we know our friends are special. that’s why they are our friends. kate and i weren’t super close, but i have known her as long as i can remember. in this small town, that’s as good as being related. she was also one of my cousin mary’s dearest and oldest friends, so she and i grew up together. our lives have run in parallel lines. we would see each other often but mostly from afar. always pleasant but mostly surface. i have always thought well of her. she carried herself with an air unseen in many woman. she had a warmth that wafted off her, like the rays of the sun. she had a very kind spirit. and she was an incredible listener.
she is the first of our friends to have died. and we can’t believe she is gone. some of us are angry that she, of all, people should have been made to suffer so. some of us can’t even fathom what the world will do without her. i find myself looking in the mirror and being grateful that the gods of chance didn’t choose me for her duty. her death has made me deeply appreciative that my children are older. i don’t mean to say that i am ready to go. that my job here is done. just that i can rest in the knowledge that i have been given time.
as often happens when a person dies, there has been much story telling. many have come to the internet to talk of her kindness. her passion for teaching. her ability to see potential in 6th grade kids when they couldn’t see it in themselves. and to let them know their worth. if ever a person was meant to be a teacher it was kate. the sadness i feel most deeply is that she didn’t get enough time to teach her boys. i know she worried that they would forget her. i would like to charge those of us who knew kate and know her boys to make sure that never happens.
you can tell a lot about a person by their last wishes. on saturday we have been asked to celebrate her life. she has asked us to wear bright hued dresses in the colors of spring. orange is her favorite color. a color of vibrance and warmth. a color that could be called kate. she has asked that we bring chocolate for her friends to eat to remember how she loved it’s sweetness. even in her last moments she was an organizer. kate always had a plan. she was a big picture girl.
i for one will come to the party in my most lively colored frock, bearing the gift of chocolate kisses. this is how i will help her boys remember the mother they have lost.E