Dear Bernadette,

August 8, 1971 - December 26, 2013
August 8, 1971 – December 26, 2013

 [box] “Get off of ready, set and just GO!” – Bernadette Turner[/box]

I am still processing your death.  I have been listening to lots of music (one of our common bonds) and trying to find the right song to explain my feelings.  I still owe you tons of promised/burned CDs for your car rides to and from work.  You see, the last few months have been confusing for me.  In August, we (you, Jackie and I) had breakfast for your birthday at The Square Cafe.  You were in good health at this time.  In September, we met with leaders at UPMC Health Plan to discuss sponsorship for Addison’s annual gala.   In October, we discussed and made a courageous decision to postpone this same event due to competition of other fundraising events at the time (thanks for listening to my concerns).  November and December came and went so fast, and our communications became fewer and farther between…

I was not able to make sense of things until I got the call on 12/26/2013 informing me of your passing.  You have been battling something HUGE since 2008.  So, when I used to get frustrated that you seemed to be ‘acting’ distant, I now know that you were taking care of YOU.  I am blessed for my own health and support system (which you always reminded me to keep in check… #dolores #family #niece&nephew).

The celebration of your life that took place on 12/30/2013 is a tribute that will stay with me for years to come.

We did not always see eye to eye, but honesty and truth were the underlying basis of our friendship.   Bernadette, you always listened and took time to converse with me when I had questions or concerns about personal issues, as well as professional aspirations for Pittsburgh and beyond.

So, I am sharing two videos/audio tracks with the world.  The first is ‘Blessed’ by Jill Scott.   We truly are… blessed.

The second is an interlude of thoughts shared by Lauryn Hill from her ‘MTV Unplugged’ album.  Many may feel Ms. Hill is a rambling lost cause.  When I am conflicted in my own thoughts, this entire album helps me to make sense of things.  Many will most likely not sit through the entire 12+ minutes of this clip.  However, I urge those reading this to slow down and appreciate life.

Bernadette, rest in peace.

All my love,


240 thoughts on “Dear Bernadette,

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