Ellis Duane Bigelow

Ellis Duane Bigelow

There is such a thing as parent guilt….I know because I have it. I worked hard to earn a trip to Puerto Vallarta through Nerium, it was not easy but I soon found out there are things more important–I thought I knew this.

Haleigh and Scott were not due to have the baby until the first week in November so I figured I’d be ok to go on the trip and be ready for the baby to come when I got home. The time got closer for us to leave and Haleigh was already having contractions, but still not close enough to be having her baby yet.

We talked to Haleigh about going or staying, which was not the problem. Later she told me it was something I said that really bothered her. She said she was hurt because I told her if she had the baby we would fly home and then go back if we needed to. Seriously? How dumb is that?

The entire time we were gone we called everyday to see how things were going and what the doctor was saying. We continued to hear Haleigh was still moving slowly. We made it through the week but found out the morning we were leaving to come home she had already had the baby that morning.

Of course my motherly instinct set in and I was feeling very guilty for not being there. Moments after Ellis was born Haleigh started to feel short of breath–she knew right away something was wrong, she couldn’t breathe and felt like her throat was closing up. She began to cough and couldn’t catch her breath. Her lungs felt like they were collapsing and her oxygen levels were dropping really quickly. Her doctor took one look at her and immediately called for back up. She said the room went from three people to 25 within a few minutes. They started her on a heart monitor and rushed her in for a CT scan. She said her heart went from feeling an overwhelming amount of indescribable love and happiness to terror as they wheeled her away. They admitted her into the ICU, and her doctor told her she had blood and fluid in her lungs–somehow that fluid traveled up into her lungs causing pain in her chest. She spent quite a bit of time in the ICU away from Ellis.

Poor Scott was devastated standing holding his brand new baby watching the staff frantically rushing around Haleigh and finally rushing her to the ICU. I’m not going to even try to understand the emotions he must have been going through. I try to live with no regrets, but today I feel regret for not being there for my baby girl.

Boy do I make mistakes, I say things I shouldn’t and I’m continually apologizing to my children.
I would never intentionally hurt any of my children, all I can do is say I’m sorry and do better next time. I hope my children will be more in tune and better at motherhood than I have ever been.

Welcome to our world Ellis Duane Bigelow born October 28th, 2017 at 8:14 am. He weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz. and 22 inches long.

XoXo Monya Bonbon

What’s a Soul Mate?

What’s a Soul Mate?

As the American writer Richard Bach said, “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.”

Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There’s a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart’s other half and a life partner — a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.

Today Eric and I drove to the Mayo Clinic, on our way home I had one of my playlists on. Soulmate by Josh Turner came on.  As I listened to the words,  I turned to Eric and said “We’ve been through so much together haven’t we?”  He agreed and we decided through the good and the bad we have made it through. Has it always been easy?  I will have to insert here HELL NO. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmates will experience ups and downs. However, because of those time the bond will be much harder to break. I believe Soulmates seem to have an easier time accepting, even learning to love, each other’s imperfections.  It took me along time to realize we needed to accept and love each other for exactly the way we are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have. This is so hard sometimes especially if we have expectations beyond what our soulmate can deliver.

After 37 years together Eric and I have learned those triggers that can sometimes have us jumping to conclusions. We usually know exactly what the other’s reactions or thoughts are when someone speaks or something happens.  A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can’t imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.  Over the years we have seen each other through some pretty hard situations-some that last for years.

I can’t imagine my life without Frenchie-he truly knows my faults, weaknesses and fears yet still loves me through it all. Not a day goes by that he does say “I love you, You are Beautiful”

XOXO Monya


Why You Should Smile

Why You Should Smile

Chloe and Blake’s Wedding

There are people who love to star-gaze; I love to smile-gaze.  I miss my smile, it’s difficult to look back on pictures and see how vibrant my smile was, and how beautiful my teeth were when I smiled. Yesterday I was looking for the picture of Eric and I in Croatia and came across so many pictures of me smiling, some had me smiling as I reminisced  and some really made me sad. Knowing Dr. Lettieri was watching the World Cup I text him the picture and told him we were rooting for Croatia.  His reply back was “If Italy isn’t there who is watching?”  (smarty pants, he’s Italian)

Then he said “Nice photo of you and Eric.”

