Katelan was known as Mum Mum’s “Princess,” Daddy’s “Pumpkin,” Grammy’s “Angel,” Grampy’s “Girlfriend,” Uncle Scott’s “Squirmy” and Aunt Joanne’s “Munchkin.“ To everyone else who knew her or had the pleasure of meeting her, she was a smiling little peanut of a blonde-haired girl, who could light up a room and make you smile. She was a little girl who had a very advanced life for her mere 22 months. Katelan had the ability to turn a curmudgeon into an adoring fan. She would soon chase her “puppies” to play with them, and no matter what she did to them, they showed their love by going back for more.
Some of the milestones that Katelan made memorable, in addition to those of a normal childhood, provide insight into what a remarkable child she was, and why she is remembered with both smiles and tears:
On the day she was born, we quickly learned what a special baby she was. Katelan was strong in strength and smart in social skills. You see, when her Grampy held her for the very first time, she grasped his little finger, and when he went to take his hand away, she held on so tightly that she pulled herself up by holding on. However, the clincher of the joy and happiness of the day was when the nurse was taking her out of the room for her “Newborn Pictures” and Miss Katelan waved goodnight to everyone.
At a mere 4 weeks, Mommy asked Katelan if she wanted to go shopping. She immediately lit up like a Christmas tree, an expression that would be her trademark for the rest of her short life. Katelan loved to shop, but not for toys - although they were OK. Katelan’s passion was for clothes, little-girl clothes. Katelan loved it when she was given new clothes on hangers. She would run from room to room and person to person to show off what she had received. Her love of receiving new clothes changed as she learned to walk on her own, and she would run to and through the racks of little-girl clothes at a store or the mall.
At 3 months, she achieved another milestone in that she learned to play her first game, Peek-A-Boo. Katelan’s laugh was a squeal that turned into a belly laugh, and she would certainly do her share of squealing when anyone would play this with her. This game, however, turned to learning to crawl, and Katelan was off to the races. Katelan would crawl in the most unusual manner, with one knee on the floor and the other knee up as she was standing on her foot, and despite this stride, she could outdo anyone as she raced around the house.
Katelan had the usual childhood milestones of learning to feed and attempting to dress herself with her shoes usually ending up on the wrong foot, but she also had others which set her apart from others her age.
Once, while watching her usual children’s programs on PBS, there was a learning cartoon show with pirates. Grampy made a pirate face, and told her that if she wasn’t good, Grampy was going to make her walk the plank. Katelan, however, turned and mimicked him, making her own pirate face, which become her trademark. Whenever she was asked, she would make her pirate face -- one eye closed with a turned up lip -- but always with a smile.
Although Katelan only spent 22 months on Earth, she was a fiercely independent and smart little lady who always wanting to help others. Her goal was to bring a smile to everyone, something she achieved on a daily basis right to the end. She had an innate ability to not only make her family smile, but anyone she encountered.
Katelan’s passing was and still is a medical mystery, one that has left a tremendous void in the lives of many. The “Little Angel” on Earth whose life brought so much happiness also caused an abundance of sadness when she earned her “Heavenly Wings.” Katelan is missed by her “Mum Mum” and Daddy, and her loving family and friends. True happiness will only be achieved when all are reunited and can see her precious “Little Pirate Face” once again.
We love you Katelan, and we always will, until the end of time.
Or, as Grammy always said, “I Love You to the Moon and Back.”