Remembering Lona

There’s a reason I took a short break from blogging this week.

My cousin, Lona, had been a resident in a nearby nursing home for the past couple of years. My visits with her were frequent. Ater a brief hospital stay last weekend, she was transported back to the home Monday afternoon. Upon visiting her that evening,  I had a feeling that I should stay the night with her. I asked Motor Man to bring my cell phone charger, a Diet Coke and the lap top. (I travel light.)

I remembered that, a few years ago, Lona mentioned to me that one of her favorite songs was “Over The Rainbow”. So after her company left that evening, I found it on You-tube, and played it. And I cried. (She had become unresponsive during her hospital stay.)

Once the song ended, I closed my eyes for a few minutes. When I opened them, I realized that Lona was no long breathing.  Quietly, peacefully, she was gone.

I wanted to create a slide show with photos from her life, using that song in the background. To me, the words are so fitting, as I think of her being free of all the problems she faced here on earth.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops:
That’s where you’ll find me.

When Lona’s pastor came to visit with me Wednesday, I mentioned to him how much I would love to have the video/slide show to share at her funeral. But I also told him that I had no idea how to go about it.  He immediately offered, and below is the video he created. (Thank you, Jimmy. Without you, this most likely would not have happened.)

Today, we’ll remember Lona’s life, and she’ll be laid to rest. The cemetery is within sight of the old homeplace where her dad’s (and my mom’s) family lived for many years.

She’s home.

Long before we’re ready, we sadly say goodbye;
but there are those in a far better place,
who are softly whispering “welcome home”.

~These Days Of Mine~

49 responses to “Remembering Lona

  1. Oh, Dianne. How wonderful. Lona is home and you and Jimmy have honored her perfectly. She’s such a sweet spirit.

  2. Such a sweet tribute you arranged for Lona – I know she’s smiling and most happy over that rainbow. You brightened her life SO MUCH Dianna….just as you do so many other people’s. I know how close you were to her and am very sorry for your loss….but take comfort in knowing that you truly – in every sense of the word – were “there for her”…….

    Hugs, Pam

  3. You and Jimmy arranged a beautiful tribute for our Lona. I remember her so well at every age in the pictures. As I’ve said before, I’ll always hold her in my heart. Love you, baby sister….

  4. I watched this with tears streaming down my face – even though I didn’t know her, I can feel the love you felt for her in the tribute. I did something similar for my brother’s memorial and even though it is painful still to watch it, I can tell you that you have created something that friends and family can view again whenever they want to – what a beautiful gift you have given to those who knew and loved her, and those of us who only knew her through you. I am thinking about you today as you share this. Bless you – many hugs today! Linda

    • Thanks, Linda. It IS painful to watch. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen it, and I still tear up when I look at it. She was so special, and I miss her already.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss Dianne. How special it was that you were there with her when she made her transition.

  6. Just beautiful.

    I’m so sorry that she’s with you no more and I know you will miss her so very much. Prayers for your loss, Dianna.


  7. Dianna, what a loving and beautiful tribute to your precious cousin. You are a blessing, dear. In our family, we are so fortunate that none of the cousins have been called home yet…with a little dark humor though, we take pictures when we all gather, reminding ourselves and each other that these WILL be used in our memorial service… Thank you for your sweet, loving post.

    • I’ve lost 3 first cousins in the last 6 months, Natalie…. The other two were several years older than me, but Lona was my age. Thank you for your sweet words.

  8. Dianna, I’m very sorry for your loss. This is such a wonderful tribute to your cousin. I have you and her family in my prayers. L/M

  9. What a wonderful tribute! I’m so sorry about your cousin. You’re in my prayers. Ellie

  10. This is just over the top beautiful. You did a magnificent job. I know you will miss her and all the times you spent together. Just know that you made her life so much better with your friendship and love. See you today.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. The photos show happy times and many memories. How wonderful your pastor could help! Bless him and you for remembering your cousin in such a lovely way. Hugs.

  12. What a lovely tribute to a beautiful life. We made a photo video like this when my dad passed to celebrate his life. Dianna, I’m sorry for your loss but oh, what a comfort it is to know you cousin is ‘home’ and whole again. And what a gift you gave her with your love.

  13. Aww Dianna such a lovely sweet tribute to Lona. Such a sweet smile she has. I know how close you two were and you were there for her with all your love and thoughtfulness. Love the last picture on the slideshow of you both. You shared something very special. We all should be so lucky and fortunate. I have been thinking of you and you will continue to be on my mind and in my heart today. Sending you hugs Dianna…. and prayers for Lona and your family.

  14. awww. i am so glad you stayed with her and that she went peacefully. bless you.

  15. Superb. I’m without words. What a lovely memorial. Starting to put together one for my 91 year old mom. I hope it turns out as nice. 🙂

  16. Some things leave me utterly speechless and close to tears. That’s how I know they are wonderful. Your last moments with Lona and your final tribute to her left me like that.

  17. Praying for comfort for all.

  18. Like Linda above, I watched with tears. Thinking of you Dianna.

  19. God bless you and your family…..

  20. Soft husky wooooos mates,


  21. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Lona could have had no better cousin,or friend in this earthly life than
    you my dear Dianna. Your tribute was a lovely piece of love sent up to heaven for our dear Lona. You were meant to be with Lona when she left for her eternal life to be with our Lord Jesus Christ. I truly believe that.
    I am so thankful I could be there last night to say goodby to Lona and say hello to you after all these years. Lets rejoice for our dear Lona and found comfort in knowing she is happy and well for ever.

  22. Amazing tribute to Lona. Both with this post and the slideshow. You and Jimmy really outdid yourselves, and I know it’s exactly what you envisioned. The service went very well today, and we will remember her always. Thanks to all for the kind words here ..

  23. What a lovely tribute to your cousin. You did such a good job letting us all share a glimpse into her life. Thank you for that. Although I am sorry for your loss, I admire your family dedication.

  24. So sorry for your loss Dianna. Lona was a wonderful person, and you along with Jimmy, did her proud. This version of Over the Rainbow is my absolute favorite.

  25. I’m sure doing this tribute helped you remember all your good times together growing up. Thank goodness for pictures to bring memories to life. Thanks for sharing.

  26. I’d like to extend my condolences. It’s wonderful that you were able to be with your cousin. I’m sure she really appreciated it.

  27. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely, sweet lady who left us too soon. She had such a sweet gentle spirit. Her parents were two of my favorite teachers at VBS. She will be sadly missed by many. She is whole again, without pain. She has fulfilled God’s plan and is at home resting peacefully with her parents. It is as it should be.

    Susan West Norris

  28. I’m sorry to hear that Lona is no longer with us here. What a comfort you have been to her, and how fitting that you remembered her song. Big hugs.

  29. Dianna, I’m so sorry for your loss! What a lovely way to remember her and to share with family and friends! Blessings to you and her other loved ones as you mourn her passing. ~ Sheila

  30. This was beautiful! I am so sorry for your loss and glad that you were there at her going home.

  31. This was so wonderful. I went from smiling to crying to smiling again. You truly loved her and she truly loved you. I will miss her dearly.

  32. Pingback: Flutterby | these days of mine

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