Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday

"With every friend I love who has been taken into the brown bosom of the earth a part of me has been buried there; but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world."
- Helen Keller

Today is the birthday of someone very special to me. Kathy Maria Vilandre was as close a friend as I could have, for me she was my second mother. I met her years ago while in middle or high school (I can't determine the year for sure). She was the mother of Ryan, a boy I knew, he dated my best friend Rebecca. Through my friendship with Becca and Ryan I came to know Kathy well. Over the years I remained in contact with Kathy and she was a large part of my life. Kathy was at times, easier to talk to than my own mother about a lot of things. I found myself seeking Kathy's advice many times over the years, long after Rebecca and Ryan's relationship ended. Kathy passed away on June 25, 2008, only a few short months after my mom. The pain was still very fresh from the passing of my mother when one day I got a call from Rebecca (she remained close with Kathy as well) saying that I needed to go to the hospital right away if I wanted to say good bye, because she was dying. The scene in the hospital was eerily similar to the one I'd witnessed in April that year for my mother. Kathy had been fighting cancer for the last year, a short time compared to the battle my mom went through. By the time I reached the hospital, Kathy was unconcious but still breathing. Her family so graciously allowed me to be in the room alone for a few moments so I could talk with her. I broke down and told her how much I loved her, I felt so alone in those moments. How is it fair that both of the women I loved so much could be taken from me in such a short amount of time?
Kathy passed away that same day around 8 pm. I am grateful that I got to say good bye and hold her hand one more time. I miss her so much and think about her often. Every time I am about to make any decision, I think of what Kathy would have said to me. It's comforting to know that she is no longer in pain, but I miss her.
Happy Birthday Kathy. I love you and miss you terribly.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. And I am shamefully envious the two wonderful Moms who were in your life. Their beautiful examples are part of what makes you the caring and open person you are today. Looking into your life and soul has been a define privilege.