greennotGreen: The Celebration


As you know, a few weeks back we lost valued commenter and member of the community greennotGreen, whose real name was Carol Ann Bonner. I’ve been in touch with her sister as they try to cope with her loss while caring for their ailing mother. She was kind enough to respond to me a few weeks back as I passed on our love and well-wishes for the family.

This is a thread for the community to share memories of gnG and to suggest past threads that should be included in the extract of the site I’m going to send Terry. This will be the final chapter in the pdf I’ll build next week. Terry, Carol’s sister, assured me that they would love to read about what her online friends thought of her, when they are ready.

As you may know, her mother is also quite ill, and so the family is dealing with unbelievable pain and sadness. I don’t expect that they will read this post nor the book for months or more, but I felt it was important to share with her family how much she meant to the community, and what better way than letting them know how she touched us, and what you’ll remember about her.

As always, they can use your good thoughts, prayers, etc. They’ve got a lot of darkness to get through before the Light.

I am including greennotGreen’s obituary again, for those that may have missed it Tuesday.

Should you have something to spare, please consider supporting one of her preferred charities listed below.

Carol Ann Bonner, age 66 of Nashville, Tennessee passed away May 18, 2017 after a hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer, meeting her death with the grace and selflessness that defined her entire life.

Carol Ann was born in Little Rock, Arkansas but lived in Tennessee most of her life.  A brief time in Connecticut, where she graduated from high school, convinced her that Tennessee was her true home. She moved to Nashville to attend college and remained there. Vacations were often spent on the family farm in middle Tennessee. Carol Ann received her first Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and worked in a variety of jobs before a second degree led her to a career at the Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource, a perfect blend of her scientific expertise and artistic ability. Carol Ann was passionate in all of her pursuits, including art, animal rescue, political activism, and gesneriad conservation. Her many interests and generous nature led her to have close friends all over the world.

Carol Ann was especially passionate about her family.  She was preceded in death by her father, but will be deeply missed by those who survive her, especially her mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew.

A memorial service honoring Carol Ann’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M., June 24, 2017 at St. Augustine’s Chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University.

In lieu of flowers, Carol Ann asked that donations be made to the Nashville chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by visiting, the Avielle Foundation by visiting or the American Cancer Society by visiting

You can leave a condolence via the website at


So..let’s discuss greennotGreen and please do include links to threads and/or comments that you think should be part of the “memorial pdf”.

87 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Thank you for doing this, Alain. The night we heard the news, I posted this message on my Facebook page:

    I lost a dear friend today.

    I never met her in person, and I have no idea what her actual name was, nor her age, nor where she lived.

    She was one of the miracles of the Internet — a virtual friend, at the end as close as any family member, who generously shared her final days with a random group of commenters on a blog.

    While she still could, she typed her own comments, and let us know how she was dealing with pain, and what steps she was taking to mitigate her pain.

    When she was too weak to comment directly, she dictated to her sister, who dutifully and faithfully forwarded the thoughts of the day.

    And when she was beyond saying more than four or five words at a stretch, her sister (or niece, or nephew) would step in and report to the blog group. Today, the report was the one we have all known was coming but still dreaded.

    The internet is responsible for a lot of awfulness, as we all know. But it is also capable of bringing joy, love, gratitude, and an extraordinary sense of community.

    I lift my glass tonight, and send my deep love and appreciation, to the virtual friend I knew only as “greennotGreen.” RIP, dear gnG.

  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    The post where she showed us the greenery and sunshine in her living quarters during her respite would be great to include. Sorry that I don’t know how to search for it but it was one of her last posts here.

  3. 3
    zhena gogolia says:

    She was always a welcome commenter who raised the tone here :) And she gave us all an example in courage at the end of her life.

  4. 4
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You had to make me cry; I guess I should’ve been prepared for that!
    @Patricia Kayden: I’m going to return to this post and search for everything people mention. You can search via Google – type: balloon-juice: XYZ where XYZ is one or more words to search; phrases go in “” and you’ll find almost any old comment easily

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    I was also touched by the pictures from her home. She was smart and funny and humorous during her fight. I just wanted to thank her family for those last updates. They don’t know us, but those updates meant a lot. gnG was a good soul.

