Sunday, March 14, 2010

Loss

Camp Discovery has been a big part of my life for the past five years. Five summers I've spent one week in July in Kerrville in a world all of its own. If you've been following this blog for some time, you know how I love camp. Love so much about it. I often find myself at a loss for words at how to properly describe the atmosphere and environment of camp. I've written for years about the campers and their inspiration.

Tonight, I'm not coming here to write about the campers. I want to write about the counselors. Specifically, about one very special counselor.

I met Katrina "Kat" Davidson standing in front of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital my very first summer. As volunteers were rushing to greet others, reunited for the first time in months or even a full year, I stood on the side not knowing anyone. Kat made a point to say hello and introduce herself before rushing off herself to hug another friend she loved. Two days later, I got to have my first real conversation with Kat.

We were in the gym in a circle with the "yellow girls," her cabin of adorable campers. After we played a few rounds of some game with the girls, the campers skipped off leaving me and Kat sitting on the gym floor. First, she told me why she came to camp as a camper herself. As a teen, Kat was diagnosed with cancer. She started coming to camp at age sixteen and was hooked. Two years as a camper and then the rest of her time as a counselors. Kat was a cancer survivor and a role model to the children she was there to help. I felt inspired sitting talking with her. I began telling her my story. Before I could finish, she stopped me. She already knew my story. Had spent time on http://www.scotthousehold.com/ and had cried about Allie. In fact, she had recently written a paper and did a presentation on childhood cancer and specifically Allie. She and I sat on the floor and cried. I knew we were friends and so did she.

Over the years, Kat has been one of my favorite things about camp. She gave the best hugs when standing in front of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital on our first day of volunteer orientation. Maybe it's her height--so much taller than me, that it made me feel enveloped. We kept up throughout the year--Facebook, getting together for dinner, volunteering at Heroes for Children a few times. At camp, she loved helping in Arts & Crafts. She helped me set up my area after she finished working in her cabin. She joined me during "Happy Nappy" if she had a counselor break. I looked forward to yellow girls and orange girls (last year when she was a counselor she moved to the orange girls, officially making it my favorite group of counselors with Sara and Terri too!) coming in for their session with me.

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm using the past tense. I don't like it. Not one bit. You see, this last week, camp experienced a huge loss. My sweet, funny, snarky, sarcastic, loving, selfless friend passed away.

Oh dear, did I really just type those words??? Yes, I did. I know I did. I sat in a church and watched a slideshow of Kat's life yesterday at her memorial service. I hugged my camp family as we cried and remembered our friend. I introduced myself to her mother who coincidentally stopped me as I tried to introduce myself. She already knew me. She knew my story. Kat had told her all about me, and as Sue told me this, I cried and hugged her.

Kat had bronchitis and pneumonia that wouldn't go away. As a teen, radiation had damaged her lungs. I always knew her lungs weren't great, but never thought too much about it. Until she got sick and couldn't get better. Two weeks before her death, Kat walked herself into the ER because her cough was worse. Within hours, she was emergency intubated. She spent two weeks in the ICU before passing last Tuesday. I got updates frequently from our friend Terri who was in contact with Kat's mother Sue. Because Kat was in ICU, the family had requested no visitors. Maggie (who loved Miss Kat) and I made Kat a get well soon card, but I was holding on to it until I knew she was a little more stable and would be able to read the card. I never got to send it.

Camp Discovery will never be the same. Camp wasn't just a week of the year for Kat Davidson. It was a major, intregal part of her life. It was a part of her and she was most definitely a big part of it. The idea of walking up to greet the other volunteers in front of Camp Discovery without Kat to envelope me in one of her big hugs makes me hurt so badly.

Tonight, I remember my friend. I'm looking at my yellow and orange friendship bracelet Sara made me last night at the camp party I hosted at my house for us to all be together. Can't stop staring at it. This summer when I go to Camp Discovery, I will honor her as best as possible.

