Amanda Leigh Barone – Barrows

February 9, 1966 - October 10, 2021
October 27, 2021 1 Condolence Print Obituary

Captain's log

The family of Amanda (Mandy) Leigh Barone (née Barrows) of Edmonton, Alberta, shares the news of her passing, on October 10, 2021 (or as she would say stardate 75241.4). Her loss will be deeply felt, and her larger-than-life personality and tremendous sense of humor will not be forgotten. She was born on February 9, 1966, in Montreal, Quebec, and was a strong and independent person with a big heart. Above all, Mandy spoke – to everyone, about everything. You may recall discussions with her that touched your heart, tickled your funny bone, or maybe made you say “huh?” She took pride and joy in sharing time with her loved ones, loved coffee milk shakes, terrific TV shows, hanging out with her children and grandchild, playing a challenging game, and cuddling her cats. The simplest pleasures in life brought pure happiness to Mandy. She was a connoisseur of delicious meals and a firm believer that sandwiches should only be served on the best bread that could be found, and of course smothered in butter. Mandy was world-renowned for her lack of patience, not holding back her opinion, and had a knack for telling it like it is. She was highly proficient at winning her disputes. She always told you the truth, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. She was generous to a fault, a softy at heart, and yet she sugar-coated absolutely nothing. Mandy had strong beliefs in which she never waivered, and was known for her timeless words of wisdom, including “Life is hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.” What she lacked in stature, she compensated with an over-abundance of charisma, charm, and feistiness. Even in her waning hours, she was a model of strong will and sheer determination right up until the end of her journey here on earth. Mandy’s love of life didn’t come to an end with her death. She passed away after a courageous life, and her loved ones will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest. In a final gesture in Mandy’s honor, donations to Zebra Child Protection Centre at https://www.zebracentre.ca/donate would be appreciated by the family. In lieu of flowers, Mandy would've loved unexpected acts of kindness to be made for less fortunate souls. Rest in peace, Mandy. You’ll be sorely missed by all who loved you.

