Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

Have you ever doubted your faith?

I've always been a strong believer in God. I prayed often. I taught my religious education students that you can't have a good friend if you don't talk to him or her. Jesus is the best friend you can have but you must talk to Him. He talks back to you in your heart.

Many years ago, I had a very good friend named Melanie. We were at a dance together when she met Ted and I stood up to their wedding. Ted was a wonderful husband, and they had two little boys.

One day Melanie called me to say she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had treatments and went into remission. We all were very relieved. They went on a family cruise, and when they got back, Melanie found the cancer had come back. She went into the hospital and had a bone marrow transplant. She was totally cut off from her family, friends, husband, and children for months.

Ted would call to tell us of her progress. I prayed a rosary every day for her. One day Ted called to say that Melanie was cancer free. At three o'clock one night, I had a dream and Melanie came to me in a long white dress, and she gave me a white rose. She said that she was ready to go. The next morning Ted called to tell me that Melanie died at three o'clock that morning. For the first time in my life, I was mad at God. How could he take such a great mom, wife, and friend? It was not fair. I did not go to church for a few weeks, and I quit praying for a while.

Eventually, I got back on track, but sometimes I wonder "WHY". Why did my Aunt Sophie die in her 70s? Why did my dad die in his 70s? They were both good people. Why did my Aunt Louise live to her 90s? She was a pain in the butt. I looked after her even though she lived in Chicago, and besides, she never liked me.

I think I am a good person. I believe family is important, and that's why I cared for my mother and my brother. My brother was not nice to me either.

Now I'm in the twilight years of my life. I should be doing what I couldn't do while working, but I am caring for a husband with Alzheimer's.

I guess God has rewarded me for all my troubles with a son who is a wonderful, caring man and a granddaughter who is the light of my life.

I hope when I die, all my good deeds will end with me dancing through the clouds in a flowing red gown and bare feet.