A Journey: Not the Common Kind

I sat in front of my laptop for the majority of a day, searching for the perfect words; perfect words to illustrate the person my friend Katrina was so that anyone reading could capture an idea of who she was. I realize there will never be words to fill the void her absence has on the people who love her. I’m no poet pro, and the purpose of this blog post isn’t necessarily for the aim of becoming one. This week’s blog post is simply for Katrina.

Sometimes, when people talk about taking a journey, it’s easy to think of them based on the first images that come to mind. Buying a one-way ticket, trekking through a country with only a backpack, and living free and vicariously as though there’s no responsibility of tomorrow are what I think of. There are so many different stories belonging to people that give meaning to the idea of a journey. Katrina’s story is a little mix of everything.

Katrina was a leader. She was the first of her friends to travel on her own at 18 on a Contiki tour to Australia and other faraway lands like England, Greece, and Turkey. However, Katrina’s story on the idea of a “journey” is on a much more influential scale. Katrina’s journey was short, likely shorter than anyone reading this. And even though she faced devastating circumstances, she didn’t change the way she approached her life. She lived on her own terms, the way she wanted to spend it. To be young and vulnerable, to see the world while others are caught up in practicality, is a beautiful thing.

“Journeyers” don’t necessarily take a common path, but they make the most of each day and take each day at face value. Katrina, who was diagnosed with cancer at 19, definitely did not take the common path. But just like a true traveller, she made the most of her journey by inspiring everyone who met her on how to embrace life’s circumstances.

From the early days of elementary

To the day you moved away

Even halfway across the country

Couldn’t keep you at bay

Of all the kids to come and go

I am in awe of my luck

For I am so fortunate

You’re a friend who stuck.

FOR KAT

Skydiving in Queensland

If life is only measured in days, months and years

A person could live a thousand lives

Before she lived, facing all her fears

Kat, this message is for you

And everything in life you set out to pursue,

You changed the game, kicked the stats to shame

On what it means to live your life

Despite the challenges that came

Paradise found, adventure bound

Around the world you went

“This is my life and I own it”

Was how your life was spent

Santorini Sunsets, Big Ben, Byron Bay

Adventure was your calling

And it would never let you stay

Yeah, there may not be a classroom

Labeled with your name

But your dream came true in countless ways

Stretching far beyond your days

For the lessons you taught us

Break the boundaries of four walls

On living life, love, and loss

And battling the big “C” like a boss

Wish you were here

Even though now you’re free

Be one with the stars, the sun and the sea

Inspiring us all

Never to fall

Forever young

Forever twenty-one

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