Please close your eyes and imagine Diane standing before you. Now allow yourself to feel her hug she so freely gave. You can feel that hug deep in your heart-because that is where Diane's hugs always came from. If a picture is worth a thousand words then Diane's hug was worth a million. Her hug always said just the right thing-whether it was a hug of welcome, thanks or good-bye, or of shared sorrow or of great joy or just because...it was always a hug with love.
My family was truly blessed 16 and a half years ago. Diane was the best thing that ever happened to Andy and an awesome addition to our whole family. Then came Allison and Amy. I was so excited to be an Aunt and for my son and daughter to have cousins. We didn't see each other nearly enough-once or twice a year- but they were buddies. Allison and Amy were the most beautiful nieces anyone could ask for. They always had a kind word or a smile. Allison always had an elfish grin while Amy was more on the serious side- telling people she was older than Allison because she was 6 and Allison, who was born on Leap Year's February 29th, was really only 2.
My daughter Dana is just a year older than Allison. The three of them were like peas in a pod whenever we got together. Dana is not here today. She is traveling with Children's International Summer Villages in Germany. She was not sure she should go but I assured her that Amy and Allison would have wanted her to go. That is just the way they were, always caring about others. Dana really wanted to be here and be a part of this weekend so I would like to read a poem she wrote for Amy and Allison.
I remember visiting many years ago and coming here to Forest Hills Church. I still remember how welcomed my family felt. Today I am comforted by all the love and support this family has been for my family, Diane's family, and for Andy. Andy, Diane, Amy and Allison were a very loving, caring and happy family who gave so much of themselves in so many ways. We can learn so much from them. If we continue in Diane's, Amy's, and Allison's footsteps then this world can only become a better place. A world with hope, with love, and with wonderful hugs.
Dana wrote that Amy and Allison would always live in her heart. Amy, Allison, and Diane will live in all our hearts as long as we live.
In the rising and the setting of the sun,
In the blowing of the wind and blueness of the sky
In the soft gentle rain
In the chill of winter and warmth of summer
In the rustling leaves of fall
And in the rebirth of spring
When tired and weary and sick at heart
When life is happy and there are joys to share
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a
part of us as we remember them.