The reality of reading a blog is that you don’t know much about the other people reading the same blog. And when that blog is about spiritual stuff, it’s possible that some people see it as their sermon, as their teaching, as their spiritual insight.
I’m good with that, with hearing that what I write is helpful. But sometimes, we need to know a little about the people who are sitting in the pew with us, in a different place, at a different time.
Diana Kies has joined you regularly in reading here. I know that because she told me, though she didn’t comment much. She told me because she’s my sister-in-law, the wife of Nancy’s brother Gary.
When we’d see her, she’d grin. She’d thank me for writing. She’d ask about people who are struggling in some of the ways she’s struggling.
We’ve known each other for 36 years, since I first showed up around the family in August of 1982. She worked at a college, so we talked about that. She and Gary started a hide tanning business, and I built a basic website for them. We talked a little about Quickbooks. And we talked in little bits, in passing conversations, about God, about faith. They went to a couple different churches, but we agreed that it’s hard to find a place in church if you come in as a adult, finding relationships already cemented in childhood.
Diana is, for me, one living, breathing, picture of you.
Or, she was. Until last Friday, when she died in a hospital in Jackson, Michigan. Nancy and I visited with Gary on Thursday, visiting in some other system’s ICU, trying to find the place between family and chaplain.
Be comforted in knowing that finding the right words never happens, no matter how many times you’ve said them. I’m pretty sure I told her I loved her at a time when she was aware.
Dear friends, Diana has represented you well. The memory of her still will.