Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

What is your best relationship advice?

There are all kinds of relationships. Your first relationships are with your family. My parents and I got along great, although I was probably closer to my dad than my mom. My sister and I always were a team, except in my early teen years when she wanted to go with me and my friends. Even though we live in different states, we talk almost daily. My brother was never close to me or my sister. He was a mama's boy, and my mother always catered to him.

As I grew older, I developed a closer relationship with my cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. My youngest aunt, my mother's sister, was only ten years older than me, and I was always close to her and, later, her husband.

My favorite aunt on my father's side was my aunt Sophie. She was my godmother. She never married. She was a really kind person. We had some special times. On my birthday, she would take me shopping in downtown Chicago, and we would have lunch at the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields. When I got older, my friends and I would take our mothers out to dinner for Mother's Day, and I would always include her.

Relationships with friends can vary. Some friends, like my friend Marge, can become like family. Others are fun to be with and only have a casual relationship.

Always be kind, but beware of people who are not honest. I have learned this the hard way. Another word of advice is not to lend money to friends unless you don't plan on getting it back. I have had a wonderful friendship with my friend Marge. I have a few friends from grade school and High School, and I still keep in touch with a few co-workers.

In the past few years, I have become friends with ladies I have met through church. The six of us have breakfast once a month and have a great time catching up on news about our kids and grandchildren.

My best advice on relationships is to treat others as you would like to be treated. Treat people with kindness and respect.