  6. 6
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I just know I always appreciated her posts; they revealed humor and humility, strength and intelligence, kindness and honor. I will miss her presence here.

  7. 7

    She had so much grace and humor in what must have been a difficult time for her personally.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    I said something that made her laugh once, so that was cool. Condolences to her family.

  9. 9
    Alain the site fixer says:

    For me, it was the power of sharing her ordeal. Her sudden realization that she didn’t have months, but days, shocked me and I am in her debt for sharing the whole experience. We’re all getting older, and more and more of us will be dealing with that journey ourselves, and her sharing will make that a bit easier for so many of us. And yes, she did raise the tone.

  10. 10

    It’s amazing how you can get to know somebody online but not in person, and feel their passing like you would for somebody you knew in a more traditional way.

    RIP, gnG. Thanks for sharing your life with us, including the end of it. May we all have strength and humor like you, and family as loving as yours, when our time comes.

    Does anybody know the name of her birds? I would like to use one in an upcoming story, if that’s okay.

  11. 11
    GregB says:

    Thanks to gng for being a contributor. Out of many one. Peace to your family.

    Thanks to John and the rest of the front pagers for this forum and for sharing their insights and humor.

  12. 12
    sharl says:

    @Alain the site fixer: You said what I would have said, only better. She will be missed.

  13. 13
    sharl says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Here is that post with the lovely photos from inside greennotGreen’s home.

  14. 14
    Doug! says:

    Thanks for posting this, Alain.

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Wow. I can’t really add more to your wonderful words.

  16. 16
    J R in WV says:

    I thought it was really brave of GreennotGreen Carol Ann to write about her health in her decline. And I’m grateful for her relatives for sharing their last few days with their sister/aunt with a few total strangers on the Internet.

    They didn’t have to do that at all.

    We could have been a real bunch of jackals rather than metaphorical raving jackals.

    Thanks to you all at gnG Central!

  17. 17
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @J R in WV: I did remind them that we’re a community of animal lovers so if they needs help, to reach out.

  18. 18
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    Yes – her comments about her daily struggles with her diagnosis and pain levels always woke me up, but her casual comment about her short time left broke my heart. Letting us sit with her in vigil from then on was very brave of her, and thanks to Terry and the rest of her family for letting us in.

  19. 19
    eclare says:

    Thank you for posting this, Alain, and thank you to greennotGreen and family for sharing your lives with us. I remember one of her last posts where she implored us to be kind to each other, only she said it much more eloquently.

  20. 20
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I learned something special by reading over those last few weeks.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: What you wrote is so true for me as well SiubhanDuinne!

  22. 22
    satby says:

    Carol Anne, like most of us, mostly wrote pithy comments in response to someone else’s comment, but I found one that she wrote that was copied into another blog that I thought I’d share here. Sorry, no idea which thread it came from originally:

    Anyone here watch Rectify (series on the Sundance channel)? I mention it because the sort of main character (it’s an ensemble cast) was in prison where he endured at least one gang rape. He was telling his brother-in-law about it, and the brother-in-law made light of it. So our hero knocks him out, pulls the BIL’s pants down and pours coffee grounds on his butt. There was no penetration, there weren’t multiple actors, and the victim was unconscious for the unpantsing and coffee-pouring. And yet he was profoundly traumatized.

    I think that’s part of the problem with the lack of seriousness with which our society addresses rape. It largely doesn’t happen to men, and most of them can’t imagine what it would be like. If a woman wasn’t a virgin, and she wasn’t killed, what’s the big deal, right?
    — greennotGreen, Balloon Juice, comments

  23. 23
    eclare says:

    Found the quote from greennotGreen:

    “I retained that we should be kind to each other and take care of each other. And I hope that this community will remember that there are people who have not had the fortune to grow up in a comfortable home and to be, as I am, surrounded by family and friends. That BJ may be most, if not all, that they have, and that we should show them kindness and support.”