I text “Thank you, but I miss my smile”

Dr. Lettieri “Sorry”

Me “It’s not your fault”

Dr. Lettieri “I know but I can still feel bad for you”

Me: “I know you do, and I thank you for that”

Dr. Lettieri: (rainbow emoji)

Me: “If I hadn’t lost my smile I’d never appreciate it like I do, and I never would have met you. Things can always be worse.”

Dr. Lettieri: “There are turns in our lives that help to define us, it’s a Navajo belief, Seven Turns. I came across it because of an Allman Brother’s song; Seven Turns. In my studies I came loved the philosophy.”

Then he sent me a link: The Title refers to a Navajo belief that there are seven times in life that you must make a decision that determines your path. Taking a wrong path means you must either backtrack or stay on the road to ruin.

Me: “So did I take a wrong path, somewhere along the way?”

Dr. Lettieri: “You did not take the path, you are making the decisions based on what is brought before you.”

This is the YouTube video Dr. Lettieri sent me–on9N1CrISKxH2JLWuNxRvdCbDB61&index=1

You can see why I love him, he really has a great heart and an old soul. I imagine he see’s so much anguish in his profession as a trauma surgeon. I appreciate his candor with me, but I love his perspective on life because of what he has seen and experienced. In my opinion-there is no trauma surgeon that even comes close to his skill, cutting edge ‘never give up’ style he is always thinking of his patients and what he can do to make life easier for them.

I downloaded that song he recommended, did some research on the Navajo traditions and thought about the philosophy behind the words of the song, today when I got in my car to go home after work it synced from my phone to my car and I played it on repeat the entire drive.  It made me smile thinking about Dr. Lettieri and his way of explaining to me my place in life right now has nothing to do with the choices I made, but more about what I am learning while given; and after receiving the trial.

So….why do I think you should smile?  Well one reason is because I can’t, so next time you bust out a giggle or two, think of me.   Another reason is because we show an exuberant amount of joy when we smile and it may just help someone who needs it.

We have so much to smile about, be happy you are not the one who can’t, you have a choice so smile and don’t ever take it for granted. It is a blessing.


XOXO Monya Williams

Living With Autism

Living With Autism

My amazing daughter Kayla is our oldest, she and her husband Jeremy have three boys diagnosed with Autism. Recker is the oldest 8 and 1/2, Ezra is 5 and Theo just turned 2. We love these boys so much, our entire family is in love with them, but even being the ‘grandmother’ (Bonbon) I don’t see the day-to-day struggle, the melt downs and the emotional rollercoaster Autism creates in a home.  Kayla does such a great job creating awareness on social media and within the walls of our home, still I can’t imagine the 24 hour care she gives them individually.  Each one of these special spirits come with their own needs, Recker is amazingly sweet and kind but is non-verbal, still wears a diaper, has to be constantly watched and shows his frustration by taking it out on mom or dad with a fist once in a while. Recker also loves to be outside, swims like a fish, is intrigued with fire and loves Disney movies.

Ezra age 5

Ezra, boy oh boy, this guy is talking up a storm but deals with emotional break downs daily, he can be irrational and moody it’s a constant wining problem. Ezra loves to be around family, plays well with other’s and wants to be an ‘ar thist’ (artist) he’s also scared to death of creepy crawly things, spiders, bugs etc. He is probably the most literal child I have ever met, if I said to him “You are cute” his response most likely would be “No, I am Ezra” This sounds like typical                                                                        behavior and yes, it could be however you’d have to see how he reacts to understand the emotions behind his fears. When he leaves our home he always comes up to me and say’s “I sad” I already know what his response is but always say “Why are you sad?” He comes back with “I going to miss you, I not want to go home” but if his parents were to leave without him there would be a total meltdown. So we hug, say “I love you” and off he goes.

