I don’t remember the first time I met Betty Davis. I was young, probably 9 or so? I didn’t really realize at the time how incredibly lucky I was.

My dad and mom had split up, and my mom had remarried. My dad was looking to marry my step-mother, Linda. It was a bewildering time for me.

I do remember long summers hanging around the Davis’ immaculate house, playing with Jim, learning about Dungeons & Dragons. I remember Christmases, birthdays, Thanksgivings, trips to Ohio and Florida. Good memories.

Through it all, Betty was there. She had this calming effect on everything and everyone around her. She was one of the kindest, most open, loving people I have ever known. She made me feel like one of her own, a real part of the family.

After her husband Don died, she grieved. As did we all. He was one of the good ones.

Betty started to decline after that. She battled Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. Where she once could run for miles, now she couldn’t walk on her own.

I was estranged from the family for a few years. Who’s right and who’s wrong, and who said what, it doesn’t matter. Betty’s kindness was such that her very last act opened the door for me to a part of my life I wasn’t sure I would see again. And I went through it. And for that, and for all the other countless kindnesses, I thank you, Nanny. I love you, and I will miss you.