Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 2, 2014

Young woman battling cancer exuded positive energy

— I just found out about Katie’s passing via email from my pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Romney, W.Va. I am writing this letter to you because I just felt a need to do so.

I did not know Katie when I arrived in Romney. I lived there for a while with my dear brother. He knew her. I went to the church, and was welcomed on the first day. It felt like a very comfortable place to be. Still does.

We would receive weekly updates about Katie from her sweet mom. My heart just about broke every time I heard the weekly news. One day, just out of nowhere, something hit me and I bought her a stuffed animal that lights up then you squeeze it. I just kind of figured, maybe it would make her smile while she was lying in that hospital bed wondering what was coming next. One fine Sunday, Katie was healthy enough to travel and her mom brought her to the church.

I got to meet her and I swear to all that is holy, you could feel the positive energy coming from her even though her body was slowing failing. She was forthright, humble but brave beyond belief. When I introduced myself she lit up and said “You’re the guy who gave me the stuffed animal!” I said “Yep, guilty. I hope you get better soon; everyone here seems to love you.” She cried, I cried, and well, that is that.

So I guess the point of this story is this. No small good deed is ever wrong. I took three molecules of Katie’s spirit that day and I feel a better man for it. I wish there were more positive people on this Earth just like her.

I told my pastor (Roy) that I put in a call to my shipmates in heaven. I did. They are waiting for Katie. They are old-fashioned like me which means that when she arrives, anyone that so much as looks at her funny will get the crap kicked out of them. Sorry for being so blunt, but women like her are truly the good ones. And let no one ever bother her.

John J. Reeb

CPO U.S. Navy (Ret)

Baltimore

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