Tribute by Dan Miller:
What do you say about a person who values family above all else?
What do you say about a person whose career means more than anyone can imagine?
What do you say about a person who demands so much of those she instructed, yet never asked anyone to do something she herself would not do?
If `they' had to put a face on the words `love', `compassion' and `dedication' would you know whose face it would be?
What if you were asked to name a person, who cared enough to teach others to care, could you do it?
What makes one person so much better at these things than the next person?
Can you imagine such a person who continues to teach us lessons during a terminal illness and even after she has ascended into Heaven?
How do you fill such a void? When speaking of my sister Barbara, I don't find it difficult to answer these questions or the hundreds of other questions I could ask, with the exception of one,
`how do you fill such a void?'
Barbara was many things to many people;
She was a loving and caring wife and step mother to husband Terry and her step children Andrew and Mary Elizabeth Maxwell.
As a daughter she was a prize jewel to our parents Frederick and Margaret Miller.
Barb was not just a sister but also a friend to brother John, sister Kathy and I.
She was an inspiration and foundation to her nephews Dan, Ryan, Todd, Mike and of course Erik.
She welcomed and embraced John's wife Karen Miller, Kathy's husband Donald (PS) Moore, my wife Rachel, Danny's wife Kara and Mike's girlfriend Shana.
There always seems to be certain words OR thoughts that come to your mind if you envision someone.
When I think of Barb I immediately think of certain words, LOVE, COMPASSION and INSPIRATION. If you knew Barbara, even slightly, you knew she loved her family. Family was paramount in Barb's life.
Our family is a bit like gypsies;
We are there in droves for family gatherings;
To help one another in projects;
To assist our friends in need AND
To remain bedside when one of us is taken ill.
Often Barbara would be the one to rally the troops together, THIS time was no exception.
Barbara is always the one who offers up to make dinner, host that holiday gathering OR
Operate the hook and ladder fire truck so you can move a player piano to the second floor of your house.
God forbid you were sick; Barbara would be there before you could hang up the phone OR
Hide the rectal thermometer.
Barb is the one who took time every day to check on my parents, drop off a newspaper, pick up some groceries or simply just call and see how life was treating you.
Her step children and nephews meant the world to Barb. Her actions spoke louder than words as each of them has shared how much Barb's friendship and simply being there meant to them.
This did not go without cost, Barbara demanded in return that each succeed in life and extend the love and compassion shown to them to the countless other people they would encounter in their lives.
As all of us, Barbara had her faults.
She had a terrible slice shot and planted flowers O so many flowers. Needless to say Barb loved to play golf. She was a better than average player, but that did not matter. Golf was not only an opportunity to air out her brain or get exercise, BUT more importantly an opportunity to spend time with Terry and my Dad.
We spent many a day on the links, very few games do I recall where the actual score mattered or was even kept; it was just a time to enjoy each others company and create fond memories.
Barb indeed was an avid gardener.
I believe her theory was to plant so many flowers that you would not see the weeds through the blossoms.
To Barb, flowers represented spring, a new season and new beginning. She cared for them as she did her family, students and patients. She realized with a lot of love, some good soil, water, a person's touch and a lot of care that you could help something grow. She would plant as many as possible knowing that each would grow and develop into its own beauty, some would return year after year while others for only lasted one season.
She knew that these flowers stood alone beautifully, when observed together created a beautiful garden, a conglomerate of nature's best, yet unique and different each one.
This seems so consistent with Barbara's life. If anything came close to her love of family it was her love for her career and those she encountered as a result of that career.
Being a nurse should by itself tell you that Barbara cared for others.
Being a nurse HOWEVER is just a definition of education. What Barbara sought was to inspire talented and educated people to help others who were in need.
Nurses are called upon when people's lives are in such turmoil. With illness front and center emotions run wild.
FOR the concerned, loving and sometimes heartbroken people, it takes more, much more than an education to make a truly professional nurse.
Barbara lived for nursing, she wanted each student to be a better nurse than she could ever possibly dream of being,
she knew the immense responsibility the nurses would have on a daily basis in an environment of sickness and despair.
Barbara knew that the nurses needed a great education; she knew that nurses should be tested and re-tested to assure that they were ready to battle so many medical conditions and illnesses that they would face.
Barbara knew first hand that the ailing public looked to these nurses for much more then just their education, patients expected that, She knew they must have compassion.
A very famous Irishman `Martin Roche' is quoted as saying.
`True compassion is something the blind can see and the deaf can hear.'
Barbara knew this was an acquired attribute but equally as important and necessary as the very best of education.
I say this because Barbara (and her family) Witnessed this to the very end from the Nurses and Nurse Technicians at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany.
I know police officers take care of each other, regardless of the shield, uniform or jurisdiction, I didn't know that nurses had even a tighter society.
I am confident I speak for Barbara and my family in praising the staff at St. Peter's Hospital. For the nurses and nursing technicians, the priests, the Doctors and even the cleaning staff Barbara took center stage.
I want to thank the staff members who took care of Barb, those that called on her everyday no matter where she was in the hospital, that reached out to us on their days off and even those that called while on vacation.
