A long time friend . . . like from 50+ years, passed away this morning due to Covid. It wasn’t totally unexpected. She’s been in ICU and on a vent for weeks but the family has held out hope til the end. She’d appear to be getting better and then have a setback.
I went to high school with this lady and her husband. Betty was two years behind me and in the same class with my sister and they were friends so I got to know her then through my sister. Her husband, Mitch, was one year behind me and everyone in school knew him. They were truly high school sweethearts and if you saw them at any time, you’d think they were just dating. They loved each other with the kind of love, devotion, admiration that most of us, even those of us with good marriages, wish we had.
They had 9 children . . all biological children. They are all good . . I want to say kids but the older ones are pushing middle age now. The entire family does a tremendous amount of social work, donations, just good in the community where they live.
The last time I knew, they had 54 grandkids . . maybe more now.
Mitch built our purple Victorian house and in the probably 18 months of planning and getting that house built, the four of us took weekend trips to Houston often to look at houses, get ideas, look for old doorknobs, etc. It was during that time that we got to know them as adults and then stayed in contact.
But, the greatest thing ever – Betty’s effort and the work she did through a church sponsored help group for unwed mothers is the only reason I have Chad today. Without Betty, it just would not have happened. I was taking some night classes at the local university. It was December near the end of the semester and I got home one night about 9:30 p.m., listened to messages on the answering machine – before cell phones – and Betty had left a message that she thought she had a baby that we would be able to adopt. “Call me when you hear this . . no matter how late it is.” I called her, got all the details she could share. My ex was out of town. I called him . . by then it was close to 11 p.m. I shared everything I could remember with him, called Betty back and said YES. Two weeks later, we got the call that we had a son. The process of placing a baby was a long one and this baby and a home for this baby (Chad) had already been completed but at the last minute, for reasons unknown to me, that family couldn’t take the baby. Betty knew we were good people, could easily pass all the background checks and she knew we had considered adopting.
I know I’ve told Betty a million times how much I appreciate what she did and that getting Chad, of course, changed my life for the better in ways I could never have imagined. I wish I could tell her one more time! She didn’t need to hear it; she knew . . but I wish I could have said it one more time.
I went back last night and read some of our old FB messenger conversations. She was an amazing person and will be missed by so many, especially her husband of almost 50 years, her precious children and grandchildren.
I was going to say I’m a better person because of having known Betty but that doesn’t even start to cover it . . I wouldn’t be a mom or a grandma had it not been for her. She will always have a very special place in my heart.
If you’re a praying person, please say a prayer for Mitch Martin and their family.