2010. It was the best and worst year. The best year because on March 31, 2010 my daughter, Evie, was born. The worst year because Katie died, in a tragic accident, on October 27, 2010.  I will never forget the phone call from her sister–shock, panic, tears, sadness, helplessness. I felt so far away. I immediately felt guilty. Guilty that I wasn’t there, that I hadn’t made a better effort to keep in touch. I had completely taken for granted that the ones we love won’t always be around. It was sickening: heartbreaking.

My poor friend, her family. No words can capture the devastation. Why? Why had such a beautiful soul been taken so abruptly and in such a tragic way? Unfortunately, there is no answer to this. Heaven needed an angel–it got our finest. And all of us who love her here, we needed her and still do. Life without her leaves us with a painful void. It’s a void that’s always there. October will never be the same; we will never be the same.

October was when I stopped listening to Country music. I would try to, in loving memory of her, but would always end up crying. The deluge of memories spinning in my head. Katie embodied Country. She loved her country, she loved her hometown. She dedicated her life to loving and caring for others in her nursing profession and to her family, her friends, she was loyal and would be at your side in a heartbeat to back you up. There was never a question of where you stood with her. She spoke the truth.

Living with Katie and her family was the most special time in my adolescent life. They taught me the true value of a family. From the fights, hardships, and disagreements, to the apologies, love and laughter. They stuck it out; loyalty. Having no siblings of my own, I treasured seeing Katie and her Sister and Brother duke it out on some days, and laugh to the point of tears, sometimes all in the breadth of one day. They saved me, and on October 27,  and all the days after that, I could not save them.

There is no fixing it, and that hurts. I cannot fix this for them. I try to do all sorts of things, but, at the end of the day the helpful, loving acts are trivial because Katie is still not here with us. We have the memories of her vivacious personality, her laughter, her singing, stories to tell to keep her alive, here, with us.

Katie, you were like a sister to me and I miss you. I hold you in my heart every day.