Last year I posted a blog about my sweet Grandma Betty, on her 92nd birthday. Today is her 93rd! Her story is worth retelling. Today, my mom, Uncle Gary (of Rescue Task Force), the girls and I will take lunch to her at her home, have some cake, and celebrate her 93 years. Here, again, is a tribute to this amazing lady whom I am so blessed to have in my life as my grandmother, cheerleader, and friend.
When I was growing up, I always thought that Grandma Betty and Grandpa Art were just the coolest people on Earth. And really, looking back, it’s pretty much true. Whenever they picked me up from school, I knew there would be awesome snacks and lots of playing in my afternoon. And by awesome snacks, I mean root beer floats, and by playing I mean ping-pong, smashball, or badminton in the back yard. One year they took me up to Calico Ghost Town over Memorial Day Weekend. When I was about twelve, they bought the grandkids bikes to keep at the house, so when I came over we could go for rides to the market or around the neighborhood. And we made countless trips in their motor home to Palm Springs, to Carson City, Nevada, to visit family, and to Newport Beach. They made 60 the new 40. Actually, they made 60 the new 30, since I’m almost 40 and can’t imagine doing all the things that they did!
Betty grew up on a farm in Iowa, but relocated to California following her fiancé, who was stationed here during World War II. He was deployed before she arrived, but she stayed in Long Beach, working an overnight shift at McDonald Douglas Aircraft throughout the war. After the war, she married my grandfather, had two kids, and moved out to San Bernardino, California, where she has lived ever since.
When her kids were little, she was a single mother, and sacrificed like you can’t believe just so her children would have food to eat. What has always stayed with her is her positive, spunky attitude, as my mom has often said that Grandma Betty made her childhood so good, she and her brother didn’t even realize that they were poor.
Today, this sweet little woman turns 93. And I am so grateful to have her in my life. I am so grateful that she has gotten to meet my girls. I love that they play in the same backyard that I did, with the same toys that I did, and they sit on the same patio, laughing and giggling with the same Grandma.
Grandma Betty’s mother, my Nana, lived to be 105 before she died in 1997. So on Mother’s Day last year, I told Grandma Betty that she still has 13 years to go… to which she replied “Oh no! Not that! I’m ready now! Jesus take me home!” And that truly is the defining characteristic of Grandma Betty: her unfailing faith in and love for her Savior, Jesus Christ. She tells anyone who will listen how Jesus has blessed her and blesses her still. She prays without ceasing, and I know it is those prayers that have sustained me during some difficult times in my life. But it is truly us, her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren who are blessed beyond measure to have this wonderful woman’s love in our lives.
Happy Birthday, Grandma Betty. We love you forever!