September 16th would have been Kate’s 87th Birthday and while we mourn the loss of Kate’s remarkable presence on this planet, we celebrate with love and admiration, Kate’s brilliance and bravery; her profound dedication to achieving human rights for the most vulnerable among us. We remember her humor, compassion and generosity.
For me, with forty years of memories, I find as the years pass, too many memories can be too painful, too bittersweet. I now distill and refine so the very personal, the warm intimate memories prevail and I remember only the joy, the laughter and the exceptional love and companionship Kate brought to our life together.
So today, I’m remembering our shared birthday celebrations in Paris – the little flat on Rue Littre; the warmth of the sun on our faces on the deck at #11 in P’town. And the soft breeze as we sat by the pond after work at the farm, reading, always reading.
I remember the crackle of burning wood in the fireplace and the warm cast on the wall from the kerosene lantern on a cold winter night during harvest. The happiness of coffee in bed while we schemed and made our lists and teased one another for our Virgo similarities – not that we believed in that stuff!
I remember us falling out of bed in our cockeyed room at Oxford; having no bed at all in our shared prison cell in Tehran; I remember our long walks along rhododendron-bordered lanes in Ireland, competing playfully about who was more Irish – you or me and I won! Languishing on the terrace above vineyards overlooking the lake in Kelowna when every year we had one whole month to ourselves to just read and Karen would greet our arrival with a gift card each to Chapters Bookstore. How we loaded up!
I remember freewheeling the tractor down Screamers Hill – screaming; skiing Suicide Hill and the laughter as we collided and tumbled all the way down and having to Herringbone all the way back up. Closing the door behind us after we lost our precious home at 295 Bowery when the City sold us out to developers. Holding hands when the plane engine caught fire on our way home to New York from St. Paul. Certain it was our last moment, you said, “Well at least we won’t have to pay our fucking rent this month.”
We always believed in Pascal’s wager: I might not see you again, my Kate; but then again, I might.
Celebrating my beloved Kate, born this day in 1934 in St. Paul, Minnesota,