  24. 24
    scuffletuffle says:

    I believe that the beauty of gng’s soul is reflected in the beauty of the home and family she left behind. I feel privileged to have known her, even if only vicariously through this blog.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    And now you’ve made me cry.

  26. 26
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    Here is that post with the lovely photos from inside greennotGreen’s home.

    The beauty of her home reflected the beauty of her spirit. She will be missed and remembered in the hearts of many.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    greennotGreen’s comments were notable for their kindness and intelligence. She was a steady presence here on the blog. Not a drama llama, but not a shrinking violet either. Mostly, she was one of us.

    I’ll never forget her kind words to me after I lost my mom. She said:

    I’m sorry she departed so young, but what a wonderful legacy she left you! The stories you’ll tell with tears and laughter and eventually only laughter. So she does live on, and I hope you’ll let her live on here on these virtual pages with us, your virtual neighbors. Our thoughts are with you and your family, Betty.

    I like the way she put it: virtual neighbors. We are one another’s virtual neighbors, and I feel like I know some of y’all better than my actual neighbors. This is a community of choice rather than geography. We are bound by our personal affinities, shared interests and mutual outrage. Genuine bonds develop, and one of the crappy things about life is that, where there are bonds, there is the inevitability of grief.

    Carol Ann was right about keeping the ones we love alive in our memories. May that be a comfort to her family, and may we always keep the memory of our virtual neighbor greennotGreen alive here, even though we lost her too soon.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    And another comment from over at Southern Beale’s place:

    June 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm
    How many of the guns owned by all the permit owners, most of whom do not save the day, are instead used in suicides or domestic murders? These are anecdotes, not data

    I’m sure other folks can find more. Carol Ann was thoughtful, smart, and gave us something to think about.

  29. 29
    amygdala says:

    Y’all jackals are making me cry, tears of loss that Carol is no longer among us, and of gratitude that she graced us with her wonderful presence.

    Thank you again, Alain, and to everyone here.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @eclare: Words that we can all abide by.

    There are so many kind words already, and all I can add is how much she’ll be missed. Carol Ann’s family showed so much strength “kindness and support”, that they’ll be part of community forever.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @satby: and I know Carol Ann wasn’t spelled Anne with an e; but my middle name is and I missed my autocorrect helpfully changing that.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Thank you. She had that effect on people.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    “I retained that we should be kind to each other and take care of each other. And I hope that this community will remember that there are people who have not had the fortune to grow up in a comfortable home and to be, as I am, surrounded by family and friends. That BJ may be most, if not all, that they have, and that we should show them kindness and support.”

    I’m so glad you found and posted that. What a simple, powerful philosophy of life, and almost a mission statement for Balloon Juice.

    Alain, I think you were asking for suggestions of sayings and pithy observations to add to the rotating comments widget thingy up top. This from greennotGreen is obviously much longer than the usual quote, but if it’s technically possible to include it in the rotation, I would humbly suggest that you do so.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Beautiful, Ms. Cracker, both your words and hers.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    Found a garden thread where she was pretty funny teasing Ozark.

  36. 36
    Laura says:

    greennotGreen’s kindness and decency never got in the way of her thoughtful, measured comments.
    How generous and courageous of her, and her family to illuminate the path that we all will take one day. The clarity in describing how one gets their affairs in order in rehoming dearly loved companion animals, copes with the sudden reality of life reduced to days, the pysical manifestation of the body and soul as life transitions to death, the fearlessness in looking death in the face, and the gift of a death on one’s own terms.
    That Carol Ann convinced her family to include us on their final days and share her thoughts. That is power, true, rare power.
    Carol Ann persists and endures in the hearts of us all.

