S: A Tribute to Bevo
BC: Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
FC: Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart. ~Author Unknown
2: Happy 80th Birthday! July 29, 2012
3: Mama Bev's Birthday Song They say and apple a day keeps the doctor away, And I suppose that may be true. But having a mom like Bevo, Does more than any ol’ apple can do. Chorus: Oh she's the queen of our hearts, She's the pie in our sky. She's given us our wings, And shown us how to fly. With her laughter and her love, She sets our lives a glow. She's the beauty that shines, OUR MAMA, BEV-O!! Her eyes are as bright, As that Crystal Valley light, And Pete Woods saw it right from the start, But so did our dad, And that ain't so bad. He made a family with that little gal from Hart. Oh she went on to be a nurse, Watched Paul drive off in a hearse. She and the CRS’ers always had a ball. Dress up parties at the lake, Super pies and birthday cakes, And in our eyes she's the very best of all.
4: Peace begins with a smile ~Mother Teresa
5: Always the star of our show! | Multi-tasker Extraordinaire! | Special Birthday Buddy!! | Adoptive mother to all!! | Always making every birthday special! | Sister, Friend, Confidante | Favorite travel mate! | Founding CRS Member! | Endless fun, surprises and treats! | Mother of the year...every year
6: “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” Mother Teresa
7: Mom | Grandma Bevo | Gram | Bevie | Beverly | Sis | Aunt Bev | Bev | Bevo
8: "When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." ~Sophia Loren
9: “There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother” ~Sarah Josepha Hale
10: Ode to Bevo, Beverly, Mom, Grandma We have shared new beginnings and loss; births, weddings and deaths; joys and sorrows; hopes, dreams, laughs and life! I have learned strength from you, along with how to nurture, cook, clean, sew, all through a deep spirituality that was not just modeled; it is lived! You have an astonishingly creative family; the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! In trying to come up with one memory to write about, I realized that you have always been there for me and therefore, it would take many books to detail the memories I don't have, because you were always there!!!! Thank you for being so much to so many, and especially for being MY MOM! Love, Anne Marie
13: Ode To Bevo When it comes to our Mom, Grandma Bevo is the best! All would agree we have been truly blessed. Time and time again you have given all you could. Ah, yes we surely knew you would. Thanks Mom for all the kindness and support you share, And to do it with such a great head of hair. We hope you always find serenity at the beach, Even with the grandkids being there like a leach. You hustle, you bustle, you never stop, Even though you burn some meals on the stove top. You have raised nine kids and never broke a sweat, Although some are not grown up quite yet. Seventeen grandkids, what a reward. To say the least, you have never been bored. The time has come to give you a big THANK YOU.!!! For always being there thru and thru. For most turning 80 is time to slow down. Not our Grandma Bevo, that would bring a frown. So the apple of our eye will always be, Our Mom, Bevo, for all to see. We adore you and love you from the bottom of our hearts. You are the best. You are off the charts. We love you MOM!!!! !! Mike and Lisa!!
17: Dear Mom, Thank you for being the person who has most influenced my life. I couldn't have asked for a better guide. It is the perseverance and resilience you have role modeled that has shown me how to hold steady through my many rough patches and new ventures. Without your wisdom, guidance, and encouragement, my girls and I surely wouldn't have made it. You had the courage to teach us to listen to varied voices, be open to new experiences, and always get out and play rather than sit inside where it is known and familiar. This has brought in such a richness to life, and I am so grateful. May the 80th year of your life bring you much peace and joy. Love always, Therese
20: Happy Birthday Bev! 80 years strong into life’s great journey!! A life journey of creating a legacy that has provided... - much love, joy and happiness to all who crossed your path. - unselfish care, giving and sacrifice to those in need. - a home, family and support to many wayward souls. And most importantly... - just being the mother, grandma and friend to those who need you most......your family. You have made so much possible for so many! Thanks for everything Bev and congratulations on this milestone! Love, Rick
21: Mom, Although I have endless memories of your love and support through my younger years, it wasn't until I became a mother myself that I truly understood the depth of your love for all of your kids. I will never know how you handled nine kids through so many years and so many challenges, while still having energy to spare for your friends, relatives, husband, grandchildren and much more. I am certain that I could never have managed five kids without you! You have been my safety net, my taxi, my childcare provider, my laundress, my counselor and probably the only person who fully understands, yet isn't blown away by our crazy schedule. Your generous love and support has made it possible for Rick and I to thrive and truly enjoy our family. Beyond all of the support you have provided for our family, you have most importantly been my friend and the most amazing grandma ever. I treasure our special trips, our cottage time and every moment that you have spent impacting the lives of my kids as you did my own. I love you Mom! Mugs
