My granddaughter [Katrina] had just turned 13 when she passed away after waging a valiant year-long battle against lymphoma. It took her life in July 2006.
I cry as I write this. Her death left a gaping hole in my life that can never be filled. Nevertheless, I have finally found the strength to make this request. I am writing, because I could not articulate this request over the phone.
I hope to recover some memories of [Katrina] with your cooperation. She has two younger brothers who will want to know more about the big sister they viewed as their “little mommie.” She was 5 years and 7 years older than her brothers, respectively.
I would be gratified if you could ask your students to write about their memories of [Katrina.] Even a sentence would do. I want to collect this for her brothers and for all those who loved her. I made a website not long after her passing, [redacted] and hope to post some of the recollections there, with the permission of the authors. Authors should assume confidentiality unless they request that their names be published.
The principal at the Middle School shared my sorrow and referred to her as a “neat kid” when we spoke soon afterward. Those who saw her during her illness always noted her bravery and cheerfulness.
Over 200 mourners attended her funeral in the small town where she grew up.
I hope that some of her classmates are still available. She would have entered 8th grade in August of 2006.
Kindly allow me to start off with two anecdotes that may impart a sense of the importance of this matter to me.
- We all miss [Katrina’s] ever-ready quips. She made us giggle. I smile when I remember how she would roll her eyes before delivering a line.
- When [Katrina] was four years old, she was playing “restaurant” with the family on Christmas Day, and was taking orders from great-grandparents on down. She “wrote” each order on a little pad. My father ordered a hamburger and asked for tomato. Krista pertly informed him, “You can’t have tomatoes. I don’t like them.”
- [Katrina] secretly wanted to marry Harry Potter. She read the whole series over and over, with more intensity each time, for at least two years. [Katrina] yearned to play the role of Hermione when she learned the “Harry Potter” filmmakers has begun casting. She was devastated to learn that they were only casting Britons, but she understood why.
I read your profile on the THS website and am glad that you are the Principal. I served as the Elementary School Librarian at Valley Elementary for 3 years. It was my favorite job of all time.