Betty Woody had been engaged to marry another man, but somehow they both knew it truly wasn't meant to be. She gave him back the ring and he wished her well, hoping that she'd find the one that was meant for her. May 1950 rolled around and her older brother Bill had just been married. His new bride hadn't a clue when it came to knowing her way around the kitchen, so his sister volunteered to show her a thing or two and with a bus fare paid by Bill, she set out from Graham, Texas to sunny El Paso. Betty moved into the quaint trailer park with her brother and his spouse and quickly became acquainted with their neighbors, Ross and Claire Allen and their 14 yr old daughter, also named Betty. Now Ross was in the army and worked as a cook in one of the mess halls and he and Claire would invite some of the single men over on the weekends for a taste of home cooking and relaxation. One Saturday morning, not too long after Betty arrived, her other brother Bob and a rather dapper friend of his showed up for the weekend. She found out that this handsome stranger was named John and that he was stationed there, in the same company as Bob. John and she spent a great deal of the day talking and later in the afternoon he asked her to take a walk with him. Betty Allen meanwhile, being as boy crazy as 14 yr old girls are apt to be, and not wanting to miss out on a chance to flirt with this new young man, informed them both that she was going with them. Not too far into the walk, Betty Allen noticed John take her "rival's" hand and boy did that steam her up good. Didn't this guy know that he was supposed to pay attention to her and not this other woman?! The child stormed off and left John and Betty in peace. From then on, John and Bob were quite frequent guests of the Allens and he couldn't get enough of spending time with this blue-eyed, blonde -haired bombshell that he'd been so lucky to meet. On another adventure, John, Bob, Betty, and Betty Allen went to a nearby swimming pool. Poor Betty had never learned to swim, so she merely sat on the side, dangling her feet and watching everyone else. After a few laps, John swam over and got out to spread his towel next to her and flopped down on his belly for a nice, long conversation. Meanwhile, Bob had stayed in the pool playing with Betty Allen, but quickly tired and joined the other two. Well that of course didn't set well with poor, lil' ole Betty Allen and she stomped to the changing room and stomped off home, vowing that she'd never be friends with any of them again! Somehow neither John nor Betty seemed to mind that! June rolled around and John and Betty had continued to see each other. On a soft evening ,on one of their walks, John told her he had something he wanted to ask her. He told her, she didn't have to answer right away, but he did want an answer and he would only ask her once. Somewhat curious and a bit naively, she let him know she understood and when he asked for her hand in marriage, found herself a bit shocked. Betty had known that he liked her and that she liked him, but she hadn't expected this so soon. After a few moments consideration she agreed, but being the old-fashioned girl she was, quickly informed him that he either had to write or call her daddy and get his blessing and permission. John did and on July 3, 1950, in the living room of one of her sister's homes, Betty Woody became Mrs. Betty Raines. Ever the pessimist, Betty's daddy had never been a pleasant sort of man and he informed both her and John that he gave them 6 months before they were divorced. Four kids and years of loving each other later, when her father was close to dying, John jokingly reminded the man of his wrong prediction and informed him that he and Betty had only stayed together to make a liar out of him. They really did love each other and through the thick and thin of things they forged their life together. They watched their children grow, marry, and have children of their own. Then a year before his 70th birthday, John was diagnosed with lung cancer. Betty stood by him, watching him go through the pain of the illness and the treatments to combat it. Their love grew even stronger and their children, and grandchildren rallied around them both. On January 9, 1999, John went home to be with the Lord, and left Betty behind. Betty and the whole family grieved at the loss of this wonderful, vibrant man, but rejoiced to know he was out of pain and with the Lord. Today, Betty still loves John and she knows for certain she found the one that was meant for her.
My grandparents loved each other and all their family very much. My grandfather was my best friend, growing up, and his death hit me very hard. Now, my grandmother is one of my closest and dearest friends and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful example of what a marriage can be and what love is!
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