Saturday, December 11, 2010

Losing Bonnie

Our friend and fellow stem cell transplant recipient, Bonnie Opper, died this morning. We are devastated. We did not get to say "goodbye" to her. Our community has lost a gentle, loving, devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and human being.

This photo was taken on October 14th, 2010.

We were having our monthly dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Lansing. We were celebrating our one year anniversary of stem cell transplant. Bonnie and Steve brought their daughter, Callie, who ordered her favorite "macaroni and cheese." I had just handed out a photo album of our past year year of recovery to Bonnie and to Mark Cornell, our other transplant recipient.

They turned the pages, recalling the moments we all shared together on the hospital unit during the transplantation and the months of recovery that followed. We laughed. We cried. We rejoiced.

We had a wonderful evening together that night and Bonnie brought the "carrot cake" which we also had at our "100 Days" celebration dinner together. It seemed as if it was going to become a "tradition." It seemed as if it was going to be another good year for all three of us.

It wasn't to be.

We have lost a comrade, a friend, a survivor who did not survive.

We will remember her.
You were one of us
'Til you were taken away
Life won't be the same.

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