Saturday, September 26, 2009

Grandma Betty

When Hottie Husband and I started dating in high school, one of the first things I loved best about him were his grandmothers. At that time, his maternal and paternal grandmothers were both alive as well as two great-grandmothers. None of my grandmothers were still living so I wanted them to all adopt me as their own. They eventually did and for that I am grateful.

This is Grandma Betty. She is one of the most amazing people I know.
Her 81st birthday was yesterday.

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She is absolutely in love with Little Bear and will hold him any chance she gets.
I try to pop by her house when he is awake so they can spend time together.

Let me share this incredible woman with you...

She has amazing strength and a servant's heart in her chest. She will do anything to help. When HH and I were first married, she came over and helped move large rocks to a pile in the driveway to help us with some landscaping. This made me a nervous wreck, but HH thought nothing of it because he had seen her do things like this since he was a child. He was used to her being a worker and just jumping in without a fuss. His mother is the same way.

She is thin as a rail, but her strength and endurance are amazing. When she has the family over for dinner, we can never get her to sit down to eat. She is always making sure everyone has everything they need. I think last night was the first time I have ever seen her eat her dinner and it was because it was her birthday and we forced her. She was still last.

Here are a few of her things she gave me permission to share with you...


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Can you tell what her favorite color is?

You guessed it! She is the ultimate Purple Lady.
Her closet is full of purple clothes and her house is full of purple items.

And she still drives this cool little PT Cruiser.
My kids used to call it the PT Woozer.
They love it when, from time to time, she picks them up from school in it.

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I think the thing that defines her most is her love story.
She is deeply in love with Hottie Husband's grandfather.
His name is Hugh and here is a picture of them together. This is what they looked like when I first met them.
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They met when she was just thirteen and he was fourteen.
This is a photograph of them at that age.
They had their first date at those tender ages and never dated another.
They were crazy about each other from the start.
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They did have to be briefly separated one time when he was still fourteen. Hugh had called Betty on the telephone, but her sister had answered. Teasing him, the sister had said that another boy was after Betty. Well, Hughie, as everyone called him, got in a car and was racing to her house when he was caught by the police. They sent him "away" so Santa Barbara. She still has the letters he sent to her during that time.

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She cut pieces of some and put them together like this.

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Isn't that beautiful?
Hughie's parents wouldn't let them get married until he turned twenty, so three days after his twentieth birthday, they were married.

These are some of her treasures from him. The heart is the first gift he ever gave her and the footballs are awards of his from high school.
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Hughie and Betty had four children together and years that were not always easy. But, their love for each other never wavered. When Betty was still working and he was retired, he would get up every morning, make her coffee and start her car for her.

On Valentine's Day, two weeks before Jackie Boy was born, Grandpa Hughie gave Grandma Betty two gifts in the morning. He gave her a new purple wallet and a purple purse. Later that day, he died quickly and peacefully in the waiting room of a doctor's office. It was a complete shock to us all, especially Grandma Betty. I remember her being so graceful and composed and her worrying about pregnant me when I sobbed. She took care of everyone else at her most painful moment.

Just the other day, she told me it had always been their plan that she was going to go first. Sometimes when she speaks of Hughie, you can tell that she is just waiting to be with him again.
We commiserated about how blessed we both were to love and be loved like that.

Wanting to learn more about her, I asked her what her favorite thing was. She doesn't like to throw anything away, so I was curious how she would narrow it down. But, she had found something very special recently. It was a postcard from her father to her mother.

Then, she couldn't remember where she had put it and it bothered her. She searched all day and was so happy to share it with me when she found it. I'm so glad she did.

This is the front of the postcard. I love the poem.
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It was sent in 1914 and it cost two cents.

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He wrote- I am still waiting to get a real long letter from my baby doll. I am getting awful lonesome.


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Last night as Grandma Betty's son said a prayer over her birthday meal, he said,
"Dad was our hero, but Mom is our heart."



27 comments:

Liberty said...

