This week we said goodbye to my friend and classmate, Barbara. This photo was taken at one of several events where Barbara (left), Flamenco Dad (seated), myself, and Bobbie (right) had the pleasure of performing together. Barbara and Bobbie are twins, and have spent their entire lives as companions, support systems, and friends–even when separated by entire continents.
Barbara and Bobbie were born almost seventy-five years ago in the city I now call home. For many years, both worked for the government as secretaries for various military officials. Their jobs took them all over the world: Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Carribean. Barbara even worked under an assistant to the US Secretary of State (can’t tell you which one: she never told me). But one of the things people–myself included–found most fascinating about Barbara was her five years traveling as a performing with the Ringling Brothers Circus. She even joked that even though she worked under some big muckety-mucks in government, “Everybody wanted to hear about me riding elephants.” Barbara also performed as a trapeze artist; when I heard that one, I couldn’t believe my ears.
I really enjoyed spending time with Barbara and Bobbie. Outside of class and rehearsals I got to hear stories about their upbringing, their lives abroad, and all the history they witnessed. It was truly a blessing to get to know them both. Barbara passed away this week, and I’m truly going to miss her. I feel for her family, who is missing a dear loved one. And I feel for her sister most of all, who is now missing her other half. I read in the paper today that Barbara’s headstone reads “Ward Twins” under her name, and has a heart that is broken in half. How fitting.