Westminster Bridge with Big Ben in the background
All photo’s taken by the author
I don’t go by the rule book… I lead from the heart, not the head.
Life is just a journey.
They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?
If you find someone you love in your life, then hang on to that love.
Helping people in need is a good and essential part of my life, a kind of destiny.
I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts.
Do you remember where you were when you heard that Princess Diana had been in a car accident?
It has been 20 years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Known as the “people’s princess”, she is a global ambassador for women, motherhood, and promoting humanitarian aid. Her life and who she was shows the far-reaching effects of what a person with passion and a devoted cause, close to her heart and mind, can achieve. Diana was like a modern day Mother Theresa, only transfigured from royalty to touch the common person, everywhere she went.
I can remember hearing about her death in the news that fateful day of August 31st, 1997. It was an abrupt end to the conclusion of summer and before school began that fall. I remember this event more than the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
Looking down The Mall from Buckingham Palace
There’s a road near where I live, John Laurie Blvd, which has an overpass connecting 14th Street above and a tunnel underneath. It is here where I first envisioned Diana’s unfortunate death occurring when I heard the news. Ironically, there is a police station a few blocks up from this tunnel. As you’re driving along this long and winding road there is a beautiful spacious green park, Nose Hill Park, on the North side. This green-side, natural beauty resembles and emulates a certain level of peace, calm, and urban respite despite being able to see Calgary’s downtown core on the opposite side of the road. I don’t know why it is at this place, but I guess this location seems to match that fateful tunnel in Paris where she was driving when her car crashed. I think about Diana each time I am on this road and when I approach this tunnel. I envision how her life was cut so short and what her life would be like if she was still living.
Westminster Abbey at sundown
I recently watched two documentaries about her life on Netflix and I was profoundly moved and touched by her and the life she had lived. I was reminded how completely drawn and captivated I was to this magnificent women, as I think we all were. I guess I didn’t realize how much of an impact she had on my life all these years.
Her death was a tragedy and in my opinion one that should never have happened. Her departure from this world was quite frankly, untimely. She was only 36 years old. She had SO much more life in her yet to live. I’m 32. I can’t imagine my life being over so soon. There is simply no end to what she could have achieved and become, had she lived a full life.
The famous dome atop St. Paul’s Cathedral
Lady Diana was seemingly personified as a divine angel sent from above and appeared in humanity’s form. Everything about her was glorious and transcendent. As I reflect on her extraordinary life, here are some elements I appreciated most about her:
- her ability to be so graceful while the entire world watched her every move
- her charisma and win-some approach
- her radiant smile that drew people to her every time she smiled
- the warmth in her eyes
- her confidence
- how she showed hope and courage when appearing to us all, while fighting her own inner battles
- her love for the world and everyone in it
- her desire to make the world a better place to live in
- her compassion
- her ultra-loving heart
- her humanitarian efforts and her willingness to travel great distances to help those in need
- her strong love and affection for her two boys as they were the greatest joy in her life
- her ability to move on with her life and to find love again
- her ability to use the media in an uncanny way and to her advantage
- her creativity and zest for life
- the platform she created for herself and her ability to use it for the good of other people
- her ability to relate to the everyday person and make them feel a personal connection with her
- her strength of character and integrity
- her resiliency & “bounce-back” ability
- the enormous influence she drew
- her ability to think by herself, for herself, yet with other people in mind
- her ability to boldly confront and stand up to that camera man while she was trying to enjoy a ski holiday with her boys
- her ability to say ‘no’ to people invading her life
- her ability to stand up for the truth and for what is right, despite the costs involved
- being a spokesperson for those who don’t have a voice
- her ability to stay true to herself and who she is
- Di coming into her own person
Looking up at St. Paul’s Cathedral, front entrance
When I was in London five summers ago I went to one of the memorial’s for Diana in Kensington Gardens. This area of the park was fairly quiet the day I visited. As I walked along the grounds I couldn’t help but think of how much she had meant to me personally, even though I had never met her. I also was thinking about all the noble and admirable things she had done in her brief time on earth. This of course led to my thinking of how much more she could have done for the betterment of mankind had she still been living 20 years later.
What would she be doing now? Where would her humanitarian life have taken her? What laid in store for her next 20 years, 40 years? Would she have been re-married and found someone that could love her for who she is and share in both her personal and professional dreams? In what state would the Royal family be in as a result of her effect on this prestigious family? Where would her two sons be with their mother and greatest advocate by their side?
These and so many other questions are to remain unanswered but only wondered by those of us who grew up alongside her. Yet, I believe, she would be living in the best years of her life, doing what she loved most, and forever impacting our world in a very powerful and far-reaching way. As you can see, Diana has inspired me and I hope she has inspired you too, in some way. I am thankful for Diana and her impact on this world as well as my own life. Thank you Lady Di for making me a better person.
Overlooking the city of London outside the Golden Gallery, St. Paul’s Cathedral