Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bonnie Beal

I am sure all of us Grands have our stories, so I can only share mine. Part of my memories of her are colored by Mother's filling me in on her childhood.

She was stoic...the only time I saw her cry or lament was when her dear Will died in 1948. We rode in the care behind the hearse and that is where I saw her in tears. She recovered quickly and I never heard her lament about her loss again. I was seven and spent days with her in the summers between 1949 and 1956.

She and Dr. Beal (Will, Pop-pop) took over at the farm while Mother was in Butler VA Hospital (Deshon) for weeks with Chickie...and as far as I know, we never missed a beat...other than the time I sneaked into the bathroom and indulged in some chocolate flavored Ex-Lax and barfed...yep, I do remember that.

She was positive and loving to her grandson...always had room on the couch for me when I was in Junior High School...after band concerts or dances...she was always available.

I "squired" her, as Dad referred to it, to her door on countless Sundays after church. Each time playing the role of the model woman...Aunt Ann used to kiss me on the cheek when I squired her, but Bonnie never did.

Bonnie had the disposition of a saint...she was not Quaker, but she espoused Quaker values...never heard a cross word come from her...never, about anyone.

She would not let Aunt Nell defend her living with her brother-in-law in Aurora, IL when she returned to New Castle; "Now Nellie, that's enough about that...."

We were always in church together...she sang alto...very accurate tone-wise...and it is how I learned to harmonize. I preferred sitting next to her for the "Helps" and besides she tolerated my squirming. Dad, on the other hand, would squeeze my leg to make me sit still...back in the day. When it came to religion I know I have often said to myself...If it was good enough for Bonnie, it is good enough for me.

So...loving mother, grandmother, stoic, even tempered, good natured, and independent to the end. She lived alone at 413 until she was 96...then lived with Mother for four years before she moved in with Ms. Smith in New Wilmington until she passed at 103.

I often thought Mother got short shrift when it came to Bonnie. We all made over Bonnie and loved her, but Mom was the one with the responsibility and had to do the work...right down to the end. Bonnie had 38 years of being the doted on dowager in our family Mother had less than a quarter of that time...but that is a different story.

Bonnie was every grand-kid's favorite, to be sure, and a model of decorum and faithfulness.

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