I've worked at Hot Off the Press for almost 9 years now (minus the disability). Kate, the receptionist, was the first person who greeted me in the morning and the last person to wish me a goodnight at the end of each day for the past 9 years. She was the first person who welcomed me in when I interviewed for the job. She was always the first one to greet me with a hug when I came for a visit for the last 2 years while battling cancer. Always with a smile and positive attitude. Always with some spunk. Always with big wide open warm mothering arms that wrapped all the way around you when she hugged. Always with stories to tell. Always glad to see me. It was never the same without her at that desk when she'd be away on vacation or sick, which she rarely was. I liked to sneak into the lunchroom while she was eating lunch, just to see what interesting lunches she created with her expert gardening talents. She loved to share too. Always bringing beautiful bounties from her well tended gardens for us all to marvel over and enjoy. Whenever I asked her how she was doing, she would always say "I can't complain." And I always responded with, "you never can!" And she never did. She did her job with a smile on her face and in her heart and she never complained about a thing. She was so calm, and I never saw her stressed. You felt at ease and relaxed in her presence. She was a grounding force amongst all of the chaos. And she will be missed. She passed away at work today from a massive heart attack at age 62. She leaves behind her a son (going to culinary school), a husband and an empty place in our hearts. Hot Off the Press will never be the same. There will never be another Kate.
ps. no one ever knows when their time will come. live each day to the fullest. say what you mean and mean what you say. don't leave anything unsaid. no regrets. live each day like it's your last.