25 years – Kat’s story

(Si’s note – Kat’s photography features throughout this website).

Sunflower Kat:

This is a difficult story to tell, just in what makes it truly significant to me is so sad. It has to do with my sister who was killed in a horrific accident in August 2005.

The circumstances of her life were very difficult both financially and personally and she was always struggling. She suffered from depression and I know for a fact that she was completely crushed under the pressures of her life. It seemed the she could never get a break of any type and she felt defeated by the hand she’d been dealt.

But she had the softest heart in the world and recognized that there were others with even greater obstacles in life. She saw this daily as a teacher in charge of the remedial science classes in a small high school. She had students who other teachers had completely given up on. She made her classroom a safe haven for the kids that would get thrown out of other classes and had nowhere to go. She put high demands on herself to help students who looked like they were going nowhere and gave them attention and encouragement, even when she was so discouraged by so much in her own life.

Bruce was doing a show in Indianapolis at the Murat in December 2004. By that time I was going to as many shows as I could get to and I was getting razzed pretty mercilessly by both my sisters (who were living in Indiana at the time). So, as a holiday gift…I told them I would fly out and take them both to the show.

They were appreciative…but I later learned that neither of them expected to really LOVE it. They admitted to me that they were going to “humor” me. Of course, I couldn’t wait.

So, show day comes. We were driving to the venue and my sisters were asking if I’d REALLY dance on the stage. Of course….given the opportunity I would! They were pretty sure that they would NOT be joining me there. I told them that I wouldn’t DRAG them but they should keep an open mind.

Bruce walked onto the stage and sat down at the piano and opened the show with “Hooray for Tom”. As he finished the first chorus, my sister Meg squeezed my arm and whispered to me “Oh my god, I can’t believe it….he’s singing about MY kids!” She was so touched by the message of understanding, Bruce had just won her heart.

11207285_10207861730209634_5076007216650622605_nLater in the show we were invited to dance on the stage to “Take Out The Trash”. I got up to go and my sisters hesitated but then went for it. We had the time of our lives dancing up there together. But what was most significant was the complete joy that I saw in Meg that night. Here was a woman who struggled with everything life threw at her. She rarely was happy…and for that time on the stage, she was JOYOUS. All her cares were gone and she was dancing with abandon. After we left the stage, we didn’t sit back down. We found a place to the side to dance the rest of the show and were on our feet until the end. I hadn’t seen her that happy and carefree in many, many years and would never see her that way again.

Now, when I hear “Take Out The Trash”, it takes me right back there, to the three of us dancing our hearts out.

So the point is that I will never be able to express the gratitude I feel toward Bruce and the band for giving me that night with my sister. Losing her as we did was a tragic shock. But, I have this amazing memory to hold on to…she was happy, dancing, carefree, joyous. It overrides all the memories I have of her struggling and feeling defeated by life. The evening at the Murat with my sisters will always be one of the best memories of my life. I need to thank Bruce for the music he has created and for not only how he shares it, but how he encourages us to engage with it, and that it’s new and fresh and more engaging each and every time.

Thanks to Bruce, from all three of us (Kat, Meg, and Busy). Thanks more than I can say.

Previous 25 years - Andrew Smith's story
Next 25 years - Jennie's story

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2 Comments

  1. David Day
    August 06, 11:07

    Wow Kat! What a great story! I’ll always remember this every time I hear Take Out The Trash. I guess the moral of the story is…..Despite the bad that happens in our lives, there is always joy if you look for it! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing that! It made me cry…..

    David Day

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