Dear friends and family. This weekend, one of my dearest friends, Katie, passed away. After a brave fight against pulmonary hypertension, she went home to meet our Lord. Though she has known about her condition for years, her passing was unexpected because she was preparing for a double lung transplant and seemed to be well on her way to receiving new lungs. Along with everyone who knew Katie, I’m shocked and heartbroken. In this difficult time, I’m taking comfort in our wonderful memories of Katie. She was and always will be an angel — a bright light in the world, and now in Heaven and in our hearts. Her light will shine forever.
Between sleepovers, Young Life Camps, playing sports together, smoking cigars on prom night, our first concert together (Smashing Pumpkins — we loved the Adore album), first boyfriends (and second and third…), singing together at our adopted “fairytale” church in Red Square, to spending my last night in Moscow with Katie at a fancy Russian cigar bar (imagine the stares we got there!) and countless other precious moments, I fell in love with Katie’s bright spirit and her amazing family. She is truly one of the most beautiful people I have ever met — I am so blessed to know her. Katie and her family made me feel like part of the family and have forever made me realize that friends are the family we choose. And boy did I choose well! She inspired me to do so many things — like summer staff at Frontier Ranch, a place that will forever make me think of Katie. I’m so grateful for every second I got to spend with Katie. Her grace, strength, and faith have forever changed me. I’m a better person for having known Katie. I can’t imagine not seeing her smile again, but I feel more confident than ever that we will see her again one day. Till that day, I want to make Katie proud by living every inch of my life. I’ll leave you with one of her favorite quotes: “Let things change, and cherish the unknown.”
Katie girl, I’m forever changed for knowing you. I cherish every second I got to spend with you. Thank you for sharing your precious life with us.
In Christ’s Love,
(Katie always signed her letters, emails, and messages with a “~”, and I always thought it looked pretty.)