My good friend Kate Coleman lost her 18 year battle with multiple sclerosis this morning - at the age of 49. Kate and I were brought together years ago by two little girls at Corpus Christi - her Maggie and my Kelli. Today, at 16 years old - the two are still inseparable. Kate was the youngest of 7 children and she used to always tell Kelli - "Kel, I was YOU - I know what you're going through".
A few weeks before Kelli's 10th birthday, her brother Bobby was deployed to Iraq. Those were dark days for Kelli, and Maggie was right there beside her for the long haul. I remember seeing a copy of a letter that Maggie sent to Bobby and I called Kate to read it to her on the phone. We both had a good cry over that. The Coleman's also threw a surprise birthday party for Kelli on her 10th birthday - to try and surround her with her friends and get her mind off of the war.
Two years ago, Kate, Sean and Maggie took Kelli with them on a Spring Break Cruise and had invited her on another one last month, before Kate became so ill.
In January, Maggie had the lead roll in St. Joe High School's production of "ANNIE". Kelli and I sat there in the crowd with tears as Maggie began to sing. As we hugged Sean and Kate following the performance, you could see the pride in their eyes. I'm so glad Kate was able to see that.
I picked Kelli up from school this morning, when we received the word. I took her to spend some time with Maggie. As I stood there and watched the two friends - speaking with tears and no words, I realized that they will share this bond for a lifetime.
Kate and Maggie had a special mother/daughter bond and their favorite verbal repartee was: "I love you" - "I love you more".
I did "ok" today as I read the beautiful obituary posted on the Kaniewski Funeral Home website. That was until I got to the end.....
Kate fought to live her life to the fullest and ended each day looking forward to the promise of the next. Her bright, warm, optimistic, determined fighting spirit is an inspiration to those of us who are blessed to have known and loved her. Kate was beloved. Kate was amazing.
"The sun 'll come up tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya' tomorrow. You're only a day away."
"I love you more, mom". -- Maggie