Theo age 2

Theodore, Theo, Teddy….those are his names.  No matter what we call him he comes running.  Theo is on the spectrum, at what level we don’t know.  Kayla say’s he shows signs just like Recker and Ezra did, so right now while he seems typical we enjoy every minute of his cuteness because we never know when or if regression will start.  This little guy is pretty content, he points and shows us things he wants, takes our hand to lead us to rooms to play and is just starting to say a few words.  Sunday night he took all the Disney magnets off my freezer one at a time and brought them to me saying “who that?” and as a typical child would do at age 2 he is constantly asking “what that?” while he points to something he wants us to explain.  If I ask him “Do you want a popsicle?” (or just about anything I ask if he wants) his answer is “uh huh” while shaking his head “yes”  He also loves the outdoors, but does not like to swim in the pool like Recker and Ezra do.

Kayla and Jeremy are absolutely involved in these boys lives, caring and loving for them no matter the circumstances.  I know they have their moments when they need space to cry, I also know they sometimes just laugh because what else can they do? Even as Kayla’s mother I will never understand the constant emotions they endure. I’m not sure I could do what they have and will continue to do, but I am eternally grateful for Kayla’s openness and honesty when teaching me about ASD. She is the mom who constantly researches and studies, wanting to know everything she can to help her boys process and deal with their diagnosis.

This is something she recently posted, it broke my heart but it is the reality of any parent who has children with Autism, oh and let me interject here one of the things Kayla kindly taught me–people with Autism are diagnosed it is not ‘who they are’ saying a child or person is Autistic is defining them.

and my personal favorite post, I don’t live in ‘judgement’ so this does not offend me, if it does offend you I’m sorry but it is the real life of so many families dealing with Autism. I’d like to also insert at this moment children with or people who are diagnosed with Autism are not defined by the disease, it is something they ‘have’ not ‘who they are’ Autistic defines them, being labeled as a person who is  Autistic is hurtful and not politite

This was her post and her comment was “We are literally getting our asses kicked over here.”


XOXO Monya Bonbon



The Truth About Scars

The Truth About Scars

What the hell is beauty anyway? It seems the world in general is quick to measure something none of us can really define.  I mean let’s be real here, I adore the classic look of Jackie Kennedy, while some of my best friends think she looked stuffy and too conservative.  And what about the color of your kitchen-Do you love it?  Maybe I don’t love it, but I love that YOU love it.  I think something is beautiful because I say it is, not because the world does.  If I say the scars on my breasts, or the droopy face I am forced to live with is beautiful, then it is.  I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘beauty’  why it matters, or what it means. Maybe because I was told as I child I was not beautiful; ‘boobless’ was a common phrase sent my way. My life was ugly growing up, I was marred by deceit, anger, trauma and pain.

My body is riddled with scars, some are visible to most people, some are hidden deep within my soul. The story behind each and every one of my scars has molded me and helped me become the woman who I am today-someone I like.  I for one do not want to live in a world where beauty is limited to what other people say it is? Do you want to live in a world where we try to contain beauty into a small little box?  Beauty is undefinable and some may say uncontrollable, it is an experience not a ‘thing’

I chose to make my own rules, define my own beauty, dismantle the boxes, and break all the celebrity rules, I am and should always be defined by my self-worth, my integrity and the love I have for all of God’s creatures……and when I say ‘creatures’ I’m including the human race, seemingly the hardest critics of all.  It wasn’t until I lost my smile that I realized I had always took my smile for granted. I want to smile so badly, I want to belly laugh with my girls, I hope they will remember me with a smile.

Lights, camera, action …..Hollywood has decided that beauty is in the glossy pages of a magazine, or a wafer thin model.  Beauty has become superficial; eye color, hair texture, and the number on the scale. Beauty has become something to be weighed and measured.  I may have fed into that before I was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured over 41 surgeries in 8 years.  I no longer see beauty as merely something flawless or perfect.  To me beauty is a grace point between what hurts and what heals, between the shadow of tragedy and the light of joy. I see beauty in my scars, emotional and physical. Doesn’t everyone have some scars?  Whether freckles from sun damage, triggers- hearing, tasting or smelling a reminder of the past.  Maybe you’ve had a broken heart or a broken bone. Whatever it is, or when it comes (and it will) live with no regrets, do what you can to protect yourself, but love the scar it may leave on you.

