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HB to Betty — the OG Passionista

Today would have been our dear mama’s 94th birthday. Sadly, Betty was taken from us way too young at the age of 64… 30 years ago this June.

We can’t get our heads around the fact that she has been gone that long, mostly because she is still with us. Every day. In our souls. In every decision we make. Her words echo in our heads.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“As long as you did your best.”

“Fair is fair.”

And our personal favorite Betty-ism, “I may get over it, but I’ll ever be the same.”

She and our dad Leo met at art school when she was studying to be an art teacher. She loved teaching. She always said she was better at teaching than at doing. “What you should do…” was a phrase heard often from mama.

It’s because of our mom that we have an unbreakable bond. She often told us, “Your sisters and brother will always be your best friends.” And she was right. All five of us are very close.

Of course, we have an even deeper bond because we are the two youngest and we grew up connected at the hip. Family lore is that a kindergarten-bound Nancy “ordered” a baby sister so that mama wouldn’t be lonely when Nancy was at school.

Betty left an indelible mark on us. From her, we learned to be kind, to be patient, to be fair. She always had a loving hug and an open door to anyone who needed a place to stay or a warm meal. She accepted our LGBTQ+ friends, foreign exchange students, BIPOC roommates who we’d send her way during spring break. Anyone. Hate had no home at 6 Ellsmore Terrace.

She encouraged us to always follow our passions. To be independent. To stand firm in our beliefs and not care what anyone thought of us.

It’s no wonder that we ended up where we are today — on a mission to empower women from marginalized communities, sharing and expanding our sisterhood to women who need comfort and support.

We know she is looking down on us with pride. We can see her cute smiling face.

We hope you’ll join us in her honor.

Happy birthday, Betty.


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