  37. 37
    satby says:

    Another one this spring where she described her area:

    I live at the top of a ridge 25 miles northwest of Nashville. My mother and niece live at a lower elevation 25 miles southeast of Nashville. I can drive through three different weeks of spring in the 50 miles between us. At the highest and most northerly, my property is the most delayed, but even here the dogwoods are starting to bloom. Off the ridge down toward the river, many more trees and shrubs have begun to leaf out. In Nashville proper, it’s full on spring, and farther south, out of the heat of the city (who knew construction cranes were so exothermic?), the calendar has moved back a week; ornamental plums and cherries are in their full regalia.

    Spring is my favorite season!

  38. 38

    She had more strength than I am capable of conceiving of. Grateful for her input here and wish her peace.

  39. 39
    JPL says:


    Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest cheat.

    We need to post that comment next time Marvel sends Anne pictures. Hilarious!
    The entire post made me smile.

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    virtual neighbors

    It is a wonderful concept, virtual neighbors. I think that it doesn’t actually go far enough for some of the people here, this backyard fence sort of place. I owned a house in OH which had no fences between any of the neighbors, was on a cul-de-sac and I still only really knew one neighbor and then not by name. Maybe it was the house, when that family moved out and another moved in, we could talk just as easy, over those non existent walls. I knew where they worked, what they liked to do for fun, what grades the kids were in. The rest? We’d all wave as we drove in or out, but that was about it. So for me, while virtual neighbors is a great concept, I’m not sure it goes far enough.
    I think it’s a second family. All the weirdness, and kindness, of humans and pets, sometimes better than the original, sometimes not.

  41. 41
    tobie says:

    I got to know greenNotGreen only recently. I suspect she was a morning poster and for most of my life I’ve been an inveterate night owl. The first post I recall was when she announced that “all precincts had reported” and all “votes tallied” and that she had lost her battle with cancer. To find the strength to present this most devastating news in the spirit of the blog took real courage. And her reports over the next few weeks about her condition were a model of grace, honesty, and kindness. We will all face the journey greenNotGreen made. Her good humor, forthrightness, and dignity will make that journey a little easier for all of us. I can’t thank her enough for this gift.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @Ruckus: It is like a second, chosen, widely extended family! I’m grateful to have shared Carol Ann’s online friendship, grateful to all of her family for keeping her in touch when it was beyond her own strength, and grateful to all the rest of you jackals for being such wonderful folks.

  43. 43
    Immanentize says:

    If the family (and friends) of greennotGreen — especially the sister and niece of Carol Ann — read this I want you to know how gnG’s comments, and your communications, came to me at a very important time. I am typing this from the oncology department at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My beloved wife is lying about three feet from me undergoing her fourth IV chemo treatment on three week cycles. For the moment, the chemo seems to be helping — killing some of the metastasized cells, stopping growth in remote lymph nodes, and shrinking her tumor. But the discovery of her gastric cancer was late and we are starting somewhere near the end of the game and hoping for extra innings….

    We got her diagnosis about the same time that gnG started telling us she was in a more treacherous place vis a vis her own treatment. Before then, I had known about her cancer (and the various challenges of other commenters) but I had really not focused on it in part because she herself never dwelled on the topic. And as others have mentioned, what I saw in gnG was a generous, kind, funny commenter who made the site a better working community. But saying she was funny and generous should not undermine her passion and sharp wit when it came to the politics of the moment. But when her treatment outlook changed as my family’s lives took this new path I was keenly tuned in her journey and her family’s as well.

    I cannot express how important it has been to me to read about her fight, her dignity, her humor and perspective during the last few weeks of her life. It has mellowed me and steeled me and I hope has given me a chance to become a bit more like her as we go through this process ahead.

    Thank you for keeping us part of her life as the end approached. And, as many have said, I am so grateful for the photo of her room and view as it made me think about what a wide wonderful world filled with fabulous people there is, even when so much strains me so.

  44. 44
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    Thank you greennotGreen and family for sharing your lives with us. Peace and love to greennotGreen and family

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    greennotGreen was a good commenter.

    Is there any higher praise we can sing of her? I think not. She’s missed. Her courage amazed.

