I (Lois) grew up knowing Betty Ruth because she went to my church. Betty Ruth and Neal had 3 children: their oldest and only daughter, Kathy, would some day become my sister-in-law. Kathy was 13 years younger than me and married my husband's baby brother, Bill.
While expecting their second child, Kathy developed a brain tumor. Little Rachel was born and the testing began. That is when I really got to know Betty. Betty's strength and endurance never wavered as for 5 years she assisted Bill in every way with Kathy's care. As the entire family gathered around Kathy's deathbed at St. Margret's Hospital, Betty sat at her head. We lingered all day, saying our good-byes and supporting Kathy. Finally, I heard Betty Ruth say to Kathy, "is Jesus coming for you?" Kathy smiled. Betty Ruth said, "then go to Jesus." And Kathy was gone. For the last 14 years, Betty stood in as a mother to Ryan and Rachel. Through her words and behavior we all saw her remarkable love for Jesus Christ as her Savior and Redeemer. Then Betty Ruth was diagnosed with cancer. She continued with the same attitude of pushing forward and living the life out of each new day. On two occasions she came as an inspirational speaker for our Patient Support Group. On April 17, 2008 she told the group that she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had 3 months to live. The patients hung on her every word as she said, "I'm not afraid to die--this world is not my home. I'm just passing through."
On June 7, 2009, the Lord called Betty Ruth home in a very special way. She was at home, in bed and not hungry for lunch. As she and Neal watched TV, Betty Ruth said "Dear, give me a kiss, I'm going home." Within the hour she joined Kathy in Heaven.
I personally feel so blessed to have had Betty Ruth in my life. If her name were in Hebrews 11 it might sound like this:
By faith Betty Ruth put God first in every situation of her life, taking the diagnosis of cancer and fighting it's effects with all of her might, sending her daughter, Kathy, before her into an inheritance that would never fade, and by faith Betty Ruth waited patiently to the very end to be taken home by Jesus Christ, her Savior.
Hallelujah and Amen to a life well lived!!!