Betty Ford died on July 8th, 2011 at the age of 93, but the Betty Ford legacy will live on forever. Not all the details of her death are known as of yet, but what I do know is that we have lost an incredible woman.
Betty Ford did a number of incredible things throughout her life - she was an outspoken and brave woman. She often opposed the ideas of her husband's Republican party, taking a tolerant stance on abortion and speaking openly about drug and alcohol use and women's rights. Despite all of the things she may have done politically, I think one of the most amazing things she did was to openly discuss her problem with alcohol and addiction in the 1970s.
Betty Ford founded the Betty Ford Center and she also served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors. Before it was acceptable to admit that you had a problem with drugs, Betty Ford was sharing it with the world.
She was a respected woman, the wife of a president, and she was expected to uphold a certain image. She was able to exude integrity and she was able to gain respect despite her issues with drugs and alcohol.
Before there was Celebrity Rehab or Intervention, the Betty Ford Centre rehabilitation efforts gave hope to struggling drug addicts and alcoholics. She gave them a chance to get better and she told them it was okay to admit that they needed help. The Betty Ford Center was founded in 1982, long before it was acceptable to get treatment for addiction and alcoholism.
Although Betty Ford has passed away, her legacy will remain forever. The Betty Ford alcohol drug rehab facility she founded and the various Betty Ford clinics around the country will continue to serve addicts and alcoholics and give them a new chance at life.
Betty Ford was an inspirational woman, openly expressing opinions that many people did not agree with. She was not afraid to fight for what she believed in, and she was not afraid to fight for her life and get help with her alcoholism and drug addictions.
I was recently watching a video of an interview with Betty Ford where she discusses the time her family planned an intervention for her. She is so open about it, which is an admirable trait. This video was from many, many years ago, but her candor and her honesty have inspired so many people.
She was such a graceful and elegant woman, and the fact that she spoke out about her own problems really helped to change the way people viewed an 'addict.' She was not homeless, living in the streets, she did not look disheveled - quite frankly, she just does not 'look like' an alcoholic or an addict.
Betty Ford embodies a message of serving others that is one of the cornerstones of Alcoholics Anonymous and is a sign of a true humanitarian.
First Lady Betty Ford was the president's wife and she was respected by so many people. Her honesty showed people that addiction does not discriminate. Just because someone has fame, money, respect, a family, and all of the external things, does not mean that they cannot be touched by the disease of addiction. What Betty Ford has done for this country is something that will never be forgotten.