CaringBridge / Kate Kelly / Journal


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC

A “Reblog” of sorts: for those of you who know Kate Kelly (or know of her as co-author, with Peggy Ramundo, of You Mean I’m NOT Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!), who are not hooked in with her CaringBridge site.

I don’t want to leave anyone who loves her unaware of where things stand with her health.

I also want those of you who read this blog, even if you are not part of Kate’s vast circle of ADD buds, to get the benefit of some of my insights during this time of transition.

Contemplations of this type are as ephemeral as life itself — in our faces whenever they float across our cognitive view-finders, fading quickly as soon as all returns to “normal,” only to return suddenly, startling us as if we’d never had the thoughts before.

We must all learn, somehow, to take advantage of any opportunity to be hit in the solar plexis with what we know in our gut: it’s all over far too quickly.

(Skip the early “logistics” paragraphs if you are unfamiliar with Kate — scroll down to “Little Details” to begin reading)

From the CaringBridge:

After midnight here in Cincinnati — I haven’t heard from Peggy, who may well still be in the air. Until she has the time to check in with me, I have no address to post – for cards, etc.- much less new info (remember – it’s not realistic to expect contact until Fri. PM, *earliest* – so no news is not all that bad, when you really think about it)

I just posted a picture from FaceBook: Kate in her hospital bed, surrounded by
a family “sing-in” (Rollin’ on the River).

I chose this photo because we cannot see her clearly — we can see enough to catch the vibe, but a photo of Kate that we all KNOW she probably would not want to be everyone’s last memory of her won’t live forever in i-net wonderland.

Keep that in mind, anyone who considers posting current pics, ok?

On brother Doug’s FB page is a very brief video as well – so I can tell you that this was the mellow hootenanny version, and that Kate is singing along softly, enjoying the action.

BTW- If you are not ALREADY “friended” with Doug, please don’t rush to do so NOW, just so that you can see and hear – you’ll KILL him – really! (But first, he’ll kill ME for reposting so that he had to deal with *more* to do when he’s already juggling as fast as he can.)

Allow this photo to BE the experience for you – nobody moves much in the video, and we know the song, right?  (We’ll ALL get a copy if they ever cut a record) 🙂

Little Details:

That green thing on either side of Kate’s face (that might look like a neck-brace to some of you) is a “slumber pillow” designed for travel. Even though she was sitting upright on my couch, she used it to support her head the last time she was here, and found it made her comfortable in several ways. I sent it home with her.

It is now comforting ME to see, although I will not be one of the ones with her physically during this transition, that I am somehow comforting her on the physical plane anyway.

The little things can tear your heart in two as the time approaches
when there will no longer be the possibility of more.

As dawn broke on September 6th, the Thursday morning of Peggy’s flight to Seattle, I accompanied her to Casa Kelly to grab a few things left behind by those who had already been able to leave, along with a couple of items requested by Kate.

As we looked through the STUFF of her life, we could barely believe our emotional reaction to the little things: a note in her handwriting, a CD or a book we had shared with her in some manner — a few business cards she used while waiting for new cards to arrive, with a “homemade” label on the flip side announcing her new contacts.

We both wanted one of those.  Little things.

At times like this I am always reminded of my years as an actor — particularly of a few lines that came out of my mouth as Emily, one of my very first roles in one of my very first plays: Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town.

For those who do not know the play, the audience gets to watch Emily grow up, fall in love, and get married. We get to know her family and her town and when she dies young, we are present at her funeral and beyond.

The audience can see and hear the living and the dead;
the living, of course, are unaware of anything beyond what they have always known.

We watch Emily interact with the townsfolk in her graveyard, represented stylistically, actors on folding chairs arranged in neat rows downstage right, as she attempts to acclimate to her new reality. When she learns it is “allowed,” she chooses, against their advice, to “go back” to relive one day, to see again those she has loved, knowing it will be the final time.

“Live people just don’t understand, do they?” she asks.

No.  We don’t.

Emily chooses to relive her 12th birthday, ignoring the advice to choose “an ordinary day,” as that will be “special” enough.  She quickly finds that she is overwhelmed with the enormity of life’s precious nature.

The “little things” she barely took the time to note when she was alive are now exquisitely painful, KNOWING that she will never be permitted to return to interact with what she loved so well in life – which suddenly includes IT ALL.

Emotionally unable to withstand the thought of what she had overlooked, she returns to her graveyard before she must, with a question that has haunted me periodically since I first said the words, embodying the character of Emily,

“Does anyone realize life while they live it – every, every minute?”

“No,”  she is told by the Stage Manager/narrator character, simply.
“The saints and poets, maybe – they do some.”

Let us take this opportunity to become like those saints and poets – even if the most we can expect is “some.”

Let us use the realization that these end-of-earth-life transitions always provide to see, as if for the final time, the exquisite specialness of the ordinary, to look upon each other through the eyes of Love itself – and to take the time to say the unsaid while we still can.

QUICK!  Let’s do a few little things.

mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie)
via CaringBridge / Kate Kelly / Journal.

Kate Kelly Related Articles
(each below opens in a new window/tab)

Memorial Posts of Others

PLEASE leave me a comment if YOU have written a Memorial Post (or find one not listed here), so that I don’t have to take time daily to search the ‘net to find links to post for ALL to share.

User-Generated Video Production Creates Interactive Experience for Nonprofit CaringBridge (

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

One Response to CaringBridge / Kate Kelly / Journal

  1. Twila says:

    Kate… I am holding you close to my heart.


And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: