The Life of Bon: An anniversary rememebered

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An anniversary rememebered

Sometimes life gives you exactly the opposite of what you expect.

Take today for example.  I was expecting today to be hard.  It's the anniversary of my dad's death and I was sure that it would be one of those endlessly tiring and mentally exhausting days.

But it wasn't.  It wasn't any of those things.  It was happy and fun and filled with people I love.

My students were extra sweet to me, as if they could sense that they were dealing with a fragile teacher.  They didn't pull any of their usual shenanigans and were seriously little Tuesday angels for me. They did their work, they participated and I even gave every student in fourth period five points extra credit because they were more on task than I have ever seen them before.  What is this?!?

Then, my co-worker and friend, Hannah, surprised me with a dirty Dr. Pepper at lunch.  She said she knew today might be a little bit hard for me so "here's your favorite drink."  It was the only point in the day that I was close to tears... I just kind of stared stupidly back at her, shocked that she even knew that today was of any importance to me.  Even moreso, I was floored that she had remembered my favorite drink from a casual conversation three months ago.  It's things like this that A) make me want to be a better person and B) maintain my belief that while some people are bad, most people are good.  Really really good.

When Greg got home from work tonight he was so sweet to me.  Extra tender and extra loving and extra everything a husband should be when his wife is sad.  He made me feel cherished and special and other goopy stuff.

I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love in the comments on yesterday's post.  I always hesitate to post about my dad's death, thinking that it is weird to be so open with my life to total strangers, but when I read your comments back it reaffirms my decision to talk about things that are hard for me.  I am often surprised by how many people say they too have lost someone very close to them.  If there is one thing I have learned it is that sorrow and suffering are universal.  We all suffer.  We all feel pain.  The beauty of it is in coming together to share it and heal together.

The icing on my proverbial cake was that I got to spend some time in the temple with my mom and a few of my siblings tonight.  Mormon temples are a little bit different than churches in that we believe it is our place of most sacred promises and communication with God.  There are no phones or electronic deices and it feels like you shut out the entire outside world when you are there and just focus on the most important things.  Mormons believe that we can be "sealed" forever with our family in the temple making it possible to live forever with our family after this life.  I felt so close to my dad and to my family sitting there tonight and thinking of the promises I believe in for after this life.  Ultimately it was just a moment of absolute peace and happiness.

We ended the night with In-N-Out because it wouldn't be a Blackburn get together without good food and we chatted until long after we all should have returned home.  It felt so good to be surrounded with family and to be reminded of God's plan to get us all back to Him.

So yah.  The day was supposed to be sad.  But instead it was happy.  So happy.

*Two days left to enter this giveaway for a straight up wad of cash.  
*Six days left to finish reading Thousand Splendid Suns.  It is a beautiful book.


  1. You're amazing Bon. Love you. - Kristen Paulson

  2. I've loved the posts you've written on this topic--you say everything so beautifully. I got emotional after reading yesterday's post, as I lost my grandmother this past spring and it's still a very fresh, very raw wound. It's good to be reminded of how we are still surrounded by love, even the love of the ones we have lost. Still thinking about you during this time of the year, as I imagine it can't be easy!

  3. Glad to hear you had a happy day filled with love and kindness. :)

  4. Glad you had a day filled with kindness. My stepmom threw my siblings and I for a wretch the other night. She requested we go through all my Mom's stuff because she was "tired of it cluttering up her basement". So we did, it was hard, esp coming across the box with her funeral and friend memories but we made it through.

    On a different note, I had to look up that dirty Dr Pepper, I had never heard of it. Sounds good!!

  5. I'm so happy that your day was filled with happiness. I can't imagine how hard it is, but it's really inspiring to hear your story:)

  6. Isn't it interesting how we always manage to find happiness and beauty in the most unexpected places and times? Beautiful post, Bonnie - the moments in the temple sound absolutely sacred. And wow, you have a HUGE family - but I guess that makes it all the better, doesn't it?

  7. I'm so glad it turned out to be an okay day. You deserve it!!

  8. you are so beautiful and strong my friend. Thank you for sharing your life and this part of your story with us. I am so glad that you felt loved and cared for yesterday. I have continued to pray for you. <3

  9. I'm so glad the day went well for you! I always dread the anniversary of my dad's death for the same reasons... You just expect a crap day. I'm glad yours wasn't. :)

  10. Your post about your dad was so lovely. I'm glad to hear yesterday was such a nice day for you!

  11. I am so glad that it was a good day for you. You certainly deserve that.

    The temple experience sounds beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


  12. Oh I'm so glad the day was a good one. We are celebrating all things this year without my dad with us (physically, because he's lost his memory and we can't have him at home) and it's been a rollercoaster. The best days are the ones I am sure are going to be a nightmare, full of tears and sadness, but instead are surprisingly joyful. That's not how it seems like it should be, but not everything is at it should or we wouldn't be losing parents in the first place!