I want to thank the Doctor's, Nurses, Technicians and other medical staff that grew with us as this BATTLE with CANCER progressed; Who saw and understood not only Barbara's medical needs but watched and responded as an anguished family rallied, YET suffered.
I want to thank the cleaning staff, Where else would you go where the cleaning guy says
`I am only housekeeping but I'll do what ever I can and get you anything you need.'
I hope you AND THEY understand that the compassion shown by THEM made this difficult time so much easier for Barbara and our family.
Barbara's co-workers and friends were a pillar of strength, visiting and helping Barbara and our family and keeping Barb's spirits up. There are NO finer people.
When all is said and done, a theme of Barbara's life continues to shine through. We were all affected by Barbara's love and compassion.
What I did not expect was the inspiration Barbara would give to each of us. Not only the inspiration to muddle through these last eight weeks, BUT inspiration to learn more about ourselves during these difficult times.
I know Barb never stopped loving and caring for her family and friends, that is self evident.
BUT Barb never stopped teaching us. She taught us to respect and cherish the time we have, she taught us to enjoy each day to its very fullest.
She taught her family, her nephews and the wonderful staff at St. Peter's a lesson in compassion.
She reminded us to strive and fight for the things most important to us, to stay in the battle to the very end.
IF you must lose the battle to do it graciously and with dignity, Because you will eventually win the war.
Most of all she reminded us that
`If we were to die tomorrow, what difference would today make.' Barbara we love you so much, we thank you and we will miss you more than you could ever imagine
May God bless you.
------------------------------------------------------ My Tribute To Barbara Maxwell ~ by Lisa Moruzzi
Words cannot begin to describe how we feel about our friend and colleague Barbara Maxwell and the impression she has left on all of us.
Barbara is the epitome of what every nurse should be. She was always the first one to the office in the morning and would arrive at the hospital hours before the students to prepare their assignments. Barbara would greet me every morning with a genuine smile and hello, always asking how things were going. Barbara was always there to give us advise and answer our questions, no matter what time of day or night. She shared with me her notes, her exam questions, and her knowledge and a portion of Barbara will live on in all of us who had the privilege to know her.
Barbara held many positions as a nurse including staff nurse, psychiatric nurse for UC Mental Health, acting director of Hospice, consultant, author and did volunteer work for American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Hospice and organized Save A Life Saturday. I think her most recent position as a Professor of Nursing was by far the most near and dear to her heart. Barbara held the highest standards for her students in both the lecture and clinical setting. Getting through one of Barbara's courses was quite an accomplishment.
The impact Barbara has had on the Profession of Nursing in Ulster County and beyond is phenomenal. During her 25 years of teaching at Ulster she has passed on her knowledge to hundreds of students, many who are here tonight, myself included. Barbara was a mentor, leader, advocate, an intellect and I could go on and on.
You could say Barbara was the guru of nursing.
Those that worked with Barbara have this to say about her: She is vibrant, has left a legacy, was caring, a professional and courteous. She seemed to always have a smile on her face.
Rest in peace Barbara, we cherished the time we had with you. You will be missed deeply, never forgotten- you are going to be a hard act to follow. -------------------------------------------------------------
Barbara A. Maxwell of Benson Court, Hurley died Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany. She was 52.
She was born in Kingston, a daughter of Frederick and Margaret Feye Miller. She graduated Red Hook High School in 1976.
For the past 32 years Barbara's vocation was nursing. She received an A.A.S. from Ulster Community College, a B.S.N. and M.S.N. at SUNY New Paltz, a M.S.M. at Russell Sage College. For many years she was the charge nurse at 3-Broadway, Kingston Hospital. She later worked as a psychiatric nurse at Ulster County Mental Health.
For the past 25 years she was an instructor at SUNY Ulster and Professor of Nursing.
She received the Nightingale Award from Hospice of Ulster County and developed the Compeer Program for SUNY Ulster and the Mental Health Association.
She was a parishioner of St. Joseph's Church.
On May 21, 1994, she married Terrence Maxwell, PhD.
Surviving in addition to her parents of Hurley and husband, is her sister, Kathy Lee Moore and her husband Donald of Gales Ferry, CT; two brothers, John Miller and his wife Karen and Daniel Miller and his wife Rachel all of Hurley; a step-son Andrew Jones Maxwell of Hampton, VA and a step-daughter Mary Elizabeth Maxwell of Kingston; five nephews Dr. Daniel P. and Michael F. Miller, Ryan Thomas and Todd William Miller, Erik Frederick Moore.
Reposing at the Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home, 411 Albany Ave., Kingston on Thursday from 2 - 4 & 7 - 9 PM. A "Nightingale Service" will be conducted at 8:00 p.m.
On Friday, relatives and friends will meet at 4:00 PM at St. Joseph's Church in Kingston for a Funeral Mass. Fr. Thomas Smith will officiate. Interment will follow in Hurley Cemetery
Memorial contributions may be directed to the "2010 Relay For Life of Kingston, NY", (Beeber's Brigade) 496 Mountain View Ave., Hurley, NY 12443 (Team Captain, Dan Miller.)