grandma betty

this is a post i have been hoping i wouldn’t have to write, the loss i wish i wasn’t experiencing, the type of news no one hopes to share.

my longest living relative passed away last wednesday. her name was betty lee gabel and she was my grandma.

in her memory, i would like to share a little about her. mostly because she was a fantastic, amazing, exuberant, whitty, super fun, ball of awesomeness and deserves more than a little shout out.. but also because i didn’t get to say goodbye and if the internet floats above me then it must be closer to heaven (or whatever place spirits reside once released from the body) than i can reach. maybe it will get to her.

my grandma betty was a story teller, her memories were filled with vivid and often hilarious details; and boy did she know how to deliver a punchline.
my grandma betty taught me how to play poker and how to shuffle cards the proper way, bridge and all.
she taught me how to burp secretly, as a “woman should” when i was about 8 years old.
she laughed out loud every time someone went to take her photo, every smile was genuine.
she worked her ass off in a factory making turkey timers for years to provide for her family.
she was as sharp as a tack, always had a puzzle going and did crosswords constantly.
if i could sing her a song, it might be ‘oh you fancy huh’.
my grandma betty was a record keeper. she kept her food ration stamps from the war, and all of the love letters my grandpa wrote to woo her with.
she raised my dad (for those who know him, you know how GRAND of a feat that truly is).
my grandma betty had the greatest sense of humor, sometimes a little raunchy, which made it even funnier.
she was a gem and just a down right pleasure to be around.
she was loving and sweet and full of happiness.
my grandma betty had type 2 diabetes, and no diabetes related complications.
her obituary names diabetes hands foundation as the benafctor of any in honor of contributions made in her name.
my grandma betty had a beautifully long, rich life.
she passed peacefully, ready for and unafraid of whatever is waiting for her.

if my time turner necklace worked, i would go back to before she passed and say i love you one last time. i would thank her for being such a strong independent woman. i would thank her for having enough patience and courage to raise my dad 😉 (with the help of my aunt beanhead of course). i would do everything possible to express gratitude every single one of her life choices, and thus for my existence. i would tell her that she was the perfect grandma and that i am honored to be her descendent.


i would tell her that should i ever have a daughter, her name will be betty lee.

i hope you are up there doing cartwheels, grandma.

i’ll look forward to meeting you again.

11 thoughts on “boop-oop-a-doop

    • Thank you Scott. She did influence me in all the best kinds of ways. She said ‘diabetis’ all the time just to make me laugh. i’m really going to miss her.

  1. I’m just catching up on some reading…so sorry to hear about your grandma – she sounds amazing, and like such a supportive voice in your life and who you’ve become. I lost my own Mamaw 15 years ago, and still “talk” to her on a regular basis. (And named my daughter after her 🙂 ) The loss is so painful, but the joy and memories are so worth all the love, and will be with you forever.

    • Thank you Rhonda. It is great to feel support from the community, especially from people like you who share a common experience. Sincerely, thank you your words. They offered permission to hold on to her memory. I needed that. ❤

      • I also wore my Mamaw’s wedding band every single day while I was trying to get pregnant, and throughout my pregnancy (until I couldn’t wear rings.) Most definitely, you have permission to feel her and embrace her memory any time you want. At times, the memories of my Mamaw are what get me through some tough experiences, and since she also had diabetes, her courage to live and survive with it in such an era without the medical advances we have make me strive to do better with my diabetes, and get out of the burnout pits when they happen.

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