Scars, I mean my scars are beautiful, it means I’ve lived an amazing life, I’m a fighter they remind me of my inner strength and propel me to want to be a  warrior and survivor.

XOXO Monya

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Every 3rd of July I am reminded of fighting for my life in The Cleveland Clinic. Four years ago today I was in surgery, literally hoping for a miracle. Little did I know the miracle was sitting right here in Arizona, with Doctor Lettieri.

On July 3rd 2014 I was rolled into surgery, Eric gave me a kiss on the forehead as they wheeled me into the operating room. Tears rolled down my cheeks onto the pillow, nurses kindly asked what they could do to help; shaking my head, watching them walk away I knew there was nothing anyone could do. Not even with the best surgeons on the face of the earth, no one could be able to bring my smile back.

The worst was still ahead of me, waking up in the recovery room after an eleven hour surgery I felt my head. It was full of staples, like a train track from one side to the other and down the back of my skull. My ear was pounding and swollen. I just wanted to see Eric and go home; after seven weeks in Cleveland I was depressed, sad and disoriented.

The next day, the fourth of July 2014 is a day I will never forget. No attending’s were in the ICU, the residents were in charge for the Holiday. Pain beyond my belief was surging through my body; a senior resident forgot to put orders in for pain medicine; I thought I would die on that day. I was prepared with letters to my children and dear husband. When the resident did not answer page after page to come to the ICU-I went further and further into a deep dark place, actually wanting my life to end because the pain was so bad. Nurses rubbed my legs and listened to me sing “Be Still My Soul” and “I am a Child of God” over and over again. It was an hour and fifteen minutes the senior resident finally make it to my room, followed behind him were other junior residents. He questioned my pain like I was faking; wondered why I was crying, and asked me too many questions; which I believe now was a senior resident showing off for the junior residents. I was gasping for air I couldn’t speak without trembling, he finally gave me the pain medicine. Even after the pain medicine was in my system my body shook like a baby, composing myself was difficult.

This is one of the junior residents Brendan Alleyne-he came to visit me after that incident and held my hand. The compassion he showed was nothing I will ever forget, I wish I could tell him what his acts of kindness did for my faith in the future of medicine. I’m thinking about him today, Dr. Lettieri is constantly telling me about the ego’s of residents, just like the senior resident I encountered at Cleveland Clinic. They forget who they are serving, I often wonder if he would have treated me different if I had been his mother, wife or child. Thank you Dr. Alleyne wherever you are today, I believe you are caring and sharing for your own patients now and hopefully learned something from this experience that will help you always remember patients are real people, with real families and a story to tell.

XOXO Monya

The Risks

The Risks

I spent 5 days in Las Vegas, which is probably my least favorite place to be.  I was there for a conference on how to grow my network marketing business through social media.  While I found the event to be highly effective and I learned a crap load of information about marketing, I seriously hated walking through the smoke filled casino just to get a bite to eat.  I will never understand the attraction people have with gambling their money away.  Some of these people stay up all night long, just hoping for that BIG win only to walk away empty handed, shattered and depressed.

As I walked through one morning I wondered “Did these people get any sleep at all? Do they have any money left? Where are their families?” I’m certainly not a ‘debbie downer’ I like to have fun, but not with my money or my future.  There is a lot of money in the world, plenty for everyone but working for it gives a sense of accomplishment and joy. I could not imagine sitting hour after hour putting money into these slot machines, money they probably worked hard for.

This is a danger zone…..with gambling addiction rising, people losing their homes and families this is not a life I would choose.  Boy was I grateful to get home to my safe haven, quiet and calm without the constant ringing and clanking of change dropping into the machine.  I decided I’m all about the sure thing, like a new pair of shoes….yes, I will take my money and buy something tangible and useful.

