In 2015 Betty’s daughter Becky came to see the beautiful Adult Family Home that I now live in and run as a charitable non-profit. This home is the first phase of Hope & A Future’s TIIN model (Therapeutic Interactive Intergenerational Neighborhood). She wanted to look at options for the future needs of her mother and brother. Her Mother’s health was failing and her brother had always lived with her Mother. In the not so distant future, Becky was concerned that both of them would need a home with care and supervision available. Becky and I had a fun conversation during the tour and I showed her an area that volunteers and donors where making happen above our new addition. It would include a live-in staff bedroom, a small sitting room, a bathroom and a guest room. Shortly after that visit, Becky asked me how much money was still needed to finish that area. She said that her family was interested in helping us finish that space. I sent the estimated costs that we had yet to raise and they sent a donation that allowed us to finish! We were so surprised and excited and remain thankful!
Toward the end of 2016, I had an available resident room. Before I had even looked at my waiting list, Becky called to say that their mother would not be able to return to their home and Becky and her siblings were frantic to find a place for her. She had heard through a friend that we had an available room and wondered if she could come look at it. During the visit, she also mentioned the need to decide where her brother would live. We brain stormed and I later called the state to see what could be done. They told me that if I had another available room, they would amend our license to care for people with advanced age and add persons with developmental disabilities. At the time, I did not have another available room. However, shortly after Bettye moved in with us, another resident, who was a hospice patient, suddenly moved to imminent end of life status. I informed Bettye’s family that it looked like we would soon have an available room. Becky told me that her mother’s response to this information was, “This is exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think!” After our much-loved resident’s death, Brad moved into the room across the hall from his mother! Brad likes to tell us that Becky called him up and said, “You won the prize! A room at Hope & A Future! Pack your Bags!” And pack he did. He showed up with Halloween costumes, his Christmas tree, bowling bag and a few clothes! He was ready! Brad, who is very social, soon began to refer to the home he and Betty had shared as, “the quiet house”. He very quickly came to love his new family of friends at Hope & A Future.
Becky, Bobbe and Brian all live in other states, so when they visit, they are now welcome to use our guest room. I once told Becky how nice I thought it was that, although they donated for the completion of that space before we ever knew that Bettye and Brad would become part of our household, I thought it was lovely that they could now use the space they had donated to. Becky looked at me in surprise and said, “You know, I forgot we donated to that! That’s right! We did, and now we are the ones being blessed!” I watched her surprise and remembrance and realized she had actually forgotten! In my opinion, that is the heart of living generously! Giving from a generous heart and forgetting what you have done! Lovely.
Bettye was a giver and encourager in every sense of the word. Her greatest joy was studying the Bible and encouraging others with what she learned from these studies. She continued teaching a weekly Bible study at Hope & A Future and her friends came every Thursday at 1:00 pm, as they had done for decades! The day she told us that she had taught her last Bible study, we had a knowing that her time on this earth was short. And it was.