Message to UD from Family of Lindsey M. Bonistall

Lindsey M. BonistallPhoto courtesy of the Bonistall Family
The tragic death of Lindsey Marie Bonistall has created a bond between us.  We, her family, knew her as a loving daughter and a devoted sister.  You—her University of Delaware Family—knew her as a creative, fun-loving, involved student who pursued her dream of writing with purpose and passion.

Her loss has been immeasurable to us.  Each day reawakens in us the pain and grief of a senseless and inexplicable void.  Unanswerable questions surface within us daily and we struggle to find satisfactory or healing explanations.  None has come yet.

As we try to see beyond this circle of grief that defines our daily routines, we are comforted by the kindnesses and love of so many people—not least of whom are the students, faculty and staff of the University of Delaware.  Your outpouring of concern and support has meant a great deal to us.   We realize in a very personal way that the “UD Family” motto is not simply a catch phrase; it is indeed a reflection of core values espoused and expressed by your campus community. 

With that in mind, we would like to share with you one of Lindsey’s poems. We think it captures her spirit of adventure, challenge and aspiration.  Appropriately, it is entitled “My Wings”. 

My Wings

 I want to fly up to the clouds,
And never look back on the earth.
I've hidden my wings for quite some time,
And they are anxious to flutter.
And when I unfurl my magnificent wings,
Those mere mortals' mouths will drop.
For none of them will ever see,
The treetops I pass,
The clouds I walk on,
The shooting stars I catch.
And though many have some wings,
They never get to fly.
A fear of heights or falling down,
Keeps them from the sky.
And many think their wings are strong,
And they think that will fly too,
But when they spread their arms toward heaven,
An earthly anchor holds them back.
I want to show the world my wings,
To show them I can fly.
And one day soon they will see me,
Many miles high in the sky.

Part of her message, we believe, is one of “taking risks”—perhaps trying to see how high your wings will take you, once you realize that indeed you do have wings.  If you knew Lindsey, you understand that she “unfurled her magnificent wings” through personal aspirations, program commitments, campus activities, and community involvement.  She dared to rise above whatever real or imagined limitations impeded her “flight” and accomplished remarkable results in a short period of time.  We are proud of the daughter and sister we knew for too short a time. She is emblazoned on our minds and hearts and will be forever our shining star.

We deeply appreciate all that President Roselle and the members of the campus community have done to memorialize Lindsey at the University of Delaware. Thank you!  We have been moved and comforted by the overwhelming tributes and touching expressions of sorrow from the University community.  Through the embrace of so many on your campus we continue to feel the loving warmth of being a member of the UD Family.  May we continue to be enveloped and comforted within the “wings” of God’s love and mercy and that of His newest angel. 

~ Kathleen, Mark and Kristen Bonistall
 June 7, 2005