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Barbie's life was a whirlwind. Born 2mo early she started off in a RUSH and just kept going. Born before social media and before every kid had a cell phone, it was the days of riding bikes, playing in the dirt, sand, ivy or any other dirty activity of choice. It was climbing trees, digging for earthworms, bringing home stray animals, or rescuing baby birds in the spring when they fell out of their nest. It was afterschool camp/summer camp and going on fieldtrips to the beach, amusement parks, horseback riding, & to the pool twice a week.
Being only 18mo apart made us close, but it didn’t really blossom until adulthood. Basically normal kids, but with a side of mischief...building a fort in the grumpy neighbor’s yard knowing we'd get yelled at, throwing rocks at Sena’s window down the street to come play even though she was grounded, playing with fire, evading the camp counselors by climbing the swing set and not coming down, or riding the bus afterschool in the WRONG direction to get home just to hang out with our friends a little longer...
Barbie didn't excel in school, but her talents were numerous. She could draw, cook, decorate, had a knack for makeup and hair, and a uniqueness for making you feel welcome, seen and heard. She could be stubborn as a mule, or sweeter than candy. Hidden tip, it’s always a good morning when she was woken up with breakfast “or as she called it…. brekkie” (FYI Bacon worked 100% of the time!). Barbie never had any issues making friends, in fact, that's where she thrived! And once you were her friend, she always had your back and wouldn't stand for disrespect or bullying -- ooooo man, Watch out! As she would say "I got you Boo (wink)." She loved a good party, and she ABSOLUTELY loved to laugh....even when it wasn't appropriate, lol!
Barbie loved almost all music, but 80's music was the #1 road-trip choice. She wasn't afraid to sing out loud in the car. "This is my JAM!" she'd say while reaching to turn up the volume, bobbing her head and doing a little dance (always with attitude and laughter). She loved sparkly things, colorful things, furry animals, the beach, warm weather, sunshine, ponies, and midgets (shrug(?)). She loved food, hugs and kisses, good conversation, taking pictures to hang everywhere, and would never turn down head-scratches or spider tickles.
Moving to Big Bear was a big step and not part of her plan, but she did what she always does. She moved here, found her job at DIY, and got to work building herself three families.
The first family are her customers at DIY or anyone else she met around town. With her smile and “Hey, how ya doin’?” She loved helping people find what they needed even if they didn’t yet know what they were looking for. There were good days & bad days, each with a story just like we all have, but honest (hold hand up) she really did know more children's and dog’s names than their adult counterparts. Her weak spot was purity and innocence…as she might say with a shrug “Sorry not sorry” …But she never left anyone out. She’d instead use terms of endearment like "Sweetie, Hun, Hi Beautiful, or Hey Handsome" – or maybe a bit of attitude just cuz…..like “Excuse me Sir!” or “That’ll be about enough of your shenanigans” with just the right amount of sarcasm and glow.
The second family are her 'best friends' – and we know she had many. Those that have been around for decades or newer ones in the past few years – it doesn’t matter. These are people that would stay up just to chitchat and laugh until 3am, the ones that volunteer to try ALL your new recipes cuz…"I like food", the ones that enjoy your dark humor and often mirror it, they would talk shit then hug you while you feign horror on your face, haha. They don't get easily offended by her loving yet brutal honesty; and they weren't afraid to call her out when needed.
The third family are the relatives. The same qualities as best friends, but this is where Barbie came alive the most. Siblings and cousins are our first real friends in life and the strongest bonds we carry on. Barbie, Sarah, Stephanie, Michael, Krystle, & Channing. Hiding under the blankets after we’re told to go to bed and quiet down, running amok in the neighborhood until dinnertime, counting on those same familiar faces at your birthday party every year. And often they’re the ones that get you laughing so hard you even snort a little, lol.
I KNOW these three families Barbie built around her meant the WORLD to her and she cherished each person, each group, and each encounter. Please know that ALL of you are important even if you weren’t mentioned by name. If I listed everyone, I’d be here all day.
There’s so much more to say. So many more stories about Barbie left to tell, so many faces here today that have known Barb going back to grade school and so many new ones whose lives she touched often by a simple gesture that left a lasting impression. Thank You for loving Barbie. Thank you for being a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when she needed it. Thank you for being the reason she smiled and laughed. And thank you most for being here to remember her and celebrate her life with us today.
Stephanie found this poem and I think it’s something Barb would’ve loved too.
Our glittering light, Barbara "Barbie" Hughes’s short life ended suddenly at Big Bear Hospital in the early morning of Sunday February 26th, 2023. Their smile lit up every room, and we will miss seeing her laugh with their friends and talking endlessly about the next dinner party. A memorial service to remember Barbie’s brief but beautiful life will be held on Saturday April 15th, 2023 at The Elks Lodge 40611 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315. Arrival to start at 10am with services beginning between 10:30-10:45. There will be a sharing portion for those that wish to speak (Please limit to a couple min). Food and drinks will be catered by Senora Cantina. This is a non-alcoholic event and we will ask guests to begin leaving approx 2:45-3pm as a courtesy to the event after us.