The Peanut Gallery

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Mothers Words

Monday, January 31, 2011

On Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm I lost one of the most important things in my life - my two and a half year old daughter Kennedy. Her life and death has forever shaped how I will live this life here on earth. Kennedy is the single greatest thing to ever happen to me. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have known the most amazing human being to ever set foot on this earth. She was and will continue to be a shining force in my heart and soul. She has touched me deeply and has taught me more about life than any other person or life experience ever has.

Today is a day for us all to mourn through celebration. Kennedy’s life was nothing short of miraculous. How does a mother say goodbye to her little girl? She doesn’t! She will never accept the fact that the precious angel that touched her heart like nothing else is gone. What brings her piece is that she is not gone. She lives. She lives inside of all those whom she’s touched and she lives with god. Someday that mother and little girl will be reunited again – and I can’t wait!

We have heard from so many people who’ve told us about how Kennedy’s story has touched their lives and made them reevaluate their relationships and reprioritize what’s important to them. People started to pray again, some people began praying for the first time and some were spending more quality time with their children and all learned that life was not a guarantee and was not to be taken for granted. All of this happened because of Kennedy! She had the uncanny ability to make you step back and not allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, to slow down and smell those flowers,

At just 2 ½ years old - she accomplished more in her short life then I have in mine. I was her Mother. I was supposed to teach her, guide her through life and provide her with the foundation to grow into a strong and beautiful women, but instead she taught me – patience, how to embrace life, to rejoice in even the smallest of achievements, to approach challenges and mere impossibilities with the attitude that nothing is impossible. She had the uncanny ability to make me step back and not allow myself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, to slow down and smell those flowers, and to truly love without limitations.

We have been dealt a devastating blow to our lives and we may be experiencing the absolute worst that life has to offer, but Brian and I always try to make the best out of any situation. There are really two choices we all have in a situation like this one – we can wallow away in self-pity, doubt, anger and sadness or we can rise above the situation embrace the circumstances that were bestowed upon us and accept the things that we cannot change – we choose to live and live like we had never lived before We celebrated and rejoiced in Kennedy’s life. We turned even the most negative of circumstances into a positive and we smiled, laughed and really just embraced our life together as a family!

If I was asked this question once, I was asked it a million times over, “knowing what you know now would you do it all over again” The answer is unequivocally without hesitation – yes! I would re-live the pain and heartache just to have known, loved, and cared for Kennedy. Very early on we decided to live life according to the way Kennedy wanted to live. We relinquished control and handed the reins over to Kennedy very early on. This was her journey and we were there by her side every second of everyday to support her, comfort her, care for her, and love her in every way possible.

I would have to say that the outpouring of love and support that our family has received in the last two and a half years really leaves me speechless. Kennedy has forever changed my life. Moreover, the impact she had set upon others is profound and nothing short of amazing. Even though she was unable to talk, her presence and innocent soul has forever left an impression on our lives that will last a lifetime!

To my husband Brian – what can I really say to you besides thank you for being there. You played such an instrumental role in allowing Kennedy to live such a wonderful life. Kennedy has brought so much joy and love to our lives and has brought us so much closer together as a couple. The sacrifices that you made were all done with your family’s best interest at the forefront. She has made you into one of the most selfless persons that I know. Given our state of affairs I do not know many men that would have stuck around and would have done so with such strong convictions for your family’s needs and well being. You allowed me to quit my job, to stay home and care for our daughter, you did side jobs to make extra money, you came home daily after a long days and then cared for Kennedy to give me some time to myself, and I can remember countless evenings where you stayed awake with Kennedy late into the wee hours to allow me to sleep and then woke up the next morning to do it all over again. Kennedy was so blessed to have you as her daddy!

