gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,

Every now and again I meet someone so extraordinary that a brief description of them does not do them justice, where a cute incident of their life does not even begin to show how special they are. One of these people was Mildred Beasley Barber.

I can't give you any anecdotes, though there are plenty of them. I can't tell you about her hobbies and interests and passions, though she had them. I can't tell you about them because she was a private person. An amazing woman, who invited me into her life for three days and taught me how to fry chicken and how to listen. She was quiet, but everything she told me was important. After every conversation I had to go away and think, and then think again.

How do I tell you about Mildred Beasley Barber and explain the depth of pain in her passing, a week ago? She was ninety-four. She was ready to die. The thing is, though, that we weren't ready to lose her.

I think the best way of describing her is 'uncommon'. Think of indomitability and intelligence and wisdom. Consider someone deep in dignity, with a profound religious understanding and a very wicked wit. I loved her clear compass for human worth. I enjoyed her appreciation of books and learning.

I'm going to ask her granddaughter (who just happens to be my best friend) for some of the recipes she loved. If anyone wants to celebrate one of the best people I have ever met then we shall have dinner together and celebrate her life through her favourite food.
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