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Farewell to Edwarda

In 1995, I first heard the amazing story of a family who had been caring for their comatose daughter for 25 years. The daughter, Edwarda O’Bara, had slipped into a diabetic coma at the age of 17. Her mother, Kaye, had promised that she would not leave her daughter’s side and, true to that promise, she cared for her daughter at home until her own death five years ago. Edwarda O’Bara passed away on November 21, 2012, 42 years after becoming comatose. Edwarda’s sister Colleen called to tell me. Colleen had been lovingly caring for Edwarda since their mother’s death.

My introduction to the O’Bara family in 1995 led to a lifelong friendship with these beings of love and light. My wife Marcelene and I wrote a book called A Promise Is a Promise about the remarkable devotion of Kaye O’Bara and the lessons to be learned from her about unconditional love. “I’m doing what I think I should do,” she wrote. “All I ever wanted in life was to have two girls. God was very good and granted me my wish. So, if He gave me what I wanted, then I feel I should care for Edwarda until He is ready to either heal her, or take her to heaven.” Kaye continued to care for her daughter in all ways—with music and stories and conversation and celebration—in the hope that she was always present and aware.

The expenses for Edwarda’s care were great and fell entirely upon her family. They cared for her at home, feeding her and turning her to prevent bedsores every two hours around the clock. Dr. Louis Chaykin, I call him “a saint with a stethoscope,” donated his services in overseeing Edwarda’s care. All proceeds from my book A Promise Is a Promise (available from Hay House) go to the O’Bara family.

My family and I had wonderful times with the O’Baras as they celebrated Edwarda’s birthday each year in March. We told Oprah about Edwarda and she also came to visit the family. Edwarda and her family became a symbol of faith for many over the years. The example of the O’Baras’ unconditional love and faithfulness to a promise was always an inspiration to me. I include their story in the new book I am writing about my life lessons. My 1996 book about the family marked a turning point in my life. A Promise Is a Promise was one of my first books with Hay House and my first work entirely devoted to charity. The book is all about giving and the mantra of the highest self, “How may I serve?”

We send our love and condolences to the O’Bara family and send them heartfelt thanks for their shining example of the very best we can be in service to one another.

Comments (16)

  • 1.

    January 30, 2013
    12:11 pm

    The spreading of love begins with one. Thank you for sharing .

    – Siem
  • 2.

    January 30, 2013
    12:13 pm

    Thank you Wayne! I am going to get that book.

    – James
  • 3.

    January 30, 2013
    12:52 pm

    Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. Thank you O'Bara family

    – Raymond
  • 4.

    January 30, 2013
    8:59 pm

    Love has no conditions, this isn't a story. A realty that contains pure love that is inside all of us, thanks for sharing Dr.Wayne Dyer...Love you

    – Mitra
  • 5.

    January 31, 2013
    7:35 am

    A very powerful love....thank you for sharing...

    – Cyndi
  • 6.

    January 31, 2013
    9:45 am

    When tragedy touches you that is when your soul really awakens. When that happens, answering the question "How may I serve?" takes us out of our own realm of troubles.

    – Ann
  • 7.

    January 31, 2013
    1:31 pm

    ....because the greatest is LOVE!

    – dp
  • 8.

    January 31, 2013
    1:58 pm

    Thank you Wayne. Read the news a while ago about Edvarda. Remembered reading your fantastic book. Now I teach by being, a promise is a promise... Re-listened to the book, and it still touches me deeply. What a family. Thank you Wayne, thank you O`Bara family. With light, love and peace. Namaste!

    – Harald
  • 9.

    February 2, 2013
    4:00 pm

    When I was a kid growing up I felt the world had me in its grip. Then I had a child of my own and the feeling got worse. My deepest sympathies to the O'Bara family.

    – Dennis
  • 10.

    February 3, 2013
    9:57 am

    My condolences to the O'Bara family. Such a caring and deeply loving family.

    – kim
  • 11.

    February 3, 2013
    8:55 pm

    What I love about this story is Edwarda reaching out and revealing herself in spirit to Sands, while she was still in the coma...and how that has possibly shaped his beliefs. She was serving you too, in gratitude for your kindness. Very nice.

    – Penny
  • 12.

    February 4, 2013
    9:39 am

    Thank you Wayne Dyer for changing my life when I first with the help of synchronicity picked up "You'll see it when you believe it" and now "Wishes Fulfilled" ....life altering and inspiring.

    – Kim
  • 13.

    February 4, 2013
    11:13 am

    My heart and prayers go out to the O'Bara family . I'm going to buy the book today. Thank you for telling this beautiful story of love.

    – rhonda
  • 14.

    February 6, 2013
    2:31 pm

    My prayers and good wishes go with the family during their time of mourning. Namaste!

    – Joseph Wadas
  • 15.

    February 10, 2013
    8:30 am

    A Promise is A Promise was given to grandparents of a couple who adopted their blind,deaf,granddaughter who also could not walk . I met them just after reading this wonderful book and gave it to them, That was years ago, we still stay in touch. The book (your best) touched their lives. Thankyou

    – joyce miles
  • 16.

    February 10, 2013
    12:23 pm

    Wandering on the Way (Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu) by Victor H. Mair, University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)

    – pm

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