Why should I keep living?

The decades have not dulled the spark behind Betty’s eyes.  She is as feisty as ever, still working to get things accomplished; she doesn’t want to simply sit back and die, but have a purpose in her life.  Even though her activities are limited by her heart condition, it has not stopped her from recently petitioning her assisted living facility to erect a flag pole and hang ‘ole Glory on it–and they did.  Her fervor and patriotism found new life and pride, seeing this cause as just one way of remembering those who served, her husband Jack included. 

Betty's design 1Betty's art - Jimmy Stewart

Along with her zeal, Betty has a great talent and eye for art and design, as you can see from the photographs.  She was studying to be a designer in the golden age of Hollywood, and her appreciation for the arts was verified by autographs of appreciation from the likes of James Stewart.  But, God had different plans for Betty.  The War started and she snagged (literally: she asked him to dance!) a young man and they had a family of loving girls and a career in the Air Force.  No design jobs, unless you count the beautiful design of her family.  No starlet dreams–but stars in each individual of her family. 


In each step, Betty took her talent and kept on living and making the most of whatever life brought her.  And she did it with grace, as you can see in each line on her beaming smile today.  She lives by the line from a Tennyson poem “ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die.”  And it is this resolve that takes life, no matter where it takes us, and allows us to draw and design something beautiful. 

So, why keep on living?  Well, isn’t it obvious?  Betty is just one of the beautiful people I am privileged to journey with at Covenant Hospice each day.  She adds life to our staffs’ days–as we strive to add to hers through our visits and care.  That, friends, is worth living, even when dying is inevitable.  Thank you, Betty, and all our patients who exemplify this reality everyday.

Photos and names are used with permission.


11 Responses to “Why should I keep living?”

  1. What a heart warming story and beautiful life…thank you for sharing.

  2. What a beautiful story and a beautiful lady! Thank you to Curtis and Ms. Betty for sharing!

  3. Wow…it is such an honor to get to share in the lives of such amazing people like Miss Betty. To me this story really shows how hospice is not about putting days into life…but life into our days. Miss Betty is full of life!

  4. Thanks for the kind words…she is always so complimentary of our team and thankful for the care we provide.

  5. Curtis, thank you for this beautifully written story and the lovely photo. Betty reminds us of what really matters in life. Covenant Hospice is blessed to serve such a lovely lady and to share her life story.

  6. Mrs. Betty keeps the staff at Hawthorn House on their toes. She is always ready to share a rhyme or limerick or story from her past. We feel blessed to know and love her.

  7. Great job on the story featuring one of our very special resident’s at the Hawthorn House. With our great staff and the assistance of people like Curtis we are able to make a positive differnece in the lives of our residents here at the Hawthorn House and throughout the AFEV each day. We are the fortunate ones to share in their lives and their wisdom!

  8. This is such a touching and beautiful story. Miss Betty seems to be a remarkable lady from whom we can all learn so much. Thank you Miss Betty for being an example of how to truly live life.

  9. That’s my Mom!! I am so proud of her. God blessed me with very special parents.
    I love Mom so much! Thanks Curtis for sharing her beautiful, warm heart with everyone.
    You and convent hospice have made her feel secure and loved at this time in her life.
    Thank you! Gail

  10. I want to thank Covenant Hospice for the care and love you all gave my Mother. She was grateful for the time you gave to her and, she thanked Dr. Kat’s for placing her in your care. Mom left Thursday night to be with Daddy and God. She was ready, she lead a remarkable life and told me time after time, I will not be here much longer, don’t cry – you know I love you, I love you all! You all made a difference in her life at a time she and we needed you the most.
    THANK YOU ~ Gail Jernigan, daughter of Betty Branch.

  11. Sally B. Holder, RN November 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    This is a great story Curtis. It was an honor for me to be part of Betty’s Healthcare team. She was an inspiration to us all. Sal

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