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Diana Lynn Howey Bidwell Eulogy given on Jan 6th

I share this with all so you too can get to know Diana as we all knew her. I loved her so much. 

I have not corrected any of my mistakes in this. It is as I printed it to be read. I changed corrected things as I read through it. Hope you enjoy it. 

On October 5th, 1952
Average Cost of new house $9.050.00
Average wages per year $3,850.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 20 cents
Average Cost of a new car $1,700.00
 Average Cost of Rent $80.00 per month
Pound of Hamburger - 53 cents
The Winter Olympic Games are held in Norway
California has it's second largest earthquake rocking 100,000 sq miles 
And Diana Lynn Howey was born - which might explain the earthquake in California.
Diana grew up in Burton, MI
She attended school right across the street from her home at TN Lamb.
She was the first to tell you she was spoiled growing up by her parents, Melvin and Nina. Even by her big sister, Mary.
And all the kids knew not to mess with Diana because they would have Mary to contend with.
Her grandparents lived one side of her and her closest childhood friends, The Vocks, lived just three houses on the other.
She was always a proud Bendle Tiger. Always proud of her home city and longed to live back there.
No place in this world was as good as Burton. And no street was as good as Parkwood Ave. And no home was as good as the one that sat at 2140 E. Parkwood Ave.
Life was good. And she was happy.
Ted Bidwell and Diana would marry in November 1969.
This started a new chapter in young Diana’s life. She would forever be known as Diana Bidwell. Sadly the joy of being a new bride would be short lived.
Diana would suffer the loss of her dad, Melvin in December 69.
June 30th, 1970 HAPPY DAYS - HAPPY DAYS!!! Diana gave birth to her bundle of joy, a beautiful baby girl Tina.
Diana’s love and bound with Tina was like none other she had had with anyone in her young life time. Nothing was more unconditional to Diana then the love she had for her Daughter. And she would make sure Tina knew she was loved even when that love was given with a bit of force.
Being a young wife and parent wasn’t easy. Things happened. Things changed. Before long Ted and Diana would divorce but remained friends throughout the remainder of her life. Diana would become friends with Ted’s second wife, Debbie. This too became a lifelong friendship.
One of the biggest changes in life for Diana came by way of a serious car accident. Diana would end up getting on disability as a result of this accident. But nothing would stop her from being a mother to Tina
10 years after losing her dad Diana’s mom be gone as well.
It was tough on Diana but she had to be strong for her daughter. She had to be strong for herself as well.
Jumping forward to 2002 Diana has now discovered the WORLD WIDE WEB!! And this discovery will again change her life forever.
And give her new name –
With the help of a friend she had created a yahoo account
Almost from the start Diana discovered Pogo.com.
Pogo.com is a game site to play everything from cards to classic board games to new favorites created for the Internet. 100s of games all in one place – Pinochle, euchre, Backgammon, checkers, slots, Hearts, Solitary and many others.
She would sit in the bedroom at her computer. Smoking cigarettes and wearing her Owl night gown – This one! (raise nightgown)
She also discovered there were league she could join for some of her favorite games like Pinochle and Euchre.
For those that don’t know – When joining a league it required to use the same name you use in Pogo. Diana chose to use Brighteyes0004 for her pogo name (which was the same has her email address). Everyone started calling her - BRIGHTEYES (raise shirt)
And this is where I come into the picture.
Around this same time I too created an account with pogo. My user name was flyingbird65 everyone called me Bird.
Some people would say it was by chance. Others would say luck and still others would call it FATE but we both ended up in a league called BUDS.
Buds was a euchre league.
From time to time Diana and I would end up at the same table. Sometimes we were partners and sometimes opponents.
By late 2003 early 2004 I had come to know Diana better and we started working on Pogo badges together once in a while.
She once told me how she was spoiled as a child by her mom and dad. I told her she’s lucky she isn’t with me because I would break her spoiled attitude. We laughed.
Buds live tour was coming up soon. LIVE is a chance for all of the online members together for a weekend. They would play euchre tours, go sightseeing, spend hours of the day and night chatting. Great time to bound as friends and as league family.
Now I am not sure of the how things worked out that Diana came to move to Illinois with me. I remember we talked about it. Just not sure how it came that we both agreed to it.

The drive from Flint to Rapids City, IL was anything but a normal one. What should have been about a 9 hour straight drive turned into something like 14 hours.
I remember when the truck pulled into the driveway as if it was yesterday. First this tall guy gets out of the driver’s seat. That was Ted. Then Diana gets out of the front passenger seat. And Esther is in the backseat.
We unload her stuff into the house. They say good byes and the rest as they say is History. 
You know it?

Diana quickly won over Bill Hansen’s heart. Bill is my ex-father-in-law I was living with and caring for. 
Bill just adored her and she him.
It was strange, to say the least having Diana moving there with me.
I never truly believed she would and still to this day wonder why she did.
Until that day she hadn’t been outside of Michigan except the one or two times she traveled to Erie, PA with Bob and Thelma Black.
What would possess someone to move clear into another state with someone they met only online in a euchre room?

