Monday, February 25, 2008

There is a Name for That

It amazes me how many people eat out these days. In Warner Robins, where we live, there is at least an hour wait for a table on any weekend night at any chain restaurant you happen to choose. I’m convinced not many people cook at home anymore. When I was growing up there was no such thing as chain restaurants. People ate at home and I think we were better for it. The first steakhouse I ever saw was a Sizzlin’ in Griffin that we stopped at sometimes on the way to Braves games. We were all amazed that they cooked that many steaks for so many people.

The only place we had to eat out in Reynolds when I was a young boy was Crook's Restaurant which was owned by M.L. and Daisy Crook. We ate there many times on Sunday after church. In fact most everybody in town ate there on Sunday after church.

One of my fond memories was that of a waitress that worked there named Bonnie Palmer. The memory is fond because she was the only person I ever saw who could write with either hand. Her handwriting was just as good with her left hand as it was with her right. She told me she learned to write with both hands because she was so busy taking orders at Crook’s Restaurant that her right hand would give out and she would use her left hand. I don’t know if she was pulling my leg or not but that’s what she always told me. There is a name for that by the way. It’s called ambidextrous.

I later learned something else about this special lady. She never missed a day of school the entire time she was in school. Grades 1 thru 12 and never missed a day. There is a name for that too. It is called discipline.

Bonnie would later marry James Bailey. They had three children. They walked through a parents’ worst nightmare. One of their small children died accidentally. There is a name for that too. It’s called unbearable pain.

Several years ago James checked in a hospital to have what everyone thought was routine heart bypass surgery. He was not sick when he was admitted for that surgery but he did have some blockages and the doctor thought it best to do the bypass surgery. James went through the surgery and made it home. But he died a day or two have being dismissed from the hospital. There is a name for that as well. It’s called intense grief.

Bonnie spent most of her adult life working at Blue Bird Bus Manufacturing Company. A few years after James passed away, Blue Bird went through some financial challenges which resulted in major job cuts. You guessed it. Bonnie lost her job. And there is a name for that. It’s called “you’ve got to be kidding.”

In spite of it all, Bonnie continued to have a smile on her face and kept her faith in a God she continued to trust in spite of her circumstances. There are two names for that. They are perserverence and faithfulness.

This weekend I stopped by the funeral home in Reynolds and saw Bonnie who works there part-time. I just had to go get my camera and take a quick picture.

In a little over a year, Bonnie has lost an amazing 85 pounds. If anybody has what it takes to lose that much weight it would be Bonnie Bailey. There is a name for that. It's called incredible. And I am positive I saw a twinkle in her eye.

Bonnie is planning a trip to South Korea to visit her son Greg and his family and she is beside herself because she will get to spend some time with her grandbabies. There is a name for that too. It’s called excitement.

And I don’t know of anybody who deserves a little excitement more than Bonnie Bailey.

Booker T. Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles that one has to overcome while trying to succeed.”

I really think Booker T. was exactly right.

And if that is true, there is a word that perfectly describes this special lady. That word would be successful.

And there is a name for that.

It's called greatness.


Judy S said...

I have known Bonnie all my life and you described her beautifully. Of course, that was easy to do, becasue she is a beautiful person. This world be a much better place, if there were more people like Bonnie.

greg&shara said...

We love Bonnie so much. She is caring, giving, and a very determined lady. We are so proud of her most recent accomplishment! We really can't wait for her to come visit us in Korea!
Greg and Shara

Anonymous said...

That's a mighty good LADY. I've been blesed to have known her. It's a shame that my cardiologist is going to make more money off all those Daisy Burgers she served me than she did.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I really enjoyed this.


Anonymous said...

Everything you said about Miss Bonnie is so true! She is such a beautiful person who always speaks no matter where she sees you and always has a smile to share!

Clifton McDaniel said...

You are right on target with this one Bruce.
What an outstanding lady.
I have known Bonnie for many years, and am proud to call her my friend.
She always has a smile, and always knows you no matter where you are. She always speaks, and has a good word for you.
It is a real pleasure to know you Bonnie, and am proud to be your friend.