Phyllis, Libby and Mark are very close and devoted to their mother, Beth (short for Elizabeth). Beth grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. At the age of 88, she has seen and lived through many of the changes in the United States. If you think about it, 88 years ago, many households didn’t have indoor bathrooms or telephones and most had ice boxes, no refrigerators. The television hadn’t been invented yet, so they entertained themselves with radio programs.

Beth was a stay at home mom and loved being home with her three children. She participated in the PTA, worked as an aid at her children’s school and even had time to help with the Girl Scouts. When her children were older, she went to work for Sears in their clerical department. After 31 years of marriage, she and her husband divorced. Beth decided to go back to school to further her education so she enrolled in a business school and earned her certificate. She was 48.

Life has a way of issuing challenges to all of us, but it seems like some people get more than others, or at least more severe challenges. A little over 30 years ago Beth was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. She had part of her colon removed, then for a year she went to the hospital three days a week to have a chemo drip. During this time, she was very devoted to her elderly mother and helped her a lot, even when she wasn’t feeling well. She won the battle and experienced better health for over two decades.

Cancer wasn’t going to leave her alone though. It struck again but in her right breast. Beth chose to have her right breast removed, which is never an easy decision for a woman. Instead of having monthly chemo treatments she took a “cancer” pill. During this time, she didn’t want any sympathy or anyone feeling sorry for her. She had accepted her diagnosis and moved on while keeping a very upbeat attitude. According to her daughter, Phyllis, her mom proved to her just how strong-willed she is. This kind of attitude has had a great influence on her family.

This new fight with cancer didn’t stop Beth from being there for her own sister, Margaret Anne, who was battling dementia. The two sisters proved how healing the love of a sibling can be for the other. Beth decided to go and stayed with Margaret for a while and both did well during this time. It was a wonderful visit for the sisters and it had many healing effects for them. The time did come when Beth had to return home. Upon her return, the full realization of Margaret’s inoperable condition hit her hard which caused her to experience a time of depression, which she was determined to overcome.

Beth has had many other health issues including another battle with cancer (lung), a stroke and even a kidney stone over the years. She has faced each of them head on and continually proves that she is stronger than the newest challenge.  She has always been very devoted to others, especially in their time of need, even when she wasn’t doing well herself. I would dare say that it is her attitude of putting others before herself that has made her a champion of overcoming small and large trials.

I can personally attest to her devotion to others. Back in 2012 my own mom, Brenda, was battling Pancreatic Cancer. I was in the hospital room one afternoon with my mom when the phone rang. I answered it and this beautiful southern voice asked to speak to Brenda. My mom was too sick to talk so I spoke with my Great Aunt Beth for a while. She was very concerned about my mom and wanted to know what she could do for her. She also asked me to tell my mom how much she loved and adored her and that she was praying for her every day. I relayed her message to my mom. Never once did she let on to me that she wasn’t feeling well herself. Instead, she wanted me to pass on a beautiful message of love and hope. My mom smiled as I told her what Aunt Beth had said.

This is Beth, a beautiful genuine woman who has spent her life thinking and doing for others more than herself. What a lady!


Live by being a great example to others, especially your children. You never know what kind of influence you are having on them.

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