Barbara has shared many difficult moments in her life, but she says writing about her intellectually impaired sister was the only thing that made her cry in the process of creating her book. Jackie had such a huge influence on her life, Barbara says she almost called her memoir Sister.
"I loved my sister. I was ashamed of her. People didn't understand. ... She stuttered terribly. People made fun of her. People made fun of me. I didn't bring friends home," she says. "I felt terribly guilty because she was very loving, and I didn't always feel that way."
Knowing Jackie would probably never have children, Barbara says she named her daughter after her sister. "I wanted her to feel she had my Jackie," she says.
Jackie also influenced Barbara's career path. "Part of the drive and part of the having to work and everything was because I had to take care of my sister," she says. "I think anyone who has a sibling who is in any way disabled ... there are those moments when you go, 'It's too much.' When I think of her, because she was beautiful and loving and all of that, it makes me cry."