And I'll miss her. Always.

20 comments:

Kirsten said...

Oh, Jenny. I am so sorry for your loss of what sounds like an amazing person to know.

ViolinMama said...

I'm SO sorry for your loss - your words honor her so much. Thank you for sharing her with us.

AWEnterprises said...

What a lucky woman to have you as a friend. What a lucky woman you are to have Kat as a friend. The luck never runs out, you must believe that. Your words...your words are what I would want any of my closest friends to use to remember me. Your words are exactly what Kat would have wanted you to say...she must be very proud to be able to be remembered that way. You must be very proud of Kat to put so much thought into your words...your life is surrounded by pain, yet through the pain, you are capable of finding the love. I admire you, Jenny Scott. I have since the first time I read your simply amazing words about Allison, and I'm sure I always will. You are the epitome of strength, courage, and will. Live long, Jenny, and LOVE always.

Mama23Bears said...

i am so sorry for your loss...

KirstyB said...

Hugs Jenny...she sounds like she was a wonderful young woman! My thoughts are with you and her family and friends.

Sharon C said...

I'm so very, very sorry Jenny.

Mom Of 3 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a very special person.

. said...

I am so sorry for your loss and her family too. I hate what cancer can do even years later.

Shawna&Co. said...

Oh Jenny! My heart hurts reading this post!! I forget that even when you think you beat cancer, it leaves lasting marks on you.

Kat sounds like a wonderful friend. I am so sorry her time on earth is through.

LisaWV said...

I'm so sorry, Jenny! God bless!

Carmen said...

Jenny I'm so sorry for your loss and for Camp Discovery's loss...

Bugs Mama said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Feel free not to post my comment as it's not really intended for public consumption. I saw on your twitter feed that you're feeling pretty down and can't shake it. Being that I went through something similar in my pregnancy and post-partum can I make a gentle suggestion?

Fish Oil, B6, and Folic Acid. Studies have shown that women who are suffering from depression (especially PPD, which I'm not saying you are) tend to be lacking in one or more area (Omegas, Vit B's, and Folic Acid). All 3 are compatible with breastfeeding (if you are nursing).

Generally speaking you would take 3-9 Fish Oil pills per day initially and adjust the dosage according to your needs. Spread it out over your meals. Take the daily recommended dose of Vit B (i suggest a B complex) and folic acid.
Tips:
* invest in a good fish oil. keep it in the fridge or it will go rancid quickly.
* B complex will turn your milk & urine a bright yellow/green color. Don't worry, it's normal
* It can take up to 2 weeks for you to notice a difference in your mood/mental state. You can increase/decrease the dosage as you need.
* you may not need all 3 supplements. Personally I get the most benefit from Fish Oil & B complex

I hope this information is helpful but will not in the least be offended if you feel it's not right for you.

Adrianne said...

Jenny I am so sorry for the loss of Kat. We just lost a coworker here from pneumonia last night and we too are feeling the hole that you will feel at camp. We are all walking around just going through the motions not sure what to do next. Prayers and peace for you all.

snekcip said...

Praying for your heart as well as the family of Kat. I can see Allie meeting Kat at Heaven's gate. Surely that was beautiful.

Mama Bear White said...

Kat was such a sweet person. I went to high school with her. She stood next to me at graduation.

My heart breaks for her family and for you. I got chills reading what you said about her. There are no words.

Ashley H. said...

I am *so* saddened to hear that she passed, but I'm happy to know she had such a positive affect on you, and all others she knew in her blessed life.

Melissa said...

Wow! I read your blog all the time. But I never expected to read this. Growing up I lived across the street from Katrina. At first reading your post I wasn't sure that it was her but when you mentioned her height and her mom then i knew it. I moved away in the 6th grade so i never knew she had cancer. i just don't even know what to say. I am so sorry.

Amy Lee said...

Jenny, I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounded like a great person.

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