Remembering a great lady – Bibiana Marie Longauer

I don’t believe anyone should be forgotten.

In this age of google searching, blog posting, tattoo-brandishing, and even hash tag creating…it pains my heart to think someone I admire would be forgotten because she is not alive to warrant a hash tag.

In Luzern lived a lady, Bibiana Longauer.

She was an amazing lady – one of those people changing the corner she lived in.

Or so I hear.

I never met her. She was quite ill by the time her name was first said in my presence. Since that time, years ago, there is a small part of me that feels I know the woman whose pig collection now lives in my flat. I aspire to be like her and to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Let me break down this woman’s timeline (as well as I can). She was born in 1946 somewhere near or in Bratislava on June 7th. I like to know on which day of the week someone was born and little BML was born on a Friday. She died on July 21, 2010. That was a Wednesday.

She carried with her a doctorate in pharmacology. In 1970 or so, she and her then husband carried their little one to Luzern. She dedicated her life to empowering women, helping the helpless, and making her community better and stronger. Literally. She used her life to make other people healthier and stronger: (what was) revolutionary methadone treatment, political involvement on behalf of struggling mothers and young women, encouragement of homeopathy in a meat & potato culture, and preaching fitness. The woman introduced Stevia to try to cut back on Aspartame use, she opened the door before opening hours and kept it open after closing time, “not an option” was better said “let’s try something else.”

The woman was a light bringer.

As I noted, she loved pigs, modern art alongside furniture draped in classic, rich fabrics. People say she was generous, but kept both eyes and an extra third one on finances. Her friendship rainbow embraced a multitude of socio-economic and educational backgrounds. Was her service a job or a ministry? No one feels quite certain, but most think it was 30%-70% in favor of her faith. They say she loved music, sunshine, fresh flowers. I could go on and on about what she did well because I collect the stories like pieces of a patchwork quilt. She wasn’t perfect, no one is. But her life makes a lovely quilt.

By a strange circumstance, during one of her last days of work at the Pharmacy, Dr. Longauer helped one of my American friends who was living in Luzern at the time. We found the receipt and he told me the story in December of 2011. I love stories about BML and I wish I knew more.

Every week, I go to her grave. I usually sing the Bruder Klaus prayer or one verse of Ave Maria, I light a candle in the memory box, and I place a fresh flower…music, light, flower. Three of her favorite things.

None should be forgotten. Just because time moves on, we should remember everyone. AND it’s important to tell the loved ones. “I remember her.” It makes a person feel better when others remember his lost loved one. He feels less alone in his loss.

Remember someone today and write to his or her family or to your friends on Facebook or create a hashtag. I don’t care. Just remember.

Especially the good ones like #BML of Bratislava and Luzern.



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