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Monday, August 27, 2012

On Katy (by Sean Swain)

“Keep the Faith, Brother/Kin-- the system is sinking fast, though not fast enough. Soon things will be very, very different. You'll see and so will I. XO Katy.” That's how Katy closed her last letter to me, only days before she died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 62.

Katy had worked as a nurse and had taken other jobs, but identified specifically as a midwife, one who assists bringing life into the world. Katy served as a midwife in many ways, some more obvious than others. She certainly brought life into the world.

Katy and I corresponded for many years but we had never met face to face. We had the depth of friendship that occurs between people when they slowly and deliberately reveal themselves through words on paper. Katy had planned to visit though. She had filled out the paperwork to be added to my visiting list. In her next to last letter she wrote, “I plan on coming there real soon. I'll spend the whole day-- we can talk-- I don't know about what or how it's going to look-- I HATE PRISONS!!!!!!! but I'm coming anyway-- I'm so excited about meeting you in person-- we will have a face to face visit-- Coyotes was behind glass-- please tell me a little bit about it to prepare me...”

But as things went, Katy couldn't visit. In her last letter to me, she explained, “I had misunderstood the visiting thing and thought you could tell them I was coming on 5/25 so I didn't call myself... So I called the visiting office to begin with to check on the reservation status, and the guy there said everything was booked up til the 29th...” The problem was, Katy planned to leave Michigan for California before the 29th.

I felt bad that we had missed an opportunity, but I knew she could always come to visit whenever she was back int his area again. There was no rush. We always have next week and next month and even next year.

Katy was a midwife.
She brought life into the world.
I will miss her.


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