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Memories From Betty's Children And Grandchildren

Memories from Betty’s children and grandchildren

First born daughter, Mary’s memory:

When my Senior Prom came around, I found the most beautiful dress at a rather upscale shop that I knew my parents couldn’t afford. I took my mom to see the dress anyway. Much to my embarrassment, she climbed into the window display to look at the dress more closely. When a saleswoman came to see what was happening and asked, very snooty, “May I help you?”, Mom said, “No, I have all the information I need.”, and proceeded to drag me to the, where else, fabric store! We found a pattern that was very close to the desired dress, and I ended up with not only a dress, but a full length coat to match at a lot less cost than the dress at the store. The decorative broach at the waistline? Found at Goodwill! My mother was nothing if not resourceful!

Second born Diane’s memory:

When I was about 8 years old, Mom was sick with mononucleosis. Bedridden, by doctor’s orders, she could not do any housework or cooking. My Dad was cooking when he got home from work (It wasn’t too good…).

One day, while I sat at her bedside, she commented “Mmm, sure would like some beef stew” and I said “I can make it”. She looked at me and said “You know, you can. Bring me the meat, a knife and the cutting board.” Sitting up in bed, she cut the meat while I washed and peeled downstairs in the kitchen, then transported the potatoes and vegetables up to her for chopping. She instructed me how to flour and season the meat in a paper bag, then called directions down the stairs while I stood on a chair in front of the stove and made beef stew. That one small statement, “You know, you can.”, stuck with me, providing a can do attitude which I carry to this day. Thanks Mom!

Third born, Cecilia’s memory:

Is that when Dad (may he rest in peace) made the mashed potatoes with (canned) new potato’s? That when we stayed at the neighbors and she put WARM (bleck) milk on the cereal!!


First grandchild, Justine’s memory:

Grandma put me in piano lessons, dance classes, gymnastics and Squirrel Cage Theatre during the years I lived with her. She was always there for me at the recitals and when I didn’t want to practice, she would make me practice.

Grandma lived with fear of heights. On our Alaskan cruise, Grandma was leaning out over my 8th deck stateroom balcony. How funny it was to see Grandma, a person who is afraid of heights, “hanging over” the edge of the balcony, looking down and saying, “This doesn’t feel like we are that high”, really enjoying seeing all the sights.

On sushi night, oh my goodness, Grandma, a huge fan of sushi, couldn’t wait for the all you can eat sushi bar to open and boy, did she go for it. That was one of her most favorite parts of the cruise. It was so fun and rewarding to watch her enjoy herself so much. I am glad to have been able to go on such a trip with her and share with her the awesome experience of a cruise and show her that there is always something for everyone on a cruise.

When my grandparents first took my brother and I in to take care of us, they gave up a lot of things they could have done in retirement. Well, I got to pay them back by taking them on two cruises, 7 day Alaska and 15 day Panama Canal, which they both loved. I thank God and His glory that He gave us this opportunity.


Second grandchild, Frank’s Memory:

I remember one time I climbed a tree out in front of the house with the intension of sliding down the rope that was tied to a branch and I guess it might have been around the colder season because my fingers were cold. Well— I made my way over to the branch and grabbed ahold of the rope (keep in mind I am probably 7-8 years old) so I didn’t think to put gloves on, I grabbed that rope with both hands, swung down and wrapped my legs around it and down I went 20 ft’ to the ground, the whole way down that rope burned the palm of my hands. I eventually made it to the bottom of that length of rope with what felt like fire in my hands. I ran inside and was yellin’, screamin’, cryin’ “Gramma!” Had I known what cuss words were back then I probably would have been saying every square word in the book because it hurt like every square word in the book! Gramma said “What’s wrong?” and I showed her so she proceeded to pour aloe vera over my hands and then wrap them up in a gauze along with some medical tape to hold the gauze wrap in place. The aloe instantly made the burn go away and my hands healed rather quickly. It wasn’t necessarily the aloe that made my hands heal so quickly, it was Gramma’s loving attention, I love you Gramma Betty (Boo) Lyons and I will miss you, Frank Leppanen Jr

Third grandchild, Molly’s Memories with Grandma Boo:

About 2 weeks before my wedding date, I called my Grandma Boo to ask her if she would be a part of my wedding ceremony.

My husband Jason is Jewish, and in Jewish weddings, the bride’s father and mother walk her down the aisle. Since that wasn’t an option for me, Grandma Boo accepted the job and was so excited to walk her granddaughter down the aisle.

Fast forward two weeks.

May 4, 2003 arrived, and there stood my grandfather in his “monkey suit” as he called it, and Grandma in her beautiful dress, smiling brightly, so happy for me.

Right before we walked down the aisle, she looked at me and told me how beautiful I looked and that she felt blessed to share in this day.

In the days previous, heavy rain had fallen and my heels were sinking in the soft ground on the long walk to the chuppah through the gardens. I walked arm in arm with G&G not having an arm to lift the skirt of my dress, Grandma held it up for me, so I could walk freely and focus on my “princess walk” down the aisle. She and my grandfather handed me over to Jason to unite our family as one.

Jewish tradition, also has the bride and groom do what is called circling, where the bride and groom both walk around each other 7 times. As Jason was walking around me, I glanced over to see Grandma counting to Justin and Michaela on her fingers, smiling, holding up fingers to make sure that Jason circled around me the right amount of times. I began giggling, relieving my nervousness.

I will forever be grateful that Grandma was a part of my special day. I love her forever and always, and know that she was and is very proud of me, for what I have done with my life.

Fourth grandchild, Meghan’s Memory:

Grandma taught me to sew in 2001. I was into costuming and wanted to be able to produce them myself without having to rely on others. She gracefully obliged and showed me the basics of pattern layouts and how all the pieces go together. Before long, I was off to the races making costumes, clothing, bags, etc. But all my seams were unfinished. I was kicking around the idea of buying a serger when Grandma pipes up and says I can borrow hers, since she wasn’t really sewing much by that time. It’s a Bernette by Bernina she had bought in the mid-1980’s. I remembered seeing it many times on visits to her house as a kid. I had it serviced and was able to complete my project. The serged edges made it look so much more professional. I started a new project, and another, and another. Before I knew it, I had been “borrowing” her serger for 8 years! To her credit, she never asked for it back. I still have that serger and will continue to use it. There will be a little bit of Grandma in everything I make.


One comment

  1. Such an amazing lady, our community was privileged to have for forty years. She leaves an amazing legacy in her family as well!

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