Diane’s Heart – Installment 1

 

EIGHT YEARS LATER………..

Looking back, I realized that my 20th year was the year I grew up, fell in love and had my heart broken. It all started at the camp retreat, my first job that caused me to wake up and see the world as it really was. Being a camp counselor was rewarding, I worked with the most incredible children I have ever met. They had personalities that were larger than life, lived each day as if it was their last and the biggest hearts anyone could ever imagine. Most of the children life span was a year or less, others were diagnosed with a terminal disease. Both ways the love and bonds formed were incredible, and the loss was just a great.

Before the summer was up, I dealt with two tragedies. First was the death of a special boy, we called Admiral. Timothy, was one of oldest returning campers, at age 16 he has out live 5 different pronouncements of finality, two recurrences of cancer, and a severe bout on ammonia. His final wish came true, to let his last days be filled with love and laughter. At the end of the camp session, family and friends come up to take part in the camp’s three-day celebration of dancing, recitals, and the best off Broadway performance ever. It was right after the play ended and we were cheering the performance; he took his last breath surrounded by friends and family.

That experience shaped my future career field choice and cause me to graduate three years later with a BA in Business Management (specializing in medical services) and BS in Child Psychology. At 26 I graduated with my Masters in Child Psychology and in Physical Therapy. Now I am a therapist at the Beautiful Village working with terminally ill children and their families.

But that summer I also lost my heart to the most incredible man I ever met next to my dad, Charles Steele. By the end of the summer, we were almost inseparable. Instead of knowing each other only weeks it felt like we’ve known each other all our lives.  We finished each other thoughts, like much of the same thing across the board. But the one time we had different thoughts, he walked away and never looked back. Before that night we shared many late nights’ walks together, kissing under the stars after kids went to sleep and the night counselors came on duty. We talk on the beach and star gazed, took late night swims and enjoyed each other’s company. After Timothy died, something changed, Charles acted as if he was next to die. No matter what, I wasn’t ready to take that final step, not knowing if I would see him after the summer ended. But since that summer I never forgot him or how I felt when we were together.

After we left camp, it like I compared every man to him, all failing short. So I buried myself into school and now my work, at 28 my mom asking me when do I ever plan to have a social life. Funny 8 years ago she didn’t want me any place where I could be influenced by the opposite sex, now she looks for me to bring someone home.  I never told my parents about Sir Steele or how I lost my heart to forever to him.

 

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