We shared a lot of laughs and had a lot of conversations during those first few months together.
We were learning a lot about each other. Mostly I was learning just how spoiled she really was. 
When she first moved to ILL she was on 2 liters of oxygen only.
I was delivering papers back then and she would help deliver some but spent most of her time folding my papers for me. I had just under 200 every morning to deliver.
From time to time we’d head off to the Riverboat casino and play some slots before doing the papers. Sometimes we’d head up to Denny’s restaurant for breakfast after.
Life was good and we were happy.

Bill needed to sell the house and move someplace cheaper so Diana and I moved to Michigan.
I felt like a fish out of water. No family. No friends. Living in an area I was always told not to move to.
It was rough going at first. We rented a small bedroom with John and Kay. Finally we managed to get an apartment above Trapper Joes bar. We both liked it there. Due to the heat from the kitchen stuff on the roof we could leave our front door open year round.
That first Christmas in that apartment was being a sardine. I think we had 30 people crammed into that apartment for a while. We still had 15 that stayed to play cards until 3am.
If anyone has ever played cards with Diana they know she was a great player. But she seemed to be exceptional when she was falling to sleep.
She would have a narcolepsy attack and start falling to sleep. Next thing you know she’d start winning at cards.
No one could explain it. Not even Diane.
I’ll be Bo Diddly      You now it!
Diana always seemed to be pretty even tempered when playing cards. But one day just a few years ago she had everyone at the table picking their mouths up off the floor.
She had a heck of a hand and got beat. Next thing we know she grabs the cards and rips them in two and throws them across the room.
The room got quiet for a moment. Everyone looked around at each other, then at Diane. Then everyone just started laughing. In all the years they have played cards together that blew them all away.
On April 27th, 2007 Diana and I moved to the house where we are now on Lorraine. Our landlords are Bob and Thelma Black who live just around the corner.
By December of that year we welcomed a new member to our family – Buddy. Buddy would be the sourse of many moments of entertainment and laughter for Diane and me.
One thing Buddy hates is bath time. Every time we’d say the word bath he would take off to the couch or bedroom.
One day the Blacks, Diane, me, Loran and Chrystal and a couple others were all playing cards. Buddy was on the couch. Once in a while he’d come in to try and get some food that we were eating. Diane would tell him to go back and lay down. He’d turn around and go lay back down. Chrystal looked over and called Buddy. He came running. I said Bath.
Buddy slammed on the breaks, slid across the hard wood floor about 3 feet and turned back for the bedroom.
Another time Buddy was by the front door. He started scratching at his eat. His hind leg hit the hardwood floor – bang, bang, bang. Buddy jumped up and started barking at the door like someone was knocking.
Diane laughed so hard she almost peed herself.
BINGO!! Man oh man did Diane love going to bingo. She so looked forward to every chance she had to go. Sometimes she won. Sometimes she didn’t but she always had a good time.
One time Bob, Bobby, me and a couple others had gone up to Bay City to go fishing. Diane and Thelma took off and went to bingo. When we got home we asked the ladies how they did. They said OK. Then they pulled out a check – JACKPOT! $1350
About a week later Diane and Thelma went to bingo again. Diane hit the jackpot again - Another $1300.
Some of her favorite card playing took place at Bob and Thelma’s. For over 2 ½ years we went over there almost every night and played Caddy.
Often times we’d get there about 4 pm. Have dinner over there and start playing. We wouldn’t leave until well after 1 or 2 in the morning
Once Caddy ran its course we started playing Skip Bo.
Again every night for over a year we would get together and play Skip Bo.
When we first moved back to Michigan together we started playing Texas Hold em over at Carl (Butch) Johnson’s. $10 buy-in tournaments.
I’m good at Texas Hold em and win often. But Diane was far better than me . She would end up in the finals 7 out of 10 times it seemed. She was far better card player then me no matter what we played.
Yahtzee, bingo, Texas Hold-em, Pinochle, euchre. these are a few of her favorite games.
You know it?
For all of her love for cards or bingo or Yahtzee there was nothing she loved more than God and her family - In that order.

She loved me. There was no question about that. But I couldn’t hold a candle to her family.
She was so proud of her Tina. No amount of illness dimmed that love she had for Tina. Nor for her family.
Getting together with her family was always the highlight of her day, week, month, or year.
In spite of her health she always tried to go to her family’s house play cards on weekends. Sometimes even against my better judgment.
I always told her I would never keep her from her family and I never did. No matter if I felt like playing or not. And there were times I just didn’t want to play but did because I knew she wanted to go so badly.
The last year and half was the hardest on her emotionally. She was getting worse and she knew it. She wanted to go play cards and often times did despite her health.
It was family so I encouraged her to go. I felt it was better for her to go and have a little fun then sit at home depressed.
Finally the last few months her health was getting bad. No matter how badly she wanted to go it wasn’t possible.
She cried sitting at the computer off and on for years; longing for her family to come over to visit. Knowing they had their own lives to live.
I tried to comfort her but she loved her family too much for any words I could say to have an impact.
There was only one thing she loved more than her family. That was God.
We were invited to attend Grace Harvest Church by Diane, Amy and Donny. Finally we gave in and took them up on the invite.
From the moment we walked in the door Diana knew she found her Church home.
She loved it at Grace Harvest Church - Loved Pastor Green.
Many times I heard her sitting at the computer singing – “My God is an awesome God…”
She tried to watch Joyce Meyers every day.
As her health got worse she started watching church services on TV every Sunday. She enjoyed Pastor Gary Hoffman, Pastor Charles Stanley and Pastor Joel Osteen.
In 2010, while still attending Grace Harvest Church she diligently read the Bible from all the way through.
Often times during her reading she would ask me questions. I tried to answer her bible questions the best I could. Always telling her to double check with Pastor Green to make sure I was telling her correctly.
I must have done OK because Pastor Green never told her anything differently then what I told her. I think God for opening my eyes to the answers I needed when I needed them the most.
You know it?
I want to share with you her favorite poem. Anyone who has ever been to our house likely knows what it is. She had a copy of it in many different places in the house. That poem is -
Foot Prints in the Sand

