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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.

I'd been offline since monday, Sorry to see the news this morning.
Condolences my friend.

aka Wolfie

Sad News

Our family's deepest sympathy goes out to you and yours at this time. Tiffanie from Baen's Bar.

Re: Sad News

Walt and Andrea,
I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of this wonderful woman, your wife and mother. Surely, the good die young and sadly leave us behind. I will keep you all i my thoughts and prayers.
Diane Maniscalco

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I didn't know Betsy but from your obit about her, I wish I had. She sounded like a wonderful and very special person. My deepest condonlences to you and your daughter and all your furkids. You're right.....I'm going to do some hugging on the ones I love tonight.

betsys passing

as much as she loved all the corgi's in her life i know she loved you more than anything or anyone else. she will not be forgotten and i am making a donation in her memory right now
people like you and her are a rare jewel in life. we lose the good ones way too early every time.
take care of your self and cuddle the corgi's they will make you feel better.
michele - corgi on wheels
wylie ( watching down from the bridge & wavying hi to betsy )

Thanks for your kind words. Her dog Toby is confused. He is spending all his time in my arms or my sister's. He keeps going to the door.

He will be fine, and eventually, I pray, so will Andrea and I.

My heart is breaking for you

Our Town

As time flows
A soul is that eternal bit that never vanishes, it is a
Heart, it is a dew drop at the end of a fern
caught in the first light
ushered in
Our Town
unfurled, jeweled, embroideries
scented of heliotrope and roses
Soul is the presence that never vanishes
mathematically secure to be undefined
metaphorically driven to be that bit that never vanishes
the Universe remembers
mobius stripped and holographically frozen
Soul has steeped beyond the walls, tea-leaved into
the Heart of Eternity
vanishing never that eternal intelligence
embracing the children
unfurled, jeweled, embroideries against the fabric of time and space
always and forever
looking for joy
morning has broken
Soul is the dew drop on the tip of a fern
waiting to splash and ripple and sing
and dance with eternity


I'm so very sorry to hear of you loss

I fully understand that no words from my keyboard will lessen your grief. Still, know that you will be in our prayers.

Re: I'm so very sorry to hear of you loss

Prayers are good, and truly welcome. Thank you, Rodney.



In reference to your second to last paragraph:

You wrote a 'Remembrance' and that is the very best anyone can ever hope for.

Dwell less on the moment one dies and more on the moments one lived and it sounds like Betsy LIVED very well, indeed.

And remembering that is the best Memorial anyone can create.

Be well,

Tim Roesch

Thanks, Tim. There are just no words. She was a bright and shining beacon to me for over 26 years. She made me be better than I am. She always showed me who I could be, if I tried hard enough. I am lost without my anchor and my beacon. I feel like half of me has been amputated. You read about stuff like this, but it doesn't feel real.

Thank you for your prayers.


Oh my. Walt, you and Andrea have my deepest sympathy. If there is anything I can do please let me know. I believe you have my number don't hesitate to call.

Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it. Do not worry, if I need help, I will certainly call you.


Walt and Andrea

truly sorry to hear this news

There's nothing any of us can say to console you--you've just lost your best friend and guiding light--so I won't try to come up with something glowing or even sympathetic. Don't forget you are NOT alone, Walt. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of Barflies and other readers of the various endeavors you've taken on who respect, admire and even adore you after one fashion or another. Let your world comfort you and let yourself grieve. That's the one thing I think we Jews get better than Christians--we wail and cry and grieve for 7 days, doing absolutely NOTHING else BUT grieving until we're just ... emptied of all that negative stuff, then we go on. After 26 years with the love of your life, it could take more than a week ;-)


Re: truly sorry to hear this news

Sarah, I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you said. I don't really see myself as that way, and it makes me feel better to hear it, even if I don't really believe it. It was Betsy who was the bright and shining one. She was the one who made the magic. I was just there to support her. And I just hope that G_d really needed the best pre-school teacher in the world-- because that's who he took. Her colleagues and students and their parents are as devastated as we are. She was my other half and I feel amputated.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go on like that.

Thank you so very much.

And if you want to say Kaddish for her I'd be honored, and so would she.


Dear Mr. Boyes,
I am so, so sorry for the sudden loss of your dear Betsy. What a beautiful tribute you have written.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

KT Hampton

Thank you for your kind words, KT, and please keep praying. I need all the support I can get, to get beyond this.




So very sorry to hear about the love of your life.May you know she will always be remembered as you look at your daughter and all your fur kids. May God be with you in your time of need.
God bless you both.
I pray your pain lessens with every passing day.
Kathy Abeel
Cassidy and Trinket....our 2 rescued Cardi fur kids and
Kaylen, our wannabe Corgi.

Thank you ever so much for your kind words, Kathy. We've asked people to donate to corgi rescue in Betsy's memory, so that even her passing will benefit the dogs she loved.


Walt and Andrea

I've been mostly offline and out of town. I'm so sorry for your loss.


I'm so sorry. Please pass my sympathies on to Andrea. I have a real world friend in Tacoma who lost his wife three years ago, to a brain aneurysm, so I have some idea what you may be going through.

If it's OK with you, I'll pass your situation on to my church prayer chain this Sunday.


Please. Prayer is always good, and God knows, I need plenty of help right now. He took the best teacher in the world...I guess he needed her more than Andrea and I do...

Re: Betsy Gail (Anonymous) Expand
There are no words adequate.

The only thing I can say is, "I stand with you."

Most respectfully,

Thanks. If we stand together we can make it through. I appreciate it.

Hi Walt,
It's QM here. I was so sad to hear the news this morning. Chris and I are praying for you and Andrea. There's nothing I can say other then I hope God grants you the Peace that passes understanding in knowing that you will all be together again one day