We are blessed and lucky to walk amongst heroes in our lives. They are the heart and soul of all our neighbourhoods, ordinary folk in extraordinary situations, doing their best every day. Today, I'd like to tell you about one. Her name is Maureen Barta and she has been my daughter's IV nurse for the last year and a half. Maureen has become a cherished member of our family, for her tender loving care AND for her Lyme advocacy.
Not only does Maureen do hands-on nursing, she is a professor of nursing students at PLU and teaches a health class at Gig Harbor High School. Oh yes, she also goes to Haiti every year to volunteer her services in clinics there. Those of you from the Blog Squad who came to our gig at Jazzbones last year may remember being introduced to Maureen and her husband, Eric. Maureen was the person who was immediately checking on Anna, after our performance. That's her love for her patients and her vocation.
Eric had been battling cancer for eighteen years and, on Sunday, he let go of his tired body with Maureen lovingly at his side. His obituary was in yesterday's (Tues. 6th.) TNT. Bless you Eric, rest in peace after a long, hard fight. Anna and I will honour your request and sing for you.
You would think Mrs. Barta would retreat and rest for a wee bit...but that is not our Maureen. Yesterday she arrived at her usual time, to take care of Anna's dressing, after teaching her class at the high school. You would think (with her husband's funeral on Monday, Jan. 12th.) that helping put on the screening of "Under Our Skin" and being part of the expert panel for questions, the very next night, might be too much for her...but that is not our Maureen. As she told us yesterday, taking care of her patients and educating our area (poised within a perfect storm for tick-borne illnesses) about Lyme is her passion and keeps her going. She assured us that she was doing what she needed to do.
What better service could we do, here in the neighbourhood, than raise up our unsung heroes. Maureen Barta is the first hero I choose to celebrate this year. For her strength, for her skills and knowledge, for her infinite heart and the love she works in the world, I salute her. I could not begin to tell you the measure of our gratitude for her presence in our lives, other than to simply say, we love you Maureen.