Monday, January 14, 2008

Angel on my shoulder - Part II

Katrina's guardian angel has to be her second cousin, Alexis. I'm not sure who Kat's guardian angel was prior to July 19, 2005, but on that date, Alexis staked her claim. We all would have preferred Alexis to guide Kat in teenage wisdom through text messaging, her myspace page, or via IM's, but for whatever reason, there was a different plan. One thing we all agree on down here, He/She has some serious 'splainin' to do when we cross the pearly gates.

Kat and Alexis were 3 years apart - almost to the day. Kat's birthday is 11/17 and Alexis 11/19. Kat adored Alexis. So did everyone else. How could you not? As Kat has matured, Alexis' family decided Kat is a "mini-me" version of Alexis. They truly are two peas in a pod. Occasionally, when Kat does something rather Alexislike (Katlike), I tease her about channeling Alexis.

Alexis' sister and parents created a virtual memorial for her. It truly is a beautiful testiment to how much Alexis was loved and adored. Alexis' mom, Patty (my cousin) once asked if Kat would like to write anything to be included. Kat didn't say anything right away, but eventually came to me and said that anything she wanted to say was probably not appropriate. So, I asked her to tell me some of the memories she had, or stories she wanted to share about Alexis and, well, she was right. Although hilarious stories, and none are particularly bad, none are appropriate for a virtual memorial. They will stay Kat's memories though. And she will cherish them forever.

To say the girls are ditzy is putting it mildly. While Alexis was sick, she had been tested for everything you could imagine. At one point they even tested her for Lyme disease. When her sister, Brooke, asked her what tests she had done, she said, "I don't know, limestone, or something." Later a cousin, who had heard the limestone story, told Alexis she had heard about the testing for limestone, Alexis response was along the lines of, "See! I told you it was a real disease." Yep, the girl was ditzy.

Kat has had similar moments. When Kat was 13 she insisted she was old enough to hang out at the mall with her friends. I just as strongly insisted she was not. The argument had continued for a couple of weeks when I found an article about a town in New England not allowing kids to be at the mall without parental supervision until they were 15. So, when Kat woke up, I handed her the article. As she is reading it, her eyes were rolling, and she was shaking her head. Finally, she looked up and spoke in a very matter of fact, taking control of the situation voice, "But this is New England! New! England! Mom, this is all the way across the..." I so hoped she was going to say country...really, I did...but she didn't. She finished the sentence completely filled with disdain for my stupidity, "...ocean!!!" Just what is that school teaching you?!

There are times as a parent when I go to my room and stuff my face in a pillow so as not to laugh in front of the kids at what they have said or done. Couldn't be done this time. I full out belly gut laughed at my daughters expense. Wouldn't you? Once she realized what she said, although really ticked off about knowing she was stuck with me at the mall for the next two years, she realized how funny she sounded.

Another time she confused the name of the Broadway musical Lion King with a gang. I still giggle at that one too.

I can't help but wonder what these two would have been like as they got older. They would have been a definite comedy act. Being two kids who love anything loud - loud music, loud debates, loud laughter, loud talking. With the two of them together, no doubt we would all need ear plugs. We didn't get to see each other often, but I know for a fact they would have been very close. Alexis does visit Kat. For those of you who don't believe in spirits you may think I'm nuts. That's OK. I know I'm not.

Alexis died of unforseen complications to her chemo treatment on a Tuesday evening, July 19th. She died the day after her leukemia diagnosis. Not knowing what was about to happen, after dinner that night I asked Kat if she would like to go to Oakbrook with me to buy Alexis a Build A Bear. Kat and her friend Cory picked out a purple fury bear. We dressed her in a Tae Kwon Do costume, named her Roundhouse Rosy and planned to write on the card, "Let's kick some leukemia butt!" As we walked out of the store, my cell phone rang. It was my mom calling to tell us Alexis died. Kat has never stepped foot in Oakbrook mall since. Last November, Patty and Jim gave Roundhouse Rosy to Kat. Many mornings Kat wakes up with that purple bear in her arms, when she knows it wasn't near her when she went to sleep.

Alexis also refuses to let a poster stay up on Kat's wall. It was a poster that Kat's friends were making for Kat to bring to Alexis in the hospital, but it ended up instead being a sympathy card for Kat. Everytime she hangs the poster up, it falls. She can use tape, thumb tacks, super glue. It doesn't matter which wall, or what she uses. That poster likes the floor. Kat has finally resigned to set the poster against the wall. Alexis seems fine with it there.

I once went to a psychic. He was known for talking to spirits who have passed on. I asked him about Alexis. He said, there is so much sadness around her. I agreed. He then said, she keeps showing me her shoulder/back. She likes the idea of your angel tattoo. The psychic did not know that I have always wanted a guardian angel tattoo on my shoulder. I didn't have it in October when I spoke to him, but for the passed couple of years I've talked about it all the time and just got it this weekend. So, she's around. I know.

Kat often questions why Alexis had to leave us. She is definitely pissed off at the Universe and mistrusts all doctors. Can't blame her on this one. Losing someone you love is horrible at any age, but to lose someone you care about and look up to when you are 12 has life altering effects.

Like I said before, we all would rather have had Alexis personally mentor Kat through life. Instead, she is going to have to offer wisdom and strength in other ways. I'm just surprised she's doing it so quietly!

Below is Alexis' virtual memorial website. I've tried to list it as a link, but Blogger and I are still not getting along about listing links. Therefore, if you can't just click the link please copy and paste the site to your browser. You will see how much Alexis is adored.


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