Helen " Diddie" Michael Febuary 2, 1920- April 14, 2010
4/14/2011 I am re-posting this in honor of my dear friend Helen "Diddie" Michael. It has been one year since she left this earth. What I did not include last year is the rest of the story.
Diddie turned 90 on Feb 2010. Diddie loved birthdays, the more attention the better! I was always sure to send her flowers, or when she was healthy attend her lavish parties. On February 3, 2010, I got a phone call in my office, my assistant Lesley could not understand the person on the other end. I took the phone and as clear as can be, I heard- "YOU FORGOT MY 90TH BIRTHDAY"!!!!!!!!!!! I knew I would never live that one down, apologized profusely but knew I was not off the hook. Last year on April 14, 2010 (MY BIRTHDAY) Diddie chose to leave us. She made sure I would NEVER forget her birthday again or the day she passed on. I know she is up in heaven directing everything and having the last laugh as usual. Diddie I miss you more than you could ever know, this evening, I will raise my glass of cheap champagne and toast you!
4/15/2010 Island Style Weddings was honored to have Helen " Diddie" Michael as part of its team for 3 yrs. It started as a casual inquiry on my part to my friend Diddie- " would you be able to stand as a witness for a couple who were being married that day?" Diddie graciously accepted my offer. Little did I know that from that day on Diddie would become an integral part of my wedding business at the tender age of 83!
Diddie attended all of my weddings bringing with her all of her charm and grace. The couples loved her and soon she had her own page on my website! Couples would quiz me to make sure Diddie was going to be at their wedding! She loved weddings especially when the groom cried during the ceremony. They were given the Diddie stamp of approval.
Four years ago Diddie was starting to slow down and it was becoming clear that she could not drive herself any longer. One night in Nov 2006, I told her I would pick her up, she would witness a ceremony and then I had a great bottle of cheap champagne that we could share at her house later. You must understand Diddie a child of the great depression did not believe in drinking anything better than $3 bottles of champagne!
The wedding was perfect - lots of tears and joy just the kind she loved. I nixed the cheap champagne idea. Instead ended up at Stone Terrace for dinner and David the manager filled our glasses with very expensive champagne.(without her knowledge of the price!) The dinner was perfect, creme brulee for dessert and into my car to drive her home. As I started to drive her home - I noticed she was slumped over in my car and babbling. I quickly realized something was seriously wrong. Diddie was having the beginning of what would be a series of strokes which left her paralyzed and her speech quite impaired.
Her days on her beloved St John were coming to an end.
Her next 4 years were spent close to her loving family - in Charleston South Carolina. Diddie lived in a lovely facility and was well taken care of.
Even with her disabilities Diddie was still able to charm all of the staff and always stay the center of attention. Her mind stayed sharp as I was reminded when my assistant received a phone call on morning on Feb 3, 2010. She looked at me puzzled as she could not understand the person on the other end of the phone. I was sharply reminded that I had forgotten Diddies 90th birthday the day before and was reprimanded by Ms Diddie her self.
Yesterday morning as I dressing Diddie came into my consciousness. It felt like a humming-bird in and out so quickly. Later I received the news that Diddie had left us- with peace and grace and dignity. Soar on my friend - you have touched so many lives and we are better for knowing you.