Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends.  By Amy Ferris

Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends. By Amy Ferris

. 3 min read

How far would you go to help a friend with her dying wish? Writer Amy Ferris shares her touching story with us.

These are the very words that changed my life: "Don't tell me how you feel, Amy, tell me what you know."

My best friend Kathy Aiken said those words to me back in the ‘80s while I was snot-nose crying over some guy who broke my heart into a million pieces and I could hardly breathe on the other end of the phone and then she, Kathy, rattled off those words--tell me what you know--and then, after a long sigh, I rattled off all the things I knew. I knew I was strong and mighty, I knew I always rose up no matter what, I knew I was made of grit and guts and sexy, I knew that my heart was a powerful muscle—and yes it was broken and hurting and yes I would Krazy Glue it back together. And I knew—I knew—that when my back was against the wall—the wall always lost—the wall would crumble and I would be standing; I knew I was powerful and formidable, but I needed a reminder and Kathy, well, she was that and a whole host more.

In 2005, Kathy was dying of lung cancer.

I wrote about her in my memoir, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions of a Midlife Crisis. One of the greatest gifts Kathy ever gave me was Tina Smith, and trust me when I tell you, over a thirty-year-plus period, Kathy gave me plenty of gifts, seen and unseen. Kathy moved to the DC area from New York City, she remarried and started her life over again, not one to wallow in self-pity. It was in Maryland where she met this awesome woman, Tina, and wanted us to become friends. To love each other. That's exactly what she said: I want you to love each other because I love you both so much. She and Kathy were sisters in every sense of the word, except the color of their skin. “We have the same heart.” Tina would say when they announced they were sisters. “Sisters from a different mother,” Kathy would add. They loved each other like crazy cakes. They were inseparable. At the end of Kathy's life, Tina and I asked Kathy if there was anything she wanted - anything she wished for, anything she wished she had done - and she said: I wish I coulda gone to Hawaii. Or maybe she said, could've. Coulda. Could've. Fuck it. We wanted to give her every single one of her unfulfilled dreams. Yes, you read that right. So, we—Tina and I—made a pact: We were going to give Kathy her big dream with a bow and all our love. And so, we—Tina and I—sent her to Hawaii for one month. One month. I sold what little stock options I had, and Tina remortgaged her house, and we both went into hoc—yes, we did—and Kathy went to Hawaii. And she would call us, and we would hear her untamed joy. This was her dream.

And then she returned home.

And shortly after, Kathy died. And while we were horribly sad—bereft—to lose her, this glorious woman who made the world better, kinder, more beautiful, we were also so very grateful that her last days were spent living out her dream.

Tina stayed on in my heart and my soul and we celebrate the Goddess known as Kathy every single year.  

Amy Ferris is an author, screenwriter, editor, and playwright. Her screen adaptation of the short story Funny Valentines (Director: Julie Dash) was nominated for a Best Screenplay Award (BET). She is a recipient of the prestigious award, 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (Women's eNews), and is currently co-director of The Story Summit Writer's School.

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