Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweet Betty

Angel given to me by Betty  
She sent it over to me without even knowing me

Jesus came for sweet Betty.  Betty taught me so much about surviving cancer-
I wish I had her longer.  How am I going to do this without her?  Oh I'll miss her so much- She gave me so much.  I'm hurting today. 

I'm so blessed to have last spoken to her after my Doorways weekend.  Betty was the one who told me about Doorways.  We talked on the phone for 2 hours- the longest we ever got to talk on the phone.  We talked about Doorways and how much we learned from it.  She talked about Earl (her late husband),  Rob and Lucas.

We discussed reading the bible and she told me she had read it at least 11 times now.  She said I should around Christmas time- read the Christmas story in the bible.

We spoke about meditation and Dr. Wayne Dyer- she was reading one of his books.  For being 84 years old she sure was young.  She got me going to different things like a Survivor dinner, Relay for Life and Doorways.  She got a new computer and she was going to start googling she tole me because she had some things she wanted to know.  She was so willing to learn about whatever she could.  I will never forget at the Relay for Life- she was intrigued by Lucas' silly bands.  Watching Lucas explain them to her was so sweet.  I'm so glad Lucas got to meet her.

On the phone we also got to talk about feeling God and not being afraid to die.  I got to share my story about Jesus and the wonderful unexplainable feeling I had one night when I know he was talking to me.  She told me about a time when her mom was sick right before a holiday and they were unsure if she was going to make it.  Well Betty at the time just popped up and said, "She's going to be OK and I'm going to go buy her a dress."  Betty just knew in her heart that her mother was going to be OK.  She said at the time she had no idea why she even said that but that she just had a feeling.  We talked about intuition actually being a sense of God.  She told me about how she believed Earl was with her and the little gifts that were sent her way so she would know.  Like the squirrel with the weird tail that Earl liked or the day Price Chopper sent her the flowers Earl always sent.

We talked about Mother Teresa- How Teresa struggled for not being able to feel God and how that was ok.

I'm so lucky to have met Betty.  She reached out to me a total stranger and gave me so much. 

Betty took me to lunch after all my treatment was done and it was lovely. When she got in the car she gave me a gift of note cards with my name on it (this was the card I wrote my note to my doctor on).  She looked at me and said, "You know you're going to be OK."  "I know you are because of your attitude."  She always spoke to me about attitude towards things.  I will always remember her story when she had woken in the hospital and her family was around with long faces.  See they all knew about the cancer by then.  Betty said to herself "Lady there's two ways this can go"- well as you can guess by now Betty took the high road and she made it. 
At lunch she said, "Now I want you to start forgetting about all this cancer stuff, you and I will talk about different things now".  "Your going to go on with your life now".   She asked me to pray for a friend of hers- that she loved and hoped would be ok.  She was so caring and loving to so many people.
After lunch we went back to her house where we had dessert.  We ate Banjos (she called them-chocolate covered ice cream on a stick).  As we ate them she told me about getting into painting and doing things around my house I enjoyed and she showed me her paint kit.  When we finished the Banjos she cleaned her stick and mine and told me to store them with my own little paint kit to stir my paints.  I'll never forget the article she sent me on jewels because my favorite Audrey Hepburn was in it.  She was so smart and frugal.   She told me to save my money- and sometimes instead of giving money to an organization you can when you run into someone with a problem or sickness just give them some money.  I will cherish my Atta Girl she sent me after finishing treatment.  I will now start that tradition with my family.  She talked with me about sometime going to Kelly's with her and her family, how to reheat pizza on the stove, eating my fruits and veggies, never doing tit for tat with your husband and so much more.  I hope I never forget any of it.  She took me under her wing and told me to call her anytime I was down or scared- after I told her I went off my zoloft.  She had so much knowledge- I remember one time she said to me "Do you know your body is creating new cells all the time and do you know that your body completely renews it's self every 7 years?" "Think about that."  She was always learning and sharing.

Betty loved her kids and grandchildren so much and they cherished her - you could tell.  Family was so important to Betty and she had created a wonderful family.

Betty also loved Engelbert Humperdinck!  I will listen to him when ever I want to think about Betty sitting in her kitchen with me having coffee.

Rob and I attended a Survivor Dinner with Betty and her son and it was so fun.  She was so young at heart and before the dinner we spoke about what we would be wearing- both of us black dresses.  Betty in black- what a classic girl.  She always told me little things I could do for Rob and Lucas.  She missed Earl so very much and reminded me how lucky I was.  Her only complaint was that at times she was lonesome, but she only mentioned it once and it was very quickly.

Rob was so fond of Betty as well.  Now whenever I'm whining Rob will say- Think about Betty.  He knew she was strong.

She had a book going of "Good Things" that happened to her that she wanted to remember.  She told me if she is ever confined to a bed she could pull out that book and read it.  She was a very smart lady.  I had hoped her never to be confined to a bed.  Cancer can be a very cruel disease, but Betty beat it!  So happy was I that she didn't die from cancer.   To know she passed in her sleep makes me happy and it is proof that God was kind to her for all the good she left on this planet. 

This quote seems to sum up what I learned from Betty:

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it."
— Mother Teresa

God Bless you Betty and enjoy your Earl!
At Last...Heaven.
He's as beautiful as we thought- right?
I love you-
nudge me ever now and then when I'm lost and scared


Sista B said...

What a nice tribute to Betty. I even have tears and chills. She was a wonderful person with great spirits and wisdom. I think we can all learn from her, to live life every day as if it were our last and to embrace every day struggles. It's always nice to meet someone that can leave such a lasting impression. And the quote at the end summed up your tribute beautifully. Hugs to you and prayers to Betty and her family.

cpauline said...

Oh Danielle I am so thankful God put Betty in your life. One short year but what memories for a life time. I wish I had known her. What a tribute to life she was, God was shining through her. I know how much you enjoyed your times with her. I pray we all can live our lives the way she did, the way God wants us to. God blessed her and took her with much grace. Mom

amy said...

Danielle- that was so beautifully written. It brought a tear to my eye to read your words about her. When you said that she was there for you during your cancer I didn't know how much until this email. You have been so blessed to have known her and to have such a great friendship. I truly am sorry, she sounded like a wonderful soul. Keep her spirit and words with you as you go on in the days ahead. God bless you, her and her family as we know he will!