Friday, May 19, 2006

Amazing

After a few attempts to complete a post which failed due to the antics of my young children (and not so young computer) I'm trying agian to add my part to this tribute to Mark. Unfortunately, I am unable to be at the concert on Sunday and feel compelled to share...

I first met Mark on a blind date toward the beginning of our time at Capital. I was amazed. How could someone be so impossibly cool and yet remarkably easy to be around? He was so talented and smart and funny. I was so impressed by how he seemed to love and respect his parents and sister. I was thrilled to meet someone who seemed to have similar relationships with his family to those I had with mine...

Over the course of our college years and a few beyond, Mark and I were involved with each other in various ways. What is most memorable to me now is that during the time in my life when I was trying hard to learn how to live as my adult self (and spending too much time trying to figure out who other people wanted me to be) with Mark I could just...be. It was as if I had known him much longer than I actually had. It was amazing.

What seems most impressive about the transition of our relationship from "dating" to "friends", to "friends of friends", and back again is that it always seemed to shift rather seemlessly and without awkwardness or animosity typical of such situations. OK, so there was the time he referred to me as "Baked Alaska" during a rousing group game of "If I Were Gonna' Eat You" at Tiff & Amy's and my apartment on Sheridan. But he had also been one of the first official "dinner party guests" (along with Dave B.) there too. Ironically, he was the first person I ever saw an opera with. And then years later he somehow managed to get me to be in one of his short films in a role I could never let my children see. Amazing.

The last I had heard from Mark was nearly a decade ago when he called me in NYC because he was in town for a gig. I was not able to go. I wish I had. It is hard to know how to grieve for someone you've not seen for so long...someone you may not have seen again. I grieve over a life cut short. I grieve for his family's loss of a son/brother. I grieve over a new closure on that part of my past. But at this point I also try to breathe a bit deeper, hug my children a little more often, and smile when I eat Grape Nuts. I look in the eyes of my son and hope harder for him to follow his dreams. Mostly I am thankful that I had the opportunity, even if only for a little while, to be close to someone so amazing.
Katie

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