i A Time and a Place...: Next To The Last....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Next To The Last....

My step sister, Betty Jo, died last week from cancer. She was 75 years young. She was a very good person and I always felt like she was really my sister. If I could have picked out another real sister, it would have been Betty Jo.

She had an AOL blog. It tells a lot about her. It's at this link. And maybe tells it better than I can.

I'll tell more about her later. She is the next to last of her siblings. She had three brothers and a sister and the oldest brother is the only one left. He suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is in a nursing home in Oregon.

Below is a post from her blog I enjoyed reading. She calls it, "Growing Up."

"I have been asked to write in my journal again. I just read a story that my stepsister, Mickey wrote. I don't remember things quite like she does.

My first memories are of living in and around Chowchilla. My grandfather raised cotton. To the best of my knowledge, he leased other farms, besides the one they lived on, and my dad would work the leased farms. I guess in the South they would call this share cropping. When I was about eight or nine years old, my Mom and Dad separated. We lived with my Dad for awhile. I know it had to be hard for him, with five kids. I don't think any of the relatives offered to help. I can remember my grandmother saying, I am not going to raise these kids. I guess she loved us, but didn't want that responsibility. I don't remember what happened, but my next memory is being with our mom again living in a motel in Merced. My mom was with a man , named Paul Pierce. I thought he was the greatest guy ever. He probably wasn't worth anything, because they drank and partied all the time. I don't know if he was in the service already, or had to go, but I remember him leaving, which was very sad. I thought of him for a long time after that. Our mother drank a lot at that time and left me, Joyce and Floyd alone a lot.

Somehow we got back with our Dad, and lived in Modesto. There was a store and gas station on the corner of Hatch and Crowslanding called Pates Store. Next to the store was a little cabin, if I remember right, it was one room, and on the other side of a wall was another room. Georgia Alexander and her children lived in the room on the other side. I only remember living there for a short time and then , we all, our family and Georgia's moved to what was then called Ingles Camp. It was near seventh street bridge on the river. We lived in tents.

I remember one day I decided to swim across the river to an island. The water was so swift I almost got swept down stream. I made it to the Island, but was afraid to swim back. I was about ten years old then. Finally a teenage boy who had a boat, came over and brought me back in the boat.

I don't remember having any bad times there, there was always a lot of kids to play with, but I was always trying to find out where my Mother was. By the way, when we lived at Ingles camp was where I first saw the guy who was years later to become my husband. He was a friend of my two older brothers."

I might have my memories mixed up, but I think we moved to Triangle Ranch near Empire next. We had a house to live in there, and there was ten kids. The grownups worked on the ranch doing fruit work, and we kids worked in the summer in the cutting sheds. Behind the house there was a cliff, and we would sometimes climb down this cliff to play in what seemed like a forest near the river.

One day we were playing down there and my sister, Joyce fell in the river. I jumped in to get her out, and the water again was very swift. I tried to grab tree limbs to help us to get out while holding on to her, and the limbs kept breaking off. We were screaming help, and out of nowhere came a man, and helped us out of the river. I never saw him before or again. I am sure it was an angel.



Blogger tweetey30 said...

Wonderful memory for you all. That is sad when some one passes on. Our Pastors mother passed away recently also. She was 91 years old. She had never been in the hospital up until a few weeks ago when her hip gave out on her.

10:01 AM  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

Your family is in my prayers. I hope you enjoy celebrating a life well lived.

11:40 AM  

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