We hold an annual class reunion, and there is a monthly breakfast, which is normally a guy thing. We always hold it at the same place because this helps us to not forget the location or get lost.
There is also a monthly lunch. It is attended mostly by ladies and is held at a different restaurant each month. On occasion a guy or spouse of one of the ladies attends. I have occasionally attended for a few years.
Sometime ago I was invited by Barbara Wilson-Cooke, Sharon David and Donna Emmons-Lafollette to have a Bloody Mary before the luncheon.
Our last lunch was May 2. I knew that Sharon was going to be absent because she was in Louisville hanging out with her granddaughters. I have met one of those young ladies, and I was sure that Sharon had her hands full. I had talked with Sharon on the phone and she had been shopping with Donna. Sharon had forgotten to take a box out of Donna’s car. She had asked Donna to pass the box on to me since we live close to each other and I could get the box to her easily.
When I met up with Donna and Barbara at the restaurant, Donna handed me a small plastic bag with a box inside it. I told them I had cleaned out my car’s trunk in anticipation of a huge box. We got a good laugh out of that.
A nice-size group attended the luncheon, and it’s one that we probably won’t forget. Two days later I began getting phone calls, text messages and emails informing me that Donna had suffered a stroke and was in serious condition.
Donna’s family, her friends and lots of former classmates banded together with many prayers. One week later we learned that Donna had quietly passed during the night.
I’m glad her family had some time to quietly spend with her before she died. I was told that Donna never regained consciousness. I sent her a message, and I was told that it was delivered to her. I guess her family got a small chuckle out of my message.
I know this has been a difficult couple of weeks for all of Donna’s family and friends. I don’t think that I have ever had a meal or spent quality time with a good friend or a family member and two days later be informed of such a terrible change in their health and their passing.
We sure are going to miss Donna at next month’s luncheon.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.