Finally, I prayed hard over these past few months that when it was time for Kennedy to leave us here on earth she would go peacefully in the presence of her family embraced in my arms. God and Kennedy worked together in such harmony and blessed me with an amazing end to an incredible journey. So I am going to ask God for one more thing. When my time comes and I get to see my Kennedy again, I’d like her to be 2 ½ years old and I’d like to be 27 again because I want to be able to pick right back-up where we left off. Sitting in a rocking chair with Kennedy in her favorite position on my chest. That would be a perfect way to begin eternity.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Celebration Fit For A Princess

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Kennedy's Memorial Service was two and a half weeks ago and I can recall the service with such clarity like it was yesterday. The day after Kennedy passed away one of my really good friends Jennifer Bagwell (Kennedy's personal photographer LOL) called me to ask if I would allow her to plan and organize Kennedy's memorial service. For most of you that know me and those that may not, I kind of consider myself a little bit of a control freak and am slightly OCD - I am a take control kind of person. My normal reaction would have been to politely decline and take on the project myself. Partly because of my personality but mostly because I don't like to put others out - I don't want to be a burden. However, the day Jen called me to ask about planning the service I immediately replied with a huge sigh of relief, "yes I would honored and eternally grateful if you would take on this overwhelming task".

Kennedy's service was absolutely perfect! No detail was overlooked. It was bright and cheery. There were hundreds and hundreds of flowers. Jen made an amazing three tiered centerpiece consisting of large cylindrical vases filled with water and orchids. There were also two personalized monogrammed banners which were also very bright and colorful and a wishing tree that allowed people to leave personal messages Kennedy. Furthermore, the tables were covered with bright bubble gum pink tablecloths and adorned with gorgeous flower centerpieces and finished with individually filled mason jars of peanuts (of course my favorite finishing touch). The service was so appropriate and could not have been a more perfect way to honor our little Kennedy. It was definitely a party fit for a princess.

The service started with an amazing 15 minute slideshow that Brian and I put together. It was a very emotional yet fulfilling project for us to do. It was so nice to look back upon our daughters two and a half years and to know that she lived one hell of a life. I am still trying to figure out how to post the slideshow to my blog. It was very important to me to have someone who knows our family and who knows Kennedy and her incredible journey to lead her memorial service. I was honored when our friend Pastor Rod agreed to lead Kennedy's service (he was the person who blessed Kennedy when she was just weeks old in the NICU @ Loma Linda). Rod did an amazing job. He kept the mood up beat and very positive - he led the service the way we chose to live our lives.

After Pastor Rod spoke I got up to say a little bit about Kennedy's impact on myself and the rest of the world (I will post my eulogy another time). I was left speechless when numerous family and friends got up to speak. It was so incredibly touching and truly was an honor. Listening to the words of others really reaffirmed Kennedy's purpose and meaning in this world and illustrated what an impact she has had on so many. It truly was a celebration fit for a princess.

(A memorial table I set up at home with items from Kennedy's service)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kennedy's Memorial Service Program

Sunday, January 16, 2011
Kennedy's service was absolutely amazing. I will tell you all about it tomorrow. In the meantime attached is a copy of Kennedy's Memorial Service Program.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kennedy Mae Bonomo's Memorial Serivce

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kennedy Mae Bonomo's Memorial Service
Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Time: The service will begin at 12:30 pm and the reception will follow immediately after at the same location as the service
Location: Located at Central Park (Lewis Community Center) in the Rancho Cucamonga Hall
11200 Baseline Road, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701
909) 477-2782

This service is open to the public and I would like to invite anyone that would like to attend to please be there. Brian and I want this to be a huge celebration of Kennedy's amazing life. She has changed my life in such a profound way and I know that she has touched the lives of many others!

An Angel Earned Her Wings

Monday, January 10, 2011
Heaven has earned the most beautiful, perfect angel on Saturday at 5:30pm. Kennedy is free and watching over us from above. In typical Kennedy fashion - she has her own agenda and was sure she left this world the way she wanted too, in the arms of her momma! Kennedy had been having an amazing week after her Neurologist appointment. The Ativan really seemed to be doing the trick. Kennedy was happy and the most talkative she has ever been. She spent the night at her Grammy's and Grandpa's house on Thursday night because I had an OB appt. first thing Friday morning. My mom said Kennedy was watching bugs bunny with my dad and appeared to be in a great mood. She slept amazing that night and was up and alert Friday.

