Sarah Scammel | Bettina Network's Blog

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In Memory of Sarah Scammell

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

If any of you reading this knew Sarah and would like to add your remembrances to this – please email us at bettina-network@comcast.net

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Sarah was a friend and someone who worked with Bettina Network, inc. for several years. One day, just a few months ago, someone came to our door to say Sarah had just died.  It was an amazing moment of confusion and rejection and denial.  I was sure the information was wrong, it must have been about someone else because Sarah was only about 58 years old.  I had tea with Sarah less than a week before and she was just fine.  Not ill, not complaining about anything, looking healthy and fit, but here was a friend of Sarah’s come to tell us that Sarah had just died.  She was talking to her landlady and just fell to the floor.  They say she was dead before she hit the floor. Isn’t life unpredictable and scary and unknown.

We met Sarah when she came to our door, knocked and announced she was a neighbor and listed her skills.  If we ever needed help, said Sarah, she would be happy to help.  A week or so later I called Sarah and asked if she could come over because we did need a bit of help and from that point on we were friends and she was someone who worked for and with Bettina Network, inc. whenever we had the need and the money.

Sarah spent her young adult years in California where she studied art.  While she did not work full-time following her art training, it was her passion and whenever she could she spent time with her photographs and wood cuttings and so much more.

The last time I saw Sarah, she came by for tea to talk about working with Bettina’s on Estate Sales and the Foundation.  Sarah had worked with us on Estate Sales several years prior, but we were changing the concept and looking for a new footing.

We had many ideas, which we had discussed in a group which included Sarah with others working with Bettina Network Foundation and Sarah particularly liked the role we carved out for her.  She took the sketch and turned it into something exciting.

We talked about the need to have someone live in the houses in which we managed estate sales so they would not be empty and during the day, style, price and generally get the house together for the sale with the help of others who would show up to help her during the day.  In the evenings, she would explore the neighborhood, take advantage of art, music, restaurants and other offerings she found there and just generally enjoy that time in a new place.  I was worried that this meant Sarah moving every week and I wasn’t sure that would be workable.  Sarah thought that was the exciting part of the job.  She loved going to museums, new art and music offerings, seeing how other people lived and she couldn’t do a lot of that because she had no car and limited funds.  This way she didn’t need a car and would get to look and experience much she wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

What I remember most about Sarah was her caring and concern for others.  There was an older woman who was homeless and who lived mostly in and around Harvard Square, close to where Sarah lived.  Sarah would look for this woman every few days to see how she was doing and she always had a few dollars to give her.  These few dollars were a lot for Sarah because she did not have much money, but she always had enough to share.  When Sarah moved to Arlington, she still came to Harvard Square to visit with friends and to check on her friend in Harvard Square.

When a friend of Sarahs became terminally ill, Sarah moved from her house to live with her friend so she could help as much as possible and so her friend would know someone was always there.  When Sarah’s friend died, Bettina’s managed the estate sale of what she left behind. What was amazing to me was the way the neighbors responded.  Since Sarah’s friend moved to a hospice at the end of her life, the house had not been lived in and did not have utilities nor water.  We worked, getting the house ready for the sale during the day light hours and brought bottled water.  One neighbor put her hose through the kitchen window so we could have water to do things like wash the dishes and other little things that you don’t think you need water to do until there is none.  We didn’t ask, she just offered.  Several others in the neighborhood stopped by because they wanted to remember and say goodbye to this neighbor who they didn’t know well, but she lived in their neighborhood.  They all knew Sarah.

We have a lot of Sarah stories.  What I have shared with you speak to who Sarah was, why we will remember Sarah for a very long time and why she will always be a part of Bettina Network, inc.

Marceline Donaldson

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It is a pleasure to add my note to our remembrance of Sarah. My remembrance of her was when we were co-participants in a meeting to enlarge the visions of Bettina Network Foundation.

I found Sarah to be a person who was actually present as we talked and planned.  She was committed to bless the world with her presence and art.  She was congenial toward me, and showed honest interest in what other people were offering.  Compassion and peace were in her own offerings.

May Sarah’s family and friends be comforted.

Francis Maloney

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Sarah was someone who took the word ‘Friend’ seriously. I saw her extend friendship to acquaintances, family members, employers, strangers, animals, and people in need….

She was a person that people knew they could talk to and really be listened to. Sarah had her personal antennae ‘ON’ and could understand things intuitively, which is a gift.

Since the shock of her death, I have realized that she knew things about me that not many people will ever know. I will truly miss the presence of a friend who understood some very deep things about me, I will miss that presence for the rest of my own life. In her memory I will try to become a more sensitive listener to others.

We had some nice dinners down in the kitchen….and I am sorry that I won’t be able to make the chicken soup with chicken breast, snow peas, broth, lime juice, scallions, and sprouts for us….which would have been followed by a few rounds of Chinese Checkers!

It interested me that we each wanted the other person to win, but at the same time we were both pretty good players….so it was always a close call.

A conversation with Sarah usually ended up with some humor entering in, one way or another. Her cheer and joyous laugh will be greatly missed. I hope that Sarah is at peace
With kindred spirits surrounding her….We miss you Sarah!…….

Love, Alexandra xxxooo

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I was shocked to learn of Sarah’s death.  Especially because of her very warm presence and almost joyous conversation.  She exuded a warmth and always upbeat presence.

To say she will be missed is an understatement.  We mourn her death and truly will miss her presence.  May she rest in peace.

Robert Bennett

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

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