It’s been a hard month. Tiki-Kate was sick for a long time, but she was so darned tough that we couldn’t help but be optimistic that she was going to eventually be okay. When we got word that her cancer was incurable, we’d hoped to still have some time with her, maybe even some great time once the chemo had left her system a bit. Sadly, it was not to be; Kate passed in only a few days.
She had enough time to do a bit of planning, and she let her wishes be known: she wanted lots of aloha wear at her memorial service, and she wanted a luau. Her family and friends gathered at her sister’s house, and we had a wonderful time sharing our joys and our sorrows and our memories.
Before Kate passed, I told her my plan to create a website for her, to be a tribute to all the wonderful things she had done for tiki. A great big celebration, a great big going away present. She got to hear about it, but she didn’t get to see it. I’m utterly crushed about that.
This has been pretty difficult. It’s hard to code when you want to cry. But it helped a lot, too… I spent a lot of time luxuriating in the wonderful Kateness still left in the world.
Here it is… a celebration of Tiki-Kate, called Viva Kate!*
Kate was particular about getting facts right, and boy did I love that about her. Personally, I would love for her to become a larger-than-life figure, a Paul Bunyan of tiki (and I’ve already seen some of that happening)… but on Viva Kate, I want the facts. It makes it feel more like it’s her site that way. I’ve had some assistance already with some corrections, but I’d love it if anyone out there could help me if they see anything that isn’t quite right, or if there’s anything that’s been left out that should really be included.
Time will trundle on, and new people will encounter the information that only exists because Tiki-Kate put it out there. I hope Viva Kate will help them understand where it came from; that this wonderful woman—who didn’t even know them—wanted to share a bit of beauty with them.
Mahalo, Tiki-Kate! I miss you too, too much.
* I originally wanted to call the site “Tiki-Kate, Fuck Yeah!” But that didn’t seem quite right… she said “fudge” a lot, but I don’t know that I ever heard her swear quite that readily. So maybe “Tiki-Kate, Fudge Yeah!” is the sort of unofficial alternate name.