The Heroines

Betty J. Brunner Dyck

is honored with a Brick from the children of Betty J. Brunner Dyck.

Dear Mom, Your children Sonia, Jerry and Barbara are writing you this letter to share with you some of our memories and our feelings, and to let others know how special you are to us!

For both Sonia and Barbara, "sewing" is a part of our memories of growing up with Mom. Our Barbie dolls had many little outfits that Mom sewed from scraps of material. We remember wearing pink and tan suede jumpers for Christmas one year and bright red corduroy outfits another year that Mom made.

And then, as Sonia remembers, Mom helped us learn to sew...
"Now I can only smile as I think back to times when I was growing up and I thought the world was coming to an end because I must rip out another seam in my 4-H sewing project! I remember the encouragement my mother gave me as she guided me through my 4-H projects in preparation for the county fair."

Mom was our community 4-H leader for years and this 4-H connection also prompts another memory from Sonia...
"I remember the reassurance Mom gave me when I got up front of a group of people to present a 4-H project talk or demonstration. It has been beneficial to me. She showed interest and patience as she listened to me polish my presentation for a group."

We all knew that Mom would support us as we worked on a project (4-H or otherwise). We all knew that we were expected to do the work and complete the task.

Barbara remembers piano lessons as another one of these "tasks"...
"Mom wanted me to take piano lessons. And that meant practicing. She would even let me skip helping with the dishes as an incentive to practice. And even though I had to shed some tears while I practiced, I'm so glad that I can play the piano (though I could use some practice!)."

Piano lessons kept us all from getting "bored." And so did outdoor tasks, like gardening...
"Mom loves to plant flowers and grow vegetables. She was (and is) always planting, growing, watering, harvesting, preserving. During the summers, we were never 'bored' because we were helping with these gardening tasks." Isn't it interesting that all three of us have chosen spouses who enjoy gardening!

Jerry has written about his special feelings for you, Mom:
"My memories of my mother are not so much specific instances but of certain feelings that were bestowed on myself and my sisters on a continual basis. The first one is a feeling of love. It is a love that didn't 't have to be earned. It is a love that is always there. It is a love that is demonstrated in so many ways. And even now that I'm 33, I still like to lean my head on my Mom 's shoulder.

The second is a feeling of home. Mom was always there. And there was always the smell of great cooking. I knew our home was special then, but I didn't 't realize how exceptional it was until I moved away. It 's always great to go back home.

The third is a feeling of support. Mom always supported me even if I did something wrong. She also pushed me to do some things I didn't want to do, but that she knew were good for me. She supported me by giving me opportunities from taking me to the library to seeing the country on a family vacation.

Mom still provides me with these feelings each day. I take them with me (along with my individual memories) wherever I go. I hope to be able to pass these same feelings on to my children."

As we were growing up, we didn't really realize that we were learning values: responsibility, caring for others, appreciation of education and knowledge. But through what we saw you and Dad doing and living each day, we learned many important lessons of life. We hope that we're able to pass on those values that both of you taught us through your love for each other and for us.

We think Jerry said it best, "Thank you, Mom, you'll always be my heroine."

Submitted with love by the children of Betty Brunner Dyck: Jerry Dyck, Sonia Cooper and Barbara Roths.

June 7, 1999