One year ago 2-2-13
Friday night (2-1-13) I was in my bubble bath reading my book about connecting to loved ones that have passed. In this book I was reading about asking for signs from your loved one. So, I asked for a sign from Kathryn. I asked her to make the fire flair up while we were all around the Bond Fire.
On Saturday I had plans to do this and do that to get ready for having friends and family over for a celebration of Kathryn’s life. As I was standing in the bathroom getting makeup on and such in came Scott and he gave me a hug and said, One year ago. I knew exactly what he meant. I asked, “Is it 8:15?” and he said it was a little after. It was 8:15 when Kathryn took her last little breath. We stayed with her quietly and then around 9 or so Scott called our neighbor. He’s the Lakewood Fire Chief. He promised to come quietly but they have a policy of bringing the big truck and then our house filled with Firemen. And then the police. And then around 11:15 the men from the mortuary came to take Kathryn away. They were so careful and explained to us just what was going to happen. They informed me that they had to cover her face when they took her outside. I understood. I thought about last year and then I had to get busy. But as I went through the day I did remember the events of the day one year ago. So hard, but staying busy works for me. I think it works for Richard too. Just fill your time, really fill every second and you can’t think about your loss. The moments I do, sends me to tears.
Planning a gathering or party is what I do well. Kathryn loved to plan with me. She was also very good about helping get everything ready and just right. Richard and Bee were here to help and Scott of course. The four of us pulled it all together and I didn’t fell stressed at all. I did take a break and sit in Kathryn’s room. I talked to her for a while and cried. I look around her room and remember how pleased she was with the things I did for her. She was always so appreciative. I loved to make her happy.
We made pancakes in the shape of animals, flowers and other special things. We had fruit and sausage too. We also had tequila sunrises and mimosas. Everyone had a great time making pancakes. After dinner we sat around the bond fire and just chatted. While sitting around the fire there it was. The only time I really looked towards the fire there was the flair of fire. Everyone noticed and I just smiled. There was my sign from Kathryn that she was there with all of us. I felt so good. Then we had fireworks. Well you would have thought it was the fourth of July. Scott called our neighbor so his son and daughter could watch. This is the Fire Chief neighbor.
A couple of people didn’t show up. It was just too hard for them. I certainly understand. I have not attended some things because it would be too hard for me. But I think we did a good job of taking a very emotional situation and making it ok. We actually made it a fun evening. As we all know our loved ones want us to be happy. Our loved ones want us to celebrate life and embrace life. I’m trying to do my best to live life like I should.
During the celebration I had a wonderful talk with Matt’s mom. We talked a little about Matt. He is doing ok. I can’t imagine how hard it was for him to lose Kathryn. He loved her too. I think she had a hard time at first getting close to him. I remember talking to her about him when they first started dating. She didn’t come right out and say it but I think she feared that her cancer would hurt him. But I think she found such a kind and gentle person that she couldn’t not be close to him. She didn’t want to ever hurt Matt or anyone. I also talked to Matt’s mom about the “Panda Project” they have put together. They are purchasing water shoes for all of the kids at Camp Goodtimes. Each child will get a mesh bag with a pair of water shoes in it. There will be a special Panda button on the bag. The Panda will have the initials KPB on one paw and a grey ribbon on the other paw. The first is for Kathryn Panda Bradley and the second is the brain cancer ribbon. This is all to honor Kathryn’s memory and her love for camp. It is such a great deal.
Sunday (Super Bowl) the four of us, Scott, Richard, Bee and I all sat around and watched the Super Bowl. It was a lazy day. I don’t do that very often.
Tuesday was Kathryn’s 22nd birthday. Some of my friends from worked planned a nice little gathering in memory of Kathryn. We went to Owen’s Beach and Julyn read a nice poem. They gave me a figurine that holds a balloon with the word hope in it. It goes with some other angels that were given to us for Kathryn. We all had tiny bouquets of flowers that we through into the water. After this we went to Joeseppi’s. This was the perfect place to go because it is owned by the Stortinis. Well Kathryn grew up with Joe Stortini’s grandson Jake. When I first walked in I was greeted by Jake’s Mom. It was good to see her. I told her we were there to celebrate Kathryn’s birthday. Her son Jake attended many of Kathryn’s birthday parties, summer parties and Christmas parties. They did so much together. Then I saw Joe Stortini. I reminded him of who I was and he said he was glad we were celebrating Kathryn’s birthday at his restaurant. He knew Kathryn too. Our art teacher brought a project for us to do. I couldn’t believe it. She thought of everything. We had mugs to decorate that she will fire in the kiln. All of them were made to remember Kathryn. I remember doing this with Kathryn. It was my Christmas present from her that year. We painted and had a nice mother daughter time together. I cherish the mugs we made together. We had such a good time. We had a good time making the mugs on Tuesday too. I really feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.
After completing our project I met Scott and Richard at El Toro for dinner. We picked El Toro because Kathryn liked to go to dinner there. She didn’t like it for the Mexican food. She liked it because she said they made the best grilled cheese sandwich. She would always say they made it better than any other restaurant. We made a toast to Kathryn and wished her a happy birthday. It was simple but we will always celebrate her birthday and life.
Scott and I headed to bed but while we slept Bee picked up Mitch and his girlfriend at the airport and they all arrived at our house around 10:30 or so. They got up early and headed out to pick up Matt and then do to our cabin in Packwood. A couple of days of skiing together before Mitch and Richard take off for their 5-week ski adventure.
Well, I made it through the first year. It wasn’t easy but with love and encouragement from friends, family and even strangers I was able to make it. Thanks to all of you!