An old friend of mine was killed on Wednesday. I found out about this tragedy on Friday at a payday breakfast at my job. I was in the break room consuming delicious breakfast treats, and I glanced down at the local paper and saw a picture of Kate reading to children. Since she is a retired children's librarian of great stature, I thought " Gee, now what amazing thing has she done now. ? " Then I read the headline "Two Perrot librarians Killed in Denver Crash", I read a few details of the story and collapsed in grief on the floor. I had never collapsed in grief before, but I was so taken aback by this news that I sat down on the floor and cried for a few minutes, right there in the break room in front of people who knew me only casually. I did not care. How could this be? My old friend dead?
Evidently so, she and Kathy, a friend and colleague of hers were attending a meeting in Denver. While en route to the Denver Airport in a van, when the van was sideswiped by a truck. By the time the ambulance reached the hospital they were both dead.
Kate was a light in everyone's life. Whether you were six and getting a library book on your own library card for the very first time, or if you were thirty five and going through major surgery, she instinctively knew what would make you feel better. She had a style, wit and grace that was unique. She was never at a loss for words or gestures that would make you feel special. I feel blessed that I got to bask in that light, and my heart is heavy with her tragic death.
Here is a link to one blog of other peoples memories of her and Kathy that capture their unique place in the world.