24: "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." ~Abraham Lincoln
25: Dear Momma, There is no greater joy that I know than sharing my sons Shepherd and Bruno with you. Shep and Bruno both hold you in a special place in their hearts. Both know that you are the center of our family, and someone whose love and generosity for them is boundless. You have instilled in us all a deep love for our kids through your love for your kids. The circle of love just keeps turning out great kids for us, grandkids for you and deep experiences, memories and more love for all. This latest trip to Michigan with the little Shepasaurus has been sublimely satisfying for Shep and I. He now has a rock-solid concept of what our family is all about, and who “Bevo-Bevo” is. What he does not know yet is how, through thick and thin, you have been there for us all. And why should he? Shep has had no difficult times yet. He has no idea what it is to fall down hard and need your mother for comfort when the fall is not simply physical, but deeply emotional. He has not needed the kind of commitment that you have given us all, so deeply aware of our personal needs, so in tune and reasonable, so constant and unconditional. Yet Shep has benefited greatly already, since his upbringing is happening very well. His daddy knows how to be there for him (even when the opportunities are limited by circumstances). Shep knows uninhibited, creative freedom, but also solid structure and limits. He knows he is adored but not to be spoiled. He is having a great life so far. Thank you so, so, so much for that, mom. Shep and I thank you so much for that. Bruno would also agree with everything I have said. He always reminds me that he is deeply afraid of disappointing you, so he carefully waits to have something positive to share with you. Your care for Bruno has been lovingly constant, and he knows it. So the main thing I wish to say to you, mom, is that all this deep care and love you have put into your own children has paid off, and will continue to pay off for generations. I just want you to glimpse the power of what you have done for us all. Without going into details (ohh god, please not that!), I think we would all say that you have been compassionate, present and strong for us when we needed you most. I just really want you to hear that. We love you mom, grandma very, very, very much. Thank you so very, very much. Jerry, Bruno and Shepherd
31: Bevie, My love for you feels older than 80 years. It is as deep as the ocean, as tall as the stars, as expansive as the universe. It feels ancient and ever new. I can't remember a time when I haven't loved you fully with all my heart and soul. We have experienced the essence of life together, the fullness of joy and the darkness of grief and loss. I know you receive my love, and that gives meaning and purpose to my life. Love begets gratitude, so I say thank you for who you are, and what you bring to my life, and to the universe. xxxooo Vonnie
32: Memories of a Lifetime with Beverly Playing in the sand hills of the piper farm and getting up the cows. Turning on lights when we got electricity. Fun in winter sliding on steep hill, long hill and skating where ever we found ice. Sitting on our pails in the asparagus field planning our future. New friends we shared in high school. Cherry season and flat tires. Your MSU decision made me so happy and the accident that changed your career. Sharing our early home with you and nursing student friends. Our inner-tube trip across Pickerel Lake that led to cottage and many family shared times. Trip to Coopers with you and me driving the pontoon boat. Declaring July as sisters month and great times at your cottage. CRS good times at Pentwater, Vonnie's cabin, and your cottage. Our families grew up, married had families and moved on, yet ur bond stayed strong as did theirs with you and your kids. We shared sad times including mom, dad, Harv, Burt and Fritz passing. We shared Vonnie's crisis which really made me appreciate your love and concern. We shared rehab and Vonnie adjusting to new life without Nancy and at Marywood. I AM SO HAPPY WE HAVE EACH OTHER AS YOU ARE A REMARKABLE SISTER. HOPING YOU HAVE MANY MORE GOOD TIMES WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. | Love, Pat
34: Memories of my Little Sis Bevie” *Your pretty blonde curls as a child. *Harv buying you a “cowgirl outfit” on one of his trips to California with his basketball team. You felt SO special!! *Living with us on Bowman St. in South Bend when you attended St. Mary’s Academy as a high school senior. You were a tremendous help to me when Kim, Diane and Sue were ages 3, 2 and 1!! *Giving our Marilyn the opportunity to attend West Catholic her junior year in high school. My, how she loved all of you! *Sharing so many enjoyable times at your cottage with my family and yours, get together with our siblings, etc., etc., etc. Thank you!! *You were an angel to help me out (along with Vonnie and Pat) during Harv’s last 7 weeks on Hospice Care at home. You were also there to help me plan his funeral after I was released from the hospital. Words cannot express my gratitude to you, dear Sis, for all the love and support you've shown me over the years. You mean more to me than I can ever express. May God bless you and your beautiful family as you celebrate your 80th birthday! I will be with you in spirit and drink a toast to you on your special day. I love you dearly Little Sis! Big Sis "DJ"
