Last night I thought I’d write a letter to tell you, I love you. You passed away this morning. I know nothing else to do but to continue writing the letter I had started in my mind.
I had gotten to see you last week, but I didn’t feel like I was able to tell you what I wanted. There were no words for the time that I had spent apart from you after high school. There were no words for the different courses our lives had taken. I’m really good with one-on-one conversation. In your home, surrounded by many who love you, was not the time nor place to make up for lost time.
Katie, you gave me so many blessings. You taught me what it was like to grow up with a disease at such an early age. The pills you needed to take every time you ate. The chest vibrator you donned early morning and nighttime to loosen the mucus in your lungs. I watched you do this for sleepovers in middle and high school. Never imagining the true expiration date of your life expectancy. Back then it seemed so far off. Many people with CF live past 40 today with new drugs, we read.
Katie you taught me how to laugh, and hard. So much that laughing the way that you did sent you into a coughing spasm. You taught me to try new things fearlessly because of the realization of numbered days. You were the first girlfriend I could share my thoughts with. You taught me how to be brutally honest, which really, is an amazing skill to hone.
This is not the first time I’ve had to reach for a black dress last minute to put in my bag before getting on a plane. Death for me is a close friend. But like my Mom, and your husband Dalton, you too are not past tense. You are alive still to the people who know you. For what you have taught them, and will continue to teach.
Because your life has received so much media attention, I shudder at the thought that people seek to make your struggle and death about themselves. Perhaps I’m doing that now, by saying how much you’ve taught me. But these lessons, I’m sure, have been for everyone that knows you.
Katie, you remind us daily how minuscule our worries and anxieties really are. You have shown us the bigger picture and continue to do so. I keep thinking about how you posted a few days ago, “Letting God use me in whatever way he sees fit.” You’re telling us to live our lives. To truly live our lives, full speed ahead.
I love you Katie – I’ll see you soon.
Dance moves you’re known for…