Bonfire Peace

Sitting by a bonfire tonight and feeling Katie here with us all. I have the firepit from her house and it is a reminder of what a treasure Katie was for all of us in her skill in listening and having great advice and perspective. Like many who sat around the fire circle at Katie’s last home, or experienced Katie’s gifts elsewhere, she was a trusted voice for many of us.

Was lucky to have spent many nights sitting fireside with Katie. We enjoyed peaceful calm under the trees and stars, and talked for hours as we kept adding logs to the fire. We’d help process each other’s day, talk about her total love for Nate, share laughs and let the fire take us away to far off places. Some were warm summer nights and others with the chilly night air of Fall and Spring.

Katie changed me for the better, opening my eyes to things in myself I had not seen. And I know many of you feel the same as evidenced in your shared words, and also in all the kids and families she helped professionally. I always hoped that I was giving to her as much as I received. I do know she appreciated all the love and support she got from us all.  She traversed some pretty rough trails with the cancer and other concurrent issues, and in many ways led with an amazing grace and strength. But the unending support from friends and family, near and far — our giving back what we always got from Katie’s huge heart — definitely boosted her spirit through tough days.

Like you all, I miss Katie a lot.  Keep my old voicemails from her so I can hear her voice.  On this site, I listen to the recording of her talking about her dear Dad, Chuck, soon after his sudden passing (on this page). Remembering the night we recorded that in the midst of her grief and shock. She had a gift in tuning into the deeper feelings and meanings and articulating them.

It is still hard not having Katie a phone call away, but more and more I can better feel Katie’s guiding hand and voice. Hard to accept that she is missing from our lives, and miss the pure joy of hearing her laugh and seeing her smiling face. But for me sitting fireside especially renews the feeling that Katie is still with us. The warmth and dancing flames remind me of the many nights by the fire with her, and how we reconnected with a fire after many years apart.

Katie was a bright flame and warm heart. She continues to be in our lives in little ways and big. She will always remain in our hearts and may the memories of her warm you even as time passes. We were given a huge gift of having Katie in our lives, for she made us all better in her interactions and relationships with us.

Do something that reminds you of Katie, whatever it may be. Cherish the bright light that Katie was for us all, and know that she is still standing with us.  For even though her flame may not be as bright, the embers and coals are still hot and able to help ignite our own inner fires and lights.

Katie’s light shining through tonight

May we all continue to feel Katie’s love shine on, reminded by the many ways we connected with her.

Katie, we miss you and it still hurts, but we remember your vibrant spirit, and will always feel the pure love you exemplified, that shines in each of us still today.  We know you are still watching over your love, Nate, as he grows up in Germany.

Love you,
Ashby

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