Jump to content

I regret to inform you of my mom's passing


Steff

Recommended Posts

Hi friends, I am sad to inform you of my mom's passing 1 week ago.  Unfortunately the leukemia could not be controlled and she had a severe case of pneumonia.  She informed me on Tuesday, June 15th that she had decided to stop treatment for the leukemia and pneumonia, but wanted to remain in the hospital so they could keep her comfortable until the end.  I, of course, obliged.  Her remaining time with me went quite quickly, taking her final breath just 12 hours later.  She informed me and all who visited her that she did not give up, only her body did.  You could still see her fighting spirit and will to live, but her body was worn out. 

I am heartbroken as she was my best friend.  I spent the past 5.5 years by her side through every major doctor visit, success, and bump in the road.  She never let cancer define her.  And even though her docs attribute the immunotherapy she received for her lung cancer as the cause of the leukemia, she never once regretted the choice to use Keytruda to tame her lung cancer.  She said that it gave her 3 additional years of happiness and LIFE.  So my message for you is to KEEP FIGHTING.  Fight for you and fight for your family.  LIVE!!

Below is her obituary.

Deborha Bonwell (Luebber)

August 3, 1954 – June 15, 2021

East Wenatchee, WA

“I want you to know that I have not given up, only my body has.” These were the ever-important words my mom, Deborha Bonwell, informed me on her last day of life.  On June 15, 2021, Debby passed away at the age of 66 after a long and courageous cancer battle. She was surrounded by the love of her family who will continue to honor her love of life and fighting spirit long after her passing.

The daughter of O.H. and Bertie Luebber, Debby was born and raised in Wenatchee.  She married my dad, Frank Bonwell, in 1973 and moved to East Wenatchee prior to giving birth to me, her only child, Steffanie.  Her four-legged child, Zoey, held a special place in her heart and my mom said Zoey always had her back – meaning she often slept snuggled to my mom’s back. 

Debby held a few different jobs, but her life-long job of mother and wife was her ultimate career.  My mom took motherhood quite seriously, teaching me the importance of calling in sick to work to stand in line for concert tickets and sharing the secret ingredient in my grandma’s potato salad. But most importantly, she taught me how to be brave and strong.  She was my best friend.

As a wife and partner, Debby’s love for Frank is never-ending.  She cared for him in their home for much longer than anyone else in her shoes would have.  Even after she was unable to provide the care he needed, my mom continued to bring him home several times per week.  When that was no longer an option, she faithfully visited or spoke to him over the phone several times per week thereafter.  The two of them are the epitome of “in sickness and in health”. 

Debby spent many hours sharing her love of music with me while listening to the 8-Track in the family’s Monte Carlo. One of my favorite memories with my mom was driving to Grand Coulee and singing Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans” at the top of our lungs.  She reached major concert-goer status, attending concerts like Elton John, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty, the Eagles, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, and many other music legends.  I was by her side for each show.  She was passionate about sewing, crocheting, painting, and other crafts.  Her newly found love for attending Wenatchee Wild Hockey games with her friends was a big highlight for her.  She also loved snorkeling and even paddle-boarded in Maui a few years ago with me.  Her willingness to be right alongside me in whatever I was doing was endless.  And while she may not physically be here anymore, her spirit will live on in all my future adventures.

I plan to hold a small celebration of life at a later date.  You are welcome to view Debby’s online tribute at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com to share a memory or leave a condolence.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Steff,

I am so sorry to hear about your mom's passing. I was pleased to have met her at the Lungevity Hope Summit a few years back and I really enjoyed the short time I was able to spend with her--and you. She had an amazing, lively, caring spirit, which you've inherited. Iy  know that you helped extend her life and improve her quality of life by your loving care. Take care of yourself and know that Debby is now in peace. 

Bridget

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very sorry for your loss, and thankful that you have shared the wonderful memories. I can feel the love in that obituary, and especially love your sentiment that she never let cancer define her. Sending love and strength your way. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steph,

So sorry to hear about your Mom, but I loved reading about her spirit and love of life.  She sounds like a wonderful woman who made those around her happier by just being herself.  The pain is so deep when we lose a parent.  I  look forward to the day when thoughts of her will bring a smile to your face along with a funny story or joke she told or the way she sang Neil Diamond...
Lou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steph,

I well remember your mother's vibrance as a survivor on display at the Lungevity Summit that was our first meeting. My characterization of her focus was continue to live each day that she had, enjoying what she could. As I age and decline, I hope to emulate her prospective.

You've done so much to inculcate our caregiver community with wisdom and hope. I know your mother's loss is devastating but it might be perhaps offset by the knowledge that you've touched many lives in our community and provided so much encouragement and hope.

Your mother rests with the Lord. Thank you for easing her journey.

Stay the course.

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m so sorry, Steff. You and your mom reminded me of my mom—it hurts no matter how old when we lose them. You were a wonderful support to her all the way through this. I’m honored to have had the chance to meet you both in person. 

Sending you many hugs—you and your family are in my thoughts.

I can’t hear a Jimmy Buffett song without thinking of you both. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steff,

I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing.  What a beautiful obituary.  I think when you have the kind of closeness you had with your Mom - it's just so hard.  Be patient with yourself as you continue through the grieving process.😇🙏  

With thoughts and prayers,

Deb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Steff,

I’m so sorry about your Mom’s passing.  The obituary is a beautiful tribute for those of us who got to know her through your posts. Fond memories of her craft fundraisers, the continuous quest of the best summertime concert seats and her steadfast refusal to let this disease impact her life.  She will be missed.   My thoughts and prayers are with you.  
 

Michelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Steff,  I am so sorry about the loss of your Mom.  The special relationship you two shared was so evident in your posts.  My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time.  Take care now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.