We met, dressed in black formal wear, standing on the steps of the Chico Women's Center, having been selected for Alpha Delta Pi's Preference party. Lord, what were we doing there? We wondered it aloud that very day and many times after. We were the last people anyone would have predicted would join a sorority.
The best thing about that damn day was meeting you. And the best thing that came from belonging to that sorority was our friendship. We endured the sorority, college, dating Mark and Bob, marrying Mark and Bob, and having 2 beautiful children each. (Why'd you always make me go first, anyway?)
I feel like my memories with you span a lifetime. You made me better, made the world better and touched so many people in such individual ways. The only way to capture it all is a lose free association of all those little things:
UCB ADPi's who can't sing
Kiwi Margaritas & Espinaca
Alum on the bum
Dads in the Kamikaze chair
New Dog, New Condo, New Husband
Morning sickness, all day sickness, 9 month sickness
Guess my weight at the Boardwalk
U Turns downtown Chico
Bachelorette party in Santa Cruz
Bachelorette party in Disneyland - kidnapped of course
"Roommates" with you
Roommates with Mark
The Dissed Maid/Maid without Honor
Dropping by class
Playing Catch - getting busted
WOMAD on crutches
Quest for The DRESS
Blood stains vanished
Sunflowers and Watermelons
Christmas Presents in the Summer, Birthday Presents at Christmas
Dancing at The Bear
Sorry, I'm married...with kidS...yep
Jewel Degree - ICK
Great America w/the kids
Then, Mark called (Fall 2003). He could barely get the words out. Kel has breast cancer. I couldn't think. It's never good. Not when you're young. Never when you're young. You had just picked us up from the Three Day Walk. The irony was too much. You couldn't have it. But you did.
Fast Forward a couple weeks, Chloe's party. You look good. Treatment will start soon. Chemo first, then double mastectomy, then radiation. We all go out to dinner after Chloe's party.
Email updates from Tracy. I email well wishes to you and Mark, leave voicemails to let you know I'm thinking about you...praying for you. I know how tired chemo can make you - Tree was always so tired. I knew you needed to stay strong for your girls, Mark, teaching, coaching. I just wanted you to know I was there if you needed me.
Chemo done- hard, but done, bilateral mastectomy done w/TRAM reconstruction, looks okay. Come home for a bit-was it even a week. Easter. Back in the hospital. Infection. Liver. Cancer. Liver. Herceptin. Not working. DNR in effect. Family camping out on the floor in sleeping bags. Waiting. Loving you and waiting. Mix tapes from Mary from college so you have music. Dad by your side. Mark, Tracy, Mom, Kevin, Bryan...everyone is there. Not your girls...you didn't want that for them. I think I understand that part. But, I don't understand anything else.
CANCER SUCKS. You are too young, too strong, too amazing to be leaving us. You are so close to your 36th birthday, to your daughter's 7th birthday, to Mother's Day - unfairly close. Tears pour from me constantly, tears and prayers. The prayers change, but not the tears. Give her strength, make her well. Then, give her peace, let her know we love her. Take care of Mark and the girls and the hundreds of people who love Kel like I do and can't imagine her being gone from this Earth.