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.