Caitlin made a concrete, identifiable
difference in the lives of thousands of persons
I can't tell you how sorry I am at Caitlin's passing. She was a
wonderful person who we will miss very, very much.
Caitlin and I had a relationship that was based on friendship and
professional respect. I will always cherish it. It was a privilege
to know her and work with her - she made me do my best and never
accepted any compromising weaseling. She made everyone that worked
with her want to do a good job to get her respect.
Without her leadership and dogged determination, NAMI would not
have accomplished any of the things that it did while she worked
there. It's not often that you can say that one person made a
concrete, identifiable difference in the lives of thousands of
persons. But I can say that about Caitlin.
The Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity legislation was her idea -
she thought it up, sold it to legislators and the press, and never
gave up on getting it passed. I can't tell you how good it felt to
read -- when the law went into effect - that 25 wrongfully
imprisoned persons had regained their freedom. Some had been locked
up for over 10 years and had no relief in sight. I hope they know
that Caitlin was the one who set them free.
Almost every day I read about how the Virginia Office of
Protection and Advocacy is filing lawsuits to protect the disabled.
Without Caitlin, that agency would be a pale shadow of its current