Mother and daughter show true meaning of family

Published 8:14 am Monday, April 27, 2015

Families come in many different shapes and sizes. There are single parent homes because of death, divorce or other events. Some homes are multigenerational, with grandparents, parents and grandchildren all living under one roof. Families may be different, but one thing is for sure — the one quality of a true family is love.

Bonnie Hughes and her 91-year-old mother don’t just live in the same house; they do life together. Bonnie retired from many years working in the Houston area. She taught elementary education for a few years before obtaining her master’s degree in administration. For most of her 30-plus years, Bonnie was principal of several elementary school in Houston Independent School District.

Upon Bonnie’s retirement she moved to Carriere, Miss., to help out after her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Upon his death, she sold her house and moved in with her widowed mother. Bonnie is an integral part of her HAWL community, located in Picayune, Miss., where she teaches water aerobics and serves as an officer of the Newcomers Friendship Club. Her love of theater came quite naturally since her mother loves theater also, and they have worked tirelessly in the local theater group, Picayune On Stage. Bonnie also is a former Ms. Senior Mississippi and strives to promote a graceful and active lifestyle for seniors.

Gladys, at her youthful 91, directs many of the plays that Picayune On Stage performs. She directs Bonnie in the various plays, and Bonnie directs Gladys at water aerobics class. It seems like a match made in heaven as the two get on beautifully together and can literally finish one another’s sentences.

On Thursday of this week the mother-daughter dynamic duo could be found modeling at the Newcomers fashion show. Gladys was also wearing her saleswoman hat between runway appearances. She sold quite a few dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to benefit Ms. Mississippi Senior America.

These two ladies’ love of each other and their community is obvious. Gladys and Bonnie are both busy spearheading various fundraising efforts for the purchase of a building dedicated exclusively to theater.

Gladys said, “We really need our own building. Theater and the arts are so beneficial for a community, and I want to do my part to help make it happen.”

Gladys is a WWII veteran, a director, a writer, former Ms. Senior Mississippi and former Ms. Senior Louisiana. She taught speech at East Jefferson High School for more than 30 years while her husband, Hughie, was a professor of education at UNO.

Both Bonnie and Gladys feel blessed to have each other.

Bonnie said, “Aging does bring challenges. Occasionally, Mom has to deal with a little medical issue, but with faith in God and a good active lifestyle, we enjoy every day. Not only is Mom my mother and partner in crime, she is also my best friend.”