Las Vegas can be fun, but for me one day is enough and I want to walk away with some value being taken from it.  If I spent on shoes what some lose in those machines I could own a shoe store!!! Bottom line, what I learned?  I love my life and wouldn’t trade any of it, not even for a billion dollars.

Monya Bonbon

My Way

My Way

So there is something to be said about Frank Sinatra’s famous song “My Way” I’ve lived a life that most people might raise an eyebrow to. I have definitely bit off more than I could chew at times.  I’ve had my share of tears and heartache but more than that I handled it my way.  One thing I can say that is much different from Frank’s is I live with no regrets.

I have stood tall at times and felt insignificant at other times. I’m glad life hasn’t been an easy road, because through the twists and turns of life I’ve had opportunity to learn I love my life. I celebrate little things, I see somethings that may seem insignificant to other people and find the beauty in them.

I am true to myself and no longer need acceptance from other people. I am always imagining new ways of making life better through my interactions with other people. It only seems natural if I have lived and learned from my mistakes, aches and pains I would want to teach other people what ‘not’ to do…right? Or be teachable enough to learn from theirs. Boy I wish it was that easy, unfortunately we all have a path or journey in life we should be learning from, we own those experiences. I’ve  been taught so much about behaviors of the ‘human’ race; we all process trial, error and successes differently.

Through life’s inevitable up’s and downs I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and build a legacy business through network marketing.  In the beginning the purpose for joining was to expand my circle of friends. When we became empty nester’s I needed the interaction with other people. I soon found out not all companies are created equal. After four years with a company I thought I knew, loved and trusted the direction of they chose to take was not in alignment with my personal beliefs….remember I live with no regrets? I could not continue to recruit friends, family or strangers into an institution I no longer believed was going in the direction I wanted for my journey in life.

I have now aligned myself with some wonderful people who have taught me more in a couple of months about business, staying congruent and the best part…..I have seen my blood work change for the good. Bottom line…….I did this all My way, even when it wasn’t a popular thing to do, or friends and family rolled their eyes at me. Staying consistent with who you are, being true to yourself and listening to the inner voice that tells you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is essential for living a happy and productive life. Do it your way.

Monya Bonbon





I love this picture of Frenchie (Papa) with 5 of the 7 grandchildren–the joy on his face was priceless.  Most of you have probably heard this “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” I think this is a true statement My birth father was not around when I was a child, but I believe if he could do it all over again, he would have been an incredible dad. I have been blessed with some very good examples in my life of strong courageous men who didn’t have much to offer financially to their children, but provided them with love, and kindness. They taught their son’s to work hard and play hard, and taught their daughter’s to be bold, brave and to go after their dreams.

I have three son in-laws and a son who I’m proud of, they teach their children to go forth in faith-learn to laugh and enjoy life; but also give them the discipline they need to grow to be righteous and live with  integrity. Children have a respectful amount of fear for their father’s because they don’t want to let them down, their father’s are the super hero’s who they strive to become; a healthy amount of respectful fear is ok. I was a stay at home mom; I remember when my children were little they were so sick of me they’d run to the door to greet Eric yelling “Daddy is home” by the time they were teens it was a different story when the garage door opened and they knew he was home they scattered like mice to make sure they had homework done, rooms cleaned etc.  This is not to say Eric was a bad father or that they didn’t love him he told them everyday how much he loved them and still does but it’s that ‘respectful fear’ I’m talking about.

