"An Attitude of Gratitude"
As a KIPDA Case Manager and an aging Baby Boomer myself, I wanted to share some information about a delightful lady I have the pleasure of being in touch with monthly. Her name is Betsy Jacks and she is a “breath of fresh air” whenever I come into contact with her.
Betsy is “over 60” and lives in her family home in suburban Jefferson County with her dog, Abby. They are a fine pair and enjoy visiting with all the friends and neighbors and church folks who come to see them. By her demeanor on the telephone, one might never know what health issues this lady has to deal with on a daily basis. She has had Parkinson’s disease with severe tremors for nearly 15 years, and has undergone brain surgery to try and curb their severity. In addition, she has experienced seizures and resulting falls, and degenerative bone disease which affects her stamina and balance. But she truly believes that God has blessed her, and will make this testament to anyone who knows her.
Betsy grew up in Richmond, KY, and her dad was the Director of the Student Union Building at Eastern State Normal School (now EKU). At the age of three, she was diagnosed with encephalitis. This was before our medical skills were advanced enough to deal with this disease, and Betsy was nearly pronounced dead on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941. She survived, but as a result of being sick as a youngster, she was close to her family and was very involved with the school. Betsy also developed seizures as a young person. She moved to Louisville in August 1959 after college, and had to lie about her seizures to teach in Jefferson County. She taught special needs children for five years and worked with Public Relations at Kentuckiana Children’s Center for 13 years.
Betsy adopted four foster children during her first marriage. One of her “kids,” David Belcher, is a cardiac perfusionist in Bloomington, IN, and her daughter-in-law, Noel, wife of her late son Thomas, who died of leukemia, is there to help Betsy out whenever she can. Her daughter Laura works at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville, and her other daughter, Ruth, lives in Virginia.
Betsy’s second husband, Leon, passed away in 2003. The two were very involved with Bethlehem Baptist on Preston Highway. They team-taught the Sunday School class for singles, widowed and divorced congregants.
Betsy’s “Attitude of Gratitude” shines through all her relationships and her joy of living seems apparent after only a short time spent with her. Though she has experienced many health trials and tribulations, her smile seems permanently placed on her lovely face.