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In honor of Aunt Bonnie | A Purposeful Life

I am honored to have been asked to write this eulogy.  That may seem strange, and I believe that is why I was asked.  I tend to think differently.  I find good in all things because I believe all things are good.  And so you ask, “How are the circumstances for which we are here good?”  For Aunt Bonnie, she is peace.  For us, this is an opportunity to edit our lives.  It is in these occasions that we understand death is the seed of new life.

Herein, within us, lies the eternal soul of Bonnie.  What can I use from her life, to enrich my life and the lives of others?  I believe there are three key lessons Bonnie’s life illuminates:

Sun Tan BeachThe first lesson is Live Simply.  Bonnie lived a comfortable and content life, hot dogs included.  She enjoyed the simple pleasures of life – like Sun Tan Beach, traveling to Mexico, Turkey and Korea, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and her many nieces and nephews, and the art of letter writing.  If you ever received a letter from Bonnie, you know what I mean.  With beautiful penmanship and heart-felt love, she communicated her sincerest thoughts and gratitude.        

The second lesson is Live Truth.   To see what is in someone’s home is to see inside the soul.  And visiting Aunt Bonnie was like reading her personal diary.   There were so many beautiful artifacts from around the globe, and many of spiritual and religious significance in Western and Eastern cultures.  I had this overwhelming feeling that we are one with all; we share the same soul.  Mother Mary was a constant companion to Bonnie and praying the rosary was her source of comfort and peace. 

The third lesson is Love Whole-heartedly.  Bonnie loved all animals- dogs, cats, and her pet raccoon.  Few people have friendships that last a lifetime – Bonnie met with her 6th Street Club and the St. Peters High School girls once a month since 1947.  There is not a more devoted earthly demonstration of loving fully and holy than Bonnie’s love for her son Mark.  To love is the meaning of life.       

I am choosing to live today, not like it is the first day of my life.  I am choosing to live today like it is my last –  to love what I do and do what I love; to live and love whole-heartedly.  This is our chance to edit our lives.  In the end, I want someone to reflect on my life and say, “She Lived Simply, She Lived Truth, and She Loved Whole-heartedly.”    

I know Aunt Bonnie would want nothing less.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it.  Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.
– Mother Teresa

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