L.M.N.O.P: Betty, 60s - Maplewood

Betty, 60s

“What’s great about getting old is I don’t have to rely on just what I read or hear or what people tell me. I have been through many downs and other times in my life. 

I had a cancer scare in my twenties. I remember at 24 I just had my golden birthday and I said, ‘I just wish I had a chance to meet someone and marry and have children.’ So I am blessed now, as I stand here almost 45 years after that. That’s one of my grandsons over there. That’s Owen. I have four; I have three boys and one girl. I’m blessed. 

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. You’re born in America and I just think we don’t realize how blessed we are. I mean, America is just a wonderful place and I’m just grateful. I was a nurse at Ramsey for years — an emergency room nurse. My faith is probably the most important thing to me. I am excited about life, I’m excited about everything. 

I love to sing. I still sing. I say my best audience now is my grandchildren, but I used to sing a lot. I used to go to all the weddings and funerals and sing in church. I played guitar. I don’t do that much any more. 

I’ll tell you why I’m blessed: my family. We go out every year as a family [to] my dad’s grave. Me and my husband — 40 years and I’d marry him again in a flash — and then I have a son and a daughter. 

I’ve traveled; I love to travel. I’ve done a lot of traveling — Mongolia, Ukraine, China, we’ve been to most of the U.S. Both my father and my father-in-law were in World War II, and my dad was on Omaha Beach. That’s the one trip I still want to get to. I think I’d like to travel more with family. 

We did a Disney World trip a year and a half ago when [Owen] was littler, and it was just amazing to be with family. I’m a very ‘family’ person. Family is kind of just all it — I mean, other than my faith. 

We’ve been married 40 years, my husband and I, so we decided to go to the Promised Land after 40 years — because that’s how long the Israelites [waited to get] there. So we went with our church. 

It was a wonderful trip. I was supposed to go a few years ago and I couldn’t go, but I got there. I’ve accomplished that. It was a fantastic trip. Everyone should go there if they have any interest at all... 

It’s just amazing over there and to see the Bible coming to life. Any place you dig in Israel, you’re finding histories. It tells the stories of cities upon cities upon cities... 

I’d like to be here as long as I can be helpful. I like to help people. I’ve been over-blessed so, I mean, I can’t complain. I’ve had so much ... My dad lived until he was 95, so I could live a lot more years. At this age, you have a lot of time left but no time to waste — not a moment to waste. You have to make it count.”

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