37: Memories The first time I saw you, I thought you were the prettiest girl ever. Our first date was at Fruitport with a big band and you wore a blue dress. I was in the Army and came home as often as possible to see you. You wrote to me often and I couldn't wait to get to your letters. The happiest day of my life was when I married you. We went on our honeymoon in Canada but it was so cold, we went back to Glen Lake. You did somersaults on the dunes and I loved watching you flip around. When we came home to the Horter House your brother had tied your horse Skyboy to a tree. Our first Christmas was at your mother and father's house. All of the husbands gave something romantic to their wives and I gave you an electric can opener. I was so embarrassed. Your mother and dad were some of the nicest people I’d ever met. When we moved to the farm on 40th Avenue you helped me plant fruit trees. Some of the sweet cherries we planted are still there and I think of our good times when I see them. In the spring the road was so bad that you had to walk home after work from the hospital. I always admired your strength and tolerance. Remember when Mike and Paul went in the garden before we were going to church and the mud came up to their knees? We were so happy when you gave birth to our first child, Anne Marie. In 1964 we moved into our home we live in now and soon after we settled in the tornado struck. It was very scary, but we counted our blessings that no one got hurt. Trees were going around the house for over a mile away. A huge stone landed outside our walk-up basement. Remember all the summer trips we took with the family? The kids didn't seem to care were we stayed, as long as there was a swimming pool. Some of my favorite memories are the trips to Fritz & Jeff’s in Texas and to Harv and DJ’s. I have so many good dreams about our times we spent together, and I am so thankful for such a great wife, mother, and grandmother!! Love, Geno
38: What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudolph Giuliani
39: Teaching through life, love and books!
40: Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. ~Author Unknown | It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. ~Christopher Morley
42: Dear Gram, How lucky am I to be your first grandchild? How lucky am I to have had you all to myself in my early years? How lucky am I to look back at photos and see you smiling in so many? You never missed a recital, graduation, birthday, Halloween costume, Christmas gift, school play or event never a single beat! How lucky am I to have a grandma who is so present in my life? How lucky am I to share you now with all the others, my siblings and cousins? How lucky are we all? You are at the center, the core of the apple, the trunk of the tree. You keep us together, well-rooted, watered, and nurtured. You keep us all in your pocket, and I keep you in mine. I keep memories of summers at the cottage, making sandcastles in the channel, and of cozy winters at your house baking cookies, going ice-skating, and drinking the best hot chocolate. I keep memories of skipping school to work on a Halloween costume with you and my friend Laura. I keep memories of going to midnight mass at Saint Mary’s, just the two of us, only to discover upon leaving that we had to break in to your car to retrieve the keys! I keep memories of swimming, learning to dive and ride a bike, trampoline-jumping, traveling to Florida and Wisconsin, and playing in the playhouse with you. I keep memories of washing cartonfuls of fresh strawberries in your kitchen sink. And I keep memories of going to Hart with you and learning about all your childhood stomping grounds. I love all of these memories! But most of all, I love you! You are the crme de la crme—the best! With all my love, Nat July 2012
43: Je t'aime grand-maman
44: Hugs and Love from Jacob and Katie
45: Dear Grandma, Happy 80th birthday!!! I hope you can enjoy yourself on this very special day because you deserve it. I appreciate everything that you do for me like coming to my school and sporting events; you are a very important part of my life. It seems like you are a part of every special memory I have. It seems like just yesterday we were making mud pies in your playhouse, driving tractors in your yard, building sand castles on the beach, and going to get ice cream at Tasty Freeze and Whippy Dip. Unforgettable memories like these are ones that I will cherish forever. I also want to thank you for always being there for me through all the happy and tough times, you are the best grandma anyone could ask for. I hope you have a great birthday! Love Alec
