Sometimes I go in Kaitlyn’s old room and look at her bookshelf where all her wonderful books are. The whole set of Harry Potter that she always adored and I’m sure read over many times. C.S. Lewis and just many, many books of all sorts from classics to educational. She soon started reading books on her smartphone so she read many that were not in book form as well. I’ve written a lot about her bookshelf. Someone’s bookshelf tells a lot about them. Unfortunately now that we have e-books, bookshelves may become something of the past. I’m an eBook reader myself, but still hate the thought of losing my physical books. And some, if I love the book enough, I will also buy the physical book.
Sometimes I’m drawn to her high school yearbooks. This morning I looked into the 2008 yearbook from when she was a senior. I turned to the superlative page where she and her best friend Ian glanced out from the pages surrounded by books under the title “Most Likely To Succeed.” And they were. She was valedictorian at graduation, he was salutatorian at graduation. They were best friends. They also went on to Campbell University for undergrad and remained best friends. She graduated in 2 and a half years, he in three. Ian has since told me she was always one step ahead of him, though there was no competition between them. They loved each other very much.
When they graduated Campbell, she went on to apply and then be accepted to Medical School. He went up North far away to start his graduate studies. Though they did not see each other very much anymore due to distance and time restraints, they remained friends and in touch.
When Kaitlyn died, he dropped everything he was doing up North in school to come to her funeral and he was very busy doing things that had to be done in a certain time. He dropped them, as important as school was to him; he dropped them and came directly home. What a true friend.
He has since come to see us after her death. To hear him talk of her was like magic. Except magic that was real. He truly loved and admired Kaitlyn as a true friend, as true kindred spirits. In talking to him, I came to understand that he knew all the things about Kaitlyn that we did, that she was truly a remarkable person. He is also one of the finest young men I have ever met. Kaitlyn had an art for finding the best of people as friends. People with substance, with depth, compassion, and caring and so much more. He was surely one of them.
As I gave him what I had told him I wanted him to have, which was a beautifully framed picture of she and him that she had kept on her apartment living room wall until the day she died, I saw how he fought to hold back the tears. He said he would cherish it the rest of his life, and I know he will.
Now Ian you will have to carry on that that was foretold during your high school senior year. Most likely to succeed. And you will. Do it and think of her, as I know you will. And be happy, as I know she would want you to be.