My mom’s sister Betty Stansfield passed away on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, after a years-long battle with cancer. She was a lady of great warmth, great faith, and great strength.
Betty’s life included more than her fair share of pain, too—she lost a child 10 years ago, fell into a coma during treatment for a brain tumor 5 years ago, and yet she was not one to complain or make excuses.
The night before she passed away, I was looking for photos to send to my cousin Marybeth, who was beginning preparations for what we all knew was inevitable (Betty went into hospice three days earlier). And I found this photo. It was the last thing I did before going to bed that night, and her smile was in my mind all night—until I heard the next morning that she had passed away. I’ve been trying to keep that smile in mind all week.