What a beautiful blogpost!! Thank you so much for sharing! :))

Popping in from SITS

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

What a fabulous post. Made me think back to my days w/my grandma's. Those are great memories. Happy Saturday Sharefest over @ SITS!

thatgirlblogs said...

Inspired. Beautiful photos - esp their hands.

I throw everything away. I should be more like Gramma and keep our letters for our kids one day... or is it email?

Angie S said...

Great story! Wow...she is amazing!

Cougar Tales said...

This is beautiful. My favorite part is the old letters.
- Cougs
www.cougar-tales.blogspot.com

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh Brigetta that was the sweetest thing ever. I love to hear life stories as precious as that. She reminds me of my both of my grandma's...the love they had for their husband's, their strength and grit. Just a lovely tribute to a beautiful lady:) Make sure she reads your post. She would be so proud.

Foursons said...

This gave me chills. Both my husband's parents and my father have passed. I am so grateful that my mom is still here. But I am sad that my children do not get to have a relationship with their grandparents.

donahugh43 said...

You made me cry, but thank you.I am so blessed to have her.

New England Girl said...

What a beautiful and touching post about a truly remarkable woman. I loved all of the photos and the sweet stories about her life and loves. Happy Birthday to her. :)

Jesslikesstuff said...

Wow. I am so glad you stopped by my blog because if you hadn't I may not have found my way to this beautiful story about that remarkable woman. It brought tears to my eyes, and I'm not a teary eyed person!! What an awesome lady. How lucky your children are to have a great grandmother, particularly one in such great shape and with such a big heart! Those love letters and that story is priceless. Enjoy her sooo much (clearly you do!). I grew up with no grandparents or great grandparents so I know how special it must be to have that in your life. Amazing. I'll be following your blog.

Marketing Mama said...

What a beautiful, touching post. She seems like an amazing woman and what a great love story! :)

Michele said...

Okay, I'm totally crying now. I just love stories like hers, and what a gift to have her in your family! She must know that poem, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"? Reminds me of my grandmother who is now 93!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

I agree with everyone else. What a lovely post! I, too, recently posted a photo of my grandmother's hand holding the hand of my 18-month-old twin boy. Yours is truly going to be a keepsake!

The Whispering Creek House said...

This is so beautiful Im crying! I am so fortunate to be loved like this by my husband too. This is a love story..and it is wonderful!

Marcela Beatty said...

Loved reading this! SO special! I love grandma's too!

Life is good! said...

i love your grandmothers hands. what a wonderful person she is. thanks for sharing!

Kathleen said...

That's a beautiful post, Brigetta!

Nanette on The Hill said...

Brigetta... You are such a Precious Darling Wonderful Person, I am so thankful to have you in my life. I love you sweetheart. Thank you for writing such a beautiful story about my Mom, It will be something I will treasure forever. I sure do love that Lady and miss my Dad so very much but It felt good to hear and read their love story once again. Thank you Brigetta Iam proud to call you my neice... Xo

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Donna said...

Brigetta,
This post made me cry today. My Grandmother would have been 86 next month, but we lost her a year and a half ago.

Thank you for bringing up good memories.

Lisa said...

Wow amazing. My grandparents past away when i was really young. Your lucky to get to know so much history behind your family!

I wish I could hear stories told by my MOm.

Kim said...

What a beautiful post! You're so very lucky to have a woman like that in your life.

mumof2boys said...

How beautiful. My Nanna had her one and only, but lost him when she was in her 60's, she lived until two weeks before her 95th birthday. In the hours before she passed she was calling out my Pop's name and telling him she was coming to see him. It was the sweetest (and saddest moment) of my life.

Synergy Girl said...

What a moving post...sigh...this just makes me realize how short life is, and how very far away my grandparents are. The life experiences they share, and their long years of wisdom are such a treasure, and I am so glad you are so close to her!! What neat pictures you have as well!!

denise said...

What a sweet story of how marriage is meant to be. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing.

I love the pictures too...especially Grandma holding Little Bear. What a treasure.

Mel Heth said...

This made me cry. I hope Grandma Betty got to read it.