  46. 46
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Immanentize: thank you for sharing this journey too. I know that I am among many who wish you and your wife well and know we’re here to amuse, enrage,and focus you on other things when you need it.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:


    But saying she was funny and generous should not undermine her passion and sharp wit when it came to the politics of the moment.

    This. Since everyone else is remembering her kind and generous moments, I’m instead going to remember her snarky moments when she would make me snort-laugh with a sardonic comment about Republicans and conservatives. And she could get righteously angry, too, as shown in her comments about rape above.

    She was always very open about her struggle with cancer and her various treatments and ups and downs with it. By being so open and honest with us, she helped people who are having the same struggle and people who are caregivers for their loved ones with cancer.

    As I’ve said many times, she is very much missed. If there is an afterlife, I like to think she went to one very similar to the way she lived: filled with light, plants, and beloved animals.

  48. 48
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    I didn’t “know” her well, but her live-blogging at the end was very powerful. RIP, greennotGreen.

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    I of course can not speak for Gng, may she RIP, but I have seen this before from people going through hospice. They may have been living with the threat of their medical issues not having a positive result for some time, and if they are in hospice, they have discussed the only outcome with their docs, for that is what hospice is for. Those docs, who know when to not lose hope and when to be totally honest. They have had to come to grips with it and cancer usually gives one some degree of time. You hear that word, cancer or the doc saying we’ve done everything we know, you go through those 5 stages of grief. For yourself. Probably multiple times. You fight because that’s what we do but most understand it is a win or lose situation that takes huge blocks of time, effort and often pain to work it’s way along.

    It’s a clarifying decision tree, because almost all the decisions are not yours.

  50. 50
    Aleta says:

    greennotGreen’s comments had a simple effect for me of feeling clearer and calmed and lighting up places of agreement. I was moved when her sister and family gave us pictures of her windows, walls, greenery and art, because then they stood in for how I was affected by her words and that part of her mind.

    To me the words posted above by @eclare: were a parting gift she offered to the blog. Generous and thoughtful and straight out from a good center.

    The last two weeks of her presence gradually came down to her nym for me; everywhere I walked I was looking at the spring green and thinking of her spirit and about green places vs the other places. I miss her and will be rereading the things she wrote.

  51. 51
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Only been commenting here a few months so don’t have any stories but the reference in her obit to the Vanderbilt Cell Imaging facility made me take notice. Was there a few years ago as part of my sales territory and when I looked back at my journal I saw a note about a quick conversation with “Carol”. Small world indeed.

    My condolences to her family. My mother died of cancer and it is the absolute worst. Know that she is at peace and in a better place and remember the good times as you grieve.

  52. 52
    hovercraft says:

    Thanks for starting this thread off with that beautiful tribute. Well said.

    This blog is a wonderful place full of disparate voices and topics, but what makes it such a wonderful place is that when it comes down to it BJ has heart. greennotGreen was a a thoughtful member of this family, and her voice will be missed. To her family thank you for sharing her with us. Her voice is one of the many reasons we come here,to share and learn, she showed us all how to leave this world with dignity, rest in peace Carol Ann Bonner.

  53. 53
    Gelfling 545 says:

    I have reached an age at which one is very aware of one’s approaching departure from this life. I hope that I might depart with half the grace and dignity she displayed. She was and remains an inspiration.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    All the best to you and your wife.
    You need a shoulder, speak up, many of us here are experienced, in our own ways with this. As a survivor of cancer, 7 months post treatment so far, there is still little I can say, except, give it all you’ve got, and kick it’s ass. Mom was diagnosed about 50 yrs ago, got treatment and lived another 44 yrs. Stubborn woman she was, and determination makes a lot of difference. Her best friend brought a shaker of martinis to share when she woke up after surgery. Her best friend was a model of determined.

  55. 55
    The Moar You Know says:

    I hope to be even marginally as graceful, decent and strong when my number comes up as she was in her last days. Godspeed, GnG.

  56. 56
    sharl says:

    @satby: I don’t know what Alain intends to include in the compilation, but if he wants to include it, the comment you blockquoted is here (comment #46 in that 15Mar2017 mid-afternoon post, in case my direct link doesn’t work).

