I’ve started this at least 10 times already, but I must get it right. See, I’ve written to/about you before, but that was my blog, my space. Now, your Mommy gave me the honor of writing something in your name where your army of supporters will see it, and to do you justice, it must be perfect. Because, my gosh, you were perfect, sweet Kate. You were too young and vibrant and loving to be anything but perfect. Too perfect…
I think of you EVERY. DAY. Is that weird? We met twice; the last time was over 3 years ago and not a day goes by that you don’t occupy some real estate in my mind. It isn’t always sad, sometimes it is a giggle because I see a picture. Sometimes it is rage at those fighting for trivial things when there still isn’t effective treatment. Sometimes it is when I brush the hair from my daughter’s face as I kiss her goodnight, and I think of your face, what it would look like now…. but every day, I think of you dear Kate.
Think of how profoundly that speaks to your soul? Because, I promise you, I am not alone. I am one of many. A tribe of people, built from LOVE, who will never stop trying to make a difference in your name. When I say I think of you every day, I should probably amend that to I bring you up almost every day. Like my first week at a new job, or a bachelor party in Mexico. At a wedding in Orlando or a happy hour in New Jersey. When something is important, you make time for it.
The other night at dinner, my daughters asked me about the PanKate Breakfast. They’ve been both years but weren’t old enough or curious enough to ask what it was about. But then, while I was noodling in my brain what I would write, they randomly asked because of a magnet picture on the fridge “Daddy, why do you do the pancake breakfast?” That same magnet has been on my fridge for 3 houses and 2 years, but as anyone who knows anything will tell you, Kate is MAGIC. So, when you were on my mind, my daughters somehow knew to ask about you. I debated what to tell them, the truth is hard after all. Then I thought about how selfish and unfair that is, I am worried about telling my 5-year-old and 7-year-old about the truths of cancer and death. I’m concerned over how that will impact them emotionally, will they have nightmares…. But you knew, you knew at 4 of things you should have never known. Your mommy and daddy know the names of medicines they should never know, they shouldn’t know the doses, they shouldn’t know the side effects, but they do. I told them the truth, the ugly, real truth. I cried when I told them and both girls were visibly upset. But then two special things happened. First my Aly (you and Aly would have had lots of fun together) said, “Daddy, don’t be sad. I’m happy because I know her spirit is with me.” Then Sammie (gosh how I wanted you and Sammie to meet), she asked me “What did Kate like?” We talked about dinosaurs and rainbows and baseball and Sophia the First. Sammie said it made her happier to remember you, so she drew a picture for your mommy and daddy. Kate is Magic.
The girls have me motivated again. THEY want to do something in your name, they want to do something to make a difference. Sammie already did a toy drive once in your name. You never met my girls, but you made them better people, how do you do that? I’m going to come up with something big, and soon, something grandiose enough to do you justice. Perfect, it keeps staying with me. The word isn’t wrong, but it is upsetting. I wanted to know the not-perfect Kate. The Kate that got the pre-teenage attitude and angry eye rolls. You deserved so much more than four, dear sweet Kate. I will never, ever, ever stop remembering you. I will not stop loving you, even though you were never really mine to love.
So, do me a favor? Send a fox or a feather to mommy and daddy sometime soon. Kate is magic.