2012 was a difficult year for many people. It seems nearly everyone I know was touched by some type of loss or illness. We unfortunately suffered a tragic loss in our family. I haven’t yet written about it but the last few months of 2012 were not easy. A devastating accident took the life of my beautiful mother-in-law, Diane Bonanno.

Diane Valerie Bonanno
September 11, 1938 – November 19, 2012


While on vacation with my father-in-law in one of her favorite places, Hawaii, a huge wave about 15 feet high slammed her to the ground, shattering her neck. This very active woman, young for her years who hiked and did yoga was, in an instant, a quadriplegic.

The next 3 and a half weeks were difficult and scary. We prayed for miracles. She fought hard, her will to live was strong but after many complications, she passed away just before Thanksgiving. My husband lost his mom. The outpouring of support and prayers from friends during this ordeal was overwhelming. We had a beautiful service for her just before Christmas. My husband, his father, sister and both brothers spoke from their heart, it was exactly what I think she would have wanted.

I am blessed to have known her. She was a beautiful person inside and out… kind, generous, thoughtful, spiritual, loving. Diane was a wonderful mother and an amazing grandmother who had a special relationship with each of her 10 grandchildren. She was full of love and helped people her entire life, always giving of her time and talents.

The medical staff in both hospitals said she was special. They rarely see so much love and support from families and visitors. They appreciated how kind and polite she was. Her behavior was a  pleasant surprise for them as they expressed to the family how rare it is for patients in her condition to even smile. Another testament to her generous and loving spirit.

I loved being her daughter-in-law. We were very close and fortunately had none of the typical issues most women have with their mother-in-law. I could really talk to her and be myself, I always felt like she ‘got me’. I’m lucky we bought our home when we did because some of my last memories of her are how much fun we had shopping for new items for our home and decorating it together. My father-in-law said it best at her service, “all of my 3 sons are mamas boys and their wives still love her!” She loved deeply and everyone felt her love.  A light in our lives dimmed way too soon.

Galations 5:22-28

“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

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