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Saturday, November 15, 2008

90 and counting

Well, this is the third time I have tried to publish this blog. I hope it works this time. Gotta rewrite it--- it is a special one.
(I am still having trouble posting photos - I will post them separately).

Well, today is a very special day in Tennessee. It is the day my Aunt Bonnie celebrates her 90th Birthday. Her actual birthdate is November 17, 1918. There will be a huge celebration with family and friends. Before I go any further I want to tell you a little about why Bonnie is very special to me.

Bonnie is my Mothers only sister. They also had four brothers Wiley, John, Stacy and Rod. When Bonnie was about 18 months old her and her brother Rod contracted scarlet fever. Rod was terribly ill with the fever but it didn't seem to bother Bonnie except it left her deaf.

Despite her disability Bonnie has done some amazing things. When it was time for her to go to school she went every day alongside my mother. She learned to read, write, spell and count. She also taught herself to sign. She can tell you the time and the day of the week and if you have missed an appointment with her.

Along with my grandmother she kept house, helpiing with cooking, canning, washing and ironing. She taught herself to crochet, knit, sew and quilt. She also helped my grandfather in the fields hoeing corn, tobacco, and outside chores around the farm.

When my grandmother died in 1956 she took over the running of the house even teaching herself how to milk. Previously this had been my grandmothers chore.

My grandfather passed away in 1964 and she was able to buy a small two bedroom house just a few yards from where she was born. Until about five years ago she still had an outhouse but was finally able to add a modern bathroom and do some remodeling to the house. It is small but modest.

Bonnie loves to travel. The first trip we went on was by car to Indiana to visit relatives. I remember she was so excited and talked about it for months afterward. She and my mother made a trip west to Idaho by Greyhound to visit me. My mother thought she would test her to see if she was really paying attention. My mother went out and started to get on the wrong bus when Bonnie grabbed her by the arm and told her in no uncertain terms it was the wrong bus. She loves going on trips to the beach with her family.

She doesn't get out much anymore but loves company and she has lots of it. Neighbors and friends drop by to see her. One particular lady had left home right after high school to be a missionary in Cuba. Bonnie had not seen her since but a couple years ago she was in town and made a point to go visit Bonnie. The minute she walked in the door Bonnie knew exactly who she was and went to get a missionary card she had kept for more than 50 years with the ladies picture on it.

She loves watching TV especially westerns and can relate the show to you.

Due to her medical condition she has nurses who check in on her periodically. She has retrained them so they can assess her condition correctly. A couple months ago a visiting nurse thought she should go to the hospital. Bonnie informed her the answer was no. The nurse then took it upon herself to call family members to discuss the situation and convince them of her opinion. The bottom line was Bonnie had made her own decisions for the past 90 years and she had the final say so and the answer stood.

Bonnie has always been my favorite aunt. I practically lived with her until I was a sophomore in high school. I have many many great memories of Bonnie and can never say thank you enough to this wonderful woman who has been so special to me.

Today she will be surrounded by her wonderful family, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends who will celebrate with her. Bonnie, I wish I could be there with you to share your birthday fun. For today this blog and your flowers will have to suffice. I hope to see you in the spring, probably around Easter.

You can bet she will have it circled on her calendar.

That's it for today.


Leno said...

90 and counting what Jenny?!

Joe and Sherri said...

Well I see you showed up!! Sherri and I have missed you posting and no you never have boring Post!! we always enjoy reading what you have to say. Keep up the good work and I will try to get back on chat.

Joe and Sherri

Leno said...

Beautiful story Jenny, Thanks for sharing it.. You were lucky to have someone that special in your life....

Sandra said...

What a lovely tribute to your aunt. You're such a great writer!

Joe and Sherri said...

Hey girl...I am here and miss talking to you. We have been busy but we are getting better..LOL

Joe and Sherri

Doncat and Cheryl said...

Sounds like you really enjoy your visits. It must be great to be able to visit when you want and not worry about having to get back to work at a certain time!

Anni said...

I have been trying to call you without success. Call me if you have a minute. Enjoy reading your thoughts and you do have a gift.

Your "younger sister"


Anonymous said...

Good story, you can write. You need to write a book on Family and Friends.