Haunts & Jaunts: God’s speed, Diane

God’s speed, Diane

“We’re on Lake Monroe!” Laura Hinton takes a selfie with Diane Coleman. “This would be the last time she visited the lake. I believe that she knew it would be.”
Photo Laura Hinton

   Losing a spouse is never easy. Years together meld two into one; life partners with an agenda to nurture, love, respect and work together through various obstacles. It’s the true definition of teamwork! My friend John Coleman can attest to that. After 18 years of marriage, he lost his wife Diane on Tuesday evening, April 11. And now there’s the void of an emotional roller coaster he’s working to get past. He’s not sure he can!

  John and Diane were married June 19, 1999, second marriages for both. They moved to Florida that same year, returning to Indiana in 2006. They were boat people, having one in Florida and then a houseboat to place in Lake Monroe when they moved back. Most weekends, one would find them cruising the shorelines of the large lake. I never knew a healthy Diane since I met them. The Diane I saw in the photos, radiating a healthy glow and a wink of mischievousness, seemed like a different person. John stated that she had been sick the last six years. Prior to her passing she was confined to a hospital bed in their den, surrounded by John and her beloved beagles. She couldn’t walk and spoke sparingly. She told John she

Happier days for John and Diane Coleman, living the dream in southern Florida.
Photo by John Coleman

would beat this. The game changer was when hospice came in.

   A couple of summers ago my wife Laura and I accompanied the Coleman’s for a day on the lake at Monroe. They had rented a party pontoon. “We’re on Lake Monroe!” she exclaimed over and over as we navigated through her memories of days of better health. And for that brief span of time, I caught a small glimpse of the person she had once been.

   Laura picked her up a music box at a yard sale. It played a fascination piano waltz. Diane loved the piano, having played in her youth. John had bought her a piano and the music box sat on it. On our last visit prior to her passing, Laura wound it up on our way out. Diane

The music box.

smiled. She was gone two weeks later. However, there are signs that she is still part of the team…

   The music box, when wound, eventually began playing sporadically, or not at all. The night Diane died it started on its own and played completely. Afterwards, John couldn’t get it to play. On Easter Sunday, John lost 40 minutes of time from putting a load of sheets in the dryer in the garage, changing his clothes, and then returning to find the garage door open and the sheets dried. His television had also changed channels on its own. He had been watching a show on beach front properties, returning to find a Fast and Furious movie. The next morning, at 4 a.m., the music box began to play. He watched it until it stopped.

   Rest in peace, Diane!