Monday, August 07, 2006

The Incomparable Diane Case

Carole and I have returned from a whirlwind trip to Tampa, a place that is to humidity what the Sahara is to deserts. The trip's purpose was three-fold: to give us a summer break; to give me another airport to shoot airliners (see pic above), and to meet Diane Case.

Carole became acquainted with Diane through internet doll-interest sites. She and Diane seemed to share the same values and the two became close, as close as you can get via the computer.

Here's what you need to know about Diane. Born prematurely, weighing 1 lb., 13 oz. Birth injuries left her with cerebral palsy and no sight in one eye. At age 21, she spent 18 months in a body cast. One leg has no femur. She is our age, has two brilliant sons (ages 24 & 25), and lives alone. She is confined to a wheelchair but drives everywhere she needs to go. To get into her car, Diane pushes herself from the wheelchair seat to the driver's seat. Then she removes a wheel from the wheelchair, putting it in the passenger seat. Then she somehow manages to fold up the wheelchair and put it in the backseat.

It was an absolute joy to meet Diane and be in her presence. She never complains - in fact, she never quits smiling. There is a constant twinkle in her eyes. Through the miracle of the internet, she knows my family thoroughly and praises them unceasingly.

Diane and Carole spent Friday at the hotel, getting acquainted in person and talking about dolls and life. (I was at the airport.) We got to spend most of Saturday together, visiting the beach at Clearwater and shopping at a mall. We had a blast...Diane is a super conversationalist...intelligent and witty. But most of all she is loving. With every reason in the world to allow her situation to deflate her outlook, Diane instead brings sunshine. And she steadfastly turns everything over to God, allowing Him to power her through life's obstacles.

Thanks, Diane, for honoring us with your friendship.

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