This is the hardest post I’ve ever written. But I believe it will help me to put my thoughts down in writing.

My sister Kathy died this weekend. She was on a school trip to Nicaragua.

kathy and sancho 2

Kathy was 22, she’d been diagnosed with lupus several years ago. She was determined not to let the disease control her life. She had it pretty well in hand too, which is why her doctor agreed it would be ok for her to go on this trip. Nothing was supposed to go wrong.

kathy at the pier

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

Kathy was a strong, independent person. A few years ago when she had too much fluid on her brain, I watched with pride and some amazement at how well she handled having brain surgery. She donated her hair before they had to shave her head so that she could help others.

kathy and luis

Kathy was fiercely loyal, proud, and a good friend. She was a military wife, she was fluent in Spanish, she could swear like a sailor in two languages (I’m making an assumption based on how good she was at it in english)

kathy and luis 3

She was in Nicaragua working on a sustainable development and economics program, we’ve been told that whenever they traveled she made a point of sitting on the bus with the locals, talking to them and learning from them.

on the bus

The point is that she didn’t let anything slow her down or hold her back. I know that she wants all of us to continue on. It’s just hard to see how to do that right now.


Thoughts and prayers for her, and those of us she touched, gratefully accepted.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail — Ralph Waldo Emerson



25 responses to “Kathy

  1. I’m so very sorry Becky. My thoughts are with you & your family.

  2. so, so sorry for the loss of your sister. so, so glad she was here for a while.

  3. I cannot even imagine how tough a time this is for you. My heartfelt condolescence, although those seem so little a thing in the face of such a BIG thing, to you and your family for your loss.

  4. Oh, Becky. I’m so sorry. Your sister must have been an amazing inspiration to so many people and a treasure for your family.


  5. Becky, I’m so, so sorry for your loss of your sister Kathy. (((hugs)))

  6. Becky, my deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Becky, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your post is a lovely tribute to your sister.

  8. Becky, I am so so sorry. If there’s anything we can do to help, please let us know! We’re happy to take on a couple more dogs if you need a puppy-sitter… or anything else, just say the word!

  9. Becky, I’m so, so, so sorry. Your sister sounds incredible – what a wonderful person she must have been. I’ll be thinking about you and your family – my deepest sympathies to you all.

  10. Becky, I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling–I would be absolutely devastated if I lost one of my sisters. What a wonderful tribute to her–and she sounds like she had the very definition of a life well lived. She’s an inspiration to us all. You and your family will be in my thoughts in this difficult time. (((hugs)))

  11. Billi Cummings

    It sounds like you and your sister have been loved well.

  12. Oh, Becky! I am SO sorry to hear about the death of your sister, Kathy. I lost my brother when he was 26 from complications from diabetes and very well know the dark place you are in now. Your tribute to her was very moving. She was a beautiful young woman. It is not the right order of things for a person to die so young. Please know that you will eventually not hurt so much but you will always, always remember Kathy. You will always have your memories of your time together and the lessons you learned as her sibling. And you know you are a better person for having had Kathy in your life. Take good care.

  13. Oh Becky, I’m so sorry. My prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. What a beautiful tribute to her in this post.

  14. Becky, I’m so very sorry to hear about your sister’s death. You evoke her vivid personality and love of life so well; even for me, who have never met her, it is hard to believe she’s gone. My heartfelt thoughts are with you.

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your sister sounds like a vibrant, lovely young woman. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  16. Utterly heartbreaking, I am so sorry to hear your sad news! Please email me if there is anything I can do for you Becky

  17. Thank you everyone- each of your thoughts and prayers are so important to me and to my family. Right now we’re just trying to cope with the day to day things. Thank you for your support.

  18. That was a beautiful tribute to Kathy. She’s a great soul that we’re going to miss terribly, but I’m glad she lived her life to the fullest and didn’t let anything keep her down.

  19. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep your family in my prayers as you pass through this difficult time.

  20. Becky…I am so sorry for your loss. Kathy sounds like a wonderful example of someone who really lived her life and touched others along the way. There really are no words that will help now; sending love to you and your family.
    Barbara S.

  21. I am so sorry to read about the loss of your sister. Kathy certainly was a courageous and loving sister. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs for you and your family……………..Helen

  22. Dear Becky, I just read your blog entry and am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. shelley

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