I have watched you my entire married life.
You are quiet, humble, patient, and the farthest thing from pretentious.
For all of your life, you have embodied what it means to be a survivor.
To rise up.
To not be mired in what is fair or unfair.
But to gracefully take life on it's terms and to make lemonade out of every hardship that has come your way.
You are not afraid to work. To roll up your sleeves. To get into the mud and the muck and to get the job the done.
And all of your hard work shows...in so many ways...but in two, in particular.
Your daughter and your son.
You have to be so proud. For you have single-handedly raised two people who are changing the world, one smile, one kind act, one moment at a time. And that is because of the foundation that you gave to them and the values that you imparted.
These past seven days have meant a great deal to me. We shared coffee, meals, laughter, tears, my children, your grandchildren, memories, stories, hopes, disappointments, lessons, doubts, and ultimately, forged a deeper bond that says: I know what you're going through. I've been there. I love you. And you're not alone.
When the love of your life passed away this summer, I thought that the world would end. But in true form, you quietly picked up the pieces, wiped away the tears and began to live life...because you knew deep in your heart that he would want you to.
And once again, I stood in admiration seeing a woman who is strong, who is brave, who chooses to embrace love instead of fear and who come what may, keeps putting one foot in front of the other with a smile on her face.
I love you. I am grateful for you. And my children are extraordinarily blessed to have you as their Grandma Bonnie.