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Poetry therapeutic for Lowery

Lowery has been visually impaired all of her life and has been writing poetry with Braille since the fifth grade. Advocate Staff/Patty Vaughan

Barbara Best-Lowery writes about love and loss.

She has notebooks full of poems she’s written over the years. She says she finds writing therapeutic.

“Sometimes an idea will come into my head,” Lowery said. “I love it when that happens. To me, I compare it to an artist painting a picture and the colors just flying onto the canvas. I write poems about love and loss and I’ve got several notebooks full in my room.”

A resident of Crowne Health Care, Lowery has been visually impaired all of her life. Lowery’s mother had German measles when she was born, and Lowery was born with cataracts on her eyes.

“They took the cataracts off and they thought that I would really be able to see well enough to go to school but it didn’t work out that way,” Lowery said. “They said if they had gotten to me when I was three years old that it would have been more successful but my mom said we just didn’t have enough faith then. I told my mamma don’t worry about it because I got a very good education.”

Lowery has been writing poetry in Braille since the fifth grade.

“The first really serious poem I wrote I was in the fifth grade and my teacher wanted us to write a Christmas story. I said ‘I cannot write a story, but I think I can write a poem,’” Lowery said. “(My teacher) really encouraged me in my poetry writing and I’ve been doing it ever since. I love writing. I love my poems. It’s my therapy really.”

Lowery started to read when she was 7 years old and had to practice both reading and writing.

“It did not take me very long at all (to read and write),” Lowery said. “It took me really just a couple of weeks. I wanted to read so badly and I wanted to go to school with my sister and learn to read so when I finally had the chance to learn to read, I took it to my heart.”

Taking moments in life and applying them to paper is very therapeutic for Lowery. She is currently staying at Crowne for her husband, who is also visually impaired.

“We were living in Brantley, and my husband was in the Luverne Nursing Home and I brought him home,” Lowery said. “Not long after I brought him home, I fell and broke my hip and things went downhill after that and I got to where I couldn’t take care of him by myself.

“I said ‘When you go to a nursing home again, I will go with you and I will stay with you.’ Now my husband has cancer and he has chosen not to have any treatments. I’m keeping that promise. I took that vow in sickness and health until death do us part and I’m going to stick to that.”

And she plans to keep on writing.