Kathy Putzier was a dear friend of mine, and she died last week. I have tried many times to write a fitting tribute to express a history of our friendship and how much she meant to me. I cannot do it.
Kathy was one of those people who was present when the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) was in its infancy. In many emails, she often applauded and criticized the current state of the DOC. Sometimes correctly, and at other times I felt she was off base. But that is what friends do; they talk. They are open to criticism and praise. Kathy and I shared both with each other.
I have no words to describe how important she was for me as a friend, mentor, helper and sometimes critic. We did not always agree, but we always listened. We bonded over music, film and the state of the current DOC. We met on TUDiabete.org. Kathy shepherded my exit to the broader DOC, helping me make contacts and introducing me to those who might help me get my website off the ground.
In our last email, Kathy told me about her guitar lessons, the struggle at the music school, and how she might be looking for a new teacher. I answered about the start of RABlog week, my struggle with writing right now and an update on my family. We did not discuss her health, something she often included if she was worried about a test, or a doctor visit.
This week I have been playing Bob Dylan almost nonstop. Hoping I can find the words to express how deeply I feel about her passing. The best I can say is, thank you, Kathy, for being my dear, gentle friend. You gave me so much, and I fear I gave so little in return. But especially thank you for always reminding me to live as Bob Dylan described:
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
Forever Young – 1973
It is just that now I will have to do this without my dear friend, and that is difficult to do.