Journaling: Betty and I met - of all things - through DesignerDigitals.com. For all the years of my growing up, we had virtually no contact with my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. I knew he had two sisters and six brothers but that was about the extent of it. I was able to find out quite a bit of information via the Internet but did not really have any people I could talk to about this side of my family. But all this was about to change in 2010.
In December of that year, I got an interesting email from the webmaster. Apparently someone had contacted him asking for information about how to contact me. This person was named Betty Houston. One day she was researching her family and Googled her father. The first hit she got was a heritage page I had posted to the DD site. And she set out to find me. Betty indicated in her email to the webmaster that she had a photograph album that had belonged to her father that she would be interested in sharing.
I followed up and contacted her immediately. And so began a correspondence that spanned the next year and a half. It turned out that Betty was my first cousin once removed. She was the only child of my grandfather’s oldest brother. Betty and I never met face to face. We had many email exchanges when Betty as able to get to the library as she did not have a computer at home. We also exchanged letters via snail mail. Betty had been an avid photographer in her younger days and had traveled extensively. She taught Spanish and drama at a high school in Toledo for many years. In the course of the conversations, Betty frequently mentioned the photo album, but she was not really ready to let go of it.
Betty had many health problems. In the spring of 2012, I received a letter from her letting me know she would be moving to an assisted living facility.. At that time she did not have an address as she has not decided on which place she would go. I wrote two more times to her old address, hoping the mail had been forwarded but I received no reply. On December 17, 2012, I searched records on Ancestry.com and it was in this way that I discovered Betty had died in October. While I never got the photo album I got something even better - the chance to get to know this fascinating, funny, talented woman.
Credits for spread:
KPertiet:Old Time Christmas No. 03 Kit
Christmas Clips No. 01
Defining Words Brushes and Stamps No. 03
My Family Genealogy Clusters MegaPak
My Family Genealogy Definitions Brushes and Stamps
Days of December Layered Template and Brush Set
Blitzen Complete Collection
Angelic Winter Kit
Hint at it No. 04 Brushes
Worn Page Edges No. 03