Friday, August 26, 2011
Time Keeps Running, Even When You Want It To Stop
She and I also ended up taking the same semester off. Yet, we both returned and for the same reason: that, doing this program is a gift to ourselves. Regardless of money or anything else superfluous to completing the degree, the act of pursuing it is essentially the gift. She didn't attend this past semester because the cancer came back. I know she fought very hard. I also know that, the last semester we attended together, she said something along the lines of, "I'm tired about writing about this - I want to write about life!" She did start writing about her family and all the things that were most important to her rather than this thing.
I've been in shock since I got the news on Monday. It's hard to accept that she's gone. I keep saying to myself, "But I knew her!" Not just like I knew her name, I mean, I knew her! She was a very sharp, positive, supportive person. And funny! She had a great sense of humor. In our second semester, I read the beginning to my novella about a cat, and it's a disgusting hairless cat that is described by its new owner as 'a beast.' Later she was talking about having to wear wigs or hats during chemo, and she said, "Because if I didn't I would look like, well, The Cat!" Then she busted up laughing.
She always wore shirts with Peace signs on them. She bonded much more with some of the other girls at school who I know knew her better than I did, but she was still a friend of mine. It's been sobering. And sad. I'm re-evaluating things in my life, as you do when things like this happen, and more than realizing, but I think remembering, what's important and wherein the true gifts of this life reside. That's with family and friends, trusting yourself enough to follow your heart, indulge your passions: Let yourself live.
In memory of Katy Zirbel ~ because she did indeed live.