Dedication to Kathy

My dear friend Kathy passed away last Friday morning at 10 am. She is one of the people in my life that has most influential and because of that I wanted to dedicate this blogpost to her and express a few of my feelings as well as some stories and memories I'm blessed to have.

I had been working at McDonalds for probably about 2 years before Kathy started working there. Kathy just had this general optimism and enthusiasm for life and for working at McDonalds that I will never forget and influenced me from the start. She had this way of making you feel like you mattered - to the world and to her and she was ALWAYS kind and had a kind word for everyone. Even talking to her years later about some of the employees that had worked there, she knew things about them that I had been clueless about simply because she cared enough to ask and pay attention to what was going on in their lives.

And I know she did that for me. One of the most significant memories I have with Kathy is there was a time I was contemplating and had made a decision I was conflicted about. Kathy didn't know anything about the situation but could tell something was wrong so she asked me about it. We then sat for a couple of hours in my car in the McDonalds parking lot as I told her all about what had happened and the direction I had decided to go. She listened and didn't reprimand me or scold me. She made me feel like she cared about me more than any decision I was making or the direction I might be going. As we parted ways that night I felt supported like I never had before.

A couple days later, Kathy gave me a letter. She didn't tell me what the letter was about but just asked I read it all the way through. I sat down and read the letter. In the letter she expressed her love and support but showed some "tough love." She was blunt and expressive as she asked me to really think about my decision and some of the things I had told her on that night. 4 pages later I was in tears and felt angry. But after just a little time I thought deeply about what Kathy had said in the letter and the way she had treated me and supported me and knew that above all else she cared about me and would only say what she did out of love.

Her letter changed my direction and ultimately my life and I can't imagine who or where I would be without her and the love and support she showed me during that time but always. This was a turning point in my life and my friendship with Kathy. I think from that point on our friendship was cemented in a way that cannot really be expressed. I never doubted that Kathy loved and cared about me but would tell me what I needed to hear sometimes.

Another memory I have is the last time I saw Kathy. One of the hardest things for me about her passing is how long it had been since I last saw her and that I never got to say goodbye. I do know I will see her again as long as I endure well because I know she did! But about a year ago or so she was having treatments up at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake and needed someone to ride with her to make sure everything was ok or if there were problems that she could get home. I was honored she called me and so grateful for that experience especially now that it will be my last memory of her. That visit had been a bit since the visit before that so we had plenty of catching up to do. On the drive up she told me about what was going on with all her kids (she would always make sure to tell me how they all were and what was going on for them, so I often feel I know them very well though we've probably only met a few different times over the years). She also listened as I caught her up on my life and expressed some of my frustration about the direction my life had gone and the challenges it was presenting that I hadn't expected to face. And even though her challenges were so much larger than mine she still showed me such great empathy and never complained about the difficulties she had faced and continued to face. And one of the things the visit showed me that no matter how much time had passed, it hadn't lessened our friendship. That was reiterated to me when Kathy went back for the procedure and her talk with her Dr. she asked me to come back with her. It touched my heart then and still to this day makes me tear up as I think about how she always just showed I mattered to her and was a part of her life even when I didn't see her often.

On a lighter note I have many, many happy memories with Kathy as no one could laugh or joke quite like Kathy. Kathy was on the one that taught me how to golf and one of my favorite things to do with her was go golfing. We golfed the Delta golf course many, many times and loved it. I remember one of the first times she was showing me how to golf she said - "Well holding the club with be a little different for you because I have such a large chest." She then demonstrated how she had to turn her arms out a little to accommodate. I remember laughing so hard with her about it. Another time we were golfing down in Delta and Kathy bought a golf ball that had a nice picture on it as a souvenir to give to Sanjiv the McDonalds store owner at the time. We went out and began golfing - sadly I wasn't doing too well and we lost a number of balls until the only one left for Kathy to use was the one she bought for Sanjiv. She figured it would be ok and a little more "authentic" if it had grass stains on it! So she set it on the ground and made her swing - however she was standing next to a pond on the course and the ball made a nice arch to the side right into the water!! Sanjiv never got a golf ball from Delta! :P

One of my favorite things about Kathy is she never felt there needed to be a distinction in events she would include me in. I was invited numerous times to "family" events or events she was attending with her family. I will forever be grateful to Kathy for making me feel so valued and included. I got to go to the Delta demolition derby, to a all night walk they did for cancer survivors, to the State Wrestles and so many other events.

Another of my favorite memories is when Kathy and I took a weekend trip down to St. George. We sat by the pool, went shopping, ate dinner with Tiauna and went golfing. It was a great time and I remember while we were golfing, apparently we were "too slow" for those golfing behind us so we kept having to let everyone "play through." But we had a great time and played around driving the golf cart.

Kathy was one of those people you can never forget because they hold such a large piece of your heart. Though I know I will see her again I will miss her until then. The world lost a great light. I'm grateful for the memories I have of Kathy and the knowledge I have that I will get to see her again. I'm happy for her that she doesn't have to suffer anymore - 10 years is a long time to battle with such a significant disease and Kathy remained happy, pleasant and optimistic throughout. She is an example to us all! I love you Kathy!
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Challenge Accepted

This my friend Anne

(look at those GUNS!! You don't want to mess with Anne!) Which is the reason when she challenged me to write about her blog on MY blog I figured I better do it!

I've never actually read Anne's blog or even seen it but I add my recommendation that the writing is superb - namely it can't be beat. The flow of the writing is like a raging river ready to sweep you away if you aren't careful and step in unawares. Sometimes the words pound you and you fear for your life. And don't get me started on the pictures! Definitely worth at least a couple of words. Everyone should feel like this about Anne's blog -

and ask her about it TODAY! You don't want to miss out - I know I am but I haven't been considered worthy enough yet to read it. I'm hoping after she sees this (and a bit of groveling) I can finally be granted access. It will be a day to remember (I think I might even write about it in my JOURNAL!!).

So if you don't want this to happen to you -

or have Anne use this on you-
Ask her about her blog today and avoid a sure and painful death!
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