Katie's story

Great Glenn

You already know about the Bears...

The Back Story to KatieBears is not one that any parent wants to read. But you should, becuase everyone should know...

Katie was always different from other kids. She rarely cried, even as an infant. You could reason with her at age 3. She grew to a young adult with almost no intervention from us, her parents.

She'd talk openly to her parents about her life - boyfriends, work, friends, nothing was off limits. She was a Klutz, a darn good Sax player and a through and through Geek. Her favorite sport was Reading (yeah we told here it was NOT a sport - she refused to hear of it)

Katie graduated Arnprior District Highschool and went on to attend U of Guelph. She got a part time job working on computers in a small PC store. That got her attention from a major Apple (the computer company, not the fruit) retailer and they offered her a job full time.

We have always told our kids to DO what you are passionate about - life is to short to waste - So when Katie decided to leave University for a full time job doing what she truly loved doing we didn't argue with her... she soon moved from the Apple retailer into an IT support position with a Large Defence Contractor/Engineering firm

As parents of two kids, and foster parents to another we were beyond happy for her - she was doing exactly what she wanted. She got engaged to her high school sweetheart. To be Married on October 10, 2010 (which numerically is 10 10 10... which a geek would recognize as BINARY - if you convert that binary number to our Decimal based system it equals 42. Again as a huge geek you would know that "42 is The Answer to the Universe, Life, and Everything" ) And if you don't know what that means then you're not the only one, but you're also not a geek ;-)

So the 22 year old geek girl is working her dream job, soon to be married, and having a blast with life.

Then, on the way home from work one day, she pulls her car over to the side of the road and call's 911 - she can't breath. EMT's responded and took her to Emergency, where she had a massive Heart Attack.

Despite the efforts - or maybe thanks to the efforts becuase it gave US a chance to see her one more time - of many amazing people, Katie was placed on Life support. Listed as Extremely unstable, she was placed in Critical Care

I was stunned, shocked, and in denial when I was called by the Hospital. It couldn't be that serious. I was so much in denial that I took my time getting to the hospital!!

It was THAT serious. Katie was the victim of a Pulmenary Embolism (P.E.). Which is a blood clot between the heart and lungs. All of her internal organs were shut or shutting down. She wasn't Katie anymore.

We decided the next day to remove the life support system and let Katie pass.

Now this is the part that all parents should read

We've learned a lot in loosing our daughter, and in dealing with that loss. The most import thing that I think we've learned is to TELL YOUR KIDS that you love them and how proud you are of them! Make SURE they know. Katie did, and it gives a lot of comfort knowing that she knew that

Encourage them to follow their dreams - even when that dream is NOT yours. You don't know how long they, or you, will be here and everyone needs a chance to chase, and maybe, hopefully, catch, their dreams.

Don't pass up a chance to talk, or help, or just hang out with your kids. It's hard to remember sometimes, but they ARE the most important thing that you will do in your life.

Lastly - be AWARE. Katie most likely died due a pre-disposition to Blood Clots. And she started a new medication that exacerbated that condition. That medication today, 2 1/2 years later, is now the subject of massive class action suits in the United States. Canada's laws are significantly more lenient. BE AWARE.

And this is the part that makes you wonder....

Katie's death devastated me. She was our first born, and even though she was an adult I should have been able to help her. I couldn't... and that's really hard for a father to accept.

BUT about 3 months after she died I met someone that told me a story - her friend had lost her mother years before and ever since she'd been finding pennys in quantity from time to time... she was convinced it was her mother's way of communicating. I thought Well maybe...

A few days after hearing the story I found a Dime on the ground - now I have a Scottish heritage and I know the value of watching the ground when I'm about, but I had only found a very few coins in my life until then - anyway I find a dime, I picked it up and remembered the story about the pennys.

I had never really thought about what happens After Here, but I was really missing my little girl so I spoke outloud to Katie and told her that She had to be more specific - if she's sending me a message I want the dime to be heads up. She'd understand. She knows how much a pessimist I am

Well, it only happens when I'm not expecting it, but in the past 2 years I've found AT LEAST 3 dozen dimes... and Yes almost every one has been heads up. And they are ANYwhere...in the Walmart parking lot, on a customer's front porch, on a shelf in the Canadian Tire, on the floor in front of an ATM, on the side of the Trans Canada highway where I stopped randomly to do some urgent nature stuff, on the stairs in a customer's house when I'm having a BAD day, on the runningboard of the truck after a 80km drive at 120Kph, on top of a roof, inside an electrical enclosure, on the boardwalk in Halifax, outside the rental vehicle in Borque N.S.

There's been so many it's hard to remember. I can't explain it. It just happens.

So, this is how thick I can be; it was after about 18 months of finding dimes that I mentioned it to someone other than my wife and our two boys. Up until that time I just kinda thought dimes happened just because... and then the person I was talking to asked "Why Dimes, was there a significance to the number 10?". No one had said that outloud before and I never really thought about it. It was like a light buld. Ping! And I remember thinking 'Wow I'm a moron'...look up a few paragraphs and see what date Katie chose to be Married on. How many Pennies in a dime ?

What's the significance ? I'd say the answer is 42. But what's the question? Yeah. Exactly.

So, we do KatieBears to help others. But we do it to help all of us that knew and are still missing Katie deeply, to heal.... and I think that somewhere that I can't see (yet) the spirit of our little Geek is clapping her hands and jumping around like the klutz she was, and I'm proud that we're doing this for her