sad. Warmly, Honey

  13. Oh Honey.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I am sure she was grateful to have you as a loving friend, as you were to have her in your life.
    You are a very special person to have in ones life and I feel definite she knew this.
    You will never get over the loss of someone so special but it will get softer and you will remember the great times together rather than the loss.
    Sending you much love. Janne Bradley x

    1. Thank you, Janne. How sweet of you to write me your thoughts. Yes, she is missed and will always be. Her wisdom will stay in my head. Love, Honey

  14. Thank you for sharing your beautiful farewell.
    You must be an extraordinary person to have had such a unique friendship with my most special Aunt Barbara.

    Her love, generosity, kindness and good deeds surpassed all boundaries. Barbara was like a fairy Godmother so beautiful inside and out. She was a gift to so many – the world was a better place because of her.

    Like you , I was fortunate to have had such a close and loving relationship with her.
    I loved her so much and will always miss her……

    💕❤️😍

    1. Good morning Susan,

      Thank you for your note. I am crying. Your aunt and I were two peas in a pod. We were in sync, on the important values in life. We believed in our causes and did not back off; we were so proud of our heritage, our values mirrored one another and we laughed. She was my fairy Godmother girlfriend – a gift I will always hold close to my heart. You and I are are part of the Barbara sorority…so fortunate to have had her in our life. Once again, thank you for reaching out to me. You made me very happy. Wishing you a most wonderful New Year in 2022. xo Honey

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