My oldest daughter Kayla and her husband Jeremy are  amazing, as I watch them raise their children with Autism I am in awe at times and wish I would have lowered my voice and softened my heart more. Blake, my only son has a good mixture of myself and his father in him. I’ve never seen a daddy more interested in his little daughter as he is, if I am watching little Weslie, Blake calls for me to do a Facetime or asks me to send pictures. His wife Chloe is a doll, I love her so much and am eternally grateful she is part of our family; very funny, smart and knows how to communicate, something I struggled with at her age. Kaitlyn, will forever be Phoenix’s and Archie’s mom….they love her and I love watching her, she is the most like me. When I watch how well she is with her boy’s I once again wish I’d done somethings different. Apparently it is true dad’s are their son’s super hero’s just ask Phoenix, he’d rather be with his dad than anyone else in the world. In his eyes’s Brian can make no mistakes and can do anything.  Haleigh is our youngest daughter, she has a son with her husband Scott they are such patient, soft spoken parents. Of course I understand little Ellis is only 8 months old but I’ve never seen them upset or filled with anxiety like I was with my first child. I look forward to seeing the personalities of all my grandchildren grow as they watch their parents and learn from example.

The truth is, I have no regrets every moment of motherhood I’ve loved.  Did I make mistakes? Ummm…YES I did, many, but right now at this moment I am in love with being a grandparent. I can’t have a ‘do over’ so I go from here, I still make mistakes, say too much, react too quickly then say “I’m sorry” Parenting is hard, according to the handbook I received when they were born I did everything wrong; but all my children are perfect to me, they found their way I did much better than my mother did and they will do even better….it’s the circle of life.

Monya Bonbon


His Grace

His Grace


So Much To See

I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off of my bucket list. I do recall looking out of the window far above the clouds and seeing this breath-taking view; it was at this moment I realized I have taken so much for granted; our world is beautiful so many nooks and crannies we will never explore, but just knowing they are out there gives me hope and a sense of a spirit much larger than my soul can imagine.

There is so much to see in this beautiful world of ours; but my favorite place to be is with my family, there is no other joy and peace I feel watching my children grow into happy, healthy adults who cherish one another and understand the importance of time, time together making memories to last for eternity.

I started back to work yesterday, it was physically painful however I’ll take the pain over depression any day any time. There is something about being through so many surgeries, procedures, pokes and tests that make me wonder once again what I am supposed to be learning.  I am well aware of all my weaknesses-I say damn and hell every once in a while, I judge people when I should be reaching out to them, I’m simply not perfect and not ready to die. I try daily to be better than I was the day before and so often fail in my attempt; but one thing I never do is leave my Heavenly Father out of my daily routine. He guides me and helps me to become the woman I strive to be.

This was me on May 1st, 2014 I thought I was so happy, look at my smile, my beautiful teeth. Oh how I loved to smile.  I’d finished chemo, radiation and several surgeries and was well on my way to being ‘ok’ with living with cancer. I see some wrinkles, but mostly I see joy in my eyes for the happiness I felt being alive. Then life came to a screeching halt and I was once again faced with an unfortunate life altering transfiguration.

On May 15, 2014 this was me lying in the Mayo Clinic hospital fighting for my life.  There was a sadness I had never experienced. My life would never be the same, my face would show the sadness and sorrow. There was simply no one on earth who could possibly understand what it felt like to hear my surgeon tell me “I’m sorry to tell you, your face will never be the same again, you need to get used to the new you”

That task seemed daunting and unachievable I didn’t know how I could face a world where physical beauty had become the main focus for so many people. I never realized I was one of those people, I was vain I wanted my smile back I wanted to be normal, heck I’d even take typical. With help from Dr.Lettieri teaching me grace comes from within, I have been able to somewhat come to accept who I am, what I am meant to do here on earth; and it is definitely not to be a fashion model. My Heavenly Father has so much more in store for me and I’ve come to understand true authenticity and absolute beauty comes from knowing who you are and where you are going, it comes from first loving yourself no matter the circumstances life throws at us.  It certainly sounds easier than it actually is to do, I have spent 3 years working on myself, studying and trying to teach our  youth to love their life. If all of us could see ourselves through our Father in Heaven’s eyes I think we would be surprised to know what He sees in each of us; I believe He knows my heart, He feels my pain but mostly He understands I am trying everyday to become a worthy woman of infinite worth in His eyes.

