Monday, October 18, 2010
Abba's Little Girl's Little Girl ...
... by which I mean "Esther Bonds", daughter of "Patty Bonds".
Patty (aka "Abba's Little Girl") runs a blog that I am subscribed to. For those who do not know her story, all I will say is that it is incredible, even miraculous! She had quite a life and bore some heavy crosses, but through the grace of God, those trials have been transformed and have formed her into the strong and faithful woman she is today!
But the obstacles which she had to overcome were not limited to that. She also came from a very anti-Catholic background (her brother is "Dr. James White" - a famous Protestant apologist who has written extensively against the Catholic Church and has debated almost every well-known Catholic apologist in the last 20 years).
I heard Patty on the "Catholic Answers Live" radio program years ago, but only met her personally last year through her daughter, Esther.
At the beginning of the winter semester at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the weather was miserable. It had recently rained and then froze, meaning the campus sidewalks were like sheets of ice. Being from Canada, I was used to this, and knew how to walk without slipping. But many students who were new to campus and had come from the southern U.S. were not so prepared.
One evening, while I was leaving the dining hall, a young lady who was walking just behind me, shrieked and grabbed onto my coat sleeve. I immediately realized that she had slipped on the ice. I asked her where she was from. She said "Arizona". I chuckled, and after finding out she was new to campus, told her that God providentially placed in front of her a Canadian who was pretty solid on his feet to save her from falling. I offered to walk her to her dorm, but she decided she would brave it and make the icy trek by herself.
I saw her again the next week in the student union building, so I knew she had survived her walk home that night. A number of us students had gathered to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their playoff run (Steubenville is 40 miles from Pittsburgh). We enjoyed each other's company, and I also got to meet her roommate, Maria (who I later called "Pink" because she was always wearing at least one article of clothing that was pink - in fact, she even has a pink Roethlisberger jersey!).
We gathered again for the Super Bowl, which pitted Arizona against Pittsburgh. Esther was just there to socialize - she didn't have a clue about football. But of course she was cheering for Arizona. I asked her at one point, "how many yards does it take to get a 'first down'". She paused for a few moments, and then answered, "um, five?" Later in the game, there was a big play and a reaction from the people watching and the announcers. Esther said, "what's going on?" I said, "Arizona just intercepted the football." Esther said, "is that good or bad?" I said, "it's good". She then let out a booming "WOO-HOO", and Pink, her friend Sarah, and myself (we were all sitting together) just lost it!
I had these three over to my place later in the semester as well for homemade lasagna, caesar salad, and apple pie. We had a good visit, and I got a good picture of Esther crawling on the floor (she was looking for something - we won't get into that right now!).
Esther and I ended up becoming good friends and we have shared some deep and profound conversations. We have also had some lighter exchanges. I remember one day in the dining hall when we were making each other laugh so hard (and we can both be pretty loud!) that everyone in the dining hall (200 + people), at one point or another, looked over at us. Good times!
She is young but very wise. Like her mother, she has had her fair share of suffering, and that has made her a stronger and more mature person.
Anyway, enough about memory lane. I hope you take the time to visit her blog!