“You have got to meet this woman!” Bonnie Ciezki’s friend said, rushing over. “She looks like you, talks like you and has tattoos like you.”
It was August 2010, and Bonnie, 37, was attending a geocaching picnic in Shawnee Mission Park. She was fairly new to the high-tech scavenger hunt, played by using a handheld GPS to find hidden treasures. Her friend introduced Bonnie to 42-year-old Dyana Bishop. As Bonnie and Dyana talked, they found much in common.
Bonnie: “Dyana was easy to talk to. I later told my best friend, ‘I met the woman I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.’”
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Dyana: “I was new to the area, and I was looking for people to hang out with. We clicked right away.”
The unfolding: They became friends and enjoyed spending time together.
Bonnie had a 12-year-old son from a previous marriage. She’d come out when she was 30 and had resigned herself to being alone and miserable. Dyana was divorced and hadn’t quite come to terms with being a lesbian.
As Dyana started to fall in love with Bonnie, she wrestled with her growing feelings. In March 2011, Dyana gave Bonnie the best gift ever: their first kiss.
From then on they were inseparable. That May they started sharing a household, wanting to live together before Dyana, who served in the Army Reserves, deployed to Kuwait for a year.
The proposal and wedding: In August 2011, Bonnie took Dyana to a lovely little waterfall in Kearney, got down on one knee and proposed. Four days later, Dyana proposed to Bonnie. That way, both had a chance to say yes. They were married on Jan. 5, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Careers and family: Dyana is a first sergeant in the Army Reserves. She also works armed security and as a medical technician.
Bonnie owns The Cleaner Image, a residential and commercial cleaning service. She’s also attending college. Her son lives with the couple in Liberty.
What keeps their relationship strong: Love gets them through everything. Both describe themselves as “strong-willed and hard-headed,” and they work through their differences with honest communication.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Bonnie: “Dyana is compassionate and determined. I admire her love for her country and for her family.”
Dyana: “Bonnie is flexible and enormously supportive. I love her smile, her eyes and the way she lights up a room. I love everything about her.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer.
THE FINAL LOVE STORIES
Although this is the last issue of Star Magazine, the Love Story feature will continue to appear in The Star’s Saturday FYI section for the next several weeks. You can also find it on KansasCity.com.