Friday, March 27, 2009

Betty Lou Rockwell

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(posted by Ryan)

Chace + Smith Photography is something I am passionate about, but my family will always take top priority.  Running a photography business in rural America has many difficult challenges, but the reward of being so close to family in such a beautiful area makes it all worth it.  There are many reasons I am grateful to have the opportunity to run my own business, but this week has once again reminded me that my business is not the most important thing in my life.

This morning at 3:20 am, Betty Lou Rockwell, my grandmother (Nan) died.

Nan was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who didn't take any shit.  She was full of one-liners and unique sayings that never failed to put a smile on someone's face.  Even as she lay in her hospital bed close to death she managed to make everyone laugh.  

A compassionate, caring and hard-working woman, Betty Lou always made sure I had enough to eat.  Sunday evenings at Nan & Pap's were always filled with kids playing on the floor, 60 Minutes on the television, talking and laughter in the kitchen, and lots and lots of food.  Nan always made sure to bake a cake or a pie to accompany the wide variety of other snacks spread out on the kitchen table.  As soon as you walked in the door, Nan would greet you with "What can I get ya?  How about a piece of apple pie?  A ham sandwich?  Iced Tea?"

I don't believe there is anything Nan loved more than making sure everyone was well fed.  Every time I would bring a friend or a girlfriend to Nan & Pap's I made sure to tell them to come hungry, because when Nan gives you a piece of pie it's not an ordinary piece of pie . . . it's a Nan size piece of pie.  Which, on occasion would nearly be a 1/4 section of the entire pie.  Top that off with some vanilla ice cream and watch Nan smile with satisfaction.

It was hard to watch her go but I'm thankful for the time I had with her.  I am thankful of the lessons I've learned from her and for all the fond memories I will carry with me.  She leaves behind a husband of 64 years, 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and an uncountable number of memories.

Here is Nan & Pap on the their 60th anniversary.  




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2 Response to Betty Lou Rockwell

SFC Michael L.Rockwell
March 28, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Ryan and Larissa,

The most important thing in my life is my awesome family that includes you my baby cousin....lol! I can't tell you how much this post took me back in time to all the good times we had at Nan and Paps house growing up as kids and taking my kids there. I just wish we all could have gotten together more often over the years, but as life and distances would have it that wasn't always posible. Nan will be missed by many as she was truly one of a kind. A woman whos life was defined by her family, her kindness, and her love of the "simple" things in life like her love for Pap, her grand kids and her great grand kids, and of course feeding the masses! LOL! Looking forward to seeing "the gang" in a couple days.My kids and I as well as Niki and her family will be there, just wish it was under better circumstances.

Love you guys!

Mike and family

March 28, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Ryan & Larissa,
This made me cry but also made me feel so good to see that you have such wonderful memories. Nan's death has been hard but no one can deny that Nan & Pap's story has been a true love story. As we all gathered around her death bed you could feel the love that she and Pap had for each other, their love for all of us and our love for them and each other. It made me proud and so grateful to be a part of such a loving family. While we are sad that she is gone, let us celebrate her life and the wonderful memories she gave us. I love you both!! Mom

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