On Climbing Mountains

April 29, 2015

Image by Nathan Troop via Flickr
This year, 2015, feels a bit heavy.

It is the tenth anniversary of the death of one of my dearest friends, who died at age 28 after a long battle with cancer.

I look back at myself ten short/long years ago -- so naive, such a beginner in so many ways, a young woman absolutely convinced that Katrina's legacy would be to conquer cancer and to share her amazing testimony with women the world over.

Her death was devastating, and it was the biggest test of my young faith -- until I prayed for God to show me her legacy, to show me that her life, cut short, still had an eternal impact.

He did, and he continues to do so even these ten years later.

Katrina was amazing. Poised. Mature and wise far beyond her 28 years. Beautiful in a serene way that had both men and women stopping to talk to her at coffee shops. And while she was not perfect, she was the woman I secretly tried to be more like as I was still trying to find my own self.

Katrina was the one who slid into the pew next to me (the new girl) early one Sunday morning, who invited me into her circles, who invited me into the lives of other women I now count as sisters, not just as friends.

Katrina was the one who encouraged all of us as we gathered around her kitchen table during our weekly Bible studies, even as her body ached from its battle against hated cancer.

Katrina is still the woman I think of when I walk up quietly next to the new girl at work, at my church, at any group and introduce myself.

Ten years after her death, I still find myself  trying to be a little bit more like Katrina whenever I step into a situation that secretly intimidates me.

The faith that I carry forward, it is Katrina's legacy. This blog with Kendra and Kristin, Katrina's biological sisters -- it is Katrina's legacy. When any one of us are invited to speak of faith and encouragement before groups of women, that is Katrina's legacy.

We carry her legacy and her forward with us.  

This tenth year, when Kendra told me that they are climbing one last mountain, one last rock, in honor of their sister, I could not say no.  They are raising money for Katie's Club one final year -- her foundation that supports girls and women in their own faith journeys.

And so I join them. I don't particularly like mountains. I can honestly say that scaling a rock has never been on any Bucket List of mine, but when my dearest friends ask me to climb a rock in honor of a woman I adore...well, I just cannot say no.

We climb figurative and literal mountains for many reasons, including for those we love dearly.  

And as I spend early mornings in the gym, doing lunges, lifting weights, and struggling to keep to keep up with the instructor at the front of the class, I think of the people I love.

If you want to learn more, if you want to give, I'm linking to Jim's fundraising page (her husband and the father of their children together, who is now the father in his new family with Stacy, who so graciously embraces Katrina's legacy).

And, if climbing a mountain has always been on your bucket list, well, we are always looking for more people to join us. You can find more details about our hike up Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado this coming July on the hike's website. Or leave us a comment and we'll get you connected.

We are, once again, linking up with the lovely Holley Gerth.



  1. What a lovely, touching tribute to your friend. As I read it, I thought, "I hope the same could be said of me if I were to die tomorrow." And that, right there, shows that Katrina's legacy lives on.

    1. Thank you, Kimber. Beautifully said - that is my heart's desire as well. :)

  2. This is so beautiful, and I pray you get all the funds you need!