I’ve sat down numerous times over the last several years, wanting to write about Kate, or her Mommy, or her Mommy and Daddy. I’ve wanted to express how deeply Kate touched my heart and make sure Mike and Lindsay know that we are here for them no matter what, no matter when, no matter how. You see, I’m not a writer, I don’t do well expressing my feelings on paper, I just don’t, and that’s ok. But on the eve of Mother’s Day, one of the hardest of all holidays, I want her to know how much she is loved,
admired, respected and appreciated.
Her name is Lindsay White Rhoades, she’s Kate’s Mommy and one
of the best Mommy’s I’ve ever been fortunate to know. I met Lindsay in May of 2013, when she was still Lindsay White. Thanks to YEO, we traveled to cool places together, had some amazing experiences, and laughed…a LOT. She met her amazing husband Mike, who could appreciate the fact that I made fun of his soon to be wife when she tripped as she was heading down the aisle to marry him. He’s smart, funny, kind, and has a heart of gold, he loves a good debate and brown spirits.
On June 5, 2011 Kate Olivia arrived and completed their little family, sweet,
beautiful, perfect Kate. That lovable girl held the hearts of everyone she met, and she continues to embrace the hearts of those that didn’t have that privilege. I was blessed that on two separate occasions she sat in my lap to take a few selfies and to open presents for her birthday.
When we have children we look forward to and hold onto the small things, the I wuv you’s, the wet kisses, the hugs that are so warm and slobbery but you never want to let go, the joy that, at the moment, your child wants to be with you and only you, the cuddles under warm blankets on a cold day,
the joy of bubbles or of jumping in puddles, their perfect little hands and feet, talking about Parasaurolophus and their friends, watching your child take “schnoozies”, or that your child’s favorite color is the rainbow because she didn’t want to leave any colors out, and the giggles, the wonderful
giggles. We have all witnessed that pure joy in Lindsay from the moment Kate entered this world.
Lindsay is a prolific writer, you feel the raw emotion in her ability to capture moments perfectly, as she expresses her feelings so vividly. That beautiful, smart, kind, brave, strong, wonderful, loving woman is making sure that none of us forget Kate, that her death will not be in vain, and founded Kate’s Cause to do just that. Lindsay makes things happens. She has an ability to rally people and get things done.
Losing a child is the loneliest, most desolate journey a person can take and only those that have experienced such a thing can understand. Mike and Lindsay have joined the exclusive club of people who have experienced a grief so deep that is truly immeasurable to those who haven’t. Those of us who know her well, those that have met her through the loss of their own child, and those of you who have been drawn to follow her have all been witness to the undeniable strength, resilience, perseverance and true love she possesses.
On the eve of Mother’s Day, I ask that we continue to remember Kate, if you see something that reminds you of Kate, tell Lindsay, speak Kate’s name, share your favorite picture, tell stories of your interaction with her and don’t be afraid to ask about Kate, to want to know more. Lindsay and Mike will tell you anything you want to hear. Know that we can’t fix this, as much as we want to, and accept how broken they will always be without Kate and be ok with providing the love and support they need. Understand when they need time out and that not a day goes by that isn’t a struggle.
The toy drive is still running , just a few more weeks to buy a toy for the clinic, or make a donation; $4 for how old Kate was when she became an angel, $12 for the date that Mother’s Day falls on this year, or any amount that works for you. Let’s give her the best Mother’s Day we can, knowing that this is one of the worst for her, and because she deserves a good one and so much more.
It is a privilege to call her my friend and I am forever grateful for her. Thank you, Lindsay, for all that do, the world is a better place with you in it.
Happy Mother’s Day, my dear friend. I love you!