From Lawrence: I want to take the time to thank everyone for their condolences, phone calls, texts, the cards that I have received in the mail and all the Facebook messages. It has been overwhelming but It's not surprising that so many people have been touched by my mother. She was always a character and the life of the party. She was always loving and accepting and I'm not sure what life is going to be for me without her in it. I know it will be lonely and sad for me for awhile. Some days will be better then others. In the end I have no regrets. I got to say what I wanted to say to her and also got to be with her the moment she left this life to be with our dad. I'll always have the gift of holding her hand and saying goodbye. I know many people don't get that chance and I am grateful that I did. I'm sure I will her miss everyday of my life. I can only hope she is at a place of happiness and peace. I Love you mom and always will.
I love you Aunt Barb!! Gone too soon but never ever forgotten. Rest in Peace sweet little woman.
Beautiful collaboration of Wonderful Pics of Her , and My Two Terrific Friends, her Boys.
Barb gave birth to a baby daughter prior to her marriage to Ronnie and gave her up for adoption. Penny found Barb and was welcomed with open arms.
Lawrence's back to Penny: We thank Barb for giving you, Penny to us. You, Steve and my nieces: Stephanie, Shanna and Cassidy make our lives so much fuller, richer and happier than anyone could wish for.
Sharon Davison's comment to Penny: Penny, I didn't realize how much you look like Barbara Jean. I know she was very proud of you and your family. She would talk about you all, a lot. I'm glad you two got together.
Mitch wrote this beautiful tribute on facebook letting us all know about her passing:
With great sadness we bid farewell to Lawrence's mom, Barb. She will be severely missed by all of us who knew her, loved her and were constantly entertained by her. She was a character beyond what I could have even imagined writing into my life story.
The Buddhists have an expression "when the student is read the teacher will appear." Barb was unquestionable the most profound teacher I have had in my lifetime. The lessons didn't always come easily and I wasn't always quick to learn, but in the end I was left with nothing but gratitude and the same accepting love she always gave me.
Actually Barb told me she loved me the very first evening almost seven years ago when I met her. She was saying good night to her boys. I still can hear her voice and see her smile as she said, "I love you too. I'm just not sure why yet."
Now I know why. She gave me my life partner in her son which absolutely has to be my greatest gift and joy. I had the privilege of watching how Lawrence loved and took care of her through the sweet and bitter times. Up until her very last moments on this side.
She accepted me always as her son's love and never questioned a same-sex relationship or marriage. That motherly acceptance will carry me through whatever bigotry and discrimination lies ahead. My wide wish is that every gay person out there has an in-law like Barb who just loves and gets on with life in all of its normalcy. It feels like I have struggled all my adult life to have my own family's acceptance of my 'lifestyle' only to find it resolved in my mother-in-laws embrace and eccentric antics. Now I understand that I can heal my own family wound surrounding my sexuality and their continued absence from our lives.
Blessed Be, Barb. My books are ready for school, the pencils are sharpened and my backpack is filled with fantastic stories of you, my marvelous mother-in-law. I am not certain that it will be easy to be without you as my previous year's teacher. But with the years of learning that lie ahead, I promise to take care of your Larry and keep your lessons and love close.
Facebook comments to the tribute Mitch wrote:
Linda Salerian: So sorry for your Loss. Prayers for your Family.
Linda Shields: So so very sorry for the loss of Lawrence's Mother!!! These words are truly beautiful, Mitch!!! May all the beautiful memories you shared with her, live forever in your' hearts Please let me know if I can do anything for you!!!! Sending my prayers and love to you both!!!!
Teri Tillman: Love
Beatrice Simson: Soo sorry for ur loss. Sending prayers for your family and condolences.
Robin Keefe: My sincere sympathy to Lawrence and you.
Mike Hardy: My deepest condolences to Lawrence and you.
Diane Haaga: Saddened by this news n touched by your words of gratitude! Prayers w Lawrence n his family today!
Sara Riggs: Sorry for your loss.
Patti Fulbright: What a beautiful tribute from one teacher to another. She was a character bigger than life and a force to be reckoned with.