46: Grandma, I don't have many vivid memories from early on in my life, but you are very present in most of those that I can now think of as well as a lot of more recent ones. The aromas and tastes of your delicious cooking that us grandkids loved to sometimes help you with during holidays, the beautiful views of your lush summer gardens at your house and the cottage, long refreshing walks on the beach, learning to ice skate on the pool, helping you out with all sorts of odd jobs that you had for me when I most needed them (which you often outworked me on!), and attentively talking and joking about anything interesting that struck our fancy are all some of the very nostalgic memories that I find myself having every now and then and embrace very dearly. Whenever these come to mind, it always strikes me how deeply you've always cared about everyone close and everything of interest to you and how unfalteringly you've striven to help anyone and improve anything that needs it. Perhaps most striking of all is whatever it is about the bond between an admirable grandmother/mother and her family that words can't convey, which in addition to witnessing you overcome your own struggles has tremendously helped me through the rough patches I've had in life. Astounding compassion, determination, charisma, wit, health, and grace are all qualities of yours that always have amazed and always will continue to inspire me and those around you. For all of this I can't thank you enough. I'm very proud to be your grandson. Love, Brendan
47: There are countless memories I have with Gram. Baking Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies, ice skating on the pool after it had frozen over, playing make-believe in the playhouse, walking up the channel, making drip sand castles, and exploring the dunes all jump out at me as lovely times spent with her. I realize though that most of these are from when I was a little girl, and that there are so many other wonderful and more recent memories. They range from helping when she would babysit the girls, going to movies, and talking about books to visiting Charleston and hearing stories about what it was like growing up in Hart. These memories I cherish just as much as the ones from when I was younger. Emma
48: Dear Gram, Home is where the heart is.. I keep this phrase close to my heart always. Home is where the heart is; home is where my family is. No matter how far away I travel, I will always feel your candle burning bright at home. Burning bright and bringing our family, our heart back to Grand Rapids to celebrate the love and warmth we all bring to one another. You never fail to draw us all back from wherever our lives take us; China, India, Iowa, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida. There will forever be a deep burning love for one another instilled in this family because of your never ending love and support. You have taught me endless lessons, and been an inspiration throughout my entire life. I don't know how you did all that you did, but somehow, you were ALWAYS there. No matter the event, competition, ceremony or holiday, you made it special and left a mark that will be forever remembered. Whether there in person or in spirit, I have always felt an undying amount of support from you. I have been truly blessed to have grown up with a grandma like you. Always giving of yourself; your time, talent and treasure, and making an impact in so many ways.
49: The list of memories with you could go on forever. Never a dull moment, only ones filled with passion, love, laughter and care. You always have a smile on your face and I admire your ability to make everyone you meet love you. So many amazing times together. Baking cookies, beach walks, dune hikes, whippy dip trips, ice skating on the pool, sledding in the winter, hot chocolate with marshmallows, tortellini dinners after practice, celebrating graduations, holidays, American girl dolls, plays at John and Misha’s wedding, crafts with cousins, pancakes, pool slide, wedding songs, birthday songs, clothesline bars, playing behind West Central, CALIFORNIA TRIPS, and MANY more to come! I am so lucky to have been able to share all of this with you already. I am so lucky to have gotten a chance to show you my life as a college student. I cherish those trips with you and my mom, they have been some of the most amazing times. I am so lucky to have grown up near you and with your influence so prevalent. I am so lucky to have learned from you. Thank you Gram, for everything. I could not have gotten to where I am today without you. I appreciate everything you have done for my siblings, parents and I. You are an inspiration; a rock and a constant part of me. I could not ask for a better grandma. Love. Heart. Family. You bring them all together. Love burns deep within the hearts and souls of this family. I love you Gram! Nicole
50: Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and year. You've always been so kind and supportive.Thank you for everything. Lots of Love, Mia
51: Dear Grandma Bevo, I wish you a very happy birthday! I feel so fortunate to be your granddaughter, and I hope this next year brings even more occasions for us to spend time together. I cherish my memories of our riverside walks, letter exchanges and the occasional baking adventure. Enjoy this day and know that you are in my thoughts! Love, Elli
52: Grandma, Happy 80th birthday! You have been such an important part of my life and I want to thank you for always being there for me. It seems like you are always doing something for us, like going to our games, making us cookies, driving us somewhere, getting me Panera or making me a pie. You know how to make me smile. I always looked forward to the days that you took me to carpool. My best memories with you are at the cottage and when everyone is at your house together. You are the best grandma ever. Love, Ryan
