Saturday, November 12, 2011

My best friend


I'm not sure why today I felt like blogging about Kate, but somehow I felt compelled to do here goes.

I never knew my best friend was missing until my freshman year at LSU.  Now, I had best friends, friends, acquaintances, but didn't find my "sista girl" until college.

It was spring semester at LSU, and my roommate and I moved dorms at the semester change.  It was the best idea we ever had because our new dorm was filled with amazing people I will always treasure.  Casey (my roommate) and I moved into our new dorm and were met with a warm, friendly greeting by our floor ladies and one in particular stood out "so to speak".  Her name was Kate, and she was actually from the same town I was from.  We went to different high schools though, so we never met until LSU.

From that moment on, Kate and I were attached at the hip and went through many a memory.  We shared everything, and I knew from then on that I would have a sister for life.  Through boys, setbacks, late night runs to Cane's and Blockbuster, school, through everything... I had someone that truly had my back (and vice versa).

Our senior year, we decided to move to New Orleans to finish up school, and so we started our new journey. 

So life went on, and everything was great. 

Until June 20, 2008.

The day that changed Kate's life as well as mine forever.

I will never ever to this day forget this horrible day.

Kate was coerced into going to a wedding in LaPlace with a guy that wouldn't take no for an answer.  Kate was so sweet that she gave in, even though she really didn't wanna go.  When she left she turned around and gave me a hug before she left, and I headed over to Josh's house.

Everything was fine...

Until I didn't hear from Kate.  I knew something wasn't right when I hadn't gotten a text or call from her in over several hours to gossip.  Then around 10pm Kate's mom called me hysterical to say that Kate and her date were hit head on, and she was at the hospital in Baton Rouge.

       I was paralyzed. 

Josh had to physically pick me up off of the ground and put me in his truck to go to her.  We got to the hospital first, and waited patiently to see my best friend.  Once the Dr. let me go back to see her I will never forget how she looked.  She looked like an angel.  Not one smear of makeup on her face, and just a teardrop on her cheek.

We spent all night in the waiting room with Kate's family wondering why...

(Kate never met a stranger.  Her sense of humor was contagious, and was always a bright light in so many people's lives.)

I left the hospital that night in shock.  Josh held me for hours that night, keeping me from going insane.  I cried and cried until I couldn't cry anymore.

I mean, how could I go back to our house?  Those next weeks were AGONIZING. 


Kate was taken up to ICU where I would visit to hold her hand.  I cried for days.

She was in a coma for months, and had sustained a severe brain injury in which no one knew what was going to happen next.

Kate eventually was airlifted to Shepherd's Center in Atlanta (specializing in traumatic brain and spinal injuries) where she went through months of rigorous therapy. 

Kate had to relearn EVERYTHING.  From speaking, to walking, to eating.  EVERYTHING.

My heart ached for her and still aches to this day.

Since Sherpherd's center, Kate moved back with her family where she still lives to this day.  She attends therapy several days a week and has worked up to a college course a semester.

I wish I could correctly articulate how I feel about the whole situation, because my heart BREAKS for her.  I cannot imagine how it feels to want all of the things a 25 year old wants, but unfortunately has such a huge setback that she fights against every day.

I'm sure I left out MANY details and probably haven't done this story justice, but just know that she has come SO far, she is an absolute miracle.  Who I love very much.

I often wonder where we would be if that horrible day never happened. 

Ugh, I'm crying just writing this post because every time I talk to her or text her, I feel her pain and frustration.  Awful.  Absolutely awful.

Poor thing has to exert so much energy into everyday tasks that we take for granted.

I pray everyday that she can move on with her life and have everything that she's always dreamed of.

Now, if you have made it this far, you deserve a medal.  It's so cathartic writing this post because unfortunately it's so hard for me to talk to friends/family about it still. 

Thanks ya'll.

Before the accident.  Goofballs!

 I was so honored that she was in my wedding.  She walked beautifully down the aisle.  A walk that she had practiced so hard for :).


  1. Dear sweet Gabrielle,
    What a wonderful friend you are! How lucky to be your aunt.

  2. This story has pulled at my heart strings... Wow. We really do take everyday things for granted and its sad that things like this are what remind us to be thankful! Both of you look stunning in that last picture:)

  3. wow what a is so sad but also great that she lived and worked so hard to get where she are a great friend and i think you did a great job telling this both look beautiful!