Jeni Harris: Sincere condolences to you and Lawrence during this time,
Jeff Miklya: Sending you guys much love
Roberta Williams: A beautiful tribute, Mitch. So sad to hear of Barb's passing. I know that she will continue to live in your hearts, and through your stories of this unique lady. heart emoticon to you and Lawrence.
Fran Romans So sorry. My thoughts are with you and Lawrence.
Emigdio Avalos Jr I'm sorry for your loss Mitch. My prayers and condolences to you.
William White: My deepest condolences to you and Lawrence. You're in my thoughts during this difficult time!!
Maria Di Pisa Brady: What a lovely tribute. I am sorry for your loss.
Pattricia Vienna: What a kind and loving tribute to a wonderful person. My most sincerest condolences to you and Lawrence.
Maile Goodman: Very beautiful. May she rest in peace.
Elizabeth Fuller: We are so sorry and saddened by the loss of your mother-in-law and Larry and Jim's mother, Barb. We know she will be missed greatly but her beautiful star will shine on forever and ever. We send our love to all of you. Sincerely, Betsy and David.
Katy Pabst: Sorry to hear this, will keep you both in my prayers!!
Miyuki Kanno: Paul My deepest condolences to both of you. To Mitch, Barb loved you because she loved her son and the one who her son fell in love with. What a great heart she had and you are one lucky son in law!
Shauna O'Brien Law: So very sad for the loss of such a beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Much love to her boys.
Aladdin Nabulsi: Beautiful tribute. A blessings to have been able to share great memories with her.
Marty Ray: Larry, Jim and Mitch .... SO sorry, wow, so hard to believe. I used to love going to your house and seeing her, never knowing what she might say today ! So much fun to be around. Lotsa love.
Mary Blott Godfrey: I didn't know Barb, but am moved by your tribute and realized that I too have been a student of Barb, through you and your stories (including this tribute) of course. Prayers continue for you and Lawrence...Hugs to you both.
Marlena Fox: Your words are so inspiring. I am so sorry for your loss Lawrence Gobel and Mitch.
Thresa Day: I'm so very sorry! I'm sending much love! My hope is that peace is quick to find you.
Lori Cunningham: I am so sorry for your loss... may you cherish the memories and continue to grow from all the lessons she has taught you both. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Tammy Brown: Lawrence Gobel, just read this. I didn't know she was still ill. Sure did love that sweet, fun lady. She made me fine. Beautiful tribute Mitch.
Sondra Murray: I knew this was coming, but am terribly heartbroken by the news of her passing. What a beautiful tribute. I know how hard this has been for Larry and Jim to say goodbye to their mom. Words can't express the sorrow I feel. I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to you and all who have been touched by her life.
Frank Hastings: For you Loss and for your sadness, A prayer for you and your Family. Take comfort that she is at peace and no longer suffering. Love you guys! Thank you Mitch Mitchell for your eloquence and love. I'm sending everyone love and hugs Lawrence Gobel and J.D. Gobel RIP mom
Tara Thompson: So very sorry for your loss.
Barbara Hayes: My deepest sympathy to you Mitch at this time of great loss. What a beautiful tribute you gave Lawrence. Both of you were blessed to have such a wonderful woman love you. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers Mitch. If one is lucky enough to have a mother like yours...she never really dies as she will always live in your heart.
Mirna Coloma Muro: That was beautiful. Lawrence I am so sorry for you loss. Keeping you and Mitch in my prayers.
Marty Bierbrier: Lawrence, so sad to hear this news. I know how super your mom was. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Rosina Iribe Amador: Such beautiful words.. My deepest condolences to both of you ..
Jacquelyn Baca: So beautifully said. (((HUGS))), prayers and strength.
Lori Flashner: Beautiful message. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers.
Doug Hull: Lawrence--I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I know how close you were to her and how much you've done for her over the years. She was lucky to have you as a son. Our thoughts are with you.
Bob Guzzi: Mitch, such a beautifully worded and heartfelt tribute. Lawrence and Mitch, I'm so sorry for your loss. Barb was, or I should say "is", one special woman. Her love and memories will live with you forever. And I'm sure her soul is now onto its next adventure. You're in my thoughts, my friends. Namaste.
