Niagara Gazette —
As Ronda's friends and family prepared for her funeral service, which will be held today at St. Mary's, I was able to reach a couple more of Ronda's friends, including Zach's third grade teacher, Kami Halgash, who laughed as she lovingly recalled Ronda's many unsuccessful matchmaking attempts, and described Ronda as "like a magnet. You wanted to be around her. She was definitely someone who, when you were in her presence just lifted you up. Her laughter was so contagious."
Another friend, Sharon Dyster, struggled for just the right words. She recalled Ronda's actions just the other day, when an ambulance arrived to take her to hospice for pain management. "When the attendants came in, this woman who was in such excruciating pain sat up and extended her hand and said 'Hi, I'm Ronda,' and she thanked them for coming to take her to hospice."
I asked Sharon what Ronda might have told her children if she'd had the chance to make a video. "I think she would have simply wanted them to remember how much she loved and adored them and how proud she was to be their mom," she replied.
I think that Ronda's legacy is best explained in her own words, which I still have in my notes from the day we talked on the phone. She told me how overwhelmed she was by the endless meals delivered to her home, the enduring love of her husband, her "wonderful" children and all the family and friends. And how she wouldn't change anything if it meant giving up the unbelievable love that surrounded her like a giant embrace.
"They say that good comes out of any situation," she told me. "I might not know exactly all the good, but I might have touched someone else who is having a hard time dealing with something. Maybe they'll hear my story and believe that something good might come out of their own."
And maybe — just maybe — someone struggling right now believes just that. Then another of Ronda's last wishes would come true.