Incorrigible is the true story of Diane, a survivor of inexcusable childhood neglect. At fourteen years old she spent ten days in solitary confinement as punishment for trying to escape from the Minnesota Home School for Girls, where she was sent as a ward of the court. Years later, after an unsuccessful first marriage, she married her childhood sweetheart. After he developed paranoid schizophrenia and attempted suicide, Diane discovered he had become obsessed with murder - and he had a gun. Diane left him to protect her infant daughter. That decision changed her life and brought her to a chance encounter with me at Mirror Lake, in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. I spent the next fifty years with this extraordinary woman, who overcame her early deprivation to lead a vibrant, exceptional life.
A talented writer, Diane spent several years writing a frank and honest account of her life, with sensitive and thoughtful insights into her own and others' actions. She is no longer alive to speak for herself, but this book tells her story using her own writings and journals. Our life encompassed passionate commitment, money troubles, conflict, anger, disappointment, reconciliation, and joy. This is our story about our life together, our struggles and sins, and especially the loving, enthusiastic woman Diane was before dementia overwhelmed her.
I cared for Diane at home until the end. Dementia ultimately destroyed her passion, drive, and personality, and finally ended her life. I kept a detailed caregiving journal, providing a narrative of those years. After her death I set out on a journey of resolution, healing, and regeneration together with my daughter Lauren, to rebuild my relationship to Lauren and reconnect with my own past, and to seek a new future.