It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I must tell you that Dianne has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to be with her father, mother and beloved fur kids that have been waiting on her. She is now free from pain and suffering and is enjoying eternity with her Chan, Captain Jack, Laddie and all of the wonderful dogs that are already across the bridge.
Dianne's last few days were spent at the BSA Hospice in Amarillo where she received excellent and very compassionate care. The kindness and caring of her nurses was truly amazing. They were so thoughtful and their main goal was keeping Dianne as comfortable as possible. She left us on 12 February 2013 at 6:20. It was a beautiful snowy morning she would have loved to see. She was peaceful and pain-free at the end. I was at her side holding her hand when her time came. She fought her cancer until the end, but her body finally gave out and she has left us in body but not in spirit. It has been a very emotional ordeal for both Dianne and I. There were so many highs and lows. One day she would be talkative and we would be discussing her care once I took her home and the next day she was unresponsive. It seems that she would never reach the level of her last high point, always lower. Cancer is a terrible disease, especially when it affects the brain.
I find it so hard to let her go. We knew her cancer was going to win in the end, but I was hoping for more time with her. I tried to prepare myself emotionally, but I wasn't ready in the end. I am going to miss her so very much. She had such a big and caring heart, and my days will be so empty without her. We had a wonderful 21 years (married 19 years in September) together, and she will always be in my heart.
I will be taking Dianne back to Pittsburgh to be buried with her father and mother. As a rescuer to the last, she has requested to be buried in her scrubs with the chows on the shirt, the necklace and bracelet that were given to her by her rescue friends and the ashes of her fur-ever kids. Her wishes will be granted.
Please know how very much I appreciate all of the prayers and support you have given to Dianne and I since she was diagnosed last June. You have given me comfort and at times a shoulder to lean on. She was so proud and happy of the turnout at the party we had in Garland. She got to see most of you for one last time. I just wish it were possible to have a service for her in the DFW area, but I know you will all understand. Dianne wrote her eulogy awhile back that I will be including in this email. I read it for the first time last week as I never had the heart, and as you read it, you will understand why. As you will note, even in the end, her animals were utmost in her heart.
Dianne's email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) will no longer be answered. My email is: email@example.com (at aol.com), for all who wish to correspond.
Due to the excellent and compassionate care Dianne received at the hospice, I am requesting that instead of flowers; please make your donation to the following in Dianne's name: I have included a link to the website.
PO Box 950
Amarillo, Texas 79105
There will be so many of Dianne's friends that will want to know of her passing and I know this original email will go to so few, so please forward it to all that I have missed. Again, thank you all for your support and prayers.
If you are hearing my words then I have lost my battle with cancer. But this is not a time to grieve, but rather to celebrate my life.
I never earned a college degree, or a 6-figure income. I wasn't interested in designer clothes or expensive jewelry. Like my mom and dad, all I wanted was a house and a yard. I spent thousands of dollars on our home and yard; an in-ground pool, a redwood deck, Japanese teahouse, flagstone patio, pea gravel pathways, hundreds of shrubs and several trees. Most we lovingly planted ourselves. We did all this to enjoy the company of our friends and neighbors we cared about. We all gathered at various homes to hold cookouts and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. And of course, our dogs meant as much to us as any human kids ever could.
For years, every summer, my dad would make his annual trek from Pittsburgh to Texas to visit us. We would sit under the teahouse listening to the birds and wind chimes while drinking coffee. He would help me feed the squirrels, birds, coyotes, raccoons and all the wildlife I cared for daily in our back forty acreage. It was a daily task no matter the weather but one I never viewed as work. This was my life and I have no regrets.
I am most proud of all the years I devoted and dedicated to volunteering at the Arlington Animal Shelter and saving homeless dogs, especially my beloved breed of choice, the chow. Some folks would argue that all of us in dog rescue are obsessed hoarders but those of us who mind our limits are passionate, not obsessed. Some women were meant to have children, I wasn't. It was always about caring for dogs and wildlife. My life has always been surrounded by animals. Never will I regret my decision.
I have enjoyed nearly 20 years with the most loving, generous and supporting man on the face of the earth. I love you Ben.
I have led a rewarding and fulfilling life even if shorter than I had hoped it would be. So if God has decided that I can't stay with Ben, know that I will be with the one other person I've loved most in my life besides Ben, I will be at peace with my dad.
My personal goals might not have been as "lofty" as some, but I have achieved them and enjoyed every minute of doing so. In closing, I love and miss you all. One day we'll see each other again as I believe I'll be reunited now with my dad, mom and my special dogs on the other side of Rainbow Bridge.
God Bless You.
If you love someone enough, you can still hear their laughter after they are gone. Listen for my laughter and smile.