The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Dianne

Last month blogger gal pal Kate Johnston revealed her passion for wolves, encouraging us to take a moment to think about how much we could save if we all fought for something wild. In my series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, fantastic humans from all over uncover what makes them passionate about life.

Today I’m stoked to bring you—all the way from Australia—Dianne Gray. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Dianne through the blogging universe. Along the way I have found a fellow writer with a heart of gold, someone I look up to very much. So far, of her many novels out there, I have only read “The Everything Theory”…and I was blown away. Beyond the amazing award-winning author that she is, Dianne is a terrific human who has a knack for making us laugh and cry as we read her blog which explores the beautiful transitions of life. She’s a Life Enthusiast all the way. (If you haven’t read one of Dianne’s books, you’re missing out.)

Connect with Dianne on Twitter and Facebook.

Take it away Miss Dianne…

Cairns Post Writer's Award
Cairns Post Writer’s Award

I was so excited when Britt asked me to join her Life Enthusiast group. I love all the bloggers in this group and felt it a privilege to become one of them.

My life has been a series of ups and downs and I figure I need the downs to appreciate the ups. For many years while I was putting the kids through school in the city I struggled with rental properties and landlords and every day I wished I had a place of my own in the country again.

In 2012 that wish became a reality.

But the way I got my wish was certainly not a fairy-tale. It started as a series of terrible events.

My hubby became ill and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This diagnoses just so happened to coincide with an interstate visit from his parents, my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and a work bully who had just about sent me around the bend. We kept all this news quiet from his parents and then three days into the visit his father suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital where he spent the next three months.

The day before hubby was due to have his operation (Whipple Procedure) he accompanied his parents home on the 3 hour plane flight and then flew back the same day. He was in so much pain when he returned he could hardly walk. I took him straight to the hospital where they immediately operated. Ten hours later he was in recovery and I was told he had gone into renal failure during the procedure, but they had managed to get him back. They had also inadvertently nicked his aorta, but fixed that as well (poor guy!). The good news was that they had removed all the cancer and the prognosis was excellent.

When a traumatic event presents itself it can be a real test of character, but when multiple traumatic events hit within a few weeks, you need to dig deep to find the strength to carry on.

During this time I started the habit of looking up at the sky for a few minutes every day and thanking the universe for my beautiful life. I know this sounds crazy given the chaos that was taking place around me, but I found it comforting and knew that, in the scheme of things, I was luckier than most.

Dianne's family then (20 years ago)
Dianne’s family then (20 years ago)
Dianne's family now
Dianne’s family now

Hubby’s parents had left their car with us as his father was not allowed to drive until he had completely recovered. So later that year, when hubby was back to full strength, we drove the car 3,000 kilometres back to his parents on the farm. When we arrived we realised his father was still weak and his mother had begun to show signs of dementia.

There was only one thing we could do – move back to the farm and take care of them.

We had an old shack we lived in many years ago, but it had taken a fair bit of damage from the last cyclone so we needed to fix it.

I retired from my job in the corporate world and hubby resigned and found a job close to where his parents live.

One day, totally out of the blue, a friend who is a news reporter contacted us and told us an old Rugby Union Club in the city nearby was due to be demolished. He told us the owner said if anyone wanted it they could take it away.

We took the Rugby Union Club and had it put up on the farm – and I guess the rest is history. Introducing the RUC…

RUC view from the writer's nook
RUC view from the writer’s nook

My writing has taken a back-seat during this time, but I’m progressively working my way through another three novels. Hey – better late than never.

I think it’s important to be thankful for what we have in life and what is good instead of focusing on what we don’t have and what is bad. Sometimes a series of horrible events can lead us on a different path and, in the end maybe that is the path we were supposed to take all along.

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