The past few weeks have been the saddest of my life, yet they’ve also made me realise that I am the luckiest person on earth. Lucky, because almost 21 years ago I received a precious gift in the form of a friendship with Bunny. Well, we were affectionately known to each other as Niggy, however, with no ill intentions, I’m not sure how politically correct it is in today’s world, so I won’t elaborate.
As we began our journey together in Year 8 at high school, we could never have dreamed what a wonderful bond lay ahead.
It was the type of bond that sisters share – the kind where you say things at the same time, finish each others sentences and laugh out loud at things together that others don’t find funny.
Throughout the years we shared so much, from family holidays to netball teams to working as checkout chicks after school at Kmart.
Bun was from a very close family with her wonderful parents, Orv and Celia and her brother David, and I became a part of that family, as she did with mine. My parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all fell in love with her immediately and it became second nature for Bun to be involved in every family event. Her big beaming personality was always a welcome addition, she was the life of the party.
It was such a privilege for me to witness the relationship she shared with her mum, one that we can take comfort in knowing is continuing right now in heaven. She inherited many of Celia’s beautiful qualities, not to mention her absolute need for cleanliness, and I’m honoured to have been able to share time with the both of them together.
As we grew and created our own families, our friendship continued as strong as ever, standing beside each other while we married our husbands and Bunny providing such a wonderful support to me through the births of my children. She absolutely adored children. She was drawn to them like a magnet, as they were to her. Every time she went anywhere where children would be present, she’d always have gifts and treats for them. I’d ask her what they were in aid of and she’d simply reply “Because I love them, bless them.” Both of my kids have entire wardrobes supplied by Bun, not to mention the toys! Each day when I make Eden’s bed I have to replace the massive supply of soft toys he’s received from her…..She was just so giving.
Every time there was a party or gathering, she’d practically cater for the whole thing herself. She’d arrive with herself, Sean, Jade and Rhys loaded up with food and Sean was usually sent back to the car for a second lot…..She constantly put others before herself.
A perfect example of this was around 12 months ago when she was undergoing treatment. She’d told me that while she’d been out and about, she’d seen a dwarf. She said “Nig, I know I have cancer but I’m having treatment and other than that I’m living a normal life, but when I saw that dwarf, he just made my heart melt. That poor man will never reach the top shelf in the supermarket and he probably can’t even wipe his own bum. Who am I to complain about my situation?” Her attitude was outstanding and this was such a typical type of comment to come out of her mouth.
I have so many wonderful memories and I could stand here all day re telling them. All of them would have the same ending, they would tell you what you already know – that Bunny was the most caring, generous, compassionate, beautiful friend both inside and out. She was honest and fiercely loyal and could make you feel 10 feet tall. She was encouraging and complimentary, whether you’d just run a marathon or changed the colour of your hair, you knew she was in your corner. She was also very funny, quick witted and intelligent – although she gave herself no credit for that trait. In year 12 when doing our VCE she chose not to study maths, she said she wasn’t clever enough. Funnily enough a few years later, she started working at the Casino and Shane and I popped in to see her in action. There she was calculating her 36 & 72 times tables with split second timing, she was pulling numbers from everywhere – not bad for someone who couldn’t do maths.
Yesterday while I was catching up on Bun’s website, I read something that really stood out to me and showed a very important quality that Bun possessed. It was written by someone she used to work with. Her name is also Michelle, but Bun called her Youngie. I haven’t met Youngie but it’s obvious that we share the same view. Her words were “She knew who she was”. Those are the truest words spoken about Bun. “She knew who she was.” She was so secure in herself, she knew what was important to her and was steadfast in what she believed in. Bun never felt the need to conform to the opinions of others, “live and let live” was a rule she lived by.
Of all the years that Bun and I shared, the happiest and most content I have ever seen her, was when she was with Sean. Whenever I’d ask “How’s Sean?” she’d give me the same answer every time – “God love him, the big spunk!”. She loved him so much and it was so fantastic that they were able to create so many beautiful memories and share so many happy times together. They’d even invent words together! Quite often she’d come out with a word I’d never heard before and she’d tell me it was Bun & Sean speak.
So…I’d like to thank Sean for allowing me to share Bun’s final journey on earth with the both of them. That, along with the fact that I call Bunny My Best Friend, are two things for which I will remain eternally grateful.