53: Dear Grandma, Thank you for everything you have done for me. Whether its going to my games or at the house helping with huge amounts of laundry, I am always so glad to see you. I always look forward to the family gatherings at the cottage or at your house. You are the one who has always kept the family as close as we are and made it possible for us to have as much fun as we do. I can always count one you to be there for me. No matter if I lost or not, you are always there with a snack and a hug after my games. Nobody could ask for a better grandma. I love you! Joel
54: A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend. ~Author Unknown
58: You have always been there, in person and in my heart. Watching from the stands, cheering, hugging, congratulating. Home lighting candles or taking a beach walk, thinking of me, praying Gymnastics has gone so well, and I thank you for all of the support! You are always helping. My family, our family, you do it all You do our dishes, and loads and loads of dirty clothes! The dirty, disgusting toilets, was supposed to be my job Thank you. Cottage memories fill me with joy. Family time, relaxing time, fun! Having a cottage is sure a treat, and I have you to thank for this! Gram, you make it all possible. Taking me to carpool, Panera! Helping my parents, treats! Most of all, it's just fun to see you, You're the best! Love to you on your 80th birthday! Anna
60: Fun Times with Fabulous Friends
62: Bev, We have spent 3/4 of our lives together, sharing the events that have made us happy and those that made us cry. (If the beach could talk!) My life has been blessed by you, my friend, my companion and my soul mate. You are such a gift. Love You!! Mary Lynn
64: With Love, From the CRS'ers | Marcy Delano
65: Dear Bev, You are one of a kind. I saw it right from the start, when we were in the same group in training—studying, working and having fun. You are truly a special person and a wonderful friend. There are not enough descriptive words to tell the goodness you possess. I wasn't always thorough with patient care or other duties and along came that Greiner girl to help. ~always caring for other's needs~ a heart of gold!! You are one of my very best friends and I feel so blessed to have you as part of my life! God Bless You Bev, Fondly, Skip
66: My Dearest Cousin Bevo, It is hard to know how to write a letter to you that can capture all that you have meant to me through the years. I have good memories, of course, of the Greiner reunions at Aunt Clara’s. Those were magical days for me—such fun to see so many cousins and aunts and uncles that I only saw once a year. I have lots of memories of playing with your and Pat’s kids, but really barely knowing you. But I will never forget that day in May, 1969 when I bicycled out to Comstock Park to visit you and your family. It was such a tumultuous time for me. I knew that I didn't want to continue in the seminary, but I also knew that I HAD to continue my education and the seminary seemed like to the way I could afford to do that. When you suggested that I could live with your family in return for taking the kids to school and bringing them home, suddenly I began to think that there might be a way. I checked with financial aid at Aquinas, and they checked my academic record and said that I could have a full scholarship to continue on. So, in just a couple of days, I made the decision to cancel my application for the major Seminary in San Antonio and to notify St. Joe’s that I was leaving. And my life has never been the same. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about how that day in May at your house changed the course of my life. And I can’t thank you enough. But that was just the beginning. That day set in motion a path of learning that has been invaluable for me in my life. I learned so much about child-rearing from you. I am absolutely convinced that I am the parent and grandparent I am because of you. You were so much different from my parents, so calm (most of the time), so patient and so attentive to the specific needs of each of the kids. Of course, I saw the special nurturing of baby Bimby during her infancy and early childhood, but I remember specific things about your relationship with each of the kids. You had a way of tuning in to each one’s specific needs, a way of recognizing each one’s accomplishments individually. I grew up with a lot of chaos, with a mother who became exasperated easily and yelled a lot. I know there were times during those two years when you lost your cool, but they were few and far between. You had that calm and nurturing way to engage the kids in helping around the house and doing various chores. And you had fun with the kids! That was something very new for me. Even when my mother would take us to the lake, it was tense. She worried about someone drowning, so we couldn’t really have fun. No horse playing allowed! It was mostly a way for us to get a bath, I think! And I loved my mother. She was very good in many ways, but you showed me a completely different approach to parenting. One that I much preferred.