Molli Oliver: So very sorry for your loss.
Barbara Hayes: So sorry I miss read thinking it was Mitches. mom...however the same goes for you Lawrence of what I said please forgive my error
Adrienne Hanhauser: Dear Lawrence and Mitch, Tom and I send our condolences during this time of loss in your lives. We sincerely wish you a gentle, loving and supported time with friends and family. Mitch, your tribute to your mother-in-law is truly beautiful and without a doubt from the core of your being. How blessed you were to have had such a teacher...to continue to show you the way "inside" and to have helped you to come to a new understanding of it "all". And how blessed you are both to have each other....now and always.
Regina Saladino: I'm so so sorry Keeping your family in my prayers !!!
Cindi Benson: What beautiful words you speak. I had the privilege to meet Barb. I hope your wonderful memories will fill the empty space in your heart. Take care.
Kara Brown Bower: Beautiful message! I'm so sorry and extremely sad to hear this news! My thoughts are with you! Xoxox
Ty Dote Heart: felt beautiful words, Mitch. Sending you, Lawrence Gobel and JD my deepest sympathy. ox
Rosalina Guerrero: Lawrence, our prayers are for your Mom and Family!! We are happy that she was around this long and she taught you lessons you will treasure always, She is happy resting in Gods Mansion and is free of Pain!!.. Praise the Lord..
Antonio Holguin: prayers of comfort and healing to Lawrence, JD, Mitch and family. Love to you all!
Nicole Moscoso: Sorry for your loss.
Deneen Chin: Oh wow! Just read this and am saddened. I met Barb a few years ago when she was living across the street from you guys. I can't believe she is gone! . Sending my condolences and prayers to you and the family. strength and love during this difficult time.
Nicole Johnson: That was beautifully said. I am sorry to hear of the loss you have both suffered. Wishing you warm thoughts during this difficult time.
Steve Melonas: Well said, Mitch. Barb was like a second mother to me, too, and I will miss her terribly. I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Christopher Bleser: Lawrence, Mitch, J.D., I'm so very sorry for your loss. I was always very fond of Barb. Mitch, what you said was so beautifully worded and heartfelt; also tough to read as I resonate well. You are lucky to have had her in your life, even through the tough times. As you say, people often teach life lessons, many of which we are not aware we need, until a later moment in time.
Evelyn Legarda: beautiful of life your mother is still guiding parents from heaven.
Ardas Wachter-Grene: Dear Mitch and Lawrence. We are deeply saddened by your mother loss, an absence that is present always and is palpable. We've never been honored to know a son who loved and cared for his mother as you, Lawrence. Your pure goodness and mother love was a protective cloak embracing Barb with unconditional love. We've never known a son-in-law like you Mitch who with courage lit the lamp to truthfully focus to understand and contemplate your relationship with Barb and to arrive at the door of compassion, true love and kindness. We hope can help in this moment. He has taken the words and teachings from the sutra to be "Given to the Dying" and made them into a lullaby song. "This body is not me, I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginning less time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-a-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.
Donna Dondlinger: Sorry for your loss Mitch Mitchell
Denise R. Williams: Lawrence & Mich I'm so sorry to hear about Ms. Barb. My deepest sympathies and condolences go to you and your family. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
Tiffany Hobbs: That was one of the most touching tributes that I’ve ever read, and I’m sure she's on the other side bragging about you and the beautiful relationship that you and Lawrence have created. May you both be comforted and strengthened within the healing process. We love you.
Melissa Lindemer: I am so sorry for your loss. What a touching tribute. Prayers to you and your family that you may find comfort during this difficult time.
Scott Umfress: Sending you both and all in your family my deepest sympathies and love-
Cameo Nghele: My condolences. Prayers and hugs.
Janice B Cinko: Love you guys, so sorry for your loss!!
Scott Slaven: Beautiful tribute, Mitch. I first met Barb nearly 30 years ago when Lawrence and I were roommates. From the first day she referred to me as her other son! Such a warm, funny, lovely woman. Love to you, Lawrence and Jim.
