Aunt Bonnie Gets the Last Laugh

Growing up, my Aunt Bonnie was by far the most colorful of my family members. My childhood memories are full of her pulling up to my great grandma's house full tilt in her El Camino, fishing line hanging out the back and a bucket of fish in the seat. "We're going to have a fish fry," she would exclaim as she collected hugs. Her laugh is a gregarious cackle and her love for Elvis is unmatched. When I was a teenager staying over at her house I would roam the tiny guest room and look at all of her Elvis memorabilia. The room was literally papered in magazine page cutouts and huge light bulb-lined movie posters. She had the velvet Elvis AND the commemorative plates to match the hip swishing telephone.

It was not surprising that after many years as a singleton, she remarried her first husband in her 70s and moved to the countryside to observe deer and enjoy the romantic trappings of married life. She only got a few unfair good years with her one true love before he died. In recent years she also had to trade in her vanity a bit when doctors had to remove one of her legs due to diabetes. Bonnie just would not let that stop her and could probably lap me in daily chores. When I visited her recently she would not let me get up to get my own coffee. "Hey, the way I look at it is you have to get up and walk over here to get your coffee. I don't have to get up. All I have to do is scoot over here in my chair." I just adore this woman and hope I can be as full of sass when I am her age. In a recent letter she told me my visit to see her made her feel so good to know she had been thought of and was important to someone. Important, yes. But the truth is, she makes me laugh and there is just not enough of that going around sometimes.


Aunt Bonnie lets off one of her famous cackles of laughter as she picks up her cat to love on it. She may also have been laughing at my sister who had just gone outside to root out a garden tiller from her shed. "I bet she don't even know what she is lookin' for. You better go help her."

Aunt Bonnie gets around her house in her new wheelchair. So well she won't let you get your own cup of coffee.

"Now make sure I look pretty."

"Now make sure I look pretty."