Betty Goldman showed us about determination
Betty Rose Atkins Goldman of Depauw has finally been released from a form of bondage.
Goldman was only 50 when she died on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the end of a valiant, 10-year battle with cancer that kept coming back, time and time again. Sarah Turpin, a life-long friend, said Betty fought the fight with determination, courage, grace and dignity. At various times, Goldman had cancer of the breast, lung and brain, sometimes at the same time, sometimes several cancers in the same area, and yet she never gave up, never felt sorry for herself, never stopped putting her fine family first. One of her sisters-in-law said she never stopped putting “one foot in front of the other.”
Like Job, she had reason to get angry at God, but she didn’t, and she never lost her faith in the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Betty was an amazing woman who didn’t complain about her physical predicament. She brushed off people’s concerns by saying that other people were suffering worse than she.
At her funeral, her pastor, Brother Morris Larimore, told a story about visiting Betty and her husband, James, in their home a few days before she died. James served coffee, and Betty, because of her weakened condition, got hers in a plastic cup and a straw. She would have none of that! She insisted on having her coffee in a cup like everyone else. Darned if she would be deprived of a good-tasting cup of coffee just because she had cancer!
Even though her body was fighting an insidious and relentless enemy, Betty continued to work, as a secretary at the North Harrison Upper Elementary School and as a housewife. Her husband is a dairy farmer and Harrison County’s First District Commissioner. Everyone knows that work on a dairy farm is never done. She kept up-to-date on the Internet and agreed to a host of various therapies, some experimental, that included chemotherapy, radiation and a state-of-the-art, ultra-precise “Gamma Knife” radiation procedure pioneered at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.
Because Betty fought the good fight, was surrounded by a good family and had a husband active in Democratic Party politics, county government and the North Harrison school system, she had quite a following! The huge crowds at the Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey last week for visitation and the funeral testified to that.
Although extremely nervous about speaking in public, she talked about her up-and-down fight with cancer at an outdoor Harrison County Cancer Society “Relay for Life” fund-raiser at night at Corydon Central High School in June of 2000, and you could have heard a pin drop, the crowd was so respectful.
In dealing with cancer, she had made the best of a bad situation. She told the people in the grandstand: “Cancer has been a big challenge, one that has changed my life, but not all for the bad. I have learned to appreciate each new day and all the precious blessings that God has given to me. I would like to say, my family is the greatest blessing I will ever receive, and true friends do not have a price tag.”
The most important thing in life, she said, is “just being loved by those you love.”
In that respect, Betty Goldman was greatly blessed.