Bonnie Linder, who celebrated her 93rd birthday in 2020, was met with a sweet birthday message from school kids and their bus driver.
In these troubling times, kindness goes a long way, and a group of children in Iowa proved just that.
A viral video of the kids on a school bus wishing the woman who waves at them every day a “happy birthday” as they passed her house is winning hearts on the internet. Bonnie Linder, who celebrated her 93rd birthday in 2020, was met with a sweet birthday message from the kids and their bus driver. Like any ordinary day, Linder stood on her porch and waved to the school bus heading to the local elementary and middle schools when the vehicle slowed down, and the kids yelled, "Happy birthday!" out of all the windows.
According to CBS News, Judy Zimmerman, Linder's daughter, gave the bus driver a "heads up" about her mom's birthday in advance, but she had no idea she would be getting such a wholesome shoutout. "Mom had NO idea... and the morning sun could NOT have been more perfect!" Zimmerman told the outlet. "Although you cannot see her face, she was SOOOO HAPPY!!! The kids all were in on it with the bus driver and were excited to be able to stop!" Linder started waving to the school bus at the beginning of the school year. "She sits in her rocking chair at her picture window and looks down the gravel road to watch for it," said Zimmerman. "On a good weather day, she will step out on her porch and the bus driver will honk as they drive by."
Zimmerman said that Linder would give morning greetings to three other people besides the schoolchildren. She would wave to one of her daughters as she goes to work, the mail deliverer, and a man hauling a cattle feed wagon as they all pass by her home. However, in November 2020, Linder joined the angels in heaven and bid goodbye to her family and all the kids, but her kindness still shines today and serves as a beacon of goodness and hope for people.
"With such a simple act of kindness, these kids and school bus driver made an incredible impact, bringing our Mom so much JOY! This simple act, combined with our Mother’s morning routine of a simple smile and wave, continues to touch millions of lives around the world," Zimmerman wrote in the Facebook post.
During the pandemic in 2022, schools were "closed indefinitely," so Zimmerman said her mom would "continue her wave, but one less for a while!" The heartwarming video made the rounds on the internet across many social media pages.
On Facebook, the clip was met with a lot of positive responses, many of which thanked Linder for being the light during the trying times of the pandemic. "I love this video as so many do! It's so wonderful how many lives it's touched! What an inspiration she was to everyone she met & talked to!" said @KrisByers. "The moment is so captivating with joy and love, thank you for sharing this with the world, this has brought us so much peace of mind," added @djfiat. "What a special memory for your family, so sweet and endearing. Thank you for sharing the video; it brought such joy and was a great reflection of the goodness of rural small-town Iowa," wrote @TonyaMorse.
The video was also shared on Reddit, where it racked up over 89.7K upvotes, with many commenting on how this video gave them happy tears. "I have been crying pretty much daily for 3 weeks now – this is the first instance of 'happy tears' in that time, and this was great to see," shared u/Lovehatepassionpain. "We all have the ability to be this kind. How hard is it to wave at a bus, to show a small sign of love every day? What a beautiful person," wrote u/FigurantNoMore.