My mama always said that the older she got the more she had to say goodbye to her family and friends. I am finding out just how right she was. Still reeling from the unexpected death of my sister-in-law, yet another family member has died, this time from the ravishes of that hateful disease called cancer.
Betty Andrews was my first cousin. Her daddy and my mama were brother and sister. As a child, I remember going to Uncle James and Aunt Laura Sue’s house many times. Betty, her brother Bryan, my sister Debbie and I played outside around the barns of the farm on which they lived. Our family was crushed when Aunt Laura Sue passed away from cancer when I was only 14 and Betty was only 12. Betty and Bryan had stayed with us overnight and were in our home when their dad had to tell them their mom had gone to heaven. It was heart-wrenching and I can still hear the conversation and the tears that followed. My eyes fill up even now as I think about that Mother’s Day morning so many years ago.
Losing your mom at such a young age has to do something to a child. Betty didn’t let it make her bitter but rather rose above such feelings and became a strong woman who loved and cherished her own family in a remarkable way. How very blessed her family was to have her as their matriarch.
Back in the day, Betty, Anthony, Les, Stacey, and myself would go camping at the beach. We had some really good times. Stacey adored Betty and would spend time with her whenever she could. There was no better role model for our daughter than Betty. Like everyone else, the busyness of life and family caused those camping trips and other get-togethers to fall by the wayside, but my love for Betty and her family never waned.
It was my pleasure to have her for many years in the Bible study class I lead. She truly loved the Lord and had the courage to take a stand on what she believed. That is to be admired, especially in these days of doing what is right in our own eyes.
Betty was a woman of true grace and strong character. She cared deeply for others and was one of those thoughtful people who would do sweet things. A few months ago when Daddy was so sick, she came for a visit bearing a milkshake, which is one of his favorite things.
When she notified me some months ago that the cancer was back, we began praying for God’s highest in her life. I would text her to let her know she was on my heart and she would reply with concern for my daddy, Uncle Burnie. That was the Betty we knew and loved. She didn’t want the spotlight on herself.
Betty was a remarkable and God-fearing woman who walked some difficult paths in her short life here on this earth, but she walked each day with dignity and grace. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. I am proud that Betty was part of my family. Another gaping hole is left that only she could fill.
The good news is that Betty now sees Jesus face-to-face because she had a personal relationship with Him. And one day we will be reunited and have eternity to share the wonders of heaven together. She wouldn’t want me to end this post without asking you if you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? Jesus is the only way. Think about this carefully before it is too late.
Betty, Until we meet again, know you are loved and you will be sorely missed!!!
Lots of love, Sharon