“I will live this life that God has given me with gusto, not wasting a single moment but using it as he intended. And when my journey here is over, I plan to skid into Glory with a smile on my face, a Bible in one hand, a chocolate truffle in the other, and I will yell at the top of my lungs: Daddy, I’m home.” – Excerpt from “Hot Flashes and Cold Cream”
Diann Hunt, the best-selling author of 26 books, wrote those words at the end of “Hot Flashes and Cold Cream,” a humorous, yet wise novel about aging gracefully. On Nov. 29, 2013, Hunt showed friends and family, and authors and fans, how to live out those words when she lost a long and valiant battle with ovarian cancer.
“Diann has blazed a trail for us, showing us how to face adversity with grace. Her courage sustained us when our hearts quailed at what she was enduring,” said close friend and fellow author Colleen Coble. “Nothing could quell her spirit and her love for God.”
Hunt won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s prestigious Carol Award for her novel “Hot Tropics and Cold Feet,” and has been on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists multiple times. She is the author of “For Better or For Worse,” published in 2008. The film adaptation premiered this past July 19 on the Hallmark Channel.
“Her books touched many people, and her new Hallmark movie will reach even more,” Coble said. “The hardships of life never dimmed her spirit or her belief in other people and her trust in God. Everyone who met her along her writing journey was struck by her sweet spirit and contagious laughter.”
Hunt and Coble along with two other authors, Denise Hunter and Kristin Billerbeck, shared an uncommon bond of friendship and camaraderie. “We are sisters of the heart, not merely friends. Diann was the last member of our foursome to join us, and she taught us all to live every day to the fullest and to milk every moment of joy from that day,” Coble said. “She shined God’s love in a way that’s too seldom seen today.” The four became friends early in their writing careers. They traveled together, cheered one another on, brainstormed each others’ work, and joked about the day when one of them got a movie deal. “We were all going to travel to Hollywood and attend the premiere together,” said Hunter. “When Diann got the Hallmark movie deal, we were all so excited.”
Hunt wasn’t expected to live long enough to see the movie so she asked her friends to have a party for her family the night it aired so they wouldn’t be watching it at home alone. “We decided to do one better. Since Hallmark wasn’t having a premiere, we decided to make our own red carpet event. On July 19 we kept our promise to her. We’re so excited that Hallmark shared her wonderful work with the world,” Hunter said.
Hunt lived in Indiana her entire life and was happily married to her best friend, Jim Hunt. They have two children, Amber Zimmerman and Aaron Hunt, as well as seven grandchildren. “She was the most remarkable friend, mother, wife, and encourager,” Coble said. “She loved to point people toward the joy we can all have if we choose it.”
Hunt’s last post on Facebook issued a challenge to all who read it. She wrote, “Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it. Life is made up of these. Don’t be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you’re given by Almighty God to make a difference. Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!