I guess to share a Peace of Kate, you would need to hear a little bit of how we met...I can remember it like it was yesterday. It started off as a typical 7th grade morning, mom kicking us out of the house, brothers in tow, making what should have been seconds to the bus stop seem like an eternity...we continue walking and I look up ahead at a brown station wagon parked at the bus stop. Eventually, this late 80's wagon would become pretty famous and would be renamed the "Shea-wagan." It also became our means of transportation throughout high school. Now, I see some lady (forgive me, Mrs. Shea) frantically waving her hands, pig tails popping up from the back seat, a dog barking with excitement, some feety pajamas, two other high school aged kids (that's a story for another day) and a tall girl about my age, wearing a long jean jacket and a pony tail on the top of her head, getting out of the car. I just figured someone missed the bus again, but it wasn't anything like that at all. The girl walked up to me, introduced herself and said, "Hi, I'm Katie." It was then that my day ended up being not so typical nor would be my life, after that.
I really can't define one moment or one memory that was significant in our relationship because I would be here all day writing this. The time that I was lucky enough to have with Kate was always a special moment. She was kind to everyone, she was funny, goofy, and she was a sister to me. The car rides, St. Rose, Farmingdale, kitchen table talks with her family, Smoke and Josie (two of her many cats), Harris St. Bay Head, JL stops, trip to Cali, and so on...but one of the most interesting and funny times with Kate was our trip to NYC.
Mr. Shea was kind enough to get us tickets to an off Broadway play, I think it was called Gypsy Passion. Now, if you know the Shea's, one of the many stipulations that they put out there for Kate was to have me stay over on weekends, that and church on Sunday. So, we go to the play, we get our seats and we already have some reservations of what to expect, hence the name, regardless, we were excited. The lights go down and people start clapping and it's not the people in the seats, but the people on stage. They were clapping, clapping, clapping and clapping for two hours straight, that's it! I just remember Kate looking at Erin and I like what the hell is going on here??? It was that moment and so many laugh out loud moments that Kate and I shared that I cherish. I can see the expression on her face....And I miss that. Kate was so much to so many people, and MB was right, it does hurt to talk about her a little. Sometimes, I just want to pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end, and It sucks that it's not...I really wish heaven had a phone...
I think what helped me heal was the start of the Kate Shea Foundation, and the Bay Head 5K Memory Run by her family and friends. It is this and the gift of dreams that keeps her memory with me, just as I remembered Kate in them... Fun, Young, Beautiful and Free from cancer!