11 Months: Orchids, a Bonfire and Katie’s Wise Words

Hello Everyone –

Just sitting by a nice bonfire, thinking about our Katie K and wishing she was still here and I could see her smile once more.  Today marks 11 months since she left us physically and it seems like just last month.  I can still hear her laugh so joyfully when playing with Nate, hear the tender tone in her voice as we talked about the day’s events, and see her all styled in funky fashion when she was heading out.  She loved her bonfires and having people join her fireside for chats, be it all the girls or just a few friends.  I think it calmed her mind a bit, just starring into the dancing flames for hours.  I miss our fireside discussions about all matters under the sun!  But I can feel her here with me as I set out an extra chair for her.  She is still with us all, right in our hearts.

June 13th, 2015 Bonfire (11 months)

June 13th, 2015 Bonfire (11 months)

A group with gather at the end of this month, to celebrate what would have been Katie’s 45th birthday.  We will spend a day at the beach like we did on her 42nd and 43rd birthdays – and some are planning to swim the lake (mile round trip) in her honor.  Both birthdays she swam the lake herself.  Swimming was a physical activity she could still do without much pain, and she could swim for hours.  On her 43rd birthday, she swam the lake while having a huge hole in her femur, due to the bone cancer that was not detected for another couple months.  So we will gather to remember the good times at the lake, and Katie’s love of the peaceful place it was for her, and honor her strength and will.

This evening I took this photo of Katie’s orchids… they are still in full bloom (for several months now), a bright spot for all of us as we miss our Katie K.  She had a greenhouse area above her kitchen sink, and the orchids just loved it there.  Glad they are still shining brightly with Katie’s love enduring.

Katie's Orchids - 11 months out, still blooming

Katie’s Orchids – 11 months out, still blooming

An update as well on Project Give-Back and the Katie Kits!  We lost all 30 original bags in the flood in August, when Katie’s basement filled with a foot and half of sewage backup.  The rainfall overwhelmed the drainage system and many were affected.  We were planning to deliver the Kits in the coming weeks.  Heartbreaking.  But thanks to Tammy’s generosity, the proceeds from the estate sale when Katie’s house sold in February is going to be used to replace the bags!  Currently getting confirmation/approval from the radiation clinic about the Katie Kit items in particular, and the 3 iPod Nanos preloaded with 6 playlists, that will be donated as well for each of the three treatment rooms.  We also will change the Kits a little bit, which will save some money but also have Katie’s artwork more prominent.  The tote bag itself and the water bottle will now have Katie’s lovely artwork emblazoned on it.

So we are waiting to get the approval, and then we will order and deliver the Katie Kits hopefully within the next few weeks.  We will keep you updated for sure about the project.  And I need to update the Cafe Press Store as they have added some cool new merchandise that we can offer.

One last thing tonight, as the smokey smell and crackle of the fire provide a calm backdrop.  Wanted to highlight a blog post Katie herself wrote in March 2013, entitled Love or Fear.  Just looked it up now and reread it – still wise words and advice from Katie to all of us.

As we mark the sad 11 month anniversary, I hope you too can find time for your own bonfire time, be it a glass of wine and music, or a candle and a cup of tea — and be with Katie yourself again.  She is with us all, still cheering us on, and helping us in little (maybe big?) ways.

Peace and Love to you all, as I put another log on the fire and listen.

– Ashby

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  1. I continue to miss Katie so much. I want to hear her voice, laugh with her, share what is going on in my life and get her rich and insightful feedback. I want to talk about everything with her: from the banality of tv shows to the pros and cons of difficult decisions. I miss her sturdy wisdom, her wonderful sense of humor, her deep caring. I am moving forward more in my life right now and I know that she would be cheering me on every step of the way. Her absence has left a void the size of a crater and really no one but her can fill it. I love her and miss her and am grateful for the profound friendship that we shared/

    Kitty Dubin


    1. So beautifully said Kitty. She is definitely missed, and your words, as always, show the depth of the loss. I too know Katie is cheering on your moves! Thanks for sharing, Kitty.
      – Ashby


  2. Ashby, I think of Katie often. But today I’m thinking of you. Katie was very fortunate that you were there to share in her journey. Your devotion to her and her memory is quite special, as was she. I wish you well. Fran


    1. Thanks Fran. Katie still inspires me with the examples of how she lived. And I know she has inspired many others, and hope this continues for all. Thank you for your friendship with Katie. Hope all is well with you too.
      – Ashby


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