67: You probably don’t realize it, but you were such a help as Terry and I went through difficult times during 1969 and 1970. When she started dating others and I decided that maybe I should too, I appreciated your openness to this and allowing Suzy to stay over. I guess that was pretty radical at that point in history. It helped me to explore another relationship and come to the conclusion that Terry was really the one for me.And you nursed me through mono and hepatitis, including a hospital stay and lots of extreme tiredness afterward. If I had been living in an apartment, I am not sure what I would have done! I remember fondly the dinners we had over in Spring Lake at that restaurant on the water, the many movies you took me to, the many times you included me when the family went out for lunch on Sunday—so much generosity in return for driving the kids to and from school! It was certainly not a fair exchange! So I thank you again for all that you did for me and all you meant to me during those two years leading up to Terry’s and my wedding. And it did not end there. You have continued to be part of our family’s life during the past 41 years. Some of our kids’ fondest memories in returning to MI were the visits with you! You were so good to them, treating them as your grandchildren and doting on them whenever you could. They loved it, and so did I. I know that you have had heart aches through your life. Probably many that I don’t even know about. But you have so much to look back on with pride and satisfaction. Sure, we all could wish that some things had gone differently in our lives. But we all have to look back at the sum total of what we have experienced and accomplished. You can look back with pride and satisfaction. And look forward to many more years of enjoying your children and grandchildren, your dear brothers and sisters, and your friends. I wish you many more healthy and happy years, many more walks on the beach and many, many more sunsets on the deck! Lots of love, Jerry
68: Dear Bev, I can remember so clearly the first time I met you. It was the annual Greiner reunion and apparently you had agreed to host. It was a wild and crazy party and your nieces, Marilyn and Marie, and daughter, Lori, kept trying to drown me in the pool! Little did I realize that someday this would be my family, too. I was so impressed by your calmness in the midst of all the craziness. While I now know that you're not always as serene as you appear, you still continue to amaze me with the love and generosity you have shown all of us over the ensuing years. I remember you and Gene taking Jerry and me to a grown-up dinner at Point West when we must have been about 20 years old. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! There was another time after Jerry and I got married that we found this purple velvet comforter with white satin backing that we thought was the most beautiful thing in the world. We must have mentioned it in your presence because it showed up in our Christmas gifts from you the following holiday. Over the years, you have always been there for us. Craig and Sarah think of you as a treasured member of our family as do we. I look forward to our yearly walks along Lake Michigan and this summer I am so excited that you will get to meet our grandchildren and that they, too, will grow to love you. We are so lucky that you are a part of our lives, Bev. Turning 80 is a huge milestone and you are showing all of us how to do it gracefully and with the enthusiasm and humor that we have come to expect from you. May you take some time during your birthday celebration/day/week/month/festival to reflect on the wonderful family you have helped create and all of us who love you so much. A big hug and many kisses to you, Terry
70: Dear Bev, Happy Birthday! 80 is practically middle age these days but we certainly won’t let that stop us from shouting your name from the rooftops and cherishing so many years of memories. I hope your special day is lively and lovely. Perhaps it was luck that brought you in to my life after all of your own children were old enough to be (almost) out of the house but not yet having babies of their own. Having such a magnificent grandmother-figure essentially all to me was truly one of the joys of my childhood and I’m eternally grateful for the love and attention you gave so generously. Your caring is what I remember most about my time in Grand Rapids and at the cottage but a close second was the humor and laughs. From the everyday wit and stories to the more complicated, rehearsed bits around weddings and other celebrations, the ability to be part of your familial joy meant so much to me. Even when I wasn’t old enough to understand the jokes or relate to the cultural references there was also room in the skit-- and nobody minded when I missed the punch line. You are responsible for creating an incredible community inside and out of the Greiner/Rasch family structure. For every blood child and grandchild you count there must be two more that consider you a mother or grandmother. I know I do. Love, Craig Greiner