Kolette O'Keefe: My thoughts are with you Lawrence!!
Cristina Salvador Klenz: What a beautiful tribute to her life. So sorry for you both.
Lota Jackson: Beautifully said Mitch, I remember her fondly, always a kind heart! Hugs to you both.
Bill Untalan: I'm so sorry for your loss. Love and prayers to both of you.
Kamara Regina: I hate hearing such sad news. I'm sorry for your loss.
Jo Anne Guzzi Liples: What a beautiful tribute and memory to share. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending huge amounts of love and light your way.
Jim Burchell: so well put Mitch....give Lawrence Gobel a hug from our family. Losing a parent your are close to is very hard.
Scott Anderson: That was really beautifully written, Mitch. She was one of a kind. Please accept my condolences and extend my love and energy to Lawrence and JD.
Susan Bobish: So sorry Mitch, Lawrence, and J.D.
Glori Alvarez-Torres: I'm so sorry for your loss Lawrence...
Betsy Oliver-Gallo: Lawrence Gobel I'm here for you. My thoughts and deepest prayers to you and the family.
Alicia Kern: So sorry for your loss, Lawrence and Mitch. Blessings to her spirit and may memories of Barb be a comfort to all who loved her.
Andrea Anderson: What an amazing tribute to Aunt Barb Anderson-Gobel.
Dorothy Rieko: What a beautiful tribute. Sending my condolences and lots of love to you and Lawrence.
Lillian Martinez-Robles: There aren't words on our part that will comfort such a loss. Just know we are thinking of you and praying for comfort, strength, and wisdom to heal your journey now without this important person in your lives. Big hug to both of you.
Michelle Harris Kramer: I'm sorry to hear this & what a beautiful tribute to her. What an amazing woman she must've been. Sending you both love and big hugs.
Theresa Fulbright: Absolutely beautiful tribute. I still remember how welcoming she and Ronnie were when I first met them 30 some years ago. We hung out at the river and had a great day and they drove us all over for sightseeing there in Oregon. She truly believed she would again see Ronnie, her other family members, and her little doggie "Trouble" and all her other wonderful pets. "
Ervin Leazer: So sorry Lawrence and family! My condolences!
Jill Warner: Beautiful tribute Mitch. She was quite the character. Everyone loved her who knew her. Love and hugs to you, Larry, Jim and everyone else whose life she touched.
Brigitte Kelly: I say with a HEAVY HEART U are in my thoughts and prayers Lawrence Gobel your mom will always be around U in spirit guiding and supporting U. Love you both.
Maribel Mena: So sorry to hear about your loss. A beautifully written tribute to a wonderful woman. Sending my love to you and Lawrence.
Kristian Lewis: So beautifully written. I wish I could of meet Barb. May we all cherish the Barb's in our lives. Sending you, Lawrence and families love, light and blessings through this time and always.
Kate Neale: Sweet one. How lucky to be loved and accepted by this lady. Let's reschedule our visit sooner than later.
Lisa Hilburn: One of the most beautiful tributes I've ever read. God bless you both, during this time. All my love and; prayers.
Sharon Murray: Beautiful. She will be missed. Love you all
Leanne Mitchell Dotson: I'm so very sorry for such a tremendous loss! Prayers for peace and comfort during such a difficult time!
Julie Millard Griffith: Mitch, this is so sweet hon, so sad right now
Rebeca Peete: Beautiful!!! I'm so sorry to hear the loss of you mom! My prayers are with you and your family...
Michelle Meeks Peterson: Mitch what a beautiful tribute to love Lawrence and Mitch and your family, my heartfelt condolences.
Kristi Nelson-Black: Absolutely beautiful...
Stacy Priola: Oh, Mitch! I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to her. Please send my hugs to Lawrence and yourself.
David Macaulay: What a beautiful lady !! So sorry!!
Cheri Harner: Sorry for your loss Lawrence
Michelle Namaka Fonoimoana: I am so sorry for your loss Mitch and Lawrence. May the memories shine upon you in warmth to comfort you in this time of loss.... I was glad to have had a chance to meet her.... Many hugs.
