I’m beginning to severely dislike the month of November. My husband passed away 6 years ago in November, my father-in-law passed away last November and my grandmother-in-law passed away last week.

Grandma Betty’s passing hit me hard for several reasons. The first is a gift she possessed of loving everyone as if they were truly precious. To Grandma Betty everyone was truly precious, unless you got Bingo before she did and then it only lasted for a split second until her adorable cackle laugh would take over. Grandma was a wee bit competitive. She was one of the very few who never made me feel as if I was just an “in-law.” She loved me as she did everyone, completely and just for myself.

At 90 years of age Grandma Betty had a packed house memorial service. She was one of the tiniest women I’ve known but pound for pound her legacy was worth her weight in gold and then some. Grandma had 7 children, 20 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren, 10 great great grandchildren and 2 more on the way. And each one of these treasures of her heart, along with all of their spouses, loved this feisty, caring, special woman with a loving loyalty rarely seen these days.

You can’t help but smile when you picture the wonderful reunion Grandma Betty has had with all of her loved ones on the other side, several of whom she never expected to outlive: her youngest daughter, her oldest son-in-law and her oldest grandson. She has earned her rest and rather than say, “Rest in peace,” I know that this amazing woman will “Rest in joy,” as is my prayer for all of us.

My greatest source of grief with the passing of Grandma Betty isn’t for her loss of earthly life, it is that I did not take the time to truly cherish the gift that I’d been given when I married my late husband. I did not take the time to visit her. When I was in her company I loved every moment of our time together, but I did not pursue more of that time. I should have gone to visit her. I should have called her. My grief is in opportunities now forever lost. I know with unwavering certainty, however, that Grandma Betty will be waiting for me with arms outstretched to greet me when it is my turn to go Home!

Rest in joy Grandma!

Shelley Brandon

My bio is rather complex and like most people's starts at birth, or maybe before. I was adopted as an infant by very special and very loving parents. Pretty normal and average childhood with two younger brothers. Married at 22, motherhood at 25, divorced single parent at 29. Blessed at 31 with a new chance at love and the family I'd always wanted. Eight months later two of my sons lost their mother to pneumonia. Our blended family was tossed by the waves of grief from the beginning. The waves became a tsunami when my wonderful husband died 14 years later. Grief has been my shadow for nearly 20 years now, but life is still good when you're standing in the light.