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    Thank you. Grace and dignity. Half as much would still be a great amount.

  58. 58
    WereBear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That was lovely.

    I remember how caring she was about everyone’s pets.

  59. 59
    Miss Bianca says:


    I cannot express how important it has been to me to read about her fight, her dignity, her humor and perspective during the last few weeks of her life. It has mellowed me and steeled me and I hope has given me a chance to become a bit more like her as we go through this process ahead.

    Yeah, this.

    My mother died of cancer. My father died of cancer. My oldest brother died of cancer. Anyone else fancy that they see a pattern? Am hoping that when (hardly dare say “if”) that diagnosis comes for me, that I can face the future of no future with half the aplomb of greennotGreen. Best wishes for you and Mrs. Imm going forward.

  60. 60
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Armed with will and determination,and grace, too

  61. 61
    randy khan says:

    I find it hard to imagine how someone could find the grace to bless us with the gift of gng’s posts (and her family’s posts) over the last few months of her life. It was an extraordinary act, and would have told us much about her and her life if we hadn’t known it already from her presence here. We all are grateful for that gift, and for the lessons it contained.

  62. 62
    HeleninEire says:

    Lovely thread. Not really sure how I can contribute except to say that I hope I am as gracious and lovely as greennotGreen when it is my time. I won’t be, but one can hope.

    Thank you all for this, but special thanks to my virtual friend SiubhanDuinne for her lovely tribute. You made me cry. In a good way.

  63. 63
    Ajabu says:

    I’m not eloquent enough to express the enormity of the loss so I leave this for the surviving family:

    “You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
    Anne Lamott

    We’ve all been limping a lot lately…

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:

    Ms. Carol Ann Bonner was a class act, and I cannot believe how she (and her family) stayed with us, while in her final weeks. The world was a better place with her in it. Courageous woman. Am sorry she did not get a longer life, but she did well while she was here.

    I think of her when I see green in the world. Just looked out the window, to a waterside park full of green (in Valencia, Spain), with two little white Boston Terrier-ish dogs having more fun with a downed palm frond than should be legal.

    Lit a candle in Valencia’s cathedral today for the late great Ms. greennotGreen. Red votive holder, not green, sadly, but flame burned bright.

    (PS: those pups are still chewing on the palm frond. Cooperatively.)

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    More on thinking about greennotGreen: first off, Alain did a superb job being in touch with her family, and putting together this memorial tribute and more digital remembrances for Carol’s family. 3 cheers to Alain.

    I was on a beach when I picked up the iPhone to take a photo, checked BJ out of habit, and there was the obituary post. Grateful to know green’s name — Carol Ann Bonner — repeated it over and over, but it hit with such finality. But then, in the water, and it was a lush green salty buoyant Mediterranean shade, cool but eventually just right.

    And then finding green sea glass on the beach. Incredible day.

    Think green for Carol, and look for the beauty in this world, and you will find her.

    Oh, and little dogs. Look for them too.

  66. 66
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    I love this wonderful community – thank you Balloon Juice!

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    It’s so hard to think of leaving this beautiful world, and facing mortality. green was courageous in making her peace with it, as it were, and sharing with her family and with us jackals. Seeing it as another biological process, albeit too damn soon for her.

    My best to Mr. and Mrs. immanetize family and anyone else in struggles.

  68. 68
    Nicole says:

    As a cancer survivor, who, thanks to my particularly unusual pathogenic gene, will spend the rest of my life with the shadow of recurrence hanging over me, I was grateful for greennotGreen and her family sharing her experience right up until the end. My mother died of cancer at 35, and, as I was very young and was told very little, it all seemed so mysterious and frightening. gnG’s posts took a lot of the mystery and fear away. Truly, she followed the Campsite Rule- she left the world in better shape than when she got there.

  69. 69
    chopper says:

    gnG was one of my favorite people on this blog. it always cheered me up to see her posting. sigh.

