My friend, Kate, died last week. In the wake of that event, and knowing some of the struggle she and her family have endured over the course of the last two years, my thoughts have turned to life, and quality of life, and death. From my long distance view, it has seemed sometimes that Kate was already lost, as she struggled to get back to the life she loved. Her intelligence, wit, and tremendous loving presence in this world continued to shine, though, throughout her physical struggles and way too many hospital gowns. I wrote this piece several years ago. It makes me smile today.
My friend, Kate, has been making me laugh.
I’ve known Kate since grade school…though she was Kathleen then.
We all went by our full names at Bishop Kelley School. I’m not sure, but I think we may have gotten extra credit if the given name was an actual saint’s name. In any case, no shortened versions. Twice, in the eight years I attended, I had to bring a note from home, verifying that – in fact – Cindy was not short for Cynthia or Lucinda, but my given name just like that (I was actually named after Cinderella, but my mother had the good sense to keep that off the birth record!). I’m fairly sure my younger brother – we called him Teddy back then – would not have had to repeat the first grade if he hadn’t had to spend so much time trying to write Theodore Ricksgers on…
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