remembering beth

beth3On Wednesday morning a text came in from a life long friend, Liza:

“I am not sure if anyone posted anything, mom passed away this morning at 5:30 a.m. Such a relief to see the suffering over.”

I don’t text and drive, but I pulled over to the side of the road for a few minutes.

She was gone. Beth was gone, and wow, I knew it was coming but it was so fast.

She had that kind of Leukemia that killed my friend Jim McCaffrey and another friend’s dad.

Beth knew my parents long before I was born, so I have literally known her my whole life. And she made me laugh and smile for 51 years and I  think that is pretty cool. What made me laugh about were just life things you had to be there at the time to get. She had a zany sense of humor and the most wonderful laugh and a smile that lit up her eyes. She even made me laugh when I was younger about her mother-in-law, who quite frankly was a bit terrifying to me. (She was the older person you never, ever wanted to disturb!)

A lot of memories growing up are tied to her and her kids. They introduced us to Avalon, and when I wrote the post where I spoke about the log cabin on 13th street that once belonged to Woodrow Wilson? That was their house at the beach.

They were one of the two families we knew when we were little who had an English Springer Spaniel. It was definitely because of the one they had when I was about 11 that we ended up getting out first of a long line of Springers.

She was also my Confirmation sponsor.

beth 4In May I had a belated birthday present thanks to Liza: I got to spend the afternoon with the two of them.  I made lunch and we spent the afternoon on my deck and in the garden.  It was such a nice afternoon.

I have memories of Beth and her family going back to when I was the littlest of girls in Society Hill. I remember their house in Ambler and talcum powder mysteriously getting all over the third floor and when they moved to Blue Bell. Avalon memories of 13th street, looking for stars with my father and her husband Ed and all the kids and Beth and my mother on the beach at night. The sound of how quiet the sand was at night when we jumped on an off the lifeguard stands. The merry sound of Beth’s laugh in the darkness as she told a funny story.   And American Pie by Don McLean on the 8 Track in Avalon….And fireworks around the pool in Blue Bell

Beth has raised remarkable children and taught all the children who weren’t hers, (but loved her like we were) to be better human beings and to stand up for what we believed in. Yes, including me. She is one of the best most truly kind and Christian people I have ever met. I have loved every conversation with her (and over the past year or so we have had quite a few I will always treasure.)beth1

As her children prepare for this final goodbye, the upcoming funeral, I am sad, I admit I have cried like a baby over this. But I am grateful for having known her and inspired by her capacity to love other human beings.

Beth, among other things, was the longest standing docent at The Philadelphia Zoo.  She was also a volunteer and volunteer coordinator at St. Johns Hospice in Philadelphia.

So Beth this is for you, with love always…only love.  And for Liza, Andy, Martha, and Joe for sharing her with all the other kids too all these years.

Gone but will never be forgotten.

1 thought on “remembering beth

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your friend, I’m sorry for you’re loss, I know she is & was loved by all she touched in life!

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