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Story Time: Be a Barbara

Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 7:38 pm

By Lorry Myers

I went to work with her when my oldest child was barely one year old. The job was two blocks from my home and I thought myself fortunate to find office work in the small town where I live. I didn’t know anything about banking or finance but the job came with so many perks.

One of them was Barbara.     

Barbara Mortimer had been on the job almost as long as the boss and she was my go-to person for everything. Her daughters were high school and college age so Barbara understood that working while raising children is always a juggling act.

Where I was, Barbara had already been.

I went on to have two more children and Barbara fussed over all three. She came to their birthday parties and brought them Christmas gifts and I was instructed to call her day or night for even the slightest thing.

I knew Barbara meant it.

Over the many years, Barbara tried to teach me to cook, offering me easy recipes or baking pans I didn’t have. She tried to help me with sewing, finally just sighing, and doing it for me. Barbara was there to doctor my children and decorate my house and boss my husband around when he needed it.

I can always count on Barbara.

Twenty years went by and every morning, six days a week, Barbara and I started our days together. She always sensed when I was troubled or challenged or overwhelmed simply because she paid attention. She let me know that my opinion mattered and made my job not just about work, but about making work life better.

Barbara is one of those people.

We cried together when the financial institution where we worked was bought, sold, and then, closed. Barbara lost her job and I was transferred to another branch across town. On our last day together, I finally had to pull my arms from around her and walk away.

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard