Dedicated to my Grandma Joyce. One who has always led with love and shown unconditional kindness, joy, strength, grace, and integrity throughout her life. May we all strive to be more like you.
We lost an integral part of our family last week, my Grandma Joyce, and over the weekend we celebrated her amazing, very accomplished life. I had the blessing of being one of grandma’s many beautiful grandchildren and over the past 26 years, she has had quite an impact on my life. An impact that is sometimes hard to put into words but hopefully shown through the best parts of all of her children and grandchildren. I’ve learned a lot from grandma over the years but a couple of things she’s taught us really stand out.
I’ll start with something she instilled in her grandchildren from a very young age which is the importance of saving and investing. Our gift for being born into this world was a transfer of shares from her favorite stock investment- RPM. Throughout our childhood, we would always grumble when she insisted our birthday and Christmas money be put away in stocks. She always said we would thank her when we were older and when we were buying our first car, we sure did.
Grandma Joyce taught me how to plan! I mean really plan. She was a planner all the way down to her own funeral. My grandmother has been preparing herself and us for her passing for 10 years now. Ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer she was determined to make her passing as easy as possible on everyone she loved. She’s always been a caretaker and never wanted to be the one taken care of. Every detail of her showing and funeral was a result of grandma’s planning and her family’s execution. She made name tags for our family to wear during her showing and gave them to us at Christmas 8 years ago. She made us wear them at Christmas dinner that evening to practice for the inevitable day. She wanted everyone to know exactly who was part of her big beautiful family she was so proud of. Grandma ingrained planning and preparation into us so much so that I started writing my grandma’s celebration of life speech while she was still alive. I shared it with her as I think people should know how you feel and the impact they’ve made before they’re gone. Grandma went as far as to plan a whole luncheon for us at the country club after her funeral, she never missed a detail! No amount of preparation and planning could prepare us for the void that is left after her passing though.
Grandma Joyce was a rare light in this world. She was bounding with energy and radiating positivity. Part of the reason the Bettinger family walks so fast is we were always trying to keep up with her! She made each and every one of her grandchildren feel so loved and special and I’m sure the same sentiment can be extended to her friends. Her family was truly her pride and joy. She often reminded us how beautiful the Bettinger family is on the inside and out- especially on the out 🙂 How could we not be coming directly from her genes? Whenever I was lacking confidence, I’d call grandma and she’d immediately remind you of the special person you are. She’d also remind you of those God given beautiful Bettinger legs you have. These legs that came directly from grandma and the same legs that will continue to carry us forward each day after she’s gone. Grandma was quick to praise and just as quick to tell us when she disagrees with something we did or were planning to do. I loved her brutal honesty. As sad as I feel, I know her bright light will continue to guide me.
I want to share a few of the most important things I’ve learned and many others have probably learned from Grandma Joyce over the years, that I hope we continue to pass on:
- First and foremost: God is so good and life is so good. Give praise to the one who provides and keep your family close in this good, good life.
- Your attitude can change a bad situation into an opportunity. We saw this as grandma showed her strength and grace when she was battling cancer with a brave smile. Four times.
- Live each day to the fullest because wow even living to 90 years of age this life still goes by fast.
- We are all winners, except when playing grandma in ping pong. You were always the loser then. Grandma believed in each and every one of us and is still cheering us on to our wins, something she’s always done so perfectly.
- Live, love, laugh and socialize! Laughter is always the best medicine and family and friends are always the best company.
I know my grandma is still with us. In the sunshine, in the smiles of strangers, on the golf course, in everything that is good in this world. She will always be with us guiding us to live our best life. As her at home answering machine has said for as long as I can remember- Life is good, so enjoy the day.
Here’s to grandma and celebrating her amazing life. To all those who have had the blessing of getting to know and love her, may we continue to lead our own lives with her guiding light.