December 16, 2011
This is how I'll remember her
Diana Jessie at the helm of Totem, tacking through a fresh breeze on Banderas Bay: smile on her face, wind in her hair.
We have lost a dearly loved member of our family.
Diana and her husband Jim came into my life through through Jamie: he originally met them while backpacking through Europe in the 80s. There's a story that involves wandering the docks in Dubrovnik, and being irristibly drawn by a friendly hail to the pretty sailboat with "San Francisco" as her hailing port.
They've been an integral part of the fabric of our lives. It's a simple fact that this life I love so much- choosing to live afloat, embrace a nomadic path, be proud of what makes us different- I owe to the Jessies, and to Diana in particular.
A spiritual mother, and a very grounded one, Diana opened the door for me. She demystified what felt like an unattainable dream. She was passionate about sharing a woman's perspective and experience of cruising, to put open-eyed women in the drivers seat of what had long been a male-dominated realm.
As our life goals shifted to follow in Diana and Jimmy's wake, she stood by and supported our steps to realize the dream. She was there to encourage us, to answer any question: some we asked, most she simply anticipated. She knew what we needed to hear, and she always had an opinion.
We knew that eventually we'd probably experience the loss of a loved one from far away, where we wouldn't have the option to physically join the collective grieving and remembering process... the gathering to mourn and celebrate and share and heal that our culture uses to mark a passing. We knew it would be difficult. There's just little irony in the fact that it was Diana who taught this lesson originally...to anticipate and make peace, as we lived every day to the fullest.