Today’s run was dedicated to a very special lady, Betty Johnson. Betty was my brother’s mother-in-law. My brother married into a family that meets every definition of what a family should be. I finally got the sister-n-law always wanted and luckily, I also was welcomed with open arms by her three sisters, her dad, and also by their matriarch, Betty. Betty holds a special place in my family’s hearts. Like my mom, Betty lived a very selfless life. There wasn’t a mean bone in her body. She treated everyone with respect and took time to be there for everyone in her life. Betty was a humble and gentle soul. My family and I miss her very much. Today’s run was dedicated in Betty’s memory. My blog today was written by her daughters and grandchildren. I am honoured, as my mom would also be, to have Betty a part of Sophie’s Run II.
Nicole, from your four sisters we are so very proud of you and know that you are an inspiration to us all. When reflecting on your first run with all of us being together in New York City, we would never have imagined that you would be running for our mom on this journey. Even though our Mom did not have your typical symptoms, an earlier colonoscopy may have detected the cancer, which shows the importance of sharing your experience and creating awareness of colorectal cancer.
We know you shared such a special bond with our Mom. When your Mom passed away she was there to support you through your good and sad times, but also when she became ill know that you were a huge comfort and support to her that we will always cherish.
As children we were so fortunate to be able to enjoy our grandparents that lived into their 90s. The hardest and saddest part for us all is not having our Mom see our children grow up. The time she spent with her grandchildren has left a lasting impression and instilled the values that were so important to her which they can now follow in her footsteps. Faith (Betty’s granddaughter) had an assignment at school and wrote about the “Most Important Adult” to her:
“The most important adult to me would be my Grandma. I called her Nanny. She was a very kind and helpful woman. She used to always volunteer at her church by cooking food and making costumes for their plays and nativities. She always put everyone before herself. She worked at a store and loved to sew. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger so I loved watching her make clothes and costumes. When I was younger, my mom had to go back to work early so she would always drop me and my brother off to my Nanny’s house. I spent most of my time at her house because I loved sleeping over there. I would always secretly use her lipsticks, but she could tell because it was all over my face. My cousin and I used to show her fashion shows while we were dressed in her overly big dresses and shows. My brother, my cousin, and I were the oldest so while our aunts were with the younger kids, we would be over at her house. My Nanny created this nativity at her church that still continues today that is called “Walk to Bethlehem” and it occurs every November. She made me go in it every year because my brother and cousin didn’t like speaking or performing in front of an audience. She made all of the costumes and ran the whole thing.
She was important to me because I spent so much time with her and she was basically my second mom. As I said before, she made clothes and costumes so she taught me how to sew and know because I wanted to be a fashion designer. She taught me so many things growing up that have really helped me. I was really close to her because when I moved into my new house, her and my grandpa stayed in the in law suite.
In October 2011, my Nanny got colon cancer. I was devastated. She stayed really strong always smiling bug she got weaker and weaker. Eventually, they put her in a Hospice because she was really weak. My family and I visited her every day. I told her all of the stories that happened on my Ottawa trip, because this was around the time. Every night before I left, I would read her a prayer that came from her prayer book. One night I was with my aunt when we got a call from my mom. She was crying, telling us to get straight to the Hospice. We got there and she was really weak. My dad didn’t want me to see her like that so he took me and my brother home. She passed away that night on Monday February 17th, 2013 and I took it really hard. I looked up to her and because we were so close it took me a while to get back to myself again. Even though she’s not here anymore, I still consider her the most important adult to me because she’s taught me so much and made a big impact on my life.” By Faith Parsons, Betty’s granddaughter.
Our Mom was the kindest, loving and selfless person we knew. As her daughters we can only hope to grow into the person that she was. We are at peace knowing she was so strong in her faith……We Miss you Mommy……we love you, we miss you each and every moment of the day. I know you are with us and watching over us, protecting us and keeping us healthy and strong. We aspire to be you and follow in your footsteps. You are an inspiration to us and everyone that you have touched. We will always love you.
We as a family are honoured that you dedicated a portion of Sophie’s run in memory of our Mom Betty. Both our Mom’s are looking down cheering your girls on and we are all so very proud to call you one of our sisters.
Betty’s Daughters and Grandchildren