72: It’s so hard to put on paper all the wonderful thoughts and memories I have of my Aunt Bev. My attempt is below, but just know that a day doesn't go by that you aren't in my thoughts. You, and all your sisters, have set the standard very high tor “auntyism”. -I loved all of our vacations to Michigan. Swims in a pool right in your backyard with a slide and diving board, horses in a barn and apples and cherries on trees that we just walked up and picked made you a very cool Auntie! All of my cousins piled in the pool and all the great food just put you way over the top for amazing aunts!! One year there was even enough fresh corn that Marie could set the record for most consumed in one sitting – think it was 20. -Another big treat on these vacations is that my parents would disappear for at least a week and I was made to feel so welcome to just bunk with my cousins. Now that I have my own kids, I know far too well that taking on additional faces is not easy at all. And here is my true confession that I have always felt so guilty for: You hauled a bunch of us to the county fair and I got hooked on this skeet ball game and just had to win one of those junky prizes. You actually fed me quarters to feed this frenzy of mine, and my mother would have killed me for having such a bad case of the “greedy gimmies”. For that I am very sorry, but you were so great and didn't pinch me or jerk me away instantly like Mom would have. | My Ode to My Aunt Bevy
73: -I love your energy and can do and overcome attitude. I also love our venting. You not only have been a great auntie, but you have served as therapist and wine/whine consultant. I have needed a lot, and it's hard to believe that with your large family, you take time for me. Oh, and I forget that you also serve as my medical consultant and second opinion since my first opinions are so inadequate. -The fact that you keep the art of writing letters alive is amazing. I love the beautiful cards and keep them on display all around the house. They make me smile every time I look at them. Your cards are way nicer than the ones I send out! -I also love the fact that no matter how long the party lasted at Grandpa’s cabin, and they were LONG parties, all of us kids still had breakfast and goodies the next day. We just knew not to be too loud. -I could go on and on, but just know that the memories are a lot and that they are all wonderful. I don't think we will be doing this exercise with my niece and nephews. Definitely do not need to explore their memories!! We love you very much, Aunt Bev, and wish you a very happy birthday!! Mary Lynn
74: Dear Aunt Bev, You are so dear to me. You helped raise me since birth and it dawned on me in high school that you were my "other mother." I have the best memories from childhood as we spent many of our days together swimming in your pool, catching frogs and turtles at the cottage, Greiner reunions and visits, Rasch gatherings, WC softball games, and so much more. I only wish we had more time together now as well. You will always hold a special place in my heart. As a preschooler, my comfort with you was already so strong. At the time, my sister Lisa wasn't born yet, so I was the youngest in our family. I remember how my mom needed to find babysitters as she took classes for her masters' degree. I never minded (in fact, I enjoyed it) when she brought me to your house to play with cousins. Your place was like a second home. However, one time I must have been feeling a bit sensitive to the babysitter idea... but all was fine with me when Mom said that I could go to your house. Once I was there and playing, you came to say goodbye as you needed to leave for a shift at the hospital. I remember how I sobbed because my Aunt Bev was also leaving me that day... I think you had one of the Yost girls coming in to babysit and that just wouldn't be the same! The years rolled along and our families continued to practically live together whether it be for summer cottage time, visits to "God's Country" up in Weare, working for Rasch Farms, or overnights that often turned into 2, 3, or 4 day stretches (we knew to ask you first!). I can remember those wonderful phone calls between you and Mom that would last forever. You chatted and planned so many occasions, discussed illnesses and care for your dad and for the Rasch in-laws, divided up the holidays and meals, promised to be true to your sister should a tragedy occur as neither one of you questioned taking on a household of 17 children total if ever needed! Can you imagine 17 children all in the same house??? But in our homes, it only seemed natural. In high school when Laurie and I spent our weekends together, I often had the opportunity to sit and chat with you when I came over to pick her up. My love and respect for you only deepened as a teenager. You were such an awesome listener as you always kept such an open mind. I loved your conversations, your zest for life, your sense of humor, your personal warmth, and your all-too-fun giggle!
75: The fond memories are endless with you... Another one of my favorites was when we traveled to Texas for cousin Mary Lynn's wedding. The music was so loud so you wore your shoes over your ears! Then the photos from after cousin Carrie's wedding brought such laughter (the makeshift wedding party with Dad, Mom, you, and cousin Jeff Buie)... always such a fun time with family! I recently found myself daydreaming of the "haunted house" that you toured us through on the Weare road. You brought some of us girls back to show us the grand tour in this abandoned farm house. I think that I still have some items that we took that day as we found such treasures there! You have cared for and taken such interest in each one of us over the years. I thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration and dear aunt. Your example is tough to follow, but I know deep down that you represent what an aunt (other mother) should be. I feel very fortunate to have had you in my life forever. May your days and years ahead bring much health and happiness. You deserve only the best! Much love and many hugs to you as you turn 80 years young! Love, Marilyn
