The Queen B (6/2/1940-12/1/2018)

I wrote this blog after seeing my birth Mom, Betty Jean Padgett back in July of 2017.
It was the last time I would ever see her…

Betty Jean passed away this evening, surrounded by her loving husband Doug, son Doug Jr., daughters Laura and Ellen.
I was privileged and honored to know and love Betty Jean and the whole family, all of  whom received me into the fold as a true family member with all of its rights and privileges just twelve years ago…
I love you Betty Jean! I will miss you!
We will see each other again, and together we will once again… Dance!



The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.

Her reign covers towns with names like Gloucester, Mathews, West Point, Ware Neck, Gwynn Island, Urbanna, and Saluda.

Her reign reaches out to bodies of waters with names like Chesapeake, Rappahannock, Mobjack, and York.

From the Commonwealth of Virginia down to the Sunshine State called Florida, so has the train of her regal robe traveled.

The Queen B is married to King Doug, better known in the royal family as Senior.
The King’s thick Virginia accent is soothing to the ears as the phrase, “We are going about the house” would be pronounced, “We are going aboat the hoase.”

The royal family consists of two Princes and two Princesses, an equal balance of beauty, brawn, brains, love, and loyalty.

Prince Doug, commonly called Junior.
Princess Laura.
Prince David
Princess Ellen, the Baby Sis.

Three of the Royal Children share the Queen B and King Doug’s full DNA genealogy, with Prince David only sharing the Queen B’s genes as a traveling Court Jester made his way through the kingdom during the difficult Civil War of 1962-1963. With Prince David’s striking resemblance, the family has teased the Queen B that perhaps the traveling Court Jester was actually the King of Rock N Roll in disguise…


Prince David, faithfully and joyfully raised by another Royal Family of Scottish Presbyterian roots in the far west territory of California was found by Prince Doug a couple of years before the Queen B’s transplant – ten years ago now.  A beautiful reunion it has been with Prince David, the Queen B and the whole Royal family.

The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.
“Serenity” is the word escaping the lips of the Queen B as she describes what her soul experiences as her watchful gaze takes in the surrounding bucolic landscape.

The wind whispers through the elongated pines. The maple leaves wave in excitement at the sight of the Queen B. The army of Brown Eyed Susan stand at full attention waiting for their marching orders. The bee hives are strategically placed to prevent marauders from intruding the palace grounds.

As the sun sets and the moon rises in the Virginia countryside the orchestra of cicadas and grasshoppers drawing their bows across their wings to allow the moist air to be filled with a cacophony of symphonic harmonies as the lightning bugs dot the landscape with their “lighters” as if they were cheering on Eric Clapton at a live concert. So is the nightly concert offered for the ears and heart of the Queen B.

The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.

The gravel driveway gently slopes down into the carriage bay, just large enough to hold one carriage, although no carriage has entered this sacred space for years as the Queen B sits and welcomes all who would enter the palace grounds.

Some would call the palace small, manufactured and modest.
And yet, there has been no palace bigger.
There has always been and always will be room for one more around the dinner table. What the palace lacks in square footage is made up for by the Queen B’s heart which knows no boundaries and no limits to the number of guests who find more than ample room to stay the night, the month or the year.

Knick Knacks dot every corner, every niche, every crook and even every cranny of the Palace. Each one holding a treasure trove of memories for the Queen B.

King Doug had to leave to go rob the bees of their spoils for the great Honey Harvest.
We hugged good-bye…
I whispered in his ear, “I love you Doug.”
The pause was palpable – his thick Virginia accent whispered back,
“I love you too… Son.”

As the King drove off, the gravel lane could be heard applauding under the weight of the tires of the pick-up truck, which would carry the King to the sweet nectar awaiting him in the distant hives.

The Queen B and I retreated to the Ballroom where we danced hand in hand, arm in arm to the Queen B’s favorite song – Wings of a Dove.

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

 When troubles surround us
when evils come
The body grows weak (body grows weak)
The spirit grows numb (spirit grows numb)
When these things beset us,
He doesn’t forget us
He sends down His love (sends down His love)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

And so we danced until the song came to an end…
On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His purest sweet love…

Back to her throne we went.
The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.
The Queen B is tired…
The Queen B has suffered greatly since the Great Transplant.

And this was the purpose of my visit to the Palace. To say good-bye to the Queen B and to thank her for giving me breath so I could live and love life. The Queen B and I said everything we wanted and needed to say to one another. All cards were left on the table. No regrets. Always say what you need to say to one another while you are alive. Do not wait until someone is dead before you tell them how much you love them.

I told her it was time for me to go. The tears began to cascade down her cheeks as they did mine. I hugged the Queen B as tight as her frail body would allow and she reciprocated in kind.

As I drove off – she waved with a white paper towel in her hand. At second glance the white paper towel looked like the White Dove descending – to take the Queen B home, to the heavenly kingdom, where the Queen B will sit on the footstool of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords where there will be no more suffering, no more tears, no more pain. Just pure joy!

I waved good-bye…
Good-bye to the Queen B…
Betty Jean…

I drove away – the gravel of grace crunching under my tires wondering if that will be the last and the lasting image I will have of the Queen B…
sitting on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel…


Laugh often and Fear not!

6 thoughts on “The Queen B (6/2/1940-12/1/2018)

  1. God bless you Prince David… prayers🙏are with you as you go through this new journey of your life. Remember Queen B is always with you…in your heart and wonderful memories. Love you 💖..ME

  2. Dear David, What a loving tribute to your Queen B. I will keep your wonderful extended family in my prayers! Queen B looked like such a loving lady, and I know she’s smiling down on all of you. My love to you and the family. Love Lynn

  3. God bless you for the wonderful tribute about my sister. We’ve never met, but I’m your Aunt Nancy Queen Bee’s sister. You wrote words beyond anything I’ve ever heard. The way you put things are straight from the heart. Thank you over and over for being a part of my life. I love the way you talk about the Lord, thank God for you. What a wonderful son of Betty’s. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Hope we will meet one day, if not and God willing, I’ll see you in Heaven. Love Queen Bee’s sister Nancy.

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