This was me just a few days ago at Shane Wright’s luncheon after his funeral; I love this picture with Archer, still bruised and swollen looking at this picture I realize my grandchildren will never know the face or person I used to be they only know Bonbon exactly how I am today, and they love me unconditionally as I do them. The woman in this picture has come a long way with still so much to learn about herself and other’s. There is no better Hope than knowing I have many years to learn and teach other’s how to cope with unforeseen circumstances and to accept to love themselves in away no one on earth can understand. I am truly blessed and Amazed at the grace He so fully offers all of us.

Monya Bonbon

See You Later

See You Later

To say it’s been a whirlwind of emotions the past 6 weeks would be an understatement. This is Shane Wright, his son Brian is married to my daughter Kaitlyn. Shane celebrated his birthday on May 24th with his wife children and nine grandchildren; two of which we share grand parenting with. Kaitlyn said his birthday was so fun, they played and danced together ate pizza had ice cream and cake. Shane sat watching his children and grandchildren laugh and play together from his own words “We’re told by Heavenly Father we may have joy in our posterity. Nothing compares to the joy that I feel when our family is all together. It’s the purest joy a parent can have. My heart is full” On Wednesday May 30th this giant of a man left this life to live with his Heavenly Father.

Shane’s posterity, such a beautiful family.

The first time I met Brian I knew he was a special man; most parents think their daughters are too good for most men but Eric and I are were so impressed with Brian we were afraid Kaitlyn would scare him off. When Brian asked Eric for Kaitlyn’s hand in marriage, he actually told him no twice. Poor Brian was living in Utah and chose to drive to Arizona twice to get Eric’s approval. I explained to Eric it is always hard on father’s to finally hand their daughter’s over to another man for them to care and love for, but it was time. We had the opportunity to meet Shane and Dee Dee Wright before they were married and immediately our hearts were bonded to them. Kaitlyn and Brian were married and had their wedding reception in our backyard in November of 2009.  I was diagnosed with cancer during their engagement and started chemo therapy just two days after their wedding; I will never forget Shane and Dee Dee’s constant prayer’s on my behalf.

Shane (grandad) Phoenix and Dee Dee (Mimi)

Over the years and two grandchildren later we grew to love this man and were so proud to have the opportunity to co-grandparent with he and Dee Dee.  Shane was a stone mason, he had an eye for perfection when it came to his profession. He also raised his children to have respect for other’s and to share the knowledge they had of the Gospel of Christ. The last time I spoke to Shane he was visiting in Arizona and had helped pick out stone for a fireplace in Haleigh and Scott’s home. We stood outside next to his truck while Phoenix played and ate snacks from his granddad’s truck.

He asked me how I was doing and told me he never misses a day of praying for me. Then he looked at me and said “Perspectives change when you know you are not going to be on earth forever, we have truly been blessed.”  Shane knew he had some time left but was also realistic enough to know what he was diagnosed with was incurable and unless he was struck by lightning or hit by a car, he would definitely die from his diagnosis.

It was evident when I sat in the Chapel at his funeral and watched over 300 people sit and listened to his family speak of Shane and his incredible accomplishments in life; and when I say accomplishments it had nothing to do with money. Shane helped youth, many young boys grow and become fine men, husbands and fathers. They testified of Shane’s undying sacrifice’s as he served others unconditionally.  I don’t believe Shane had an enemy’s, everyone loved him. His smile and attention to details lit up any room he entered. Each and every time Eric and I saw him he looked at us in the eyes and asked about us, how we were doing, how each of our children and grandchildren were–simply put he cared genuinely for people.

When Brian spoke at the funeral, he was speaking about his father but was describing himself in every way. I love Brian, I love everything about him we are blessed to have him in our family and know he will miss his father deeply but will carry on the traditions of his father and pass down his work ethic and compassion for other people to his own children.

I will miss Shane and still have a hard time believing he is gone from our lives for now; so until we meet again I will do my best to be a good person, share memories with Phoenix, Archer and their future children about the amazing grandad they had.  I never say good-bye so see you later Shane

Monya Bonbon