Remembering Katie Roth

Jake, Katie, Jadyn, Brynne and Little Jake - 2008
Jake, Katie, Jadyn, Brynne and Little Jake - 2008

 

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my sister-in-laws death from colon cancer. I didn’t do anything special to commemorate it. I’m not much into that.

Today I wanted to take a moment to remember her life. To honor all the good things that are still happening because of her influence. She was only here for 30-short years, but her impact was huge.

I wrote this story about her life and read it at her memorial service. It’s bitter sweet, but I love the end.

You can read about Katie’s seven week journey with cancer at Caringbridge

The Sunflower and the Sun

A story about the faith of Katie Roth – 

A small seedling bounced and skipped along a long, dusty dirt road until it came to rest beside a fertile anthill. The ants pushed and pulled the rich soil until the little seed was covered in darkness.

The cold, winter skies brought forth rain that soaked the dry ground, surrounding the little seed in thirst quenching water.

At last, like a long lost friend, along came the warm Sun and enticed the little seed to come out of her protective shell.

As the little shoot sprouted and pushed her way into the fresh air, she realized how small she was compared to the big world around her. She looked to the right and noticed the dirt road had no beginning. She looked to the left and saw it had no end.

Towering over her stood a sea of wheat grass that swayed back and forth in the breeze. Occasionally she was able to spot a glimpse of the beautiful wildflowers that hid among the wheat grasses. From high above, the Sun’s loving rays shone down on the expansive field she called home.

The darkness came and the wheat grass danced and played in the moonlight. The wildflowers curled their petals into a protective silence and the little sprout shook and shivered with fear and worry.

However, her anxiety vanished as she discovered that even though she could not always see the Sun, she could always trust in his timely, faithful and promised return.

The pesky weeds took root in the fields and unmercifully pestered the seedling. They were quick and obnoxious and would try to choke out the little bud . . .

but the Sun’s bright rays encouraged her to be strong and to keep reaching toward him. Every day she would track the Sun’s movement from the east to the west, and she kept her leaves turned to the sky, until at last, the his hot rays would wilt and burn out the pesky weeds.

When the seasonal thunderstorms would pass overhead the wheat grass bent and buckled under the weight of the raindrops. The wildflowers stood tall and proud allowing the warm water to cleanse their petals and leaves.

The young bud didn’t enjoy the violent weather, but she noticed after each storm, she grew taller and stronger than before.

One summer morning the not so little bud began to bloom as the Sun rose quietly and slowly overhead. Petal after petal sprang to life until her sun kissed face was surrounded by a beautiful golden halo.

Now fully grown, the beautifully radiant Sunflower sat atop her sturdy and slender stalk for the entire world to admire. There she stood, taller than any others, brighter than any others and bolder than any others–a brilliant reflection of the Sun who had so tenderly brought her to life.

It was a particularly lazy day when the Sunflower gazed at the Sun with wonder; what more is there to do, what else is there to experience?

Moments later, the sun quietly slipped behind the gloomy clouds of a mighty tornado allowing its wrath to devour the land. The extreme winds whipped the tall wheat grass into shreds and blew the dust and pebbles from the long dirt road into the nearby ditches.

The wildflowers thrashed about in the storm leaving their petals torn and tattered. Thru the fury the courageous sunflower blew to and fro. Her roots dug deeper into the soil as she became more and more determined to withstand the fury.

To and fro, she bent farther and farther than she ever had before.  She was scared and frightened and anxiously anticipated the Sun’s return. To and fro the wind continued to blow. Then, just as swiftly it had arrived the tornado disappeared into the horizon.

The warm and loving Sun peered from behind the dark, cold clouds gazing upon the battered field. There lay the beautiful, bold sunflower. Her roots still firmly grasping the ground, and her face still turned toward the sun, her sturdy, slender stalk snapped in half.

As the sunflower began to fade into the dusty earth, the wheat grass bowed in reverence over her beautiful flowered face; the raindrops fell like tears from the wildflowers leaves and the Sun rejoiced in the sky.

Her purpose was fulfilled, and the multitude of seeds she left behind could now be tenderly nurtured into the beautiful, bold and brilliant Sunflowers she would want them to be.

   *********

Copyright Katie Williams 2008 – All rights reserved. When
sharing this story with others, please be sure to include the dedication to
Katie Roth under the title. Please contact me for permission to use in print or
other public forums including posting on the Internet.

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2 thoughts on “Remembering Katie Roth

  1. This is a beautiful, courageous and bold tribute, it speaks so much about the liberty of life and acceptance of change, and I would love to have your permission to use this story with the women I work with in a Domestic Violence Shelter. I teach an expressive art group at the Shelter. Thank you so much for your post and sharing this very personal story. May God continue to bless you and your family always! T. Branch, BOSTON, MA

    1. Yes, please feel free to share. I just ask that you include reference to the the tribute to Katie Roth, written by Katie Williams.

      Many Blessings with the work you do.

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