I would like to share with you the story of an incredible woman named Diana. We met back in the 1980’s when I was working as a therapist in a local hospital.  She was one of those people that just meeting her would change your life forever. I am blessed to say that I had the honor to be her friend for many years. This is the story of one woman who has inspired me and continues to do so even though she no longer walks this earth.

pick rose bud

A rose for my friend Diana

When I first met Diana she was in her early 30’s, divorced, and a mother of 2 teenagers who was living with an inoperable astrocytoma spinal tumor.  The doctors had given her 6 months to live. I recall her telling me how odd she thought that was, that someone was telling her how long she had to live.  Apparently she didn’t appreciate that and therefore set out to prove them all wrong. (Diana lived 15 years after that day, and every year she would send her doctor a note letting them know she was still alive and doing well.  She had a wonderful sense of humor!)  She shared with me that she wasn’t afraid of dying, but she just knew that there were still more things she needed to do before she was willing to leave her body.  One of her main goals was to see her children grown and married.   As time went on, the tumor continued to grow, slowly taking function away from her body.  When we first met, Diana was already living her life as a quadriplegic.

There are so many things about Diana that I want to share, but I know that I will not be able to do her justice.  Things she endured most people never could; medical complications you can’t even begin to imagine, housing and caregiver difficulties, transportation logistics and just everyday challenges like getting a drink of water or brushing her teeth.  The thing that was so incredible was that she never complained.  I mean never.  If she wasn’t laughing, she was doing her best to make light of the situation to ease any discomfort anyone was feeling.  Her determination, love and true desire to be happy amongst the worst hardship is something I so admire.

Diana taught me so many things both professionally and personally throughout the years.  She showed me how to live life to the fullest even when all other indications should have you do otherwise, and taught me about death even thought I wouldn’t understand her message until so many years later.

I felt her depart this physical earth one afternoon; a gentle breeze across my face and a fleeting thought of her instantly giving me knowledge of her passing.  I knew at that moment she was gone, but I didn’t understand why I knew.  What she lovingly gave me that day was the understanding of what it feels like when spirit comes to visit me.

So many gifts from such an inspirational soul – As I See It