“My Bonnie”

(This was the honoring spoken for our late mother at my sister Bonnie’s wedding.)

“My Bonnie lies over the ocean

My Bonnie lies over the sea

My Bonnie lies over the ocean

So bring back my Bonnie to me”

Klimt, Island in Attersee (visipix.com)

As Bonnie’s oldest sister, I have the privilege of honoring our mother–who we lost 10 years ago this summer.

However before I do that, I’d like to honor all the other women who have loved on our Bon Bon over the years—from each of her sisters–Robin, Michelle, Stephanie, Lauren & April; to all the mothers of her friends, to our stepmom MaryAnne who raised Bonnie since she was a little girl; to the grandmothers here: our Nana Judi and MaryAnne’s mom Lorraine, to the grandmothers who have passed–Mildred, Loretta and Lila (for whom Bonnie has her middle name) to all the aunts, including my mom’s sister Chrissy who is here today.

I imagine my mom smiling down as Bonnie continues to receive your love today and in the future—and I can see her beaming at gift of a new mother in Suzanne Brown, the groom’s mother, whose deep affection for Bonnie is healing for us all.

As some of you know, Bonnie is my mother’s namesake.  Not only that, but they shared a passion for breakfast—particularly for Eggs Benedict—for which Bonnie and Mark have been known to travel great distances.

They also shared a passion for coffee.  In fact, on the September morning my mother died, it wasn’t until Bonnie left her side to put on the coffee that she finally let go.

Van Gogh

A few months back, I had a vivid dream about being with my mother again and I woke up and sent an email to my sisters and brother Danny, asking

How would you spend the gift of another hour with Mom?”

Bonnie’s response was no surprise. She would spend the time sitting at my mother’s table, drinking coffee, telling her about her new life—with Mark and Marlo. (There’d  probably be some talk about Facebook and i phones too 🙂

But then Bonnie offered a runner up for her hour with Mom.  She said she’d like to go back in time to the morning the two of them caught the bridge on their way to her dentist appointment.

Sisley/detail visipix.com

Instead of fretting over the minutes passing as they waited for the boat to approach and for the bridge to slowly open and close, they began making up songs—about bridges and dentists and boats.

Singing was always a part of our lives with Mom. In fact, most of us had on own special song, with our name in it–that served as our personal lullaby.

Robin’s was Rocking Robin, Michelle’s was Michelle my Belle, Steph’s Winnie the Pooh, Lauren’s was Tora Lora Lora, and Dan’s was of course, Danny Boy.

Can anyone guess which song might have been Bonnie’s?

(A cellist plays a few my bars of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”)

It’s a funny thing to be 15 years older than your sister.  It gives you a perspective that you wouldn’t have if you were closer in age.  I can clearly remember the day that we found out that Bonnie was coming.

It was a Sunday evening when my parents collected us in the livingroom to watch a Nova special on pregnancy and birth, after which my physician father—who surely orchestrated the whole evening—told us the news.

The four of us girls were ecstatic and begged my mother to hand over her address book so that we could call every relative and friend with the good news.

Just like today.

Happy Wedding Day Bon Bon.

Kelly, August 20, 2010


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