In Memory of Dianna Roark
|Dianna Roark||At Millenium March for
Washington, D.C. 2000
It came as no surprise to those of us who knew and loved our dear friend Dianna that the service she arranged as a final celebration of her life was a continuation of her message of love and support.
In 1994, Dianna, husband Bill and son Shannon became a permanent part of our Indy PFLAG family. Those of us who were there then won't ever forget the initial struggle and tears, then the absolute understanding and acceptance that made Dianna so special to so many.
We will never stop telling our Dianna stories. She had a way of making a point in a simple and unassuming manner, but her point was clearly made. And it was always with a sense of humor and a smile. Her arms folded warmly around those who needed her unconditional love. She was a PFLAG Mom Extraordinaire.
The following song was part of Dianna's service. Not long before her passing, I'd visited her in the hospital and she'd told me that she'd chosen this song to be shared with those attending. She said, "It's the song about how a man can love a man and a woman can love a woman." Then she gave me a look I'll never forget, with her endearing smile, and said, "Why not?"
Dianna will be dearly missed by those of us who were so honored to be a part of her life. She inspired us always with her unwavering optimism, her steadfast support and her embodiment of the true meaning of unconditional love.
We have cleared off the table, the leftovers saved, Washed the dishes and put them away I have told you a story and tucked you in tight At the end of your knockabout day As the moon sets its sails to carry you to sleep Over the midnight sea I will sing you a song no one sang to me May it keep you good company. You can be anybody you want to be, You can love whomever you will You can travel any country where your heart leads And know I will love you still You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around, You can choose one special one And the only measure of your words and your deeds Will be the love you leave behind when you're done. There are girls who grow up strong and bold There are boys quiet and kind Some race on ahead, some follow behind Some go in their own way and time Some women love women, some men love men Some raise children, some never do You can dream all the day never reaching the end Of everything possible for you. Don't be rattled by names, by taunts, by games But seek out spirits true If you give your friends the best part of yourself They will give the same back to you. (All lyrics Copyright Fred Small)
Here is an article Bill and Dianna wrote as new members of IndyPFLAG in January, 1995.
What PFLAG Means To Us
When our son came out to us we had no idea how little we knew about what he had so painstakingly revealed to us. We had been living with a gay son for twenty years and didn't even have a clue.
When he came out, we felt so alone. We felt that no one knew our feelings, fears and concerns. We had not been around any gay people that we knew were gay. In the PFLAG meeting we realized that parents are parents no matter whether your child is straight or gay. You love your child and give support unconditionally. This raised a lot of questions. How do we tell our other son? When do we tell him? What about our friends and relatives? Who do we tell first? Will they understand? Will they be open minded like us?
We were really bothered about what our son must have gone through for twenty years, holding it all inside himself. The fear and pain must have been overwhelming. He had been so patient, waiting for just the right moment to tell us, waiting until he thought we could handle it. Had we only known sooner perhaps we could have been some help to him. Or would we have caused him more problems? Our therapist recommended that we get involved with PFLAG. We are so grateful for this. In our first PFLAG meeting we unfolded our story in front of all of these people we didn't even know. As we looked around the room, we were not the only people with tears in our eyes This all felt so good to us because all the others felt and understood our pain. We realized that sexual orientation is such a small part of what a human being is all about. I angers us so many homophobic persons focus only that issue.
We have met some wonderful people at PFLAG, people we would not have known had our son not been gay. We have grown so much since our son came out to us. Once we were more narrow minded and opinionated, and though we didn't know that we were, God has shown us our shortcomings.
A whole new world opened up right in front of our eyes. It is great!