Marion Buttari Harper: perfect
Shelly Castillo: Mitch, so beautiful written. I am so sorry for both of you losing such a wonderful lady and mom. Take strength from family and friends in the difficult time to come. Bless you all.
Sally Elenitsky: You have such an unbelievable gift with words that become so empowering for what you believe and stand for. Such a huge loss for all of you but she has left you with so much.
Alex Whitman-Herrero: Sorry for your loss Lawrence and Mitch. Many hugs coming your way.
Kris Hupp: With all my love and deepest sympathy! I always enjoyed chatting with Barb at your parties. Such a fun friendly lady! Sending big hugs to Lawrence and you Mitch! xoxo
Romina Seto: So sorry for your loss Mitch, but what a beautiful tribute to an amazing lady. Sending love and prayers your way Mitch. Let me know if i can be of any help.
Debbie Andres: So sorry for your loss and for Lawrence's. It sounds like you had a wonderful mother-in-law and I know you will keep her memory alive forever.
Maruta Dankers: Loved reading your tribute to Lawrence's mom. Hugs to you both! Thinking of you two!
Esther Chai Rho: beautiful tribute. sending you + Lawrence lots of love. xx
Pamela Parker Mitchell: I'm so sorry for your loss, David and Lawrence. Regardless of where I stand about your lifestyle, my heart hurts for you both.
Annette Mote: Well said Mitch. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Melissa Hall: So sorry for your loss. Prayers are with you all
Susan Cabezas: Sorry for your loss.
Beth Marroquin-Mossman: I'm so sorry for your loss!
Brenda Ayala: All my sympathy and love to you and Lawrence for your loss at this time. Sending hugs to you both
Emilie Oliver Leigh: So sorry for your loss! What a great tribute to her. Thinking of you and your family. Xo
Tina Constable Jamieson: So sorry.
Kristin Gall Massi: I read that twice. So wonderful. Hugs to you and Lawrence.
Denise Appell: I am sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to you both.
Gail Kempf: Sorry for your loss Mitch and Lawrence. She will always be in your heart.
Sharon Davison: Larry so sorry about Barbara Jean. But she's now with Ronnie and happy again, going to ropings and having her tomato beer. And on another sad note
Jim Perry died of an heart attack yesterday. And Mitch I know you don't know me, but I wanted to say what beautiful things you said about Barbara Jean. She will be missed by a lot of people.
Kristen Holm: I am so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. hugs to you both.
Chris Guevara: Such a lovely thing to say about such a special person. My thoughts and prayers are with you both
Andrea Arias: Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jennifer Yi: I'm sorry. Hugs to you and your husband.
Alma Fong: Oh Lawrence I am so sad to hear of your great loss! You are lucky to have Mitch to lean on during such a difficult time. My prayers go out to you, Mitch & your family.
Julie Claycomb: so sorry for your loss.
Nat Pendle: Beautiful words as always, you have a gift! My condolence to you both. Sending hugs from Paris
Jill Miller: Our deepest sympathy to you both. What a beautiful tribute Mitch!
Susan Picking: So sorry for your s and Lawrence's loss. Her love is so big, I could feel it through this tribute. Though Barb has transitioned her love still lights up your hearts. We definitely need more Barbs in this world
Patrick W. Aina: Such sad news. My heart goes out to you Lawrence, Mitch and JD.
Trine Bacchetti: So sorry for Lawrence and your loss. Thank you for sharing your gratitude and memories. So much love in your family.
Doug Williams: I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you
Judy Bloomingdale-Vinke: I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and Lawrence and his family.
Lauren Selinsky: Oh Lawrence!!! Our condolences
Curtis Maughlin: So sorry for your loss Lawrence and Mitch! Those were lovely words, and a fantastic tribute to her life!
Tim Burkinshaw: What a touching and beautiful tribute to my Dear Friend Lawrence's Mum. My deepest condolences to You, Lawrence and of course, JD. My heartfelt thoughts are with you, at this time. xoxox
Gail Mooers: Beautiful words for a beautiful lady! much love & prayers to you, Larry and Jimmy! xoxo