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Donna Barker

Defining the big moments

Sometimes it’s easy to identify the big moments of our lives, like graduations, weddings, the birth of our children, jobs and promotions, service to our communities.

But other times, I think the some of the biggest moments of our lives can slip by without being noticed.

On Sunday afternoon, I was thinking about how big of a week it was for us as a nation with the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States, with all the pomp and circumstances of the luncheons, the inaugural balls and the mile-long parade. What an enormous week it had been for the Obama family.

I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about my own life and how my week had gone at work and at home. The truth is my biggest moments wouldn’t come even a couple million light years within the range of inauguration week for the Obamas. 

Or maybe, they would. After all, I had some very big moments this past week.

Take Sunday afternoon for instance. While much of the Midwest was looking outside its windows to see if the predicted ice storm was going to cripple their section of the country, I was lying down on my living room floor, reading to my granddaughters Emma and Addi. Emma, who has been sick with a cold, soon fell asleep. Addi and I continued reading and then went to the kitchen to bake cookies.

I can’t help but think that many of the biggest moments in my life are those spent with my kids and grandkids.

I also had some big moments at work last week. Two assignments had me sitting across the conference table talking one-on-one with individuals running for office. Other assignments had me meeting with people in their homes. I don’t take those assignments lightly — the privilege to meet with people and help tell their stories.

As an example, I met with an artist last week who lives in Mendota. He showed me around his home, so I could see some of the paintings he has done. This man is passionate about seeing life in color and conveying that life to canvass. I drove away from his home thinking about how I need to see more of the colors in life. What could have been a small moment in my work day turned out to be a big moment in my life.

Later that day, I went to the home of a Princeton couple, Al and Sharilyn Davidson, to talk with them about how their pets, Duke and Molly, and how they bring joy and happiness into their lives. I left the Davidson home thinking about how the richness of life sometimes comes in exuberant packages of fur. It was another big moment for me to remember.

Looking back on last week, I realize we all have big moments in life, whether or not they are experienced in front of television cameras. And also, whether we are the Obamas or the Barkers, the big moments in life come in many shapes and colors, sounds and fabrics.

BCR Senior Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.

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