Requiescat In Pace, Barbara Curtis { my tribute to a courageous Mommy blogger }

Barbara Curtis has died.  This morning I weep but I also laugh–because Mama Barbara was one amazing woman.

Barbara was a warrior, an unabashed Mommy-blogger, a mother of 12 and an advocate for children everywhere.

Barbara wrote loud and fierce, with wild abandon and tenacity. She was opinionated and brashly political. She was uncompromising and a true fighter. Sometimes I found myself on the receiving end of her prickly rebuke but I also benefited from her staunch support–especially when I started speaking out against Mike & Debi Pearl.

I loved that woman.

She was badass and brave. She was big and loud and blazingly authentic. Sometimes I just really hated her brusque tone and other times I was deeply grateful for it.

What defined Barbara Curtis was her lioness heart. The reason she wrote so courageously was because she loved so courageously. In a politically-correct age, Barbara was unafraid to roar. And she roared because she loved. She roared because she cared so deeply, so emphatically, so ridiculously. She loved to the point of utter foolishness.

And yet, THAT foolishness is what made her great. How many of us are that brave? How many of us love beyond reason, beyond logic? How many of us stand unshakable even in the face of harsh, fiery criticism?

Barbara did.

When I heard she was dying, I went to her blog. And I sorta freaked out. I was like: ack! Her last post is about why liberals hate the Romneys! Why oh why couldn’t it be something all sentimental and unoffensive?!

And then I stopped myself and was like: you know what? Her last post was perfect because it was so HER.

THAT is the real Barbara Curtis.

She lived with a bang and she died with a bang. Rock on, Mama Barbara. Rock on.

  • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    This made me want to go read her words… I will.
    I’m so sorry…heart heavy for the kiddos and her husband.

    • Ann

      If her words are left and read — then her voice continues, and that makes me glad.

      • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

        I went back and read through many a post…what a wonderful, strong, kind, bold woman…who now lives face-to-face with her Savior. Our family has faced close death as well…so my heart still hurts for those missing her…and the tribute by friends is beautiful for me to look on and see.

  • SmockityFrocks.com

    I loved her so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vanessa.pawlovich Vanessa Pawlovich

    This is a lovely eulogy for Barbara Curtis. She was a blogger whose site I visited regularly – she had so much to share.
    “She loved to the point of utter foolishness.” That is a fabulous description, and something to shoot for – I think you’ve given me a new prayer – “Lord, may I love to the point of utter foolishness.”
    ((hugs)) and prayers for everyone who knew her personally and especially her family.

  • Elizabeth B.

    Thanks for writing this. I don’t usually comment on the blogs I read. I read Barbara’s blog for a number of years, and I’ve felt so sad after hearing of her death. Courageous was the word I thought of to describe her. And she could absolutely be abrasive at times, but she was so humble and forthright when she felt she’d been in the wrong. The world is a poorer place with her gone.

  • Elissa

    Thank you for writing this. Your phrase, “she loved to the point of utter foolishness” is beautiful and true. Thank you for helping me see the connection between courage and love. I want to remember your phrase forever and hope that it will someday be true of me. I miss Barbara so much, can’t imagine the loss her family feels.

  • Kelly Sauer

    This made me cry. My heart is braver than my brain, it is breaking out before my actions dare, but people like you, like Barbara – you make me CRAVE that foolish love that would dare to stand up for what I believe in. I discovered recently that my best friends, the people I admire the most, they’re the people who are actually living what I’m afraid to live. And I can’t even figure out anymore why I’m afraid, or if fear is just a habit for me…

    Hee hee. We might be due for another call. I miss you.

  • http://twitter.com/kapb0902 Kate Baldwin

    This made me want to go read her words . . . and I did. I was shocked by the venom in her final blog entry — if this was indeed “so HER”, then I guess she hated as much as she loved. Surely “sentimental and unoffensive” isn’t the only alternative to such poison.

    • Anonymous

      Be shocked. Be very shocked. :) I re-read her final entry. It wasn’t venomous. Good grief. You should have read OTHER stuff she wrote! LOL. Look, I make no apologies for Barbara. The truth is that she practiced a kind of honesty that is fairly rare these days: when she was wrong, she ADMITTED it. People are “shocked” all the time by stuff. People get offended ALL THE TIME by things other people write on the Internet. In my experience this says far more about the reader than the writer. Barbara didn’t need to manage the sensitivities of others. She called it like she saw it. She made mistakes, sure. And she also owned up to those. But to somehow conclude that “she hated as much as she loved”? That’s just patently ridiculous and flat out tripe. I would say I’m shocked and offended by your conclusions about Barbara but I’m not. I understand that you just didn’t know her very well. :)

    • Anonymous

      oops. i should have said “I’m not going to DEFEND Barbara.” Yes, she did mean stuff. Yes, she was unkind. But all my other points still hold, too, i think.

  • http://twitter.com/byzcathwife priest’s wife

    I enjoyed her other less-political blog posts…but her political stuff was a part of who she was (and is)

    prayers for her this All Saints’ Day!

  • Beth

    Very well written and true. My prayers are with her children and husband as they grief and find their way here on earth without her

  • Lucy

    I was so heartbroken to read about Barbara’s death. I have read her blog for years and have several of her books and communicated occasionally with her by email. She was a huge influence on my early parenting years and I admired her bravery and outspokenness. She reminded me a lot of my own mother. And she always topped my list of bloggers I’d love to meet for coffee. Her fierce dedication to and love for her children was contagious. My favorite saying of hers (which I share with many young moms) is “and it came to pass…” Barbara wrote about reading that in the Bible and realizing that it was a beautiful reminder that nothing lasts forever – both the good things and the hard things. Kids do eventually potty train, they do learn to cut their own food, but they also stop drawing pictures of their mommy surrounded by hearts. To always be present, to enjoy each phase of my family’s life and see the beauty in everything was a gift Barbara gave me. Barbara was so outspoken in her politics because she had lived on the other side and found it lacking. I grieve for her family the most, as well as for all of us who were blessed by “knowing” her through the internet. She was an open book – regarding her successes and her mistakes. Would that we all could live so fully and honestly. As we say in the Orthodox Church, Memory Eternal. You are missed, Barbara, and yet I know that your joy is complete! Thank you for a touching tribute, EE.

  • Tripp Curtis

    Dear Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your tribute. We buried her yesterday. There were hundreds and hundreds of people who loved her at the Memorial Mass. I posted on her blog if you want to know what her last days were about. Blessings to you and yours. Keep up the fight

  • Angelina Littrell

    Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your words. I had never heard of this woman until I read your prayer for the other day. I read your impassioned plea for her daughter to have the ability to continue school and be an opera singer/performer. I had tears in my eyes. Then I went to the page to see about donating. And all I could see was hate. And I wanted to vomit. It was like being in front of Jerry Falwell. Because here I was, a lover of Jesus, an Obama supporter, as well as a human being, and I walked away because I couldn’t reconcile this woman you wrote of with this message of divisive rhetoric. I am glad she is not who she seemed. Angelina