She had a smile that would make GE jealous. Even after losing much of the creative part of her brain, she was still incredibly talented with words and drawing. Her heart was much bigger than her disabilities and she lived life out loud. She loved the Lord and knew He had not written her off as so many others had done and He used her in amazing ways that only the people she blessed may know about. I still have cards and letters that she made for me. She had a way of arranging words and pictures that always made you smile. I miss those cups of tea because I always felt so encouraged after I left even thought I had stopped for a visit to encourage her. On one particular occasion, while enduring some things at the hands of some not so well meaning people that were in our congregation at the time, I was in praying about it, keeping it just between the Lord and I. Later that day, Kathleen called and said that she had a scripture to share with me. It totally encouraged me in the bad situation that I was in and I never forgot how the Lord had used her to bless me. Her heart's desire was to publish a book. We had brainstormed about ideas for books and lines of stationary many times over tea. At some point she birthed a children's book, Barnabas Barnhart, the Bumblebee. It's still available on Amazon. She was thrilled about it! So was I!
About 2 years ago I had talked with her father who told me that they had some concerns about how much longer she could live independently and I saw that she had died in a nursing home. As the parent of a disabled child, I thought about her family and what emotions they must have felt during her illness and death. And I was sad. For them. For me. For those whose lives she had touched with unique Kathleen style. God has used her life greatly to bless me, encourage me and yes to keep me humble. Kathleen would be described by most as "the least of these", but I know that she was oh so much more than that! God used her life to illustrate that all people have worth in His sight and that they should have worth in mine as well. Knowing her has helped me in that respect and I believe made me a better person. I will thank her some day in glory.
I look forward to heaven. I picture her there fully whole. Beautiful. Dancing. Jumping. Singing. And I believe that if it is possible, she is, in a way only Kathleen could do, making heaven just a little more beautiful.