Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Hello, My name is _______
You may be wondering to yourself …. Who is she? She’s not family? How does she know Betty? She does not even live around here. What could she possible have to say about Betty?

Mrs. B. was my Librarian.

(umm, now that I look around at all your faces that’s not saying much. At some point she probably helped everyone pick out a good book!)

Betty was a dear family friend and dare I say, like a Grandmother to me.

Perhaps I should explain – Betty has vacationed with my family for as long as I can remember. I think we started going to Maine when I was in 4th grade! In fact I’m not totally convinced that it wasn’t her who put Jeff Ward up to putting that Lobster in my bed. (But that’s another story). Betty went on all of our Whale Watches, relaxed in Maine, organized the food and festivities for the masses that would descend on the Balloon Festival, and taught me how to plan a proper week long 3rd of July Menu.

Betty was my daughters’ great-grandmother.

My oldest daughter inherited Betty’s passion for cooking for the one’s she loves. I recently told Betty she was turning into quite the Chef – and her face lit up in a smile!
Do you sense a trend?

Betty was a Chef.

My youngest, inherited Betty’s sweet tooth and LOVE of the Beach. Betty would say “You always must have just a little Sweet Smackeral after Dinner.”  On our annual pilgrimage to Maine, Betty would walk the Maine beaches religiously everyday explaining, “If you don’t use it you lose it!” In later years, when she had slowed down just a bit she loved to sit back and watch G. run like the wind on the beach and play in the waves.

I am confident that Betty can NOW again Smell, Taste, Eat, COOK, and even RUN like the wind on the beach.

Betty was my Mom’s dearest friend.

When my Dad passed away at such an early age you can imagine how worried I might be about my Mom being left so alone. At first I thought how can I leave her and go live 5 hours away? What will she do? But my initial concerns were brushed aside when I realized she had such a good friend like Betty around to keep her busy. They were always planning their next trip whether it be to a Balloon Festival, a Whale Watch, or a trip out to our lake cottage.
At one point Mom wondered if she should keep asking Betty on these excursions. Perhaps the trips were getting too rough on her?  And what about the long cross county trip to Albuquerque? Betty quickly squashed all those concerns saying
“Jane, if those RV wheels are a-rollin’ you had better slow down long enough for me to jump in!”
Betty was Jane’s co-pilot, in charge of navigation and of course the MENU. No one ever went hungry when Betty was around! It did not matter if we had only planned on Dinner for 4 and another 40 showed up. There was always miraculously plenty of food to go around.
I can only imagine Betty walking into Heaven’s kitchen, pulling up a stool, pulling out the Green Notebook and saying, “OK now.  Who is taking care of Monday?  Do we have
enough hard boiled eggs? Now, we can’t forget snacks, I’ll make some Sun Chipper Cookies and Creme D’ Menthe Brownies……  What else do we need? Are you sure we
will have enough?”
When I heard that Betty had passed, I called my High School buddy and fellow Whale Watcher, R, up to break the news…”Well…,” she said matter-of-factly,  ”we can only wish to be a little like Betty at 1/2 her age.”  How true. Well now come to think of it, R & I ARE just about 1/2 of Betty’s numerical age. As we read Betty’s obituary, we were reminded how courageous she truly was. We marveled over her ability to restart her life at the age of 44 and made us think what’s next for us?

Betty is an inspiration.

I don’t get home much anymore but I was just home this past October. (And yes, I still call Hartford my Home.) During the brief trip home, I had a nice visit with Betty. She was glad to be finally home and worried that her Post Star had not arrived yet. You see she had just returned home from a stay in a retirement home where I hear she was a little feisty.     Knnaawww not Betty 🙂

She said she did NOT belong there with all those OLD people!

And it reminded me of something I’ll never forget she said many years ago,

“You are only OLD  if you THINK you are old!”

I’m 40+ and I have to admit some days I feel old and achy. Then I remember Betty’s words and life.
To Betty’s Family, thank you for sharing Betty with us.
I would like to leave you with one last vision of Betty. There are many different shapes and colors of Hot Air Balloons. Some with rainbows, some plaid, even one shaped like Polar Bears, Castles, Noah’s Ark…  But there is one Hot Air Balloon in particular that we all seem to love and every time I see it I smile and naturally think of Betty.

Betty IS the Energizer Bunny. 

She keeps going and going and going…

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4 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend”

  1. Jula Says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear the news. My condolences to all the family.

  2. rob Says:

    made hard boiled eggs, last night, in betty’s memory! 😉

    • yarnleftovers Says:

      Excellent! Much to M’s relief, Grama does have THE Green Notebook full of memories and secret Recipes!!!
      I’m going to make some Sun Chipper Cookies and Chicken & Bulgur. YUMO.

      • rob Says:

        Your mom did tell me she had the book, on the phone the other day. Have an extra cookie for me. Betty always amazed me, how could her cookies actually be GOOD for you???

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