I walked into the gymnasium and peered into the bleachers. She found me right away; she stood up, waving her arms frantically, "Michelle, I'm over here, Michelle, oh Michelle, I see you!" I hung my head and staggered in-between anxious wrestling fans until I reached the top of the bleachers. Her purple glasses strung around her neck, bag of popcorn in her hand.
Things weren't always so carefree for Diane. She grew up in a very strict household in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin. Her father would do random white glove checks for dust, and she could milk one hell of a cow. She spent a lot of time at church and learned how to drive a three-on-the-tree old Ford pickup truck. She grew up with three other sisters, one being a twin, and a cute dog named Mandy. She spent her fair share of time sneaking out; and at a mere eighteen years old, she fell in love with Billy. Neither Diane nor Bill can quite remember the proposal. She claims he just gave her a ring. While he, on the other hand, said she got him drunk and he never said yes.
They were together a year and married in the summer. Just under 2 years later she found herself pregnant. Two daughters were born within 2 years. They lived on a dairy farm. Diane and Bill had more than their fair share of marital problems. He spent too much time at the bar, and her too much time worrying about him there. The freshly married couple split up. She moved in with her parents and pursued a degree in nursing. They eventually found themselves back together. Bill traveled a lot with his jobs. They sold the farm, then moved on to greener territories, thirteen of them. Some time was spent in Wisconsin, then to several cities in Minnesota, back to a few towns in Wisconsin, then they found themselves in Blooming Prairie, MN. In 1991, Diane had a son, named after his father, William
By this time Diane was working at a local nursing home. She loved her job. Many nights she'd come home crying, just upset from the days work. She wore her heart on her sleeve. She was dedicated to her job. She was the nurse that was out on the floor helping the aides with daily cares. It was always hard on her when one of her residents passed away. She shared a bond with some of them beyond explanation. I was there to visit her one day and I walked up on her talking to one of her patients. Her head was pressed against the other's forehead and they were smiling at each other. They said no words to each other, but I knew there was more going on there that I could comprehend. It made me uncomfortable, but the smile that little old lady had was worth millions. Following her down the hall, it was impossible to get anywhere. She was always poking her head in resident's rooms, just to chat. If not that, one of the little old men would be pulling at her scrub top, trying to steal some more of her attention. She had this job for just under ten years. Administration changed and so did the care at the...