  70. 70
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    We will miss her, but it sounds as though she had a well-spent life, though too short.

  71. 71
    satby says:

    Truly, she followed the Campsite Rule- she left the world in better shape than when she got there.

    @Nicole: and that is the best epitaph anyone can have.


    Think green for Carol, and look for the beauty in this world, and you will find her.

    Oh, and little dogs. Look for them too.

    beautiful, thank you Elizabelle!

  72. 72
    SiubhanDuinne says:



    Thank you.

  73. 73
    Mel says:

    Her kindness, humor, and intellect were evident in all that she wrote.

    The grace and honesty and dignity in her discussion of her final journey touched me in ways I can’t really find the words to explain.

    Hoping for peace and comfort for her family.

  74. 74
    Quinerly says:


  75. 75
    Tazj says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Yes, I was so surprised that she was still commenting, but so grateful to her and her family that she did. I’m happy to know her name and learn some more about her interesting well-lived life.

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: That was beautiful. I like the idea of looking for Carol Ann Bonner in the green — a far green country. And little dogs, of course. And birds, which she also loved. :)

  77. 77
    dww44 says:

    I don’t know how I happened to be reading the thread when she announced that she had miscalculated how much time she had left and it was far less than she had believed she had, even though she knew she was terminal. I remember being so surprised by how brave and not sorry for herself she was. Even though I was with my Mom at the end of her very long life, she had dementia and that path is so very different from the one that we were all able to share with gnG. What grace and kindness she and her family shared with us over those short weeks. I shall always remember it and hope that I can be as aware at the end of my life as she was at the end of hers.

  78. 78
    J R in WV says:

    My mom had COPD from Pall Malls, to which she became addicted way back in the 1940s – they passed them out for free at the University football and basketball games, Imagine that!?!?!

    She lasted far longer than her doctors expected, partly because everyone in my family is stubborn, and partly because my dad, Not a homebody guy, turned into an amazing caregiver. Dad stopped smoking long ago, around 1960, so 30 years before mom had to stop.

    So the years passed, and my dad was diagnosed with CMML, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, which caused his blood counts to vary unpredictably, and he saw a Dr every 3 months to have test run. Then it changed to acute leukemia, got serious in other words. He went to M D Anderson center in Houston, where he spent winters with his grandkids and my brother.

    They recommended a serious attack of chemo, to get him to qualify for a clinical trial. He spent a month is a clean room, because they destroyed his immune system, but it worked, he qualified for the drug trial, and the drug worked. This was all good, because his illness was very rare, on on 475,000 cases.

    So they learned something about a rare disease. They think it was caused by exposure to now-banned solvents in the industrial workplace when Dad worked in the family print shop in the 1930s and ’40s. Benzene and Carbon Tetrachloride were common solvents back then. Most people don’t live long enough after that exposure to develop the dieease. Dad worked in the family business from a very early age.

    Then a few years later, he began to have trouble with his wind, breathing. He got COPD, not from tobacco smoke, but from the very chemo that helped him beat the Leukemia that would otherwise got him some years earlier. He entered hospice care two or three years later, with a wonderful Pakistani doctor, and died on election day, November, 2004. I got to spend a lot of time with him that fall, my boss was professional and dealt with my family leave several times.

    I have always thought it was cruelly ironic that dad, having stopped smoking ages ago, while mom could not, wound up dying of the same COPD that Pall Malls caused in my mom. I am so glad I have never used tobacco, other than to have helped neighbors with their cash crop. It smells so good curing in the old barns, yet is so bad when used… nor benzene, etc….

    All my memories brought up by everyone’s thoughts about cancer. I used to visit the YWCA many evening after work, and saw the same folks there often. One evening I asked another guy, a little older than I, what he did. He said he was a pediatric oncologist. I said that must sometimes be very grim.

    He grimaced in grudging agreement, and said that when he started it was very grim indeed, that theyn lost 90% of their patients back then. But now, he said – this was in the late 1980s – he told me in the hot tub, now we save more like 95% of the kids. Now that’s an improvement over a career!!

