Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Last night, I learned that a good friend of our family died suddenly.  She had been battling colon cancer but was doing well, even making an appearance last weekend at her parish's annual carnival.  Her doctors suspect she suffered a blood clot yesterday afternoon, which took her quickly and without warning.

Since hearing the news, I've waffled between denial and sadness.  She has kids around the same ages as my sisters and me, and our families grew up together.  Attending the same schools, participating in sports and orchestras together, and performing in community theater productions, our lives and theirs were interwoven on many planes.  As adults, our paths continued to intersect.  Her grandson attends preschool with my daughter, and we often see them at parish and school functions.

For all of these interactions to end so abruptly and without warning is nothing short of shocking.  I have always thought of Kathy as one of my extra moms, a wise woman who could answer any life question or serve as the voice of reason and experience.  Knowing how achy my heart feels, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain her five biological children are experiencing.

Toting all of these thoughts in the recesses of my brain, I met up with Emily for our usual morning run.  I was so grateful to have her as a listening ear and to be able to spit out some of the torrent of emotions swirling in my head.  To say the words, "my friend died," seemed easier when accompanied by our heavy breathing and light footfalls as the sun began to rise in the sky.  The run felt cathartic, as emotions oozed out of my pores along with sweat.  I used the run to feel grateful for the moment.  To feel my body as a physical being in space, knowing that our physical existence in this world is tenuous at best.

Today I'll be hugging my kids a little tighter and my mom even tighter still.  Life is short; we must be grateful now.

Wishing peace for Kathy's family and friends.