"Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life,
love brings you a fairy tale."
Tribute to John Sonne
The love of my life, John Sonne, my knight in shining armor for 33 years passed from my
embrace on February 7, 2008. I miss him more than I can bear but I want to pay tribute to his remarkable humanity. Everyone who met him greatly admired him. In all our years of travel, work, play and living I never once met anyone who did not like John. That’s pretty rare.

John was unusually compassionate, non-judgmental, courageous and strong. His integrity was solid and never wavered. His strength was with him until he died from hospital malpractice at the Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, California.

My nickname for John was Hercules because I never knew anyone that strong. He was so slender it was hard to reconcile that strength but I’m convinced his physical strength was a direct result of his spiritual strength. He was my teacher, my best friend, my partner, my husband, my inspiration....through all lifetimes.
When we met I was coming out of an abusive relationship with no self-esteem and little else. He lifted me up literally and figuratively to be the creative warrior woman I was to become. He loved my children, Karen and Stephen as much as I did. John was and is my hero.

And I’ve heard from many others who tell me that he was their Hero also. He never gave up. He persevered in the face of many difficulties. He was a recovered alcoholic with 33 years of sobriety. He did many things in his life: as a young man he built swimming pools in the growing San Fernando Valley. Then his mathematical skills opened doors in the aerospace industry where he worked as a Program Manager for 25 years until that industry had a melt down. He then reinvented himself and got his license to sell cars. He sold Volvos and became a Finance Manger at several Volvo dealerships for about ten years. When car sales dwindled down he went to Colorado and studied to become a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist—his healing hands were a great gift to horses....and to me.

In the course of our life together, we rehabbed fixer uppers for a number of years and owned restaurants and even bought a cabin cruiser and ran breakfast cruises to Catalina Island. John loved the ocean. He was a true Viking from the top of his blonde head to the soles of his size 13 feet. He had the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen and the most gorgeous smile that simply enfolded you in his happiness to see you. We survived the devastating Firestorm in Malibu in 1993. I was a basket case, but John just held me close and said “come on, honey, we can make it.” We did. John had the quirkiest most innocent sense of humor I have ever encountered. He delighted in saying outrageous things with a straight face to see how much blarney he could make you believe. Most of the time we all believed his sky diving stories. The twinkle in his eye is the only thing that gave him away.

I’ve always been obsessed with discovering my purpose. And I asked John hundreds of times, “What do you think your purpose is?” His answer was always the same: he’d give me a hug and a kiss and say, “my purpose, now and forever, is to support you.” From the moment we met, that was his answer and it never changed in 33 years. As I look back over our life, I realize his purpose was to support everyone he met with respect, honesty, empathy and his ability to help wherever possible.

His mother was born in Stockholm, Sweden and there is some speculation that she was the illegitimate daughter of the king (long story). His father was born in Estonia but conscripted into the Russian Army and was a Cossack in the Czars army. His parents escaped the Russian Revolution and came to America. His growing up years were very rough with abandonment and neglect. He’s all the more remarkable a human being when one understands how neglected he was as a child, yet he never held a grudge about that. He never hated his parents. He always said they did the best they could. That always amazed me. But he wasn’t a door mat. He would roar and did roar like the Leo he was to protect me or anyone or anything that needed protection. He was the fiercest ally you could have. But he was also a pussycat and a romantic and amazingly thoughtful soul. After the Malibu fire, people urged us to renew our wedding vows as a way to begin again. So we did. John and I both had Claddagh (Irish) rings but mine had been destroyed in the fire. He took his Claddagh to a jeweler had a diamond set in it and resized it for me. He gave it to me as a surprise at the new vows.

He surprised me constantly with many gifts over the years—new cars, diamond rings, fur coats, travel, flowers on every occasion. He just loved making me and others happy. My fondest wish is that we made him as happy as he made us. And that we meet again. When you read this please send a blessing to John and a big thank you for all the joy he gave to every person he met.

"And one more time I want to tell John...I love you, AllWays."