betty lou mckinney young

Two weeks ago, I was told my grandma had cancer.

Tuesday she was given a week to live. Wednesday, she died. She was a beautiful woman with an amazing heart.

I read this at her funeral today. (sorry if you don’t understand the no-no duck, its a family thing 🙂


‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

How many grandparents tell that to their grandkids? Quite a few, I’d be willing to bet. But how many say it with … the no-no duck!? Pretty sure my grandma Betty was the only one. I listened to Grandma and the no-no duck a few times, especially when they told me if I ate my bread crusts my hair would grow longer. I definitely listened if she offered to make me cinnamon toast. But other times in my childhood I ignored her worried requests: like the time I climbed to the top of a jungle gym at Ken Witt park, or drove like a madwoman on a jet-ski or four-wheeler out to Fish Lake.

Though my childish antics were enough to drive anyone crazy, she never stopped loving. She indulged my Halloween costume requests, creating everything from the pink power ranger to a gypsy girl costume. My grandmother drove me to hundred events – never missing them if she could – braided my hair, watched over me and fed me. Oh yes…every time I would stop in the door the first think I would hear is ‘Oh look who is here! You know there’s some tuna salad in the kitchen… :P’  But that was her way of caring, and care she did.

She cared about new neighbors across the street, like the Elstons and Cartwrights when they moved in way back when; my Grandma cared about recording temperature everyday, when the ice came in and out, and the exact strange medical remedy she saw on TV that day. Yet so much of this went unnoticed – so much went in one ear and out the other.

Betty Lou Young was a classy lady. She worked at the Citizen and dressed to the nines, even if she was going out for a couple hours. She wore smart dresses and clicking heels, greeting everyone with a smile; she was classy not only in dress, but in manner. I never asked how she and my grandpa met, but I’m sure he had more than a few things to like about her. She was smart, cute, classy, kind, and had great legs – water skiing legs to be exact. She was the first woman ever to water ski on Fish Lake.

There are not enough words to describe my grandmother, but one thing I do know – her life was full of love. She loved the lake, everyone in her family, friends, and neighbors – and they loved her right back. There’s a song that describes the greatest thing I learned from my grandma, and I’m sure you learned from her too. ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return.’


5 thoughts on “betty lou mckinney young

  1. Alex-
    What a beautiful writing of your Grandma’s life! Idid not know her, but after reading what you wrote, I feel like I got to know her—a little bit. It sounds like she really blessed your life—in so many ways. I hope and pray that I can be that kind of “grandma” to my grandchildren. Again, I send my sympathy and prayers to you and your family. You and Morgan are truly blessed to have the wonderful parents and grandparents that you have.(and had.)

    You have a gift for writing, as well. I love the way you use your talents to glorify our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. I read your other article on loving others, too. Excellent!
    God bless you, Alex. I’m blessed to know you!

  2. May you rest in peace Grandma Betty..

    I love this piece… It jus bought tears to my eyes- God bless you and your family… 🙂

  3. After reading your post about your grandmother, and wiping away the subsequent tears, I am left with a smile and a warmth in my heart, and the feeling that my grandmother and yours would have been the best of friends. I have a piece on my page called “Nanny’s Garden”… I would share with you, and hopes that it warms your heart as you have warmed mine.
    Thank you for sharing this lovely and beautifully written tribute.

  4. I absolutely love reading what you wrote about mom. I have read it several times and it still brings tears to my eyes and love in my heart to have had such a wonderful mom for almost 60 years. I only hope to be half the mom and grandmother that she was. I miss her and think about her every day. She was truly a blessing to us all.

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