She left this world on November 4th 2013. She was an incredible woman who I could speak about for hours. I believe this is the story she would wish people to hear of her. I love you Kathy, and I hope I do you proud!
Many years ago when my wife Yvonne and I were dating, it became time to meet her parents. I was just a little nervous. As soon as we arrived at her parents’ house, Yvonne’s mother, Kathy came to meet me and was incredibly hospitable. We went there to eat dinner.
Kathy was very accommodating to everyone. Several of her family members had dietary constraints. Some of the people there were vegan, or could not eat this or that for one reason or another, and she catered to them all.
I did not recognize many things there as food. I was halfway through everything and had yet to put anything on my plate. Kathy came over to me and walked me by everything as she explained what was in everything. We came up with a few things I liked, but Yvonne, and I still had to stop on the way home for me to get something more to eat. Yvonne later told her mother of this.
The next time I was there to eat, many of the same things were there. I got a plate and started, and Kathy jumped up in a panic and said to me, “Wait, wait Tom, you come over here!” I did this immediately of course, thinking something was wrong, but there was nothing wrong. She brought me to one of three crock-pots she had going, and in this crock-pot were three whole turkey legs that she had been slow cooking all day just for me. I asked her, “Kathy did you do this just for me” her reply was, “Yah and they are all yours. Nobody else better even think about putting their grubby hands on them!”
Kathy had an amazing sense of humor and I think the thing I will miss most about her is her laugh. Her laugh was like few others. It was high pitched and from her belly. It would completely take over her when it happened, and when it ended, she always had something to add. Making her laugh was something I always set out to do whenever I was around her. She herself was very funny, and she was always interested in what other people had to say.
Kathy had an amazing tolerance for all people. It made no difference what a person’s color, nationality, culture or lifestyle may have been. Kathy would embrace them all, and with great interest, absent any judgment.
This is also the way she demanded others treat her. She spoke her own way, using her own colorful words. She told it like it is, and had a low tolerance for specific types of bullshit. For instance; if ever you would have a problem or if you were conflicted, and you did not want to admit something to yourself, or something you preferred lying to yourself about, you could always count on Kathy to tell you that you were full of shit. She provided many fine services such as this.
I never heard her say it aloud, but knowing her as I did, I don’t imagine she would argue with someone who would say that life is not worth living if it is not clean and organized. I think she cleaned something every day of her life.
She was also a huge fan of the 3 X 5 index card. There were 3 X 5 index cards everywhere in her home. They would explain what other people were to do and sometimes if she had enough room, she would even include why. “Keep this door closed. The Cat will get out.”
When the 3 X 5 index cards were not successful, she would even be so courteous as to upgrade them. Once she had a plate of hamburgers in the refrigerator that she had bought for herself at the grocery store. She placed a 3 X 5 index card on it that simply read “NO”. Well, someone was obviously not clear as to what that meant, so she upgraded it to read, “FU#K NO!!!” She would always take that extra measure to ensure that she communicated clearly.
While it is true, Kathy had a unique way of speaking to people and yes she would sometimes appear to have a rough exterior, this was for the most part the exception to the rule. Kathy was incredibly empathetic, and compassionate soul. She made me feel like a part of their family the first time I met her. She loved and cherished everyone in her family above all else.
It is my belief that Kathy is in Heaven. I suspect she is enjoying meeting all the new people from all over the world who have arrived before her. I am sure she is being treated in a fashion in which she has always treated others, and I suspect that she is getting some strange looks from those who are going to have to get used to the idea of 3×5 cards disrupting the scenery. In her absence earth just won’t seem quite as clean.
As for us that knew her; this will be a period or sorrow and of emptiness, but I think perhaps it is a greater injustice for those that did not ever know this extraordinary woman.
I am certain that our family will make it. I believe that we will all honor her by doing the thing that she did better than anyone I have ever known. That is keeping our family close. It is my hope; we will celebrate every birthday, and holiday together as a family. If Kathy taught us anything, it is that.
Everything Kathy was, is and ever shall be, in our family forever. Her life was a life of service to her family. I hope that everything she said, and taught us on this world, will be echoed through eternity by the way we will live our lives.
Goodbye Kathy, We will see you soon.