She was sitting on the bottom steps when I came down the top steps to the landing. It was still dark outside, and I was heading out for my morning run. I can’t say what made me turn and look down from the landing, seeing her back, her light brown hair brushing the base of her neck. “Cathy?” She didn’t turn and I went down the steps and knelt in front of her. “Are you okay?” She nodded but didn’t say anything. “I’ll be back after I run. Can I get anything for you?” She shook her head. I went on with my day.
I lost a race that day, one I didn’t know I was running.
When I returned an hour later, she hadn’t moved. I called 911, or maybe Alex did. She didn’t speak, lost somewhere inside herself, unaware of the world around her.
Strokes can come seemingly out of nowhere, and when you’re too young to be hit with one, a second one on the edge of recovery is devastating. I missed the marker and wound up way off the course. I didn’t know she’d sat on that step all night. And what I didn’t know and don’t know can still hit replay over and over so many years later.
Her brown eyes wide with fear, met mine, when they brought me to her room. Holding her hand, both of us unable to speak. Cathy fought her way back so many times, coming from way behind, always the underdog.
Ten years ago today, a violent malevolence ended her race. Today I’ll remember a little sister who loved life. Cathy, a big grin, and a let’s go twinkle in her eyes, was always ready to rock this world. Take no bullshit from anyone was Cathy to the core. And get of her way if she was on a mission to right wrongs or care for the sick or stand up to bullies or be the ultimate aunt. Want to play Super Mario World? Absolutely, so let’s get a strategy guide, read it together, and conquer this game. Want to come along to one of my favorite holistic stores? Let’s go. My friends here will explain what every stone represents and what they mean to me as we immerse ourselves in this tiny world filled with incense and healing.
Ten years ago, she lost the race. But she left us with all her medals and race day t-shirts, most of them flipping the bird to the unkind world. Do you have a Cathy story? Please respond with it.