Monday, July 28, 2014

Katherine Mary Gallagher 1973-2014

Yesterday was an extremely emotional day. It has been a very long time since I felt such emotion that went from sadness to anger back to sadness and finally depression. Today, I do not understand God. I suppose we are not meant to understand God. Katie is gone. Hopefully, she is at peace. It was so sudden. Friday night I was told she went into acute liver failure then kidney failure and by Sunday she was dead. When she was little I babysat her. I am 13 years older. Her Dad, my uncle Billy was special. As a little girl, he called me "butter cup". When my parents divorced and I lived with my grandparents I was surrounded by my uncles. Uncle Billy was in his thirties when he got married. Within a few years my cousin Billy and Katie were born. When I was a teenager I would babysit my younger cousins and play monopoly with my aunt until late in the evening. My uncle and aunt did not have it easy. When Midvale steel closed, it placed my uncles out of work. My uncle Billy would work for my parents, coca cola then the medical society. When my cousin Billy was 19 years old he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was the size of a lemon. He was a patient at Temple Neurosurgery Intensive Care for a very long time. He lost his sight as a result. I remember sitting outside the operating room for 16 hours with my mother, aunt & uncle while Billy was being operated on. There were times when we thought he would not make it through the surgery and the weeks that followed. When my uncle was 65 years old, he retired. Shortly thereafter he would be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. He would die within two years. His daughter, my cousin Katie, would go on to raise a child on her own, work her way through nursing school and battle her own demons. I was told my cousin drank too much rum and took too many Tylenol (chronic arm pain) which is a perfect combination for acute liver failure. By the time she was too sick to get out of bed she was in acute liver failure. When one's liver shuts down, death comes quickly.

I believe in heaven and I believe that those who left this earth before us come back to open their arms to those who are ready to leave this earth behind and enter heaven. I believe my uncle Billy opened his arms to Katie and I believe that my grandparents and brother stood beside them. Some people would say this is a fairy tale belief. I say, there is a God and we are accompanied to heaven.

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