The Footprints Prayer
One night I had a dream...
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way; But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, There is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.

By the end of 2013 and start of 2014 Diana knew she her time here was short.
She had accepted that as fact. Maybe in a way that was partly why she held off going to the hospital so long.
She didn’t want her last days being in a hospital room. She wanted to be home. Thank God she was spoiled because she got her way.
She went into the hospital for the last time December 15th 2015. She was bad off then.
They had to put her on a machine that was one step below a ventilator and set the oxygen liters to 80. That was enough to keep her above 90 percent saturation on her oxygen.
One day Dr. Kubar and resident doctors that were with him came into the room. They talked a bit about her health and she wanted to go home. Dr. Kubar started for the door when Diana started crying.
She wanted to be home before Christmas. Dr. Kubar walked back to the side of the bed. Sat down and took her hand in his. Tenderly and softly spoke to her. He assured her she would be home before Christmas.
That helped a lot. He also ordered some Xanax and morphine to help relax her and control her heart rate. It worked. She rested better and relaxed more.
Before long a Diane Welker comes into the room. He introduces herself as the Hospice Specialist for Hurley. It was her job to help get Diana home, with hospice care before Christmas.
By Saturday afternoon, by way of an ambulance, Diana returned home before Christmas.
Life was good. And again she was happy.

We had a wonderful dinner and celebrated Christmas.
She smiled as everyone opened their gifts. She smiled as she looked around the room. She had her family there.
God is good and she was happy.

She always asked me what to say when she typed stuff on Facebook. I always tried to just get her to speak from her heart. To say it how she felt it needed to be said. But she loved my writing, my way with words so I always tried to help in spite of my objections.
I leave you today with a few words she so wanted herself to say. I tried to get her to leave a video message to her family but she wouldn’t do it no matter how hard I tried to push. Words were something she wasn’t good with.

To Tina: She wanted you to know she loved you very, very much. She was so proud of the women you grew to become.
To Bill: She wanted to say thank you for being a wonderful son-in-law. Thank you for being a great husband to her daughter and a loving father to her grandsons – Billy, Brandon, and Bryce.
To Billy: She wanted you to know how much she loved you and how she sees you being a great father to your children, like Bill is to you.
To her Brandon: She wants you to reach for the stars and achieve all you dream to become. She loved you so much.
To Bryce: She wanted you to know how very special and lucky you are to be blessed with such a wonderful mom and dad and siblings. She loved you
To her sister Mary: She wanted to thank you for being there growing up. Always looking out for her and keeping her out of trouble.
To Duane and Esther: She loved you both and always prayed both of you would find the happiness you both deserve.
To nieces and nephew: Remember she loved you. She so enjoyed the calls and visits and times she shared with you. Watching you grow from children to adults.

Diana taught me so much in the 10 years we were together.
But the one lesson I learned I didn’t learn until she was gone.
And the lesson I learned was just for me but to all those who knew her.
So I share with you the lesson she left with me. I carry it forevermore in my heart and soul as a reminder of how much she loved me.
I have always wondered what it felt to truly love.
I have lost many recently and many more long ago. This morning I lost Diana Howey Bidwell. In that lose I am learning that I already knew what it felt to truly love.
I am sad deeper then I have ever felt
I am sorrow in ways I have never felt
I am pained in ways I never knew
I cry for reason I can't explain
I miss more then I ever thought I would.
Too many times we love and never know it is true until it is too late. Too many times we struggle to say I love you until it is too late. Too many times we fail to show our love before it is too late. BUT NOT I!
I knelled beside her recliner where she sat watching TV. I took her hand and told her I love you. That I may not say it enough nor often but know it is true. She smiled.
I knelled beside her recliner before she passed. I took her hand and told her I love you. That I may not say it enough nor often but know it is true. She died anyway but that is OK because I loved you.
Love! What a wonderful lesson to learn from someone I met on the internet over 10 years ago.
If you take away anything today from this service take this one lesson of love.
Diana loved unconditionally.
She loved her God. She loved her family. And she loved me
We were blessed by that love she gave freely. We are better because of it too.
We are stronger now because of that love she had for all of us.
And finally it was the love that set her free.
< I am free poem>