A Widow's Wall of Honor: Remembering Tony Barnes - 8/29/14 (Cheryl Barnes)
As part of our series to post stories of the husbands of our Black Women Widows Empowered support group members, and in honor of his angel-versary today, I would like to share a little about the life of Tony. I'm so pleased to write about an amazing man, and I'm excited that his story is our second story of many that's considered precious, piercing and powerful to the many widows facing this journey alone.
Friends, here is Tony....
My husband Tony was a big man with a gentle heart. Since he'd been hurt before, he hid that gentleness from everyone. Everyone except me, his wife and his boys. Since his childhood was a bit difficult, he also developed a strong heart for at risk children and teens. He obtained his Master's in Social Work so that he could affect change with these young people. He would never give names, but I could tell in story after story how much their troubles bothered him to his soul and how badly he needed to help them. He was working on getting his clinician certification when he became ill with kidney failure. He was forced to stop working. Even as he became sicker, he told me over and over again how much he wanted to get back to helping the kids.
He was also a great family man. Growing up without a father made him realize that he never wanted our boys to grow up without the influence of a father. He spent time with them, having "man talks", did things especially for them and was there whenever they needed the opinion of dad and not mom. When he got sick, he had more time to spend with them and he took full advantage of that. He loved his boys and it showed in every action. He was proud of his family and cared about keeping us happy and comfortable. He worked hard to do this...perhaps too hard.
These are things I love so much about my Tony.