When life gets too hard to stand…kneel.
About two weeks ago, on August 3, our lives were abruptly changed when we lost someone very special to us. My brother-in-law Ryan’s mom passed away pretty unexpectedly. Diane Robinson was an amazing, beautiful, compassionate woman who impacted so many lives. She had Multiple Sclerosis and therefore had been wheelchair bound for many years, but the strength of her heart exceedingly made up for the lack of her physical strength.
I knew Diane for 10 years. From the first time I met her, I could tell how genuine of a woman she was. My sister, Krista dated Ryan for about 5 years before they got married, and even before we officially became family, Diane embraced us entirely. She and her husband Don never missed a single event, milestone, and get-together that I can think of in the decade that I’ve known them. No matter the occasion, Diane was always there with a smile on her face. She was not only a loving mother to her three boys, Scott, Ryan and Lance, but she was a mother in one way or another to everyone she knew. As a teacher in the Danville schools for 28 years, she made a difference in so many students’ and community members’ lives. Diane had a unique and individual relationship with everyone she knew. Whenever she had a conversation with someone, she genuinely cared about what they had to say. She always asked me how Ryan was doing in med school, and what book I was currently reading (we had a shared love for reading), and how much she loved seeing Briggs, Kinsie and Kerigan grow up together. She loved this blog, and always told me how much she enjoyed following our lives and the adventures we went on with Kinsie. She always bought Ryan, Kinsie and I gifts for Christmas…even if they were ridiculous things like flat bill hats and umbrellas. She just wanted to show us that she cared about us. I was also lucky enough to get to be in a fantasy football league with her for the past 4 years. She always came to the draft prepared with the names of her favorite players and would do anything to get those players, even if it meant spending all of her draft money on them and having no money left for the rest of her roster. Diane was one of a kind and never failed to make you feel loved just by being in her presence. I was beyond blessed to get to call her my family.
Briggs and Kerigan adored their Nana
So where do we go from here? How do we handle going through something so heartbreaking to us? I am still trying to swallow these questions myself. When someone passes away, many people ask, “Why them?” or “why were they taken from us?” These are questions that we will never fully be able to answer until it won’t matter anymore. The only way to get through things like this is to think of the bigger picture. We can’t just think of this life that we are currently living, but the one that comes after we leave this Earth. We may have lost Diane here in this life, but she has started her eternal life and is dancing with Jesus now. She’s no longer held back by her physical circumstances. She’s free of any pain, hurt or discomfort that she felt while she was here. She’s free. We are going to miss her every single day for the remainder of our time here, but that gives us even more of a reason to live like Jesus every day…so we can someday see people that we love again. So we can someday be free of pain and suffering. And most importantly, so we can spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. Diane may not have walked for the last 20+ years of her life, but she was one of the best examples I knew of what it looked like to walk like Jesus.
We love and miss you, Diane. Save us a dance in heaven.