Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a toast to katie


Today I attended the funeral of one of my friends. Katie was just 38 years old, married, and a mother of two very small children; she died unexpectedly on Saturday as a result of complications with ulceratic colitis. She was one of the first members of the theater I met when I moved back to Michigan, which means I've known her for almost a decade. The whole thing is so jolting and surreal, to have her stolen away like this.

I will miss her passion for life, her bold personality, and her sense of humor. I will always remember dancing with her on the RCP stage on the Bus Stop set during an all night party. Driving with the top down at night when she briefly owned a sports car many years ago. Jumping off a high dock to the water below during a theater party on Harsen's Island. Playing poker with her - we still had to use our cheat sheets to see if what we had would make a winning hand. Drinking margaritas. Her support during my Lyme disease battle. Her big, blonde, curly hair. The way she'd say "I KNOW!" like Monica on Friends. Her handing out mimosas backstage before a matinee; when Katie stage managed, you always got mimosas on Sunday. Going on a crazy speedboat ride and sitting in the front where it was the most bumpy, getting tossed around and soaked and laughing until our stomachs hurt.  

With her husband at our theater's annual Betty awards party.

Her funeral today was one of the most gut-wrenching I've ever attended. Her husband gave a eulogy, complete with props, and afterward, their children hung onto him so confused. It was one of those funerals where taking a handful of kleenex wasn't enough - they should have passed out rolls of paper towels at the door.

But this isn't the way I want to remember her. I will always see her in the summertime, a margarita in her hand (Katie loved margaritas the way I love beer), and a smile on her face. 

At Harsen's Island after the crazy boat ride.

I stopped on the way home to get margarita mix and tequila so I could toast her. And now I am. Here's to you, Katie. I'm so glad you were in my life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Lisa. Katie was so full of life... I just can't believe she's gone. :o(