I was unaware just how much this beautiful woman, would change my life forever.
This picture was taken the day after we were introduced, to each other. Since we were both Diane's, and she was the oldest; we decided that she would be Diane, and I would be Di. God has a way of bringing people into each others lives at the perfect time. This would indeed be the case with Diane; she became my friend, mentor, and big sister.
Have you ever met someone for the first time, and felt as if you'd known them all your life? That's a sign of a God connection; those initial contacts with people, places, or things, that feel more like a re-connection. Diane and I connected from the start, as if we were lifelong friends. We emailed each other everyday; it was easier than calling since we lived on opposite coasts. Over the next four years our bond became very strong; we discussed, any and every thing. Diane was dealing with some health issues during that time. She was one of the strongest and most determined women, I've ever met. Even in her times of discomfort we would still connect to encourage and check in with each other. There were many stormy times related to Diane's health issues but talking about Aruba would always take her to a happy place.
Aruba was indeed Diane's "Happy Place", she vacationed there annually, for over 30 years. Listening to Diane talk about Aruba, made you want to immediately book a flight and go there. She was truly the unofficial ambassador of Aruba. Soon after we met, Diane extended an invitation for Charles/I to join them in Aruba, October 2008. We were in the process of moving and was unable to go at that time. However, the following year, October 2009, we accepted the invite and it was love at first site. Diane's husband Arthur (big brother), was the best tour guide ever, he made sure we saw all the popular and local attractions. Arthur and Diane were like local celebrities on the island; they were well known and loved.
Our love for Aruba made it easy to return the following year. During that 2010 visit, Diane was hospitalized; a couple of days after we arrived on the island. She remained in the hospital, with Arthur by her side, after our departure. Once she was stabilized they were able to transfer her, via medical transport to Florida.
The recovery process continued for the rest of Diane's life. On her birthday, May of 2012, my dear Diane, "Went Home" as she termed it. A few months before her birthday, Diane began talking about going home for her birthday. When told she was already home, Diane would just smile, and repeat I am going home for my birthday. I still remember like it was yesterday, making the call on Diane's birthday. Diane was making her transition, I asked to be placed on speaker phone, I sung happy birthday and said my final good-bye's. Arthur called shortly after, to tell me that Diane was gone. I felt joy for her peace, she would suffer no more. Once the reality hit that our season on earth together was over, I felt a deep sadness.
Diane's ashes were taken to her beloved Aruba, and spread at the place she requested. Immediately after we saw a rainbow appear in the sky; which made us all smile.
Charles and I haven't returned to Aruba, since 2012. However we plan to go back one day real soon. I will be looking for my dear Diane to show up in a rainbow, sunset, or a gentle sea breeze. Letting me know that she still remembers me!...
Diane's Final Resting Place