My friend Bettie

In 1977, my life changed drastically. I was 27yrs old, and my husband left me and two daughters for a 17yr old girl that he got PG. Funny, how she had a "miscarriage" on the way to LasVegas for a quicky marriage the day after our divorce was finalized. Anyway, I was devastated. I'd been taking sign language classes at the local communitiy college in Omaha,NE. and it was there that I met my friend Bettie. She was a single mom with two kids about the same age as mine. I'd been not only physically abused for 81/2 yrs, but emotionally abused, which I find to this day, to be the most devastating kind of abuse to get over. (for me) My self esteeme was pretty low when I met Bettie. She was like a fresh breath of air. I'd never gone to a bar with a girlfriend before, having gotten married right out of HS. My ex took the girls every Sat for an overnight..and that's when Bettie asked me if I wanted to go have drinks. I told her that I didn't have any money..and she said "trust me, after buying one drink, you won't have to pay for another one." Didn't really understand that...but hey...it was true! I found out that I wasn't as ugly as my ex had portrayed me to be. It was pretty scary for me at first. My 1st dance at a bar..and the guy actually said to me "did you just get divorced?" Guess I wasn't a good "slow dancer" as I was shaking in my boots. I was very timid...and very shy. It was Bettie who got me out there and gave me courage to start living instead of cowarding alone at home. We did everything together...and I was introduced to her brother Jeff, who I dated on and off for about 5 yrs. I didn't have family in Omaha, so Bettie's family became mine. We hung out at her mom's house all of the time. (I worked and she babysat the girls for me) We always had so much fun together. We'd put on oatmeal masks and hang our heads over her moms bed to get the circulation going in our heads: played "Sorry" on the sidewalk in front of her mom's house while we "tanned" ourselves. When the summers grew unbarabley hot, I'd pack up the girls and spend the night at her house. She met her husband when we were taking sign language classes and had to go to a bar to get our "sign names" which can only be given to you by a deaf person. I decided that I needed to go back to school,and enrolled in dental assisting school. She was so happy when I graduated so she wouldn't have to hear me talk about teeth. Bless her heart....that was a whole lot of listening and gritting her teeth...I'm sure. I moved away from Omaha, but we've always kept in contact. She and her family came out her to go camping with Robert and I. She's the kind of friend that you can go a couple of years without hearing from each other, call, and pick up right where you left off.  About 10 yrs ago, Bettie had breast cancer and opted to have a lumpectomy..which is what her doctor recommended. About 5yrs ago, it reared it's ugly head, and she had a double mastectomy...and from there, it spread to her liver and into her bones. Countless rounds of Chemo, and other treatments, and today, I got an email from her son Tony, who said "mom has been given 6 months to live." I have been bawling ever since. I'd heard from her a couple of months ago and "no new tumors..and no growth." It's devastating because she is my oldest and dearest friend...and she has been fighting so hard for herself, her kids and her grandkids. I feel so terribly sad and it's like my mind is racing a mile a minute. All of these wonderful memories that we shared..the laughter and tears, frustrations and joys..that we went through together...and soon, she will be called home to be with the Lord. I've told her that I won't say "good-bye" but, "until we meet again." My sister, Bob and I said that to dad the day he died...and in knowing that to be true, there is some comfort...but I'm not ready to let go of my buddy...I don't want to think about it...because it hurts. What Bettie taught me, was how to gain back the self esteeme I'd lost. She taught me to have strength when I felt so weak and vulnerable. "Those were the days my friend...I thought they'd never end...those were the days, oh yes, those were the days..."

Replies

lovingautumn
lovingautumn

I\'m really sorry to hear this news. I don\'t have any magical answers that will make your sad feelings go away. I lost my mother last June to Leukemia and I had lost my mother in law 10yrs ago to her second round with cancer. The only thing I can make out of why such beautiful people end up being yanked from us,is that they have done what their mission in life was. My mom always said that God takes the \'good ones\' first. I\'ve been in a lot of pain today and I can tell you that I cannot wait until \'we meet again\'. I can only imagine how wonderful heaven must be like. It\'s been hard for me to help people who are going thru things I\'ve already gone thru lately because the loss of my mother has left me standing with my mouth hanging open. That and the deterioration of my own health. I am in a place where I can hardly think straight anymore. The one thing I can say is to make sure you say all the things you want to say and don\'t let anything get in the way of these last precious moments. It was hard for me to see my mom every day in the end. I stayed away days I shouldn\'t have...but it was so hard to watch her like she was.I\'m just glad I was with her as she exited this ugly world. I pray for peace,comfort and a surrounding of God\'s angels for you and yours
junipers
junipers

Thank you so much. I\'m sorry to hear about losing your mother. It\'s been 12 yrs since mom died suddenly and I still miss her and dad too. My comfort is in knowing that to be absent from me, means to be present with the Lord. I\'m dealing with Amy\'s (my daughter)mortality too. We all think we have time to talk to each other, laugh together, cry together, and then suddenly that is taken away from you. I thought I\'d see mom on Monday..she died on Tues and I didn\'t call her. They were just here for Christmas...then wham..Jan 5th..gone. I learned never to put off anything at all. It was hard for me to watch dad\'s health decline..but how blessed we were to have that time together. I had panic attacks,anxiety..and I think that\'s part of it..especially when it\'s family. I can understand what you felt like, because I felt the same way. Hey..I\'m always here if you want to talk...just knowing that someone cares & takes time to read your post helps so very much.
janiecf
janiecf

So sorry to hear this news. I had/have a friend like that through my hard times. I had numerous miscarriages and her husband went back to college and met another women ( I call her something else). WE would jog together and share everything.
She now has MS and i don\'t see her much, but when we do we remember the support and love we shared through those times.
My prayers are with you.
Hugs Janie
79pounds
79pounds

what a lovely friend and lovely memories. so glad i read this. please tell your friend to head for M.D. ANDERSON HOSPITAL in HOUSTON, TEXAS. they are the number one cancer research center in the united states!!! i know of several people who were told they had a few weeks to a few months to live and they went directly to houston and are still ALIVE NOW!!! please tell her. she will go there. sign a waiver form, as they go outside the guidelines to treat you. she will be there three months for daily radiation. SHE WILL LIVE if she goes there. she can\'t put it off though, she has to just get on a plane and GO!!
junipers
junipers

Thank you Janie. Everyone has that one very special friend who makes a real difference in your life. You look back the 33yrs we have known each other have flown by so quickly! I\'m glad that you have that very special friend in your life. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs back buddy!
junipers
junipers

Thank you 79pounds: I\'ll let her know. Cancer has spread throughout her whole body now..can they still help her if she\'s that far along? How much does it cost? She went to Cancer America and they gave her high doses of chemo and radiation treatment. She said she was so sick and weak the whole time she was there & would never go back. I hope she will consider this.
kasandra
kasandra

I have lost many people in my life time. I know your pain and I am so very sorry. I think the loss of a dear friend that close is like losing a family member. My heart goes out to you. I hope time will deaden the pain.

I am sending my love as a friend, and a hug to make you feel a little better.

God bless,
Sandy
junipers
junipers

God bless YOU Sandy! Thank you!