We all know at least one really nice person, the kind of person who always thinks the best of everyone they meet and who always seems to think of the right things to say at the right time.
Last night the world lost one of the nicest people I’ve had the privilege to call my friend— Diane Fien Kelly. She waged a valiant battle against a virulent form of cancer and now her pain is over, but we who knew her are left with a large hole in our hearts.
Diane was a member of my book club, which I often write about. She will be sorely missed. A supporting player, she may not have always read everyone’s book selection, but was always asking for everyone’s recipes.(One of these days we probably should create a cookbook). Diane liked to laugh and her smile would light up her face. She was always the person in the room who wanted to listen to what everyone else had to say, rather than taking center stage. She always made you feel good about any project you told her about, offering supportive advice. In her professional career she worked in Special Education, which fit right in with her desire to help others who needed extra attention and understanding.
Even while undergoing chemo and radiation treatments, instead of feeling sorry for herself, she was still anxious to help others. Last fall while I was recovering from my broken back, Diane came to see me with a home cooked dinner and accompanied me on a walk around my neighborhood— apologizing that she didn’t have more time to spend with me. Who was helping who? As recently as two weeks ago, she still focused her strength on reaching out to friends sending thank you notes. I am inspired by her kindness.
We never got a chance to work out at the gym together. (I kept threatening to take her to my pilates class.) Fate sometime has a way of intervening. But the memory of Diane is very much alive in my mind and in her spirit I will remember her with a renewed dedication to fully appreciate every day as a gift and to learn by her example of small and large kindnesses.