2009.04.01 Diane deserves a place in the Living Library

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

This weekend has been a roller coaster of emotions for me—from the huge high as the Living Library unfolded into one of the most amazing events I’ve ever witnessed—to the depths of mental anguish when my sister-in-law Diane was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on Sunday.

I used to think Rabbi Kushner was right on the money when, ages ago, I read the book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

At first, the title kind of ticked me off. It kind of assumes bad things shouldn’t happen to good people. And, my attitude was: why should anyone be exempt from bad things? But Kushner dealt with that as I recall...sometimes there is no reason why bad things happen and it has nothing to do with God.

But when Diane was unexpectedly diagnosed, my immediate thought was, My God, that can’t be happening to her! Pure and simple, it just didn’t seem fair.

Diane is one of those people who quietly goes about her life doing good deeds, godly deeds even, without judging people, without broadcasting what she does, without looking for approval or affirmation—she just lives a life of service to others, from her family to her church to the broader community.

And as I sat there at the computer reading the email from my brother-in-law in shock and disbelief, I couldn’t stop crying. How could this magnificent woman be struck down? What kind of wacky world is this?

And then a wave of guilt overtook me. When was the last time I thanked Diane for the impact she’s had on my life—especially with parenting—and the role model she’s been for me? She’s been my moral compass, one I may not always follow, but one I know is there, pointing the right way to travel in life. I know I’ve never thanked her enough.

From the hand-me-down clothes she passed from her daughters to my children—even Ben wore Lisa and Megan’s baby clothes—to the strawberries she dipped in chocolate for their high school graduation open houses, Diane has been the poster child of generosity. From her readily responsive nature in mothering her babies to her respectful, gentle guiding hand—tempered with tolerance—when they were teens, Diane showed me the way.

As we fear what the future holds for her recovery from Monday’s brain surgery, I know one thing for certain, Diane has been a stellar role model for her daughters as well, as exemplified by her youngest daughter Janell’s willingness to participate in our Living Library and the speed with which Lisa and Megan rushed from Georgia to her side.

Her life of generosity is one I’d love to emulate...but I as I rush through life, I miss opportunities to be kind and giving on a daily basis. And, way too often, I don’t express the gratitude I feel for so many people.

I don’t mean this to sound like a cheap transition back to the Living Library, but the people who participated in that event are of the same ilk as Diane.

All the people who acted as Books (Lorene Whitehouse, Kathye Herrera, Deanne Henagan, Janell Ball, Stephanie Moore, Larry Weeks, Ryan Shadbolt, Pete Fallot, Brenda Wyatt, Zac Burrow, Kirk Thomas, Liz Stella, Emily Collins, Jean Hardy, Tommy McVay, Darwin Vandevender, Sybil Diccion, Robert Robertson, Ali Bani Mustafa, Pat Barrett, Jackie Green, Patsy Barrett, Theresa Pobanz, Karley Schmidt, Chelsea Howard, Jenni Lamb and Barb Sutherland) gave of themselves, put themselves “out there,” simply to increase understanding and tolerance in the world.

But all the people who helped in many other ways (Joyce Woerner, Sandy Emmons, Nate Grieder, Sam Majahrowski, Heather Walker, Kym Ries and all the student artists, Sheri Frost, Lori Drogowski, Janelle Thomas, Katelyn Joughin, Marcia Cole, Ken Fether and Amy Powers) also having my undying gratitude for making this event such a success.

It’s nice to know there are lots of Dianes in this world, but the one at Sparrow Hospital is pretty darn special. Please direct your thoughts, prayers and love that way to ensure she recovers from this ordeal.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016