by Robin Lee Sardini
Her name was Bonnie. She was 57 years old the day she died. It was her birthday. She was a hard worker who loved gardening in her sprawling country yard. She was a beloved elementary school teacher and volunteer in her community. She loved her family and her baby grandson.
She was a woman of faith and honor. She was the kind of person you could always count on to be there if you needed anything. I know...she was my neighbor.
As a testament to the impact she had on the lives of those she met, the line at the funeral home wound back and forth in serpentine fashion through the room in which she lay, into the reception area, out the door and down the long parking lot. She was loved by countless many.
The verse on her memorial card was a profound expression of the inextricable mix of her love of the beauty in nature and her faith in the afterlife. May we all find hope and comfort in these exquisite words by Juanita DeLong:
Do not come when I am dead
To sit beside a low green mound,
Or bring the first gay daffodils
Because I love them so,
For I shall not be there.
You cannot find me there.
I will look at you from the eyes of little children;
I will bend to meet you in the swaying boughs of bud-thrilled trees,
And caress you with the passionate sweep of storm-filled winds;
I will give you strength in your upward tread of everlasting hills;
I will cool your body in the flow of the limpid river;
I will warm your work-glorified hands through the glow of the winter fire;
I will soothe you into forgetfulness to the drop,
drop of the rain on the roof;
I will speak to you out of the rhymes of the Masters;
I will dance with you in the lilt of the violin,
And make your heart leap with the bursting cadence of the organ;
I will flood your soul with the flaming radiance of the sunrise;
And bring you peace in the tender rose and gold of the after-sunset.
All these have made me happy,
They are a part of me;
I shall become a part of them.
by Juanita DeLong