Our family is incredibly close and tight-knit, and she was the matriarch. Her passing will leave a huge void. Bettye was 84, just a few weeks away from turning 85. She was the last of what I refer to as my Women of Great Influence--Mom, Meko (my grandmother), Aunt Jean, and Aunt Bettye. Mom, her sisters and my grandmother had more impact on my life than any other force or person I have met. While I have been influenced by others, these women placed their mark on me early on and helped make me the woman I am today.
At her funeral yesterday, my cousin asked my sister and I to share some memories and thoughts. I shared a story about one of her favorite phrases, "Hell's Bells," that she quit saying when her youngest son brought home a picture he drew of the family with those words in a bubble above Aunt Bettye's head--she was mortified! My point was to reflect that while she was human and a sinner, she was always receptive to change if it made her a better person. My sister told about each of the Women of Great Influence by using one word that best described each of them--for Aunt Bettye, it was Grace. Our uncle, Aunt Bettye's baby brother, told one of the best stories--when her future husband, Buddy, began courting her, he would walk across town to see her (he didn't have a car). They would sit together in the living room on the sofa and my uncle, who was a little boy at the time, would hide behind the sofa. Buddy would give our uncle a quarter to hide while he and Bettye were on the sofa. After Buddy left, Bettye would find our uncle and make him give her the quarter!
I closed out our memories by reading Proverbs 31. It was the first thing that came to mind when my cousin asked me to speak, and when I told Bettye's former pastor that officiated what my plan was, he said, "Perfect."
There's so much more to say about Aunt Bettye. She was a gracious Southern lady and was loved by many.
One day I will tell more stories about my Women of Great Influence, but in the meantime, here are some photos of Bettye:
|The Homecoming Queen|
|High School Senior Portrait|
|New business school graduate in her new suit, and standing in front of my mother.|
So no progress on Love Endures, and it's due Monday. It's on the longarm and that's as far as I got last week. Here's hoping I can get it done this weekend.