76: Dear Aunt Bev, Congratulations on this milestone! Happy 80th! awwww, just enjoy acknowledgment from the many, many people whose lives you have touched, and move on to the next day. I’d like to share just a few of the many memories that make you so special in my life. Childhood: *Having double cousins so we were always together; your kids are still special to me *Pedictably begging you and my mom for overnights after days together how was it that we happened to sometimes have a little brown bag packed so we were ready? *Your pool and green hair for all of us blondies *Your tender and generous heart for children, all children Young married: *Your Lake Michigan cottage and your generosity in loaning it out to us with our young married friends for a beautiful May weekend, 1984. *Size 24 months clothing as baby gifts - knowing how quickly they'd grow (they did!) *Stating “These are the best years - enjoy these little ones!” *“You’re too thin” comments. and introduction to healthy foods *Love of your sisters and “July Sisters month” and hats and wine *A great teacher on how to laugh at my children's antics. *Your tender and generous heart for children, all children--all children *Birthday and Christmas cards with a personal note, always and on time *More recent years: *I never could call you “Bevo” because my love for and relationship with you is a very heartfelt and admiring “my Aunt Bev” *A very special retreat weekend at your cottage in Dec 1999. *Very dedicated to and proud of each of your children and grandchildren, with an abiding love flowing from deep in your heart. *Always interested in how our children are *Continues flawlessly to send Birthday and Christmas cards, handwritten with a personal note, always and on time *Your love of your sisters (and brothers) and the journey into new stages and of letting go - your loving tears *Your tender and generous heart for children - yes, worth repeating again and again! You love deeply. Through the years you've had to suffer through and repair rips and tears in your heart because of such a giving spirit. It shows from every fiber of your being. Thank you for the example, my lovely, generous Aunt Bev. Happy tears from me for the great gift you are :) Love, Vonnie
79: Aunt Bev, My Godmother One of my early childhood memories of Aunt Bev, my godmother, was on a family summer vacation to Michigan when I was around 7. We stopped at an old 5 and dime store, and my Dad gave me a dime to spend. Yes, a whole dime. I realize this was 40+ years ago, but even back then, a dime wasn't worth much. Seeing a sour look on my face, Aunt Bev smiled and slipped me a dollar. Yes, a dollar! Now that was big money! I soon learned that Aunt Bev is a very giving person and always fun to visit. Over the years, she has never forgotten a birthday or Christmas, and has always made our trips to Michigan very special. A friend once told me that the best women to marry are school teachers and nurses because they are “givers” and not “takers”. Well, my wife is a teacher, my mother was a nurse and Aunt Bev is a nurse. I couldn't agree more! Bev, you have been a wonderful Aunt, a wonderful godmother, and now that we have kids, a wonderful grand-godmother. Our kids are now enjoying the same experiences that I had at their age. Have a great 80th Birthday, and please come out to California soon. We miss you! Love, Jeffrey and family.
80: Dearest Mama B I am so glad that you were born, and that we have the joy of celebrating this most sacred and special day with you. The 80th birthday is very special in e Hindu tradition as it symbolizes the celebration of a life well lived. You are one of the few people who qualifies for this honor. Despite the odds that you have had to face in life, you have withstood the test of losses and disappointments with dignity and grace, and, as a result, grown spiritually by leaps and bounds. You are an example and inspiration to all of us. On this holy day of your 80th birthday, I wish you a along and healthy life, joy, peace, abundance, and the contentment of knowing that you have made a difference, and that you continue to make a difference in all our lives just by being who you are. My love and prayers are ever with you. With love and Om Swamini Svatmavidyananda Swamini SV
82: Dear Bev, I hope you have a very special birthday for a very special Mum, to so many. I have such happy memories of the two occasions I have stayed in Michigan. First with Bernie when we were absolutely spoilt rotten & then when I came with Rod & family. You took Bernie & I on some great trips, up to the Lake house & then around sightseeing.Most of all I have to say a big thank you for the way you looked after & dare I say spoilt Rod. What a wonderful "second family" he met up with. Bev wishing you a wonderful birthday with all your family around you. Enjoy.Much love to you all Jan Meachen ps Still making those delicious cherry pies?
84: Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! ~Albert Einstein | Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. -Jane Howard
87: "If you're lucky enough to be at the beach...then you're lucky enough!"
88: "On the beach, you can live in bliss." - Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys
90: Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown
93: “The love of a family is life's greatest blessing” - Author Unknown
94: Because of YOU....
96: best friend, best grandma, best mom, best aunt, ...simply the best!
97: Celebrating You!
98: CREATING A WONDERFUL AGING WOMAN She will be: WISE; from having learned from her experiences of life. JOYFUL; savoring the moment, sucking the juice out of it. LOVING; love will rule her judgments and relationships. FLEXIBLE; willing to change, adaptable to the changes demanded by the aging process. ASSERTIVE; she will speak truth from her heart, and learn the necessary virtues of courage and self-confidence. LIGHTHEARTED; learn to laugh at herself and the universe. Have fun so people will enjoy being around me. HOPEFUL; learn to retrain my brain to think more positively, to see options and choices UNIQUE; bring my own best gifts forward, gentleness, a listening spirit, interest in and appreciation of others. from Inner Journey, by Y.M. Foster