29/52: For Katie


This week’s lyrics: “They give us those nice, bright colors; they give us the greens of summer.”

From Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome”

This week’s post is in honor of one of my former students who passed on Saturday, July 19 at the age of 19, surrounded by her loving family, after living courageously with brain cancer for the past 18 months.

Though it has been five years since she sat in my 8th grade classroom, I remember vividly how bright and lively she was—like a sunny, summer day. Someone who was kind to all. Liked by all. Beautiful inside and out. I can almost still hear the squee in her voice when she and her friend Anna held up baby Uggs they’d purchased as a gift for an expecting co-worker. Their excitement was contagious, their generosity so touching.

I last saw her on a Friday night in March while supervising a charity basketball tournament at school. She had been there to cheer on her younger brother. She seemed tired, ready to call it a night, but still managed a smile during our short conversation. I am grateful to have seen her one last time.

Rest in peace, dear Katie, and thank you for the light you gave us. It was an honor to know you.


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