For My Sister on her passing.

August 24 2015

Just in case, I'm Rob Crowston, K.C.'s big brother.

James Taylor sings:

“The secret of life 

Is enjoying the passage of time.”

We're all here today because my sister, our sister, our daughter, our mother, our wife and our friend Kerry Catherine Lawrence knew, despite everything that was going on with her body, knew better than most, how to enjoy the passage of time.

When K.C. First appeared on my landscape she pretty much ruined everything. 'Til then, it was all about me, then she came along and it was all share-zee's and “hold your sisters hand” and “look out for your sister....”  I'd like to say that sharing everything with K.C. was a great experience, but it wasn't - she was a ridiculously crabby little thing. Even way back then, she had opinions about how things should go or what we should do or how we should act...  and heaven help you if you didn't agree. She'd furrow her brow, and point a crooked finger at you -  Kinda looked like this: _____.

Despite her natural tendency back then to stomp around in a bad mood, our parents gave us a magical childhood, in fact, not a couple of weeks ago, she and I were just talking about the big family vacation to San Francisco. Which surprisingly,started out as a weekend in Portland Oregon. This was well before Chris came along. We shared memories of how we traveled in the back of a little Triumph Herald called Herman. Everyone named their cars back then. We talked about China Town, the bus tour, we laughed about breakfast on the beach on the way home – not so much because it was romantic, but rather, my folks were broke on the way home and they only had enough money for a shared cup of coffee, a half pint of milk and a couple of those little boxes of individual packages of cereal. Not that we noticed, we were having breakfast on the beach! She laughed about how hard it must have been to travel without credit cards. For me, one of the best memories from that time was laying in the back of Herman along side my sister ( the back seat of Herman folded down to make a little platform that we slept on ) gazing up at the stars as we hurtled along the freeway on our journey home.  

At some point after we moved to Canary, Dad built K.C. a little playhouse in the back yard – I was forbidden by K.C. to enter. Sure, Barbara, Shirley, Margret, Marianne, Lynne and Cathy of course were all welcome, but not me. Cathy was so welcome, that the Dad's cut a hole in the back fence and put a gate in so the two inseparable friends didn't have to climb the fence anymore. Talk about spoiled. The playhouse? That was her place. I bet I didn't spend ten minutes in that playhouse the whole time we lived on Canary. No boys allowed. And she told me so regularly.

But I got her back. I locked her in the bathroom cupboard when Mom and Dad went out. I made her find the carefully hidden Christmas presents and then threatened to out her to Mom and Dad for looking for them if she didn't tell me where they were but best of all, one time I locked her head in the power window of Dad's brand new '65 Ford Galaxy 500XL. That was the best. “Go ahead” I said, “put your head out the window we'll pretend we're driving somewhere....” and she did and when she did, I locked her head between the frame and the power-window. Of course I got in trouble, but it was worth it. She was so mad at me.

James sings:

“The secret of love 

Is in opening up your heart.

And since we're only here for a while, 

Might as well show some style.”

K.C.'s style... The bling... the tan... the glow of her constant cigarette! 

My lovely sisters' smile lit up a room. She smiled at those precious things around her that meant more to her than is possible to measure. It was never the stuff, although I know she adored her new home, it was always, the people. 

Mom and Dad of course, especially you Dad. They say that Fathers and Daughters... that it's special and that couldn't be more true than in this particular case. Dad,you were her Hero – her every day, always there, This is MY Dad! Hero. 

Trisha, Kristy; we heard all the stories – all the ups and downs, all the trials and tribulations of growing up. The good bits, and the bad bits. But she never wavered in her support – you were her girls and that's all there was to it. Her love for you was never ending, never failing – it was always, and it will be forever. Trisha, when you were crawling around inside the beast of the machines you repaired – when she told those stories she was ten feet tall and so terribly proud of you. She was proud of both of you. You've grown to be fine, caring and lovely women. And aren't you lucky to have had a women so strong in character,so steadfast,so tenacious, so God Damned stuborn to help you blaze your trail?

A few short years ago, Kristy and Mike gave us Tia and that gave K.C. a whole new thing to love - to - bits. I didn't even know my sister knew how to baby talk 'til Tia cam along. I'd never heard it before – but there it was, big as life. She pulled so much joy from that new and precious relationship, it was so very, very important to her. 

Danny; if K.C.'s Dad was her Hero, you were absolutely and without question her Knight in Shining Armor. I have no idea how often she mentioned to you her love for you, but I do know how much she loved you; to the depth and breadth of her soul. When you came along at what? 12 or something like that - It was like all the other boys just faded away... none of them had a chance anymore. It was always - you. Soul - Mates. True, real, deeply in love, soul mates.

Remember all those years in the beginning? When we were all so broke. not enough to buy a six pack let alone essentials like diapers, or food or make the rent. Remember that first house you bought together Danny? Today they'd call that a fixer upper – maybe.... But you did. Together you moved forward and built a home, and a family and place where love grew. Over all those years, over 40 of 'em together I'd guess, you two built something precious and special and so very fine. Thank-you Dan. Thank-you for being the stand up guy that took such good care of my little sister. I tip my hat to you and I, we, are all so eternally grateful for all the good and all the joy and all the happiness you gave her. 

“Now the thing about time 

Is that time isn't really real.

It's just your point of view, 

How does it feel for you?

Einstein said he 

Could never understand it all.

Planets spinning through space, 

The smile upon a face, 

Welcome to the human race.”

I can't imagine that K.C. would have wanted me, or you, or any of the human race to be all sad and weepy today – My guess is that she'd want us to enjoy each other’s company, to share a laugh or a story, or some food – and that was a thing too wasn't it? There was never enough food when you went to K.C.'s. Weird. I bet too that she'd be all pissy that Dan spent any money at all on this thing for her today. Because of course, those funds could have gone towards the next vacation. Or that Simone and Dodie would go to all this trouble for all these people – can't you just hear her: “No, no, no, that's not going to be necessary....” But truth is I think she would have been touched by this display of love. So, on behalf of all of my family, thank-you for doing this kind thing for her.

For a good long while, K.C. had been battling Krone's Disease.... it's a cruel affliction; indiscreet, petty and mean. But for the most part she hadn't let it get the better of her. “It's not that big a deal, and besides, what are you gonna do?” she'd say. She had projects like painting chandeliers above her bed jet black. She had all these wonderful friends, friends that meant the world to her. She had vacations that pulled her up when she was sometimes so very far down. She had her bling, and her cigarettes’. She had family that loved her, she had her precious daughters and her beloved granddaughter – and she had you Danny.  So K.C. might, had she been given the chance, have had one thing to say to all of us here today, and that might be that she did understand the secret of life, that yes, she did understand that:

"The secret of life 

is enjoying the passage of time".

...and thanks to all of you. 

I think, for the most part, she did understand.

We're going to miss her...

I'm going to miss her terribly. I loved her very much.

This is a little video of James Taylor singing the song I quoted from – I'm going to pretend he's singing it for her.

Secret of Life - James Taylor