Hubby has lots of family in this area and Bonnie was the wife of one of his cousins.  They lived in a town about a half hour away so we didn’t run into them much, but we did always see them at family reunions and, of course, weddings and funerals.

I always liked Bonnie, but I really didn’t realize what a wonderful person she was until we went to her funeral last week.  We had just heard she had a brain tumor not too long ago, so were shocked when we heard she had died.  But this is an excellent reason to go to a funeral.  I now know Bonnie better than I ever did while she was alive, and she obviously inspired many in her life, and especially during her illness, but also many, like me, who heard about her courageous journey through her illness after the fact.

Bonnie kept a journal that the pastor read from during her funeral.  In one entry she talked about working at being thankful for today.  She said she wasn’t going to waste the things she could be thankful for today because she was concentrating instead of what might happen tomorrow.

One entry was about the technician who took the 31 staples out of the incision on her head.  She talked about how gentle and kind he was.

She talked about her husband and children and how blessed she was by them.  The pastor told a personal story of arriving in her room one Sunday afternoon shortly before she died and there was Bonnie and her family sitting around eating, watching football on TV and laughing!

One of the things I found out about Bonnie is that she loved singing in her church choir.  So, of course, they sung at the funeral.  If ever there was a reason we should all join the church choir now, it is that there is no more stirring music at a funeral than the heartfelt songs sung by a choir celebrating one of their own.

We had heard that the end was near for Bonnie and that she was in the hospital.  But the obituary said she died at home — so I had guessed that she had asked to go home to die.

The last entry in her journal was written in the margin of the last page as she was being taken home.  It said, “Almost home”.

Bonnie’s home now.  But I left her funeral knowing that even though she’s physically gone, she has left a wonderful example to all who knew her.

I look forward to getting to know her better when I see her again.


11 Responses to Bonnie

  1. Hilary says:

    Aww I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Sandra but it sure sounds as if Bonnie spent her life living it to the fullest. There’s an inspiring lesson there for all of us.

  2. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Hilary. I so wish that I had had more opportunities to know Bonnie. But it was so inspiring to hear what a wonderful person she was. A really good reason to go to funerals.

  3. Linda says:

    Bonnie sounds like someone I would have enjoyed knowing, too. I love her final journal entry.

    I went to the funeral of a 92-year-old lady, whom I had known for a few years, last week. But, like you, I learned some things I hadn’t known. Her family read a paper she had written, sharing her testimony of how she had come to faith in Christ and about her walk with Him. Then they read a note they had found in her Bible, saying goodbye to her family and thanking them for the care they had given her in her last years. It was very moving, and I found myself wishing I had known her even better.

    As for joining the choir now so that they could celebrate me at my funeral…I’m afraid their celebration might be more for the fact that my voice was now stilled than for any other reason. 🙂

  4. Sandra says:

    It sounds like that older lady’s funeral really was touching, Linda.

    btw, your final comment makes me think I should remove your name from my funeral suggestions as the soloist . 🙂

  5. carlahoag says:

    What an inspiring woman! Good advice that I’ll try to follow.

  6. Nicole Kelker says:

    Enjoyed reading this post. Aunt Bonnie was definitely a kind, wonderful person who will be dearly missed!

  7. Dave says:

    A sad but inspiring blog Sandra – Dave

  8. C. Beth says:

    I like that at funerals I get to know people from a different perspective. I have one particular type of relationship with the person; others have different types of relationships. I love to hear the way they touched others. I’m glad you could celebrate Bonnie’s life.

  9. Sandra says:

    Carla — One of those funerals that are really inspirational!

    Nichole — I appreciate that through your MIL you kept us informed on how Bonnie was doing. Our daughter says that she had a special relationship with Bonnie that I didn’t remember hearing about. When DD was in law school at Valpo, whenever Bonnie was there for meetings of whatever board she was, she would look DD up just to say hi. DD appreciated it so much. Another great memory of her that lives on.

    Dave — Yes, it was. But really much more inspirational than sad.

    Beth — Exactly. A beautiful end to an inspiring life.

  10. Dianna says:

    Condolences to your family. This is a lovely tribute to Bonnie, who, apparently, was a very special lady.

  11. Sandra says:

    Dianna — Yes, I think she was very special. I liked her already, but I’m so glad to have attended her funeral and now know even more about how special she was.

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