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Bettie’s Story

OUR STORY CONTINUING  (Milton - April 4, 2014)

Several of you have requested that we continue with this story.  OK, I agree with one proviso:  It will be OUR STORY....Jane's, Julia's, and Mine.... with BETTIE as the LEADING LADY!  But, there is more!  If it is to be "OUR STORY", YOU also MUST BE INVOLVED.  So, let's make it a "together thing", a group effort. Walking together, sharing as we go; gaining insight and confidence along the way.

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MY STORY CONTINUED  (Milton - March 28, 2014)

Jane, Julia, and I promised to continue this Caring Bridge site.  We talked about additional material, specifically some of the Memorial Service comments in "Remembering Bettie" that were withheld because of time constraints. Also, I had some things in "A Word from Bettie" that I skipped to save time (Can you believe that?).

Of course, I could go on and on about my love for her and my gratitude for the gift of many years together. That might be therapeutic for me; however, it probably would be "a bit much" for you.  So, I'll continue to be brief (relatively so) and selective in my comments.

There is one other thing I have considered.  So many of you have been helpful as you shared your own experiences of "walking through the valley" with your loved ones.  Perhaps I can talk a bit about my journey, especially as the days lengthen into weeks...and beyond.

I am not a professionally trained grief counselor; nevertheless, Bettie, Jane, Julia and I did walk that road together in a very personal way.  In addition, on a number of occasions we shared that journey with some of you.  Perhaps we can encourage and strengthen each other as we embrace each new day and the adventures it brings.  Who knows?  It may be that we also will be "surprised by joy" along the way.

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BETTIE FERGUSON MEMORIAL SERVICE (March 14, 2014)

The life and faith of Bettie Fae Wiles Ferguson will be celebrated in a Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m
 on Friday, March 14, 2014.  The service will be in the Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Independence, Missouri.  The church is located at 500 West Truman Road, Independence, Mo. 64050.    After the service there will be a reception in the church Fellowship Hall.  You will be welcome to visit with family and friends.   < http://www.fbcindep.org/directions.html >  

Bettie died peacefully on Thursday evening, March 6th, with her husband, Milton, present at her side. They were both surrounded by the wonderful care of the staff at St. Luke's Hospice House. Along with Milton, she leaves two of her three daughters, Jane Anne and Julia and their husbands Hal and Jerome. Jo Catherine,her youngest daughter, preceded her in death in 1980. She is survived as well by her sister Mary Ida Needham of Oklahoma City, OK.  Bettie dearly loved her four grandchildren, Dylan, Colin, Laura, and Sarah Jo; her two new step grandsons,Cameron and Chris; as well as her large extended family of nieces, nephews, and very dear life-long friends. 
 
Gifts in Bettie's honor may be directed to the benevolent fund of the Baptist Homes of MIssouri  <http://www.thebaptisthome.org or to the "Operation School Bell" program of The Assistance League of Kansas City of which she was a founding member <http://www.alkc.org>.

Throughout her recent illness and her end of life journey, Bettie's family has been blessed by the connections made possible on this Caring Bridge site. 




Latest Journal Update

TIME TO WRITE AGAIN!

Thank you!  Thank you, my friends.  All of you who responded to my last journal entry; Jane A., Corrine G., Lisa S., Carol G., Sally N., Randall L., et. al.

[NOTE:  If I remember my "Chicago Manual of Style" for thesis writing accurately, "et. al.", from Latin "et alii", simply means "and others".  I've always wondered why the scholarly types didn't just say it that way. But then I remember.  If we didn't terrorize each other with "insider technical terms" we would never get our academic union cards - and who wants to be "an outsider"?]

So, after that impromptu excursus (feeble attempt to impress you), I say again, "Thank You Very Much!"
I've never been one given to tears (no amateur psychoanalysis, please), but I'm willing to confess:  This time, however, you did it.  You had me reaching for the tissues.  But, not to worry.  It was OK.  In fact, it felt good. You helped confirm the validity of the insight I'm eager to share with you. 

[NOTE:  At this point I took a long recess to take my car in for service.  I'm back now (much later) and since the KC Royals seem to be doing OK I can proceed]

Randall, your message arrived less than an hour before my "car service break".  Among other pertinent things, you pointed out that my earlier posts reflect a certain realism and you say, "You have for all these years been a real REALIST.  I know, because I have been with you in touch places at tough times. However, I think I realize that none of those experiences holds a light to this one -- making it through the days without 'the missing one'...THAT IS DIFFERENT and no one who has not been there can ever, ever, walk that way."  And than you exclaimed, "Oh, how I wish you could have her back for just a day or so!"

That is the crux of the matter, isn't it?  Those "little things" I talked about earlier trigger so many emotions, all of which tend to highlight Bettie's absence.  During the last four years she was "gone from home" a lot - six different hospitalizations during one twelve month period in 2013-14.  Each time we looked forward to bringing her home.  But now, that chilling voice whispers, "Not this time, not this time!" 

Corrine, you, like all our dear friends, are so gracious. "Your beautiful cards," you said, "were a tribute to Bettie," and you added, "I'm certain that you'll always miss her."  Then, you lovingly said, "May you find comfort in God's promise of the resurrection...when you definitely will see Bettie again.  Until then, I know she'll always be close in your heart."

Well, Lisa, Corrine beautifully highlights the "Resurrection Hope" at the heart of Bettie's life.  And you, as do many others, know the "faith, hope, and love" in which she quietly celebrated each new day as a gift to be cherished and shared.  Yes, without a doubt, "Until then....she'll always be close in [my] heart."  

Ah, but what about the "Until then..."?  It's that "until-then-time", full of those "little things", that tends to be plagued by unanswered questions and unending moments, isn't it?  If so, Lisa, in your memories of Bettie Ferguson, are there any clues as to how we can handle the "until-then-days" in our lives?

Personally, I believe there is....and that's what we'll consider next.