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.
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