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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Some very sad news...Betsy Gail Boyes 5/22/58 to 7/29/09
I don’t know that I should be sharing this. But I live my life in public, and so I will.

At 4:30 pm on July 29th, my life changed completely. The 911 operator called and told me my wife was found slumped over the steering wheel of our car at the supermarket, and when I got to the hospital, my wife, Betsy, who was 51 and in good health, was dead.

She and I had been married for over 26 years. She was simply put, the most wonderful person I ever met. She was a bubble of champagne, as one of our friends put it when I called to tell her the horrible news.

She fed all the doves and half the birds in Aurora Illinois, and most of the rabbit population, too. She loved children, took in strays, and worked very hard to rescue everyone and everything that came her way that needed it. She made magic happen. She was my heart and my soul, and now she’s suddenly gone. When she was very savagely bitten by a dog we were trying to rehabilitate earlier this year, she sat on the floor of the vet’s office, holding the dog and telling him she loved him as the vet put him down.

She made a difference in people’s lives. The year she worked as a special education teacher at a high school in Kent Washington, 10 students graduated high school who would not have, if she hadn’t intervened in their lives. She was a natural born teacher, and taught in every grade level down to preschool. She spent her last year teaching at the Goddard School in North Aurora, Illinois, where she taught the 2-1/2 to 3 year olds…and who will miss her terribly tomorrow when Ms. Betsy isn’t there.

She made a difference in my life. I am a better and greater person for having her as my wife. I hope that the rest of my life will be lived the way she would encourage me to.

We made a wonderful daughter together. Andrea, who will be 21 in September, is just as punch-drunk as I am.

What I wish for is that everyone can meet someone as marvelous as Betsy Gail.

Those of us who work with dogs and cats often tell the story of the Rainbow Bridge. That’s the place our pets go to wait for us so that when we join them, we can all walk across the bridge and through the gate of Heaven.

Betsy is there, now, with The Fabulous Jilliedog, with Laddybuck, with Susan the Princess, with Starr, and with Rosie, and with her true heartdog, Ladybug. And all the cats, Leo, Katie, Cody, Kitten are there with her too.

And one day, the rest of us will join her.

Until then, I will miss her desperately.

And do your humble editor a favor. Go home, find someone you love, and hug them, and tell them so. The last words she said to me on the phone were, “I love you.”

I just want to say that I love her too.

Blurry screen virus.

I'm so sorry...

Walt, this is Christine Chen... I'm trying to type through the tears that are streaming down my face right now. Andrea called me with the news this evening, and I have to say I am in total shock and am terribly crushed to hear about Betsy. I thank God that I spoke with her not too long ago (after moving to our new house) and we had the chance to catch up and chit chat a nice long while. I only regret that we didn't do that more often. I miss her already. She was the most selfless, caring, considerate and giving person I know! And even when things were going badly, she always had a smile on her face. She will be terribly missed. I hope she knew that I loved her too...
Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

My deepest sympathy,

Oh jeez, Walt. I'm so sorry.

You have my deepest sympathies.


I left a brief note on the bar, but allow me (us, actually - Kelly's here too) to express our deepest sympathies, to both you and Andrea. I'm really at a loss for words - I just can't find 'em. I _do_ understand what Betsy means to you - I share that kind of bond with Kelly, and I understand how much this must hurt.

If there is _anything_, my friend, just ask.


I don't have any words that I know are right, but know that you are not alone.

My sincere condolences to you and Andrea


I was shocked to read this news when I switched on the computer this morning. I can't really imagine how you are feeling but you are in my thoughts. If there is anything I can do for you from Europe tell me.

Walt. . . words fail

You're in our hearts.

If there's anything we can do -- don't hesitate.

*hugs tight*. where do i send flowers, love?


As I said on Facebook, my sympathies. I wish there was something that could make it better, but there isn't, except time, and time will only wear off the edge.

I'm sorry I never met her, Walt, you've mentioned her on the Bar a number of times over the years and she was obviously a very special woman. My heart goes out to you and Andrea for your loss.

I read this through someone else's journal... but it touched me deeply. She sounded like a wonderful woman. Our world will be much the less for her having left us. I will pray for you, and for your daughter, to find peace. I know I need not pray for her entry above as it is already guaranteed.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

She was blessed to be loved so much and you were blessed to have been loved in return.

I'm so sorry for you and your family.

I do not know what to say. My condolences. I am going to go hug my loved ones.