  1. Our dearest, and one and only Mandy,
    We know you loved seeing a special note from your Bubsy & Paully, so here we are to brighten your day/night.
    We close our eyes, and we see your beautiful blue eyes looking back at us. You’re holding a glass of iced tea and smiling kindly. You’re an angel in house slippers and glasses. You were an angel long before today.
    We love you and cherish you, big sis, always have and always will. Hope you knew the impact you had on us and the impression you left.
    Losing you feels awful. Like a tremendous punch to the gut. Kick to the head. Worse even. Like a ruthless, brutal, vicious emptiness has been buried in our hearts that can never be filled. Like deep pain that has no cure. It sucks so bad. When you departed, it took our breath away. Larger-than-life YOU. How could this be true? Felt sick in the pit of our stomachs. Still do. Afterward, we were heartbroken. Still are. Death hurts sooooo much.
    Memories flow forward through our minds, and we’re pleased to have you taking up so much space there.
    I will always remember the love you had for Crosswinds. I loved it too. We’d hang out late into the night, wouldn’t we? Playing cards. Watching Star Trek. Listening to Barbara Streisand, Elvis, Barry Manilow, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Woody Guthrie, Bette Midler, Anne Murray, Everly Brothers, and so on. Many songs were sung out loud, mostly when we spent evenings in the old canvas tent. We’d share stories until we fell asleep. We played other games, too. Poker. Canasta. Rummy. Uno. Life. Chess. But not Monopoly. Hardly ever. Cuz, I never liked that one. Your skill at playing cards was above and beyond, and you taught me a lot of the classic card games. You definitely liked to win but always played fair. You would beat me in Michigan rummy. I creamed you in Gin rummy.
    You had many talents, and a disposition on life that was outstanding and inspirational.
    You had a great respect for all living things and wanted to feed and take care of everyone. Your thoughtfulness was not limited to people, as you were forever on the lookout for abandoned cats who seemed to have an instinct that guided them to your door.
    I didn’t say it enough: Thank you. For all of it. For everything. For letting me be myself. For sharing yourself with me. For all that you did. For all that you said. For being my big sis. I haven’t forgotten that you patched up my skinned knees and fixed all my broken toys. You’d try to have my back and do your best to never let anything bad happen. You protected all you loved. You laughed with me when I was happy and hugged me so warmly when I was sad. You always told me, “Everything will be alright.”
    As much as you were with us in joyful moments, you were also there for us when times were tough, offering a shoulder to cry on, and some words of encouragement. We are so thankful for you. For the hope you gave us. For the extraordinary support you gave us in all our endeavors. For your steadfast generosity and commitment that ensured we never felt alone. For the love and friendship, you selflessly gave us every day of your life.
    Random acts of kindness were your specialty. Throughout your life, you helped those who had less than you, and you didn’t have much. You couldn’t have been more than 15 years of age, and I remember a cold winter’s night and you rummaging through closets and demanding Papa drive you into the city. He did, and you handed out blankets, hats, scarves, mittens, and winter coats to the needy.
    In your life where most things didn’t go your way, you chose to be kind and root for the underdog. To never surrender. You believed that every person had more potential than people thought. You’d say that they may not have been everyone’s favorite or seen as the best, but they had the ability to do great things. You believed in me, in us, and we hope you knew we believed in you too.
    If we measure you by your love of the people in your life, you were a giant. Your greatest personal treasures were your family and friends. Your imposing physical stature never gave hint to the softness of your heart or the beauty in your soul — “luv ya” were your parting words whenever you left us, even for a minute.
    You were an artist, nature lover, animal lover, free spirited soul who loved to be quirky, used puns to make us giggle, who always saw and tried to bring out the best in people. You had a truly beautiful big heart and your sharp wit and sense of humor brought us countless moments of happiness and laughter.
    You liked the harmonica, and you could play the recorder and keyboard like a pro and knew the lyrics to thousands of songs. Impressive!
    You loved movies, both classic and new. Memories include The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, A Star Is Born, Superman, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Yentl, Victor/Victoria, Ice Castles, Return to Me, Children of a Lesser God, Starman, The Parent Trap, Candleshoe, The Love Bug, and Freaky Friday. I know there are hundreds more that will come to mind. I remember Papa & Granny taking us to the Dollard Drive-In to see 9 to 5. That was fun. I also remember going with you to see the debut of Ruthless People in 1986. You had won movie passes from CJAD-800 and you invited me. Another time you’d won passes to see Dead Poets Society and I went with you. We were strolling along Saint-Catherine Street near Peel Street, and we heard a loud crash. Looked across the road and noticed a man laying on the ground. Next to him was a walking stick. The kind the blind use. You ran to him, and I followed. He had been slammed into a glass window. Part of his hairy scalp was still stuck in that broken glass window. You ran inside a nearby Harvey’s Restaurant and grabbed all the napkins your hands could hold and went outside to pad the wound while ordering me to call an ambulance. You didn’t hesitate. All the while, you were talking to the man. Asking his name, where he lived, if there was anyone that he wanted you to phone. When the paramedics arrived, you were scolded for helping a bleeding man without wearing rubber gloves to protect yourself from possible exposure from an HIV-positive person. You didn’t care. You couldn’t leave him there like that without doing something. I’ll never forget it.
    You’ll be lovingly remembered for being, by far, the best swimmer among us. Can still picture you swimming across the lake, every day all summer long, and Papa asking me to row the boat near to you in case you tired and needed to rest. You never did, but it made me feel important being there, as though I may save your life. I find that funny now, since literally you saved mine when you were just under 3½ years of age. Amazes me because the ease of dialing 9-1-1 didn’t exist back then. Fortunately, you were already brilliant and could recall how to rotary dial Granny & Papa’s 7-digit phone number for help. I have every reason to believe my life wouldn’t exist without you.
