Well Booger, it's taken me a while to sit down and write this. Our Father God, in his time and his plan decided to call you Home recently. I can only imagine how hard it was for your family to sit by your side and say goodbye, but I know you knew where you were going and were happy to get there.
Now most folks wont have any idea why I call you Booger, so I'm gonna share how that all started years ago. You see, Bonnie was a member of our veteran post, Veterans of the Vietnam War, Post 52 and she has been our "Letter Lady" month after month and year after year for Project Support Our Troops, putting all of the letters in the boxes before handing them off to Laurie and I to tape up.
It was Christmas time and we were in the midst of one of our Troop Packings. Laurie and I taping up the finished boxes like we have for 20+ years now and Bonnie sorting and getting all of the letters and cards ready to go in the boxes that we were getting ready to ship to our Troops. This particular year, we had an overabundance of handwritten cards from elementary students. So Bonnie would read one that tickled her funny bone out loud every once in a while. This one card had her laughing so hard and she just kept saying "Kimmy, Kimmy, get over here, you've gotta hear this one!" So I set my tape gun down and went over to find out what had Bonnie laughing so hard.
She is laughing so hard she can barely read the card to me. She finally settles and says "Kimmy, this is the best one yet," and she reads out loud "If boogers were friends, I'd pick you." Well that got us both laughing and then we realized just how perfect that card was and decided then and there that we would call each other Booger, and we did, each time we saw each other, for years. We'd use it as a greeting "Booger!" or "Hey Booger!" We'd use it when we were going our separate ways, always with a hug and saying "Love ya Booger". We didn't care if anyone heard or what anyone thought, that was our thing.
Damn Bonnie, I'm gonna miss that.
We had our first Troops Packing tonight Booger. You know how I always pray before we pack and I always say a prayer for anyone who we have lost recently? Well tonight I had to do that prayer and send a prayer out to you. I didn't get too far. I was able to say "Father God, you recently welcomed one of our sisters into your Kingdom..." That was as far as I got. My throat closed and I couldn't find any more words. Now you know that is not like me at all and I can picture you laughing about that. But it's true. Words were lost to me. Laurie had to step in and finish the prayer, so we did a bit of a tag team prayer tonight. I think that is how it was supposed be huh?
As got in to the Packing I was taping up boxes, I found myself turning around to say something snarky to you and wait for your smart ass comebacks that you were so very good at, and of course you weren't there. Melissa stepped in to be our Letter Lady and a fine job she did and will do I am sure. I had walked up to her earlier and said "So, are you going to be our Letter Lady now?" We just looked at each other with tears in our eyes and she replied "I don't know, should I?" I just nodded my head yes and went to the table to start taping.
Now here is where I know God or one of his angels played a part. As I am taping up a box, you know we always put a magazine on top, anyway, I reach for a magazine and a small book falls out from the stack. Just a small book with a blue cover and the title in cream colored letters. The title of the book was Heaven. I stared down at that small book for several seconds and then gently picked it up and said out loud "Heaven". I held that small book in my hands and silently thanked God for the gentle reminder.
I hate goodbyes Bonnie and I'm pretty sure you know that. So I wont say goodbye. I will say I miss you and will miss you for a long time. You infectious laugh and that smile that would light up your whole face. Your raunchy silly jokes, your love for helping veterans and your love for me, which you have shown in many ways over the years. Dear lady, my Booger, what an impact you have had on my life. You and your Sis Cheryl. You have both been there for me in happy times and in times when I needed a shoulder or an ear to listen. How richly blessed I was to have had you as a part of my life.
So my dear friend, I will not say goodbye because I know for a fact that I will see you again one day. What a day that will be! Say "Hi" to Chuck, Bill, Jim, Tommy, Zona and Ma for all of us will you? You've joined quite a crew of our merry misfits from our Post. We love and miss you all. Until we see you again, I love ya Booger.