I lost my best friend to cancer last month. I have tried, and there is simply no way to explain what kind of person she was. Katie was Katie - unique unto herself. She was by no means superhuman, she was not a perfect person, but she was the best of us, she fully embraced life for every second of every day. Even this is not fully her, but you had to know her. It is as simple as that. I have not fully processed her death yet, nor am I sure that I ever will, it just makes so little sense. But there it is.
I met Katie at the very end of my sophomore year at Mount Holyoke College. We were to spend the summer working together in a summer stock theatre. Little did I know how close we would become. She was an actor. I only dealt with things backstage. She was going to do props. My first thought upon seeing this little sprite of a girl was - man - I hope she can cut it. Ha! I laugh at myself now. Not only did she cut it - but she was my saving grace that summer and was pivotal in maintaining a sense of sanity. From that point on we were inseparable, not in the sense that we couldn't exist without the other - we could go days without talking - but things were better when we were together. She quickly started working with me in the woodshop with the technical director as part of the student crew. (we even convinced the department that even though we were in the same class we should share the student rep responsibilities. looking back we were a little conniving really.) Through all of this we had fun. Our boss was continually having to tell us, "girls. be serious now!" at which (depending on how frustrated she really was) we would burst into giggles.
Through everything we had fun. We could be biting, but we maintained laughter as our grounding point. After graduation, I moved home to the heartland and she joined a traveling theatre troupe where she traveled the country directing school children in theatre. Talk about MANY laughs!
The year of our graduation was the first time Katie joined my family for Thanksgiving, which was for all intents and purposes when she was adopted into our family. Katie could bring joy and laughter to everyone she saw. Sure we still maintained our inner dialogues but in everything she did, Katie brought joy. The only times I knew her to be really sad were when we were trying to decipher the whys and wherefores of human nature in terms of their stupidity. [well this is my insertion here - basically when people were starving or in pain due to the actions of another human being.]
I think the hardest part of the last month is being unable to call her. We have been living at ends of the country since MHC. We relied on the telephone. I would call Katie when the ridiculous happened. And the ridiculous happens all the time, let me tell you. These conversations would usually be about random shit happening in our lives, but also really cool things that we saw happening.
With this said, I'm going to shift the focus of this blog, which I haven't been posting to, but want to pick back up. I will still be talking about sustainability. I participated Saturday night in the Earthhour event and read (and fell asleep actually) by candlelight for an hour with no electricity for an hour, joining millions across the globe. Things like this are important, and I can't stress enough that we had to do something yesterday not wait for tomorrow. At the same time, I want this to be a place to highlight the good of this earth.
I subscribe to the New York Times, [I think I've mentioned this] and two weeks ago every cover page depicted death except for the one that dealt with our dismal economy. It is important to recognize that this is happening but at the same time, we need to learn to celebrate life. We have to be able to live with hope, true hope, or we will be overcome with hopelessness.
With this in mind, I will be posting good stories here in addition to the peril we are subjecting our planet to. A balance of life inspired by my best friend, who if she were here would smile.