Diane is my cousin by birth-rite. Our Moms were sisters. But by heart-rite she is my sister. In the truth of the light of day, she is my only sibling. We shared vacations, every holiday, and the pains of growing up. We shared a favorite grandmother (our Busha) as well as her two sisters, "Auntie Ann" and "Aunt Julie". I loved her mama, my Auntie Retta very much. And her father, Leonard, just the same. While with them in their home, I felt a predictability that I couldn't find in my own. He parents were salt of the earth while mine were party and glamour. When you're six years old, salt of the earth feels so much better.
Also when I was about that age she and I were given dolls by so and so, by somebody I just don't remember. These dolls were wrapped in festive paper, and it was pretty much luck of the draw in the gift we got. Well, I got the blonde haired, blue eyed doll and Diane coveted it. Probably had she not shown her longing to me I would have gladly traded. I don't remember the politics of this doll-getting, or even caring anything about the fact that I held the coveted doll in my arms; but I do remember that we both got dolls. Had I had the maturity to know who Diane was, really was to me (other than a girl four years older who knew what was good and what wasn't, thus my compass to the best things in the world), I would have gladly made the swap. But I knew Diane was older and she knew best. My life followed along on her mitten strings. If she wanted this doll, then I must want it too.
Diane and I recently chatted about that doll day at our family reunion. While it pissed her off totally, it probably was a good sign post along the path of uprightness as a human being for me. A spiritual lesson all wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow. For this, I am grateful. For Diane, I am grateful.
And now my dear Diane is sick (a post from my daughter Brooke's blog) and I want to give her my doll. I want to give her half my heart, a kidney, a lung, my right arm, my breath, my blood. But none of these things are what she needs right now. So I give her so much love and many prayerful moments. We all give her so much love that she's gonna need her husband Dale to bring in a shovel from the garden to dig herself through it. My Diane. My sister. She is the strongest woman I know and she is going to beat this.
If you have a moment, please bless her with a prayer of yours. I can tell you, you're praying for someone you'd love too, if you had the pleasure of her in your life.