Bye Boop....

I still call her my "Mother-in law", even though I've been divorced for nearly twenty years now.  Like she explained to me shortly after Randy and I separated, whether the man was in the picture or not, I would be her "daughter" forever. She always called me her "Ruth" and quoted Ruth 1:16 to me...
for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
I can't say we have never had a moment where we didn't butt heads, because we were family and in more than twenty years, of course we did.  And there were times that we were closer than at other times.  That's human nature too.  But one thing is for sure... she is one of the few people on the face of the Earth that I could always say I knew loved me.  She loved me unconditionally.  She never stopped  She loved me just because I was.  Not because of what I could give her or do for her.  And her love for me wasn't going to go away.  Those kind of people in my life are on a short list.

And now she's gone.

Turns out Mama B. hadn't been all the way truthful with most people about just how bad her cancer was.  I guess she didn't want most of us to worry too much.  When she went into the hospital nearly two weeks ago, no one had any idea how it would turn out, but it all just slowly went on a steady decline.

During the final 48 hours or so, I couldn't keep my eyes dry and my head constantly ached.  It was positively brutal.  It was a very visceral mourning period where I could feel someone I love being ripped out of this physical realm like pieces of velcro being separated.

And my poor kids.  Courtney tried so hard to be the rock and would break down when she thought no one was looking or on the phone with me.  Darren was a mess all the time, bless his heart.  Rita called it when she said, "Least thugiest thug ever!" (Yep, he has the heart of a marshmallow. You totally can't judge a book by it's cover with that kid.  A few days after she died, he got a big Betty Boop tattoo to memorialize her).  Maddie cried intermittently and internalized a lot of it as usual and Emma was sad but confused by it I think.  I was wrecked by it and a complete mess.  However, once she actually passed, I was much more peaceful.  I have no explanation other than God's grace, I suppose.  And that maybe the velcro had then finally been separated.  Now the grief just comes in tiny waves here and there.

On her death bed, she refused to have a funeral.  She said she refused to have everyone sitting around being all sad about her and said, "You should all just have a big fucking party." So that's what they're doing.  She wanted everyone to party and tell happy memories of her.

On her final night, one of my best friends Maribel and her daughter Jessica (Courtney's bff that I have blogged about many times) drove up to be with Courtney.  When Jessica was so sick, Betty had traveled to Indi to be with Jessica and help out Maribel and so Maribel and Jessica and wanted to come be with Betty during her final moments and also to support Courtney.  Betty had a very giving and loving heart and everyone Betty met she made an impression on.

I've always said that I believe what makes this world go 'round is women helping women.  It takes a village to help raise children, to help support each other through sickness, through divorces, financial hardships, etc etc.  And it makes me so heartsick, soulsick, sad, heartbroken... you name it... to have to say goodbye to one of my favorite women and to one of the people who have loved me for most of my life.  I love you Betty.  You've meant the world to me.  Thank you for all you've done for me, for all you've done for my children.  God bless you.  Rest in peace Boop.

Elizabeth Ann Torres
2/23/53 - 11/30/12

Betty & her namesake Courtney Elizabeth Torres

Veronica, Courtney & Betty

lurve you, xoxo v.