I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but I am really struggling with waves and mountains of grief. My feelings are a mix of sadness, grief, loss, confusion, pain and yet gratitude. It is hard to hang on to the gratitude right now. Memories too. I will always be grateful to Becky Butler Powers. To me, she is still just “Becky.”

Mike and Becky both helped me years ago. It has been over 35 years since I met them. I met Mike first. We were friends and Mike asked me to come and clean their house. My first memory of Libby was of her in her baby bed. I would be very quiet and see her little blonde head bobbing up and down when she was napping. I would creep backward out of her room so I didn’t wake her.

Then there was little Katie. The first time I met her was not long after her birth. She had dark hair like her Mama and was beautiful too. She seemed to be the most like her Mama, where Roxy and Libby were a little more like their dad, but they are all beautiful.

Later they moved and I cleaned their house where they lived on a lake. Mike took care of the kids while Becky worked. I saw little Roxy probably more than I saw the other two, except during summers or other school vacations. They were all very different in their personalities, and all very talented and gifted. We spent a lot of time together as friends too. Mike and Becky and my Mike and me. Mike helped Mikey, learn how to fish. He would go with me to their house and loved fishing in the lake. I just ran across a photo of Mikey with Mike at their house.

Later Becky asked me if I could help her beloved Grandma Wilda, and her dog Hilda. Wilda laughed and giggled, just like Becky over her dog’s name rhyming with her’s, although Hilda was already named when she got her. Mike and Becky bought several paintings from me and were always very supportive of me and my art. We painted together sometimes and spent many good times together. When Wilda passed it broke my heart. But I was happy for her to be out of misery. She took a little piece of me with her. She was a little bit of a surrogate grandma to me, and definitely a mother to Becky.

When Mike and Becky divorced, it was like having a family divorce. Things were never the same for me, anyway. I loved and love Mike and Becky both and of course the kids too. We would see each other from time to time but it was never the same. Becky married Barry, and Mike remarried sometime later to Lynn. Becky and Barry and moved away from the house on the lake. Later they bought a house in Colorada and spent time in Indiana and Colorado. I know they were happy and we were happy for them but things were not the same.  I loved that place almost as if it were my own. I took great care of it and helped with the annual parties there. Becky loved setting up the dining room table for Christmas dinners and holidays.

When her mother died in her 50’s of cancer and then not too long after, her dad died suddenly of a heart attack, it really threw them all for a loop. Becky was a little unsettled by their early deaths. I reminded her that her grandma Wilda lived into her 90’s. I don’t know why I am going on about this other than to help me with my own grief. We should never take our family and friends for granted. We never know when they may slip away. At least Becky died doing something she loved. I admired her courage and joy for life. She had a razor-sharp, intelligence and was as funny as she was smart.

We were having a bonfire in our yard one weekend, and my old nearly blind dog, Rufus was walking around the fire. He looked like he was teetering near the fire. I stood transfixed not believing my eyes.  Before I had a chance to react, Becky swooped in and rescued Rufus from a possible fall into the fire. She laughed and said she had just rescued another dog earlier and that she should quit her job ( as a lawyer) to start rescuing dogs. We all laughed hysterically.

I miss planting her flowers with her every summer for her birthday and spending time with her. She was a woman of many talents, strengths, and weaknesses just like everyone else. But Becky lived her life. We never got the chance to paint again together like we planned but maybe on the other side, we will. She loved life, people, her family and exploring the world. God bless you and your sweet precious soul, dear Becky. Until we meet again, you are with the angels and will be a guardian for all your kids, grandkids and family. We will keep them all in our prayers. Love Shana and Mike too. 20191225_173952