Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tribute Tuesday - Week One

Tribute Tuesdays is a new weekly installment that will be jointly hosted here at TriandFinish as well as over at my friend Janette’s blog, Johanson Journey

Janette was inspired by my letters to BFF post(s) and contacted me to jointly host Tribute Tuesdays.  We often times forget to tell the people in our lives how special they are and what they mean to us.  Every day I tell Bill I love him, but how often do I tell him WHY I love him or recognize the little things he does?  Similar to my relationships with all of my girlfriends; they know I love them but do they really know how special they are to me?

I realized this when Jess got sick; so when Janette came to me with this idea I absolutely could not pass it up.  I think telling the people who inspire you and make your life better how they enrich your life is very important.  So without further a due, I debut (see how that rhymes)…….

Tribute Tuesday Week One.

We will start off with the particulars …… (Everything has rules right?)

  1. Be or become a follower of this blog
  2. Be or become a follower of Janette’s blog
  3. Grab our button and put it on your page (you grab the code in the top left corner of my blog)
  4. Once you create your Tuesday post – link up via the Simply Linked Widget below!
Each week we will pick one blog that has linked up to be the SHOWCASE BLOG OF THE WEEK (Sounds exciting huh?) We ask that you follow that blog as well….pretty soon we will have blogged hopped all over and can read each other posts.
You can tribute a friend, a relative, a co-worker, a training buddy, a teacher, a doctor, get the point? You can tribute anyone……

Some things to think about when compiling your post….if you need a jumping off point – if not go ahead and start writing....

*         How/Where you met
*         First thoughts and impressions
*         What made you two compatible
*         What you like most about that person
*         First Special Moment
*         How you are alike yet different
*         Things you love
*         Things you hate
*         Photos (I LOVE photos)
*            Silly moments
*            Traveling

Again, these are just ideas – roll with this how you want – I think that is the great part of our blog-o-sphere we can be creative and say what we want, when we want – right?

Tribute Tuesday – Week One – Jessica Ashley Gage Bonesio (BFF)

Jessica and I met the summer before seventh grade at Forestwood Middle School in Flower Mound, Texas .  She was the “new” girl and we all knew that the “new” girl was the high school football coaches daughter.  She was skinny with long legs and braces…. A little awkward but so was I so I knew we would be instant friends.  We instantly gravitated towards each other during that volleyball practice.  Neither of us were really good with coordination so as the other girls either excelled or miserably failed; we were somewhere in the middle together.
That was August 1993. 

By September we were inseparable. 

We were so glued to each other’s hips, in fact, we often spent many school nights at each other’s houses.  My parents didn’t mind if I spent the night there b/c her mom was the high school nurse and her dad the football coach, so it was highly unlikely we would stay up too late and miss school the next day.  She lived in the neighborhood across the street from our middle school so we were able to walk but nine times out of ten her mom dropped us off.

Jess’ family quickly became my family.  Her mom was my mom and I was a staple at their house for chicken enchilada night and crescent chicken night.  (Those are my two favorite dishes of her mothers.)  Her dad was just as protective of me as my own father; even more so since he knew all the boys in school (and heard them talk in the locker room) and her siblings became my little sister and brother too.  I tormented them like she did, played with them like Jess did, and overall loved her family as if they were my own; blood doesn’t necessarily make you family.

Over the years we formed to be one unit.  Jess and Al.  It wasn’t likely through the high school years that we did anything without each other.  She was a cheerleader and I was a basketball player (not a good one at that) but by our senior year I quit basketball.  With a coaching change and my reality that playing beyond high school was unlikely – I opted to quit the team and have a relaxing senior year with my friends. Both, SBJ and Jess were cheerleaders and Amber was the mascot… inevitably it made sense for me to DO SOMETHING with the cheer squad.  I can’t tumble, I’m not very good at cheering and the mascot places were taken…so I was the manager.
Allison…the cheerleader manager.  I got a lot of shit for that one.

It ended up being the best thing I did. I earned a free trip to Disney senior year with the squad to compete at nationals; I spent the summer at cheer camp with my three best friends, and countless Friday nights cheering on our high school football team.   I would easily say I had one of the best high school experiences any 14-17 year old kid could have.  Most of that was attributed to my friendship with Jess.

After high school we went to the University of North Texas together; where, after first semester we convinced our parents we would do better if we lived on campus.  (They seriously believed this) We moved into the dorm together on campus at UNT and proceeded to have one of the most fun yet most unproductive college semesters anyone could have … EVER. 

Living together proved it’s difficulties – when are you THAT close to someone; their idiosyncrasies that used to be “oh that’s just her”  become somewhat annoying….but we tolerated it and had a fun semester living together.
When I moved to A&M a year later Jess and I hadn’t talked in a few months.  We had a large falling out (over a boy – silly I know) and our relationship became strained because of it.  It didn’t take long after I moved to realize that her not being in my life was not something I wanted (or could take for that matter)

She was the one person who, literally, knew every inch of my soul.  I didn’t have one secret from her.  Not one.  She was the one person; no matter what, you could have a conversation with, the topic didn't matter, and her big green eyes would never pass judgment.  She was the kindest, dearest, truest soul and was much wiser than her years.

When I found out that she was diagnosed with brain cancer my world was forever altered.  Saying this out loud makes it sound silly compared to the way her life and her families life was altered, but the world as I knew it with my best friend changed.

We would soon be having lunch over long hours of chemo or after a session of radiation.  We would now talk about her medications rather than what bar we were going to that weekend or what double-date nights we had planned with her husband and my Bill.  It forever altered our conversations, the underlying importance of our friendship and it shook me to the core.

It never really hit that my best friend had a terminal illness.  Jess was sick, but she carried her self in a way that never led you to believe she was sick. She was strong, steadfast in her beliefs, and completely unwavering in her Christianity.  She had to have internally questioned why God would stricken her with this illness, who wouldn't; but she never led her family and friends believe that she questioned it.  She always said “God would never give me anything I can’t handle”

She not only was my best friend, my biggest supporter and the person who knew, literally everything about me – she was someone I looked up to.

I loved her because she was funny, I loved her because she was smart, I loved her because she was exactly how I would want to carry myself if something so devastating happened to me. 

I want people to know Jess through her legacy of grace, resolute understanding of life and God’s plan for her, her selflessness and above all a wonderful testament to her parents of what a fantastic human being she truly was. 
She wrote in a journal as she studied “The Purpose Driven Life” series when she was sick.  After she passed one of her quotes her parents found in her journal, that has remained so important to me and gives you, who don’t know her a window to look into what an AWESOME person she was, was this:

“God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about. I don’t want to waste this day.”

She loved her family, her friends, her God and above all else she made sure we knew it.

To my best friend, Jessica Ashley Gage Bonesio, I love you and will forever treasure you.  You are gone but never forgotten.  I think of you constantly and wish you were here to share in such a wonderful life you were destined to have.  But until we meet again in the house of our Lord – I will continue to strive to carry on your legacy, your kind heart and fight to find a cure to this terrible disease that took you away too soon.  You are now my angel; as well as so many others.
I love you forever and always – BFFASSFAEAEAEAEAE!


  1. What a beautiful tribute Allie! Of course I cried while reading it... Thank you for sharing. I'm looking forward to seeing what others link up!

  2. :) That was a great tribute to Jess. She was an amazing person. I leave the card with her quote on it in my purse, and look at it often.

  3. Following from Tribute Tuesday! I love this idea yall started. Can't wait to read everyone's tributes : )

  4. Loved your tribute. Beautiful Story, its so comforting to know we will meet our loved ones again in the most glorious place we could imagine!


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