I found out last night that an old classmate of mine died suddenly a few days ago. She turned 36 last week. Katherine was the very first new friend I made when I went to high school. I remember walking through the hall by the teacher's lounge during Eighth Grade Visitors Night and a perky blonde with a giant smile came up to me and said hello. Her smiling parents right by here side, she introduced herself and stated confidently that this was all going to be so much fun.
We'd mostly lost touch even when I returned back home to Richmond. But the once or twice a year I'd bump into her she always had that same smile and positive attitude. She loved life and God so much and was vocal about sharing that with everyone she encountered. Her parents both died a few years ago and I can literally picture her sitting up in heaven so happy to be reunited with them both. I have so many fond memories of Katherine from high school and I can so clearly picture her snuggled up on the couch with her Mama in their family room on Kensington Avenue talking about boys and funny things that happened at school while her cat climbed the edge of the sofa and her Dad waltzing in, literally, armed with a joke.
I'm thankful to have known Katherine. The world has truly lost a shining light. I'm saying extra prayers tonight for her family and her best friend Hunter, another classmate and friend from High School, who must be feeling so devastated and lost this morning.
Hug your loved ones. Call your friends so you can hear their laughter and not just see their emoji faces on your phone. Drink champagne and dance on tables. Take a mental health day. Go to dinner and order wine and dessert. Pay for the person behind you at Starbucks. Volunteer to make others lives a bit better. And for goodness sake, buy the damn shoes. Life is short and we never know just how short ours will be so make it count.