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I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in May 1994 for a career venture and adventure. I didn’t know a soul in that area and was very excited about the new scene and opportunities. I have never met a stranger, as they say; however, I have proceeded confidently when I sometimes wasn’t feeling it. This particular opportunity was with a start-up business, in one of the most high-brow, expensive areas (Los Olas Boulevard) of Fort Lauderdale in a brand new office suite of the Sun Trust building. I marched in there to report to work like nobody’s business, with absolutely no idea what I was in for, or what I was going to do. Out of the dust of new construction, the bewilderment of what, why, when, how and who, a divine earth angel appeared before me with the brightest and biggest genuine smile in the world.
Enter Kathryn E. Metzger. She was a mirror of the best part of me. Her open heart, wide eyes, outstretched arms greeted me with the energy of heaven. That was the beginning of one of the best parts of my life. Beyond friends, we were sisters.
She was so easy to be with—the highest of values for me. Together, we: worked, ate, walked, talked, played, created, double-dated, cooked, cleaned, traded convertible outings, shopped, decorated, shared families, vacationed, cruised, enjoyed spas, cookouts, expanded business, lunched, dinnered, week-ended, laughed, cried, gained, endured loss, disagreed, painted, re-painted, adopted pets, buried pets, dreamed, set goals, understood not having spouses and children, processed work situations and relationship dynamics, and right up to just over a week ago, we were talking, texting, plotting, strategizing, and planning where and how she would live out her final months—her way.
Kathryn’s home was my home. It was a Fort Lauderdale hub for me over all these years. She welcomed every member of my family and friends’ families that wanted to come to stay in her home too. She was a living “YES” to the generous sharing of her heart and holdings. Sometimes when I would say no because it was too much, too many, or too long, she would override me with a yes. She couldn’t help giving. It was her nature and her wholehearted desire.
Lifetime friends of all shapes and sizes.
Front row: Faye (deceased), Rick. Back row: James, Martha, Calvin, Kathryn, Jeannie.
She spoke about 2017 being her year. She was planning to sell her house and return to condo living (which she had loved in past years). She had a job she loved closer to home—no more driving to Boca each day. She had done this extreme weight loss program and was happy for the first time in decades about her weight. It was to be her year.
Kathryn Metzger (in red) family: Deceased mother, brother Greg, his partner Kelley and son Will.
Kathryn became sick in the winter with a variety of respiratory symptoms. She saw multiple doctors, was given various antibiotics, steroids, x-rays, and injections. With my bossy insistence, she saw at least six different doctors and insisted they do more x-rays and extensive evaluations as she was not improving. She grew rapidly worse, eventually having to work from home due to the pain in her body. On one particular intense day, she called 911 and was taken to the hospital. She was diagnosed with bilateral advanced lung cancer with metastasis to the liver and bones.
She was hospitalized in early May, declined in a full spectrum of ways, endured the extremes of pain, paralysis, uncertainty, transfers to rehab, other hospitals, hospice at home, then eventually a hospice facility. Throughout this living physical hell, she was true to her soul, dreams, and humanness. She was holding out for the miracle. She spoke positively, affirmed healing, renewal, was actively making future plans, limited her exposure to lack or worries, and wholeheartedly believed she would recover and rehab her body. She held out to see a notable oncologist for a second opinion on Thursday, July 6th. He told her the repeated scans and images revealed progressive and aggressive growth of the cancer and that no doctor could help her. He encouraged her to move to a hospice facility and to be as comfortable as possible.
That day was the beginning of the end for my friend. She shut down, gave up, lost the will to live and died in the evening of Wednesday, July 12th. I was scheduled to go visit her on July 13th.
I see her clearly in my mind, so many treasured images of and with her. I feel her in the part of my heart that death or sickness has no access to. I celebrate her life, love, joy, spirit and mind as one of my most treasured gifts. She lives in eternity.
My deepest appreciation to you Kathryn, for all you are, all you did, and all that will become of your seed sowing. The hardest part of letting you go was not letting go. The hardest part of accepting this was not accepting it. A lifetime was just not long enough.
For you all—remember that someday becomes today! Live LIVE LIVE LIVE! It’s a gift.
All my love to you,
“Kathryn Metzger is the true definition of BFF.”
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