By Kathi Bliss
The Heavens are shining a bit brighter this week, while Lockhart and Caldwell County are a bit bleaker, for the loss of a very special woman – our very own Angel.
For several years now, the folks of Lockhart and Caldwell County have found their lives made a little bit better, a tiny bit easier, for no reason at all other than because they opened their front door. For several years, families in need could find a special little something at their front door. Most times, it was a little gift they needed…. Something that would not only brighten their day, but that would address any personal struggle they might be involved in, ease any personal stress they might have, and very simply, give them a reason to smile and be grateful.
Much like the Tooth Fairy or St. Nick, Lockhart had its very own “Doorknob Angel.”
If you’ve lived in Lockhart or Caldwell County for the last several years, and you found yourself staring down the barrel of a problem, somehow, you could count on Mrs. Betty Bowers to know about it. What’s more, you could pretty much count on her to leave a little gift on your doorstep – something that you needed, but refused to ask for. Something that would brighten your life.
Sometimes, the light was something small, like a candle. Sometimes, it burned as bright as the sun. Either way, she was going to make sure you had what you needed, and either way, she was never going to mention it.
Adamant, but not aggressive, insistent, but not obtrusive, “Miz Betty” (aka the Doorknob Angel) somehow always managed to find out who needed something, and did whatever she could to make sure they had it.
For the record, it should be noted the first and only time “Miz Betty” did something like that for me and mine, she insisted that I not call her “Miz Betty.” Her Christian name, she figured, was enough. She offered me a little bit of slack, however, and only chewed on my hind end for a quick moment before she allowed my explanation – I am a Southern girl, raised in a Southern family, and when you don’t have a day-to-day relationship with an elder who you respect, you don’t get to call them by their Christian name, alone. It’s a respect thing, or so I’m told.
In any event, even though she never really talked about it, we all knew. We knew, so much so, that Miz Betty received a Spirit Award from the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce some years back, for her contributions “above and beyond” to the community, based specifically on the fact that she was our “Doorknob Angel.”
Betty Jean Bowers was a darling woman. She was that incredibly rare sort that not only lived her faith, she actually brought Faith to life. Miz Betty made her love, for her fellow man and for her God, known EVERY SINGLE DAY of her 83 years. More than that, she didn’t just make strangers into friends… she made people into family. That’s evident by the very telling words of her daughter, who, in penning her obituary noted, “…there are so many others family members and friends that we would love to list- each of you held such a special place in [her] heart.”
I hope it’s clear that she held a special place in ours, as well. Certainly, to our tight-knit little family at the Post-Register, she was our family. And she will be missed.
Lockhart will never have another “Doorknob Angel.” No one will ever will be able to fill the tiny shoes that left giant prints on our hearts, our minds and our communities.
But it’s a spectacular notion, isn’t it?