Brian and I went to pick her up from my parents around 1pm. My mom mentioned Kennedy was kind of quite Friday afternoon but was really content. We loaded her in the car and headed home. Kennedy was talking away in the backseat. We spend the rest of the afternoon cuddling with our baby, as we did each and everyday. Friday evening we laid Kennedy down in bed around 9pm and Brian and I proceeded with our nightly routine and climbed into bed about 9:30pm. Kennedy was sound asleep - which is very unusual. First she never goes to sleep before midnight and secondly she never falls asleep without us in bed. I didn't think anything of it - I climbed into bed grabbed her hand and fell asleep. We woke up around 9 and Kennedy was still asleep. A little peculiar but again I didn't put much thought into it. I just figured she has had a rough couple weeks (excluding Tues. Jan 4 - Thurs. Jan 7) so I assumed she was trying to catch up on some much needed sleep.

My parents came over Saturday around 11:00 to help us start setting up the baby's room. I periodically poked my head into our room to see how she was doing as sometimes she wakes up and just lays around. She was still sleeping so I let her be. She finally woke up around 1pm. My dad held her for about an hour while we finished up the room. Then I gave her a bath and made her all fresh. After her bath her and I sat in our favorite recliner for a couple of hours while she laid quietly on my chest. She became kind of congested so I suctioned her and laid her down figuring I would just change up her positioning.

We were having a BBQ that evening and Kennedy's godparents (Derek and Jen) and our other really close friends Andy and Sarah showed up around 4:30pm. Brian began cooking dinner as i sat next to Kennedy on the couch with my girlfriends talking about Kennedy (as usual - it is one of my favorite things to do). I got up to show Sarah the progress on the baby's room and my dad called me back into the living room because he wanted me to hand him Kennedy. I picked Kennedy up and passed her off to my dad. As soon as my dad got her he made a comment that he didn't think she was breathing. I grabbed her out of his arms and the rest is history....The amazing thing was that she was fine while she was laying on the couch sating in the high 80's. She was waiting to be in our arms where she was most comfortable and at peace. There was no struggle or fight. She was at peace.

Kennedy left this world when she was good and ready. She was tired and put up one hell of a fight. She was sure to leave this world in the presence of the most important people in her life, her Mom, Dad, Grammy, and Grandpa! After her passing I held her on my chest in her favorite position and she looked like the most perfect beautiful angel I had ever seen. She was amazingly beautiful and was at peace.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Thursday, January 6, 2011
Would it be safe to say that the last several months of my life I have spent crippled in fear? YES! Kennedy's condition is progressively getting worse and thoughts of her eminent death are always in the back of my mind. Yes, I fear my daughter and our families circumstances.......
  • I fear the uncertainty of her life
  • I fear that while I sleep my baby will leave us for heaven and I will not have been there for her last minutes
  • I fear that Kennedy will not be here for the birth of her brother
  • I fear that Kennedy's death will forever change who I am - to the point where myself or people around me will no longer recognize who I am anymore
  • I fear that I will not know how to function without my daughter
  • I fear that Kennedy' death will destroy my husband and my father
  • I fear that I have gotten in over my head with the upcoming arrival of our son - can I do it?
  • I just overall fear my future..
You may wonder what is with all this talk of death. The death of my daughter is eminent. I do not know when or where it will occur (oh the proverbial grey area I so love - not) but it will happen and unfortunately for us, it is sooner rather then later. Kennedy has not been the same since October. We are witnessing a heinous disease destroy our daughter before our very eyes. It has taken away so much - it has wreaked havoc on her tiny body and it is just getting worse and worse.

We met with our amazing Neurologist this week and I think we have come up with a solid plan to lesson Kennedy's agitation and keep her more comfortable. Kennedy has been battling with increased seizure activity the last couple weeks (as a good reference point she has not had any seizure activity that we were aware of in over 6-9 months) and has become increasingly more irritable on a daily basis. We brought another seizure medication onboard (she is now taking a combination of Keppra and Lamictal) and so far the two seem to be working together cohesively and Kennedy has been seizure free since the week prior to Christmas. Treating the agitation becomes a little more tricky. Due to Kennedy's low muscle tone and decreased respiratory drive we have to tread lightly when trying to prescribe sedatives. As of now Kennedy is starting an extremely low dose of Ativan which is meant to try and relax and relieve her agitation. With such a low dose, it leaves us room to adjust the dosage if necessary.

Well enough with this depressing medical mumbo jumbo. Below I put the rest of our 2010 Family Pictures. It will probably be one of the last photo shoots we have before our newest addition arrives at the beginning of May. To see more of our amazing photographers work check out her website here.