On March 17th, 2020, my mother Bonnie Bess, also known by so many as BB Queen, MamaB, Queen B, Bon Bon and so many other bubbly and befitting titles, took flight from this earth. With me, her loving daughter by her side, she peacefully flew away.
She brought love and laughter to every situation gracefully and unapologetically…leaving everyone she met with an undeniable feeling of beauty and joy. Not a single person that met or knew Mom didn’t love her or cherish her in some way, and it was virtually impossible not to laugh in her presence.
Always down for a game, a practical joke, or a deep heartfelt conversation, Bonnie was a true gem in this world. On a gray day she was a beaming ray of light, and during rough or trying times, she always remained a strong and steady rock.
Sacrifice wasn’t a word in her vocabulary because giving was always something that came naturally to her. Her take away was simply knowing that she helped make someone feel better or helped make a bad situation more bearable for someone else.
She absolutely adored her long career at BGSU in the College of Musical Arts and described it as “being like a mother to all of the students”. Becoming like a mom-away-from-home for her “kids” was something that she took great joy in, and she left loving maternal imprints on each and every student she met.
Bonnie was an extraordinarily accomplished musician, a true master on the piano and the pipe organ. As a music director for many churches throughout her life, she took an enormous amount of joy directing choirs, playing for weddings, and teaching vocals. Music was her life. Music was her blood. Music flowed from her effortlessly, and everyone that heard her play could feel that.
Her other career of merit was becoming a Weight Watchers Leader. After going through the program herself as a member, she decided that becoming a leader was her new calling. She marveled at the successes of her members and celebrated every pound lost with each of them as if they were her pounds to lose as well. She inspired her members in insurmountable ways and made everyone in her meetings feel that they could literally do anything. She helped people feel genuinely good about themselves and never EVER judged.
Mom’s table was always available for a meal, she would answer any call no matter what time of day or night, and her door was always open to anyone that needed a safe place to stay. To her, everyone had precious value. As a person, she literally defined the words “unconditional love” and will live on forever as a reminder that life’s greatest joys are in the little things.
As her daughter writing this, I feel so very lucky to have had the privilege of calling her Mom and I will be forever grateful for all that she has taught me. I will walk the earth carrying her with me everywhere I go, and I will never stop living my life in a manner that will always make her proud. She was my best friend.
During these difficult times, we are unable to have a traditional memorial for Mom. However, as soon as possible, there will be a Celebration of Life in her honor in Bowling Green, Ohio. She always loved a good party…so for anyone interested in attending, please send an email to email@example.com with “Bonnie Bess Memorial” in the subject. I will keep your information and send updates and invitations as soon as those arrangements have been made. For now, lets all take some time to heal from this loss together and lift a glass in her delightful memory.
Gifts or donations in her honor may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of America, in Bonnie’s name.