If you're a regular at Texas Jot, you are familiar with my Bettys. A quick explanation for the newcomers...I had only known one Betty before I moved to Midland. It seems the town is alive with Bettys, so we gave each one an adjective to help clarify our conversations. (as in Betty Behind, Miz Betty, etc.)
She was involved with many charitable organizations...and when I say "involved", I mean in charge, as in President. I knew she had contributed so much to Midland, but reading her obituary I realized I didn't know half of what she had done.
Betty and I re-crossed paths again about seven years ago at the West Texas Aphasia Center. I don't know how or why she originally lent her time to the organization, but I was mighty glad to see her face when I attended the first meeting to discuss a chocolate fundraiser. There are not too many people that you could unequivocally state that they could handle any job, but Betty was one...and now she was one of my allies on this project. " Betty, could you please design five hundred invitations and make candy bar sleeves for all of them?"
I'm not sure where I got the courage to ask that of her, but I knew she was a wizard on the computer and had been for some time. (I mean long before the rest of us were printing labels for our holiday cards.) Of course, Betty rose to the occasion and produced the first invitations for Chocolate Decadence, despite the fact that she had to hand glue each wrapper and set it under a weight until it dried. Oh yeah, and just one little thing I forgot to mention...she was also battling the big C at the time.
Betty took on cancer the way she dealt with everything else in life...full force. I have a feeling there was never any patient that had done more research and asked more questions of her doctor. For nine years she battled away, still giving of her time and energy and NOT complaining. The last time we were working together, I asked her what she had been reading lately. She said she had "chemo brain" and just couldn't concentrate on anything. It touched my heart because I knew that reading was a big part of her life. She was the editor of her book club's newsletter, The Plagiarist. She knew I loved to read and checked out my reading list on the blog. She even sent me her monthly newsletter, even though I told her I was hardly worth of her high-brow content and obviously studious book club.
You may think having a posse was developed my rap stars and athletes, but Betty had a posse before the term was even coined. She had a super group of friends...her lunch bunch...and I came to know them through the Aphasia Center. I loved the relationship of these women. There was no gossiping and huddling in one corner, each took a random seat and went about their own business. At first, I didn't even realize they were all buddies. I think it says a lot about a person who keeps promises and friends.
So, this leads me to a promise I made to Betty. She gave me her super-secret chocolate pie recipe. I mean, I don't think it was a secret that she gave it to me, but...did I just spill the beans? Anyway, I promised not to share it with anyone or publish it. I have the recipe in the front of my recipe binder and I see it every time I open the book...Avalyn's Chocolate Meringue Pie. I feel like the keeper of the Holy Grail of Pie. Lest I ever forget my vow, I have written in all caps, "Do Not Share!!" across the top of the recipe. I've even been afraid to make it. I mean, this is quite a responsibility to be the keeper of the pie. Did she delete the recipe from her files? Do her daughters have the recipe? I'm really torn. Avalyn's Chocolate Pie deserves to live on, but I have a sacred duty to keep my promise. I can't believe that efficient Betty has not left me some final instructions concerning the pie she referred to as the world's best chocolate pie Therefore, Chocolate Pie Betty's recipe will remain, like her, a special, delicious memory.