This coming weekend, we are going to attend a wine auction/fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's Camp Goodtimes, which Katie and David attended in June of 2007 (you can read about their camp experience here). I am going to give a little talk about Katie, and what camp meant to our family. I've been busy writing and editing that (and trying to decide what to wear). I also made handouts to go with the quilts that I made for another benefit, which takes place next month. I created a tri-fold brochure explaining Katie's Quilters, which tells how to join our efforts; also a handout about Katie's own quilt, and her biography.
David taught me how to play poker, and I am just starting to try to memorize the different hands. The card games I know best are cribbage and gin rummy, and I don't really like playing cards all that much; I can't remember how to keep score, and I don't care who wins. I'm not competitive about it. We had to work on the cards first, as I kept trying to make combinations that would work for gin rummy (not to be confused with the kind of gin Laura was playing this weekend)! We added the betting part of the game a little later.
We also played Scrabble, and David won. This is a big deal, people; I'm supposedly the wordsmith around here! The problem was that I had the word "quilt" on my letter tray, all ready to go, and I never found a place to put it on the board. I wouldn't cut my losses; I was in love with the word, and tried through the entire game to use it...to no avail. It cost me the game. I am sure there is a life-lesson in there somewhere, but I don't care. It's Scrabble; it's a GAME.
It might have had something to do with the fact that we were also watching "The Parent Trap," in honor of Natasha Richardson. WHAT a beautiful, radiant, elegant woman; I am just shattered by her passing. It bears too much in common with our friend, Tyler's death from a similar head injury 14 years ago (right after Katie was born). I was haunted by thoughts about it all week long.
I have no digital photos of Tyler, who was a student when I taught Sunday School, back in another lifetime (about 20 years ago). He was a vibrant, loving, sweet, strong, energetic young man, recently finished with his service in the Navy, and about to attend college, when he sustained a fatal head injury while working on a construction site. His mother, Wendy, is a dear friend of mine who was planning to babysit Katie two days a week while I worked in the city. When Tyler passed on, we didn't know what to do, or what would happen with Wendy and the rest of the family. She was the first of my friends to have a child pass away. But she bravely agreed to take care of Katie, in the midst of her early days of grieving. I like to think that there was a very special gift in the relationship for both Katie and Wendy. And now Katie has gone where Tyler is. It's all too strange to understand.
I can recall the day when Wendy & her family took Tyler's ashes, to scatter them in his favorite place. At the time, we lived near a floating bridge, & we knew they would drive by our house and across that bridge. I remember looking at the bridge through the kitchen window, thinking how wrong it was that all of the people driving by were going about their business, as if nothing had changed...while Wendy & her husband, Arthur's, lives had been changed forever. I thought it was strange that the world didn't quake, or stop, even for a moment, when something this big was going on.
So I will post photographs of Wendy & Arthur with Katie. Arthur is an accomplished pianist who owns a concert grand piano, and plays with gusto. Wendy is the kind of mother kids dream of having: creative, artistic, gentle, nurturing, a fantastic cook, a great storyteller, a gifted decorator/homemaker, attentive, supportive, honest and lit from within.