When Ed asked me to write a memory of Kate, many came to mind. Sometimes, to be honest, the memories hurt a bit….I miss my friend. Sometimes the memories make me laugh out loud. I think of the sleepovers, the long phone conversations, and the crazy notes we used to pass to each other in high school and smile.
But there is one memory in particular I will never forget. It is etched in my mind and it helped me get through the times that just seemed too tough.
In our junior year of high school, Kate and I were lucky enough to take a trip with a group of girls to Italy. We traveled to Rome, Florence and Venice and a few smaller towns in between. We traveled to all those places by bus which at times could be rough, but Kate and I “called the back” with the most seats and we spread out all our stuff. I had a walkman and a bunch of mixed tapes, and Kate and I would pass it back and forth, sometimes even trying to listen with those old style earphones at the same time. But then we got stuck listening to one song. Forever Young by Alphaville, and we listened to it over and over. Kate would listen to it and then pass it to me, and when it was over. I would just pass it back.
The song, in some weird way, summed everything up for us. Here we were, two close friends , listening to music,with our whole lives ahead of us, listening to music ,and just watching the beautiful Italian countryside passing us by.
“Forever Young, I want to be Forever Young, Do you really want to live forever, forever forever?”
I remember staring at her as she was curled up against the window, sun in her face, staring out at the amazing view. Knowing the haunting lyrics that she was listening to and thinking what a beautiful picture if only I had my camera. I realized how truly lucky we both were to be there, and if I could just bottle the moment.
‘Let us die young or let us live forever, we don’t have the power but we never say never.” I would think of this moment when Kate would say she wanted to travel the world. I could understand why. She wanted to experience more of those moments.
I know Kate is in Heaven, and when I picture her, I don’t picture her puffy from the drugs, pale from the cancer and the pain, or bald from all the chemo that tried to save her. I picture her in Italy, the gorgeous girl, listening to her tunes, staring out, face lit from the sun.