    Take care, all.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @J R in WV:

    One evening I asked another guy, a little older than I, what he did. He said he was a pediatric oncologist. I said that must sometimes be very grim.

    He grimaced in grudging agreement, and said that when he started it was very grim indeed, that theyn lost 90% of their patients back then. But now, he said – this was in the late 1980s – he told me in the hot tub, now we save more like 95% of the kids. Now that’s an improvement over a career!!

    Now there’s a success story! Thank you for sharing it.

  80. 80
    feebog says:


    Your opening post was so well written and heartfelt, thank you. I think this entire journey with gnG impressed on me once again what an amazing group of people inhabit this blog. I sometimes wish we could have a giant meetup with everyone attending, just to put faces together with the handles. Thanks Carol for helping to bring us together as a virtual community; you will be missed, but not forgotten.

  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever forget the thread where she told us about her time estimates:

    40 greennotGreen says:

    April 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Good morning, fellow juicers!

    As a retired scientist, I would have been at the march [ for Science ], but I was in the hospital where I learned that, the great majority of precincts being in and the votes tallied, the challenger Cancer has beaten the incumbent, greennotGreen. The doctor has estimated weeks to six months.

    I’m okay with dying. I have time to get my affairs in order, my family will be with me. I disappointed I won’t get to do all the art projects I had planned, but it is what it is. But this post is to ask the BJ community to help me solve an ethical dilemma.

    I have hired a woman for several months to care for my parrots while I was sick (because I hoped that some drug somewhere was going to give me a reprieve.) She has become attached to them and is willing to take all five […]

    107 greennotGreen says:

    April 23, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Just had a talk with my doctor, and I had misunderstood about the time line. Weeks to six months was if the operation was successful. The operation was not successful. I have only days.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather go quickly. I just hate dumping so much on my family all at once.

    BTW, I have instructed my sister to let you guys know when I’m gone ’cause you’re kinda family, too.

    Even during a horrible time in her life, she faced the world with humor and was most concerned with helping others and with her pets. She was an inspiration and will be remembered with fondness.

    Condolences to her friends and family who are going through so much.

    Best wishes,

  82. 82
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    My radiation oncologist told me about a case with similar cancer to mine that happened when he was a resident. The radiation treatment was basically to stand in front of an x-ray machine, like is still used for bone images and have them turn it on full blast for 3-4 minutes every day for months. They weren’t just radiating the cancer but every cell in the body. His hair all fell out, he was sick with radiation poisoning but it cured his cancer. 15-20 yrs later they can pinpoint the radiation by masking off the emitter, attack the tumor from 360 deg, change the level of radiation. There are side effects, yes but the success rate is far better and the side effects are dramatically less. They don’t have to kill you to cure you. This success story is repeated in lots of types of treatment. And they still can’t cure everything or everyone. And we will all end up the same in the end, no matter what. A doc I had 40 yrs ago told me it wasn’t so much how long you lived because genetics had a lot to say about that, but how well you lived getting there.

  83. 83
    greennotGreen says:

    @Immanentize: from Terry, Carol Ann’s sister – I am so sorry you and your family are facing this ordeal. Carol Ann’s grace and humor made our path both easier and more difficult – easier because she was the embodiment of calm acceptance, but more difficult because we were constantly reminded of what a special being we were losing. I know this journey is not unique to our family, and I truly hope that her strength in posting to BJ helps you and all the members of this special community.

  84. 84
    greennotGreen says:

    @Ajabu: lovely, thank you

  85. 85
    greennotGreen says:

    @Elizabelle: thank you!

  86. 86
    greennotGreen says:

    @Elizabelle: “Think green for Carol and look for beauty in this world, and you will find her. Oh, and little dogs. Look for them too.” These last 2 statements are going on the memorial program – thank you!

  87. 87
    MomSense says:

    She was a thoughtful and dear friend to our community here. It was an honor to keep vigil with her in those final weeks. She will be missed and remembered.

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