    You were always smart. Always brave. Always learning. You could speak, read, and write English, French, Spanish, Italian, and a bit of German. You also taught yourself sign language. Remarkable!
    You had a talent for drawing. We especially loved your mazes, the way you could draw them successfully, with a beginning and end. You’ve drawn them since childhood. Guess your life could be described as a maze, really, because it certainly had you heading the wrong way time and time again, and you were forced to turn around and try again to get to where you wanted to be.
    You liked to print and cut coupons and do surveys. You believed in getting a good deal. We can recall messages you left on our answering machine that informed us of discounts at shops near us, especially for things you knew we liked and wanted.
    You entered many contests and won many! I haven’t forgotten that you also coaxed me to help you handwrite your address on hundreds of recipe cards to be able to enter those contests. Ha!
    We never had to worry about being included in your life. You always wanted us with you for whatever was going on. You had a lot to say, a lot to share. About any topic. Conversations lasted hours and hours and were never boring. When we were first dating, you invited us on adventures for late night snacks and made us feel special without a thought of a thank you. We loved just to sit and talk with you about anything, no matter how trivial. You always had time for us. You were never too busy, and you never pushed us away. Before we parted ways for the night, you’d give Paully the Spock salute while saying, “live long and prosper”, and you held me and hugged me saying, “always be good, Bubsy.”
    I remember how happy you were when you had a nice bicycle to ride. You loved taking off on adventures. I’d stand on the front steps and watch you peddle away, and you’d smile and wave as you disappeared around the corner.
    You loved conspiracies. Venturing into the unknown. Seeing things from many perspectives. You were never dull. Always fun and interesting.
    At times you were a force to be reckoned with and impossible to ignore. You mastered the art of debate and didn’t shy from disagreements or varying opinions. You asked great questions. Tough questions. Questions no one else would dare ask. You searched for answers. For understanding. We admired your determination.
    You told us we were excellent in the kitchen and always wanted to visit for more of our homecooked meals. You craved an endless supply of roasted turkey, Montreal-style smoked meat, salted butter, alfalfa, Mrs. Dash, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, and coffee ice cream.
    You loved to laugh. When things would strike you as funny you couldn’t hide it inside. Something truly hilarious would have you letting go with the kind of laughter that had you clutching your belly and gasping for air. It was a real pleasure to share in those joyful moments.
    You were a gentle soul, always ready with a kind word for us, a few comments to get us thinking, or a fun joke, and you seldom missed a monthly check-in. Hope you knew that you were an immense source of happiness and pride for us. You were lively, bubbly, and intelligent. You were a gem. A diamond in the rough.
    You could make us feel like a million bucks. You offered encouragement and compliments for nothing in return. You will always be my big sister, or big seeeester as you would say, and Darling Paul will miss your lovin’ and the twinkle in your eye, your sci-fi discussions, your never-ending trivia questions, your suggestions of a good comedy, your need for help with the computer, and the way you signed off with “Send some sugar Paully’s way too” or “Hugz the Paul” or “Thanks from your wild and wacky sis and Paully’s first and only wife” or “Where is my life size Paul doll?” or “Give Paul a pinch and a squeeze for me plus a belly rub” or “Just send Paully. With his guitar so he can charm me with his music.”
    Hope you knew it meant the world to us that you made the trip here in 2019. We’ll never forget your smiles and giggles when you were splashing in and floating on the waves of the Atlantic. So glad we were able to share in another first. We had a blast showing you around. We had fun preparing meals together. You were a beautiful bright star who dazzled us. We sure could use a good dose of the one and only Mandy.
    Your life was marked with impossible struggles throughout. Despite the tremendous pain and sadness, you were a truly kind soul who brightened our lives. We admired your marvelous sense of humor and insatiable quest for the good life despite depression and dreadful circumstances. You always had a positive attitude regardless of the huge pile of crap dealt to you throughout your 55 years here.
    You were determined, always, to be loving, but to manage your own life. And so you did, beginning to end. To us, your survivors, you’ve left a legacy of courage and determination not only to survive, but also to overcome any obstacle or challenge with grace and good humor.
    While we grieve the excruciating loss of you, your suffering has ended and for that we are grateful.
    Want you to know that we’ll never let go. Not a day will pass without thoughts of you and amazement at our great good fortune in having such a wondrous and enduring presence in our hearts.
    We’ve been searching madly for anything encouraging here. The only thing we can come up with is that we know winter was your nemesis, so departing in October was a teensy gift for you. No more snow or cold or treacherous ice. Ever.
    You may be pleased to learn that we’ve proclaimed October as Month of Mandy. Yup. Yes. We’ll drive around to see the splendor of color in the trees. We’ll kick up the fallen crunchy leaves for you. We’ll eat sinfully delicious feasts and eat extra for you. We’ll swaddle ourselves in cozy blankets and send hugs to you. We’ll watch your favorite TV shows and movies and tell you about them.
    So, you just sit now upon puffy clouds set against blue autumn skies. You are still with us.
    Where oh where is our Mandy? We’ll miss you. Hope you’re relaxing and reading a Judy Bloom book while floating on the Milky Way. Paully says, “to boldly go where no one has gone before!” Love ya forevermore our sweet sis, thinking of you daily, hugs, kisses, squeezes to you. Guess that is all these old brains can say at the moment.
    Forever optimistic. That’s how we’ll remember you.
    Your Bubsy & Paully, over and out.

Reply to Condolence

Your email address will not be published.