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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aunt Diane

My Uncle Mike is a pretty cool guy, he has rough edges, but a kind heart, it's easy to tell if you have spent any time with him. I remember meeting Diane, his new girlfriend and thinking she was pretty neat, she was working in a field I was greatly interested in, so I was fascinated by her. I remember when my Uncle proposed to her as well, in front of the whole family, it was romantically out of character for the Uncle that I had grown up knowing.
It was obvious though, the love that they shared, it was obvious and real and amazing. I have always believed that they were soul mates.
Over the years we fought a bit, I was a different person then than I am now, and I lashed out easily. Still, my Uncle Mike and his lovely wife accepted me, acting as if nothing bad had ever happened.
When we lost Alexandra and I wasn't taking calls I got a message from my Uncle Mike, they were thinking of us and if we needed anything we should call. At my Ross's birthday party (my grandma's husband, my Ross) Diane and I had a moment, she had recently lost her mom and we connected over our losses. We talked about how we both thought that those that we lost were still around us. We talked about the signs that they leave us, letting us know they're still here checking in on us.
We made plans for Diane to come to a psychic party that I was planning. Diane, who I never called Aunt, gave me $5.00 for the pregnancy and infant loss bracelet that I was wearing. She asked about it and I explained what it was, why I was wearing it and that we were going to sell them to raise money for the pregnancy and infant loss program. She said she wanted one, but didn't want to take the one off my wrist, she was worried that I didn't have another like it. I laughed because I had hundreds! I happily gave it to her, and she insisted on giving me the money for it, to help.
My psychic party didn't end up happening. The weather was terrible, it was too cold and nobody wanted to drive. I was looking forward to visiting with Diane again and was disappointed, but thought it was no big deal, I would have the party in the spring, or for my birthday and we could continue our conversation.
At Christmas they were there, we all chatted. My Uncle Mike and Diane, they gave everybody gifts, wine for the women and leather work gloves for the men. I remember thinking how those gloves were soooo my Uncle Mike. That was the last time we had a visit with my Uncle Mike and Diane.

On Alexandra's birthday I received an email from my mom telling me that Diane was in the hospital, she had cancer and they weren't sure what exactly was going on, but it didn't look good. I waited to hear more, but when news got progressively worse, I called my Uncle to let him know we were thinking of them and wanted to come visit.
I tried to visit the hospital twice, the first time they were having tests done and the second time Diane was sleeping. I was upset, I just wanted to see Diane, to talk to her. I guess I wanted to be reassured that she was ok...even though she wasn't.
I finally got to see her on June 11th and 12th, I went two days in a row to make up for the two days
I missed, I wish I had gone even more. I got to meet Diane's sisters, sister in law, and brother. They are all so kind, it's not fair that they have to go through such pain. And when I saw my Uncle I found it very difficult to remain composed.
I want to say something, to take his pain away, just for a second. I want to bring him a single moment of peace and I know that I can't.
I was an adult when they were married, too old to call someone new an Aunt. I was stubborn and selfish because she was just like any other Aunt and she deserved that title...And maybe it's stupid because it's just a title, but it's one of those things that I think might have meant more to me than I realized at the time.

The other day Steve was working in the yard, when he was done he carried his leather gloves into the house and handed them to me, I glanced at them and thought of my Uncle and then I remembered Diane's laugh and I missed it. I assumed that I would see her again soon, happy and healthy and laughing and drinking some wine with me at my psychic party and that wasn't going to happen.

Diane was a kind woman, with a giving heart. She was a good person who helped others. She was lively and out-going. Everyone that knows her has amazing memories with her as the star. Her laugh could light up a room and wherever she was, whatever she was doing, she was sharing that laugh with the world.
I didn't get to see her enough, I didn't spend enough time with her. I am heart broken for Diane, for my Uncle and for Diane's family and I am sad for myself because I will miss her.

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, Diane passed away. She will remain in the hearts and memory of everyone who had the chance to meet her. She will be forever loved and never forgotten.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye

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