Monday, November 1, 2010
An Angel Gets Her Legs
Katie's my 27 year old cousin. She was born with Spina Bifida. As a child, I didn't really understand what that meant. I just knew that meant Katie was special. She was in the hospital a long time before they sent her home and when she came home - I couldn't play with her like I played with my other cousins.
As we grew up, we saw each other very regularly. I began to understand more of the medical issues that would always be part of her life. We didn't have lots in common - when I was into Boys II Men, TLC, En Vogue - she was into Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was into Jeff Gordon, I was into, well, not NASCAR. She tried several times over the years to "give" me a NASCAR racer for my own - finally settling that I could have Tony Stewart because he and James share a resemblance. She loved Chipper, I loved Marcus Giles. We 'fought' over UGA vs South Carolina (She ♥'d those Gamecocks. Sad, but true.)
A couple of months ago, her kidneys stopped functioning. Transplant lists and dialysis were ahead, but sometimes that's not enough.
Monday afternoon, during a dialysis treatment, she suffered strokes that affected both sides of her brain. She spent a work week in ICU before my aunt and uncle made the decision to bring her home to be comfortable. Friday night, my parents called to let me know she was home, and I should plan to come.
Saturday, we drove down. It was a tough day for everyone. We said our goodbyes. We spent the day with family. We opted to drive back to Atlanta, not knowing how long the inevitable would take to arrive. Sunday morning, my dad called to let us know that she'd passed away in the night.
I say that an angel gets her legs, because I bet Katie'd rather have those than wings. She never got my love of running or biking. She always told me that it scared her - that I would fall or crash. She probably never knew that I do because she couldn't.
We know that she's better there - happier, healthier, and free from the body that wanted to fail her from the very beginning. We are all sad - because we'll miss her, because we didn't want to let her go.
I love you, Katie.