She's about to turn 47. She requested tacos and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday dinner tomorrow night. She told her sisters that she was coming to our house for her birthday and that she could get together with them a "different night." If it's one thing that makes us giggle when we're around Betsy, it is her absolute honesty and her childlike ways.
Betsy has Down Syndrome. She works full time. She loves concerts and will go by herself to see whoever she wants to. She recently lost her father and is now alone in a big, two-story house just three blocks down the street from us. We have known her since she was a teenager. She attended our wedding and showed up at our door when each of our girls were born. We told her she needs to call us if she needs anything. She has not been shy about taking us up on it.
Two weeks ago she invited my husband and I over for dinner. When we arrived, we saw that the table was beautifully set and every preparation had been thought through. The casserole smelled delicious as it baked in the oven. Helping her in the kitchen with last minute details, I saw a list that her sister had written for her, reminding her when to do what. She had come over the night before and helped Betsy make baked ravioli and salad. Garlic bread was now in the oven. She had remembered to put the salt and pepper and salad dressing on the table. Everything was perfect. When I complimented Betsy, letting her know that she had done such a good job, she smiled a big smile and said, "I know."
Betsy is refreshing to be around. We never need to guess what she is thinking or what her preferences might be. She knows that we love her and tells us often that she loves us. I am learning much from Betsy. She makes me laugh and is easy to be with. Beyond that, however, is the example that she is of a security that each of us should feel when we know we are loved. We should feel safe and happy in the presence of those that love us. Betsy does.
Dinner is scheduled for 6:00 tomorrow night. Betsy will be at our house at 5:45, sitting in her car, waiting for the exact time to knock at our door. I will walk outside at 5:45, tell her to come in and usher her up our front porch stairs. She will hug us many times, laugh with abandon and enjoy every moment. So will we. Life is simpler when we are with Betsy.
I wish for you, a "Betsy." It will be someone who accepts you just as you are and who genuinely cares about you. It is someone who will jump at the chance to spend time with you. It is someone who helps you to be your best without pressure or lofty expectations. They are the people in our lives who are true gifts. I encourage you to enjoy them and give thanks for them.
For now, I need to run. I have a birthday party to prepare for!