Saturday, 28 February 2015

Goodbye To Bon

--- as given in the morning of Saturday February 28, at William Kipp Funeral Home in Paris at the funeral service for Yvonne Fountain

Hello, for those who don’t know me, my name is Christine Sweeton and Mrs. Fountain babysat my brother and I growing up. However, that description is far too casual for our relationship, as we have always considered her part of our family.

My mother is out of the country but I asked her to write to me about Bon. (I couldn't pronounce Yvonne when I was younger, I don’t know if my family is alone is using that nickname.) My mom described Bon as a third grandmother, which I think fits. I was always strangely jealous when she talked about her actual grandchildren, which she did often because she was so proud of all of them, and excited about their accomplishments.

Almost 30 years ago, my parents moved here and put an ad in The Paris Star looking for someone to care for their one and half year old baby – me. They interviewed people and Bon was the least likely candidate: gruff, a heavy smoker, and seemed old. (She may have looked older 30 years ago, when she wasn't, but then she didn't age. She has looked the same for as long as I have known her.) Well, my parents may have been skeptical but they were taken by how calm and caring she was – and I loved her right away, which sealed the deal. Toddlers often get what toddlers want.

She then became a part of our family. She came over in a moment’s notice when my mom went into labour with my brother, and took care of me. She was a regular fixture in our neighbourhood and often helped other families, like The Smiths, if a kid was home sick.

My family was devastated to hear a few months ago that Bon was sick. She never got sick – she was the one to look after us when we were sick. And the best part of that care, that she gave everyone in her family, was her laugh and her hugs. Her hugs were amazing! So much loved wrapped around you in a sweatshirt – she owned a lot of sweat shirts.

This is something I realized when I got older, thinking back to my childhood, and looking through Facebook photos of her. Yeah, she’s on Facebook and has been for a long time. Bon was always cooler than my parents. It was through Facebook that I discovered she was a night owl. I would be up studying in the middle of the night and she would message me. I couldn't believe she was up so late – she said she always was. When did she sleep? She used to be at our house early in the morning, and she walked there from Willow Street.

She walked everywhere. And when you were with her, you had to walk everywhere too – and not complain about it. She didn't really let us whine about anything, or stamp our feet, or ‘talk back.’ But I would not consider her strict – she was very protective.

 Of everyone I know, she was the most upset when my brother, Mike, joined The Military. In fact, the late night Facebook chats were usually on one of two topics – Was Mike still in the Army? and, When was I going to finally get married? And if you all want the report – it is ‘not yet’ on both fronts.

Becoming Bon's friend as an adult opened my eyes to how strong and dynamic of a woman she was. And also tiny! I don’t know how such a firecracker of a person fit in such a little package. But her love was huge!

It is wonderful to see so many people here to support her family. This is a heartbreaking loss and I hope the good memories of her joy and her strength can give you peace.


Sweeton said...

Lovely Christine, well done.

Anonymous said...

Great speech as usual!