She was artistic, a really good cook, knowledgeable about birds and plants, and a bacteriologist who discovered a promising antibiotic during World War II. (Her bosses took the credit.)
She could sew just about anything, put an earthworm on a fishing hook, dress like a million bucks, navigate effortlessly in foreign countries, and decorate a room so it was memorable and always pretty.
When our child was having difficulty with the Periodic Table in Science class, she said, "Clearly, her teachers aren't teaching it right."
Advocate. Friend. Mother to me longer than my own mother was.
U of I grad. Southern Illinois girl. Wise in the ways of the stock market.
I have always admired those whose left and right brains work at full speed.
That was our Betty, whom we lost on Thursday.
Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. My mother-in-law, or belle-mère, as they say in France.
I will admit she was intimidating at first. She was dignified and formal. It would take time to figure out this independent and elegant woman. Detente was achieved just about the time we produced daughters on whom she could lavish love and attention. And time.
She went horseback riding with us in the Smoky Mountains. She spent a
She gave the greatest birthday gifts. And Christmas gifts. She was an expert shopper with a keen and discerning eye. She would tell the story of her "Piaget" watch (purchased on a street in Bangkok) that needed repair, so she had to drive at least an hour away to an anonymous jeweler who wouldn't blab about its real pedigree.
She could refinish chairs and tables and dressers. She arranged odds and ends from her yard into magnificent centerpieces. She designed every aspect of her home in Savannah, right down to the wood applique on the fireplace mantel, while laid up with a broken ankle.
Betty taught me how to quilt, and how to persevere.
I am grateful for the lessons. I will miss the teacher very much.
|Betty's 90th birthday|
Feb. 10, 2012