Jenni Betz

We’d just settled in Clintonville, having both accepted our first jobs in Columbus after college. We were renting a house that needed a bit of work, and I was mopping the floors for the millionth time. Our first date had been accidental, on the Fourth of July. I sat next to him on a mutual friend’s roof top and we watched the fireworks together. We’d gone to preschool at the same center, and our parents had been friends, but it wasn’t until high school that our friendship blossomed. So several years later on July 4th, I shouldn’t have been surprised when Andy suggested we walk over to the Park of Roses. I had on a grease stained t-shirt, my hair in a pony-tail. I’m sure I didn’t smell as fresh as the flowers. But Andy got down on one knee and slipped my grandmother Eleanor’s engagement ring on my left hand. (the one my Grandpa Jack purchased at Argo & Lehne in 1947 – see photo of receipt!) We named our first born after my grandma – Celia Eleanor. We dreamed that someday she might even wear the ring. She died, though, when she was just four years old, from a neurodegenerative disorder called Batten Disease. There may not be harder circumstances for a marriage to survive than the loss of a child. We’re raising her younger brother’s now though, and relish in the joy and busy-ness they bring to our lives.