Thursday, November 17, 2011

Focus and Determination

 Katie was laid to rest this week. A painful but powerful process began as 700+ people came out to pay their respects to an amazing woman. I knew her through our parish family of St. Mary's. I still sing there once a month even though I am currently a parishioner at SFX. Katie always sat in front of the piano and was always smiling.  I know her mother Karen, and she is a wonderful sunshine filled person. This week was particularly hard to take for so many reason.
   This community was ravaged by this horrific accident in our town. One woman is dead, her companion seriously injured, and another woman's life changed forever and an entire family heartbroken. Our town will never be the same again I am sure of that.
   Charlie Murphy spoke so eloquently at her funeral, not a single dry eye in the packed house. I had always known Katie as a happy gentle girl. What I didn't know ,until Charlie spoke , was how powerful that woman was.   I didn't know that her parents were told to abort her 29 years ago, that they chose life and they were given an amazing gift. Katie truly was one in a million. She fought for the rights of all differently-abled people everywhere, she spoke in front of crowds that would make you and me pee our pants. She was persistent and tough and apparently also a bit ornery at times. She was a woman with a mission, a purpose, a faith, and a direction. She worked hard, and even when she couldn't find a job she would do whatever it took because "she had responsibilities and needed to get paid". Some people will do whatever they can to not have to work, but not Katie. She worked hard.  I sat in the church silently. I looked around at how very connected Katie was. She knew everyone and everyone loved her.
   I sat there and listened quietly thinking about the impact she had on our world, and wondering if Sammy would ever be capable of that kind of fire.  I kept thinking about Katie's impact on the world and comparing it to Sammy's. Sammy isn't your sunshine and lollipop kind of kid. He is the child that eats whole bags of lollipops in mere minutes. He is so volatile and forceful. However after hearing Katie's friends and family speak this week I am more convinced than ever that Sammy will do great things.
   Katie gives me Hope, huge pie in the sky hope. The kind of hope that makes me want to get up in the morning, and helps me to breath when Sammy flipped about his pants. I listened closely to the stories her friends and family told and I thought... "there is hope for Sammy". I saw differently abled friends get up and speak and  I watched their parents stand beside them. I watched one mans father help him through probably the hardest speech of his life, and a mother reminding her son about boundaries as he spoke. I saw these people with amazing gifts and strengths and heart. I saw people who wore their hearts on their sleeves and felt every feeling like a flag above a castle. Something I have difficulty with.  All of it, every moment gave me unbridled hope for Sammy.
   This is an incredibly sad and difficult time for her family and close friends and there is nothing I can say or do to change that for anyone. I just want you (yes you) to know that through this I have garnered a ray of sunshine and it gets me through the day.
   Thank you Katie for all you have done and for everything your memory will continue to do.
A walk is being organised in Katie's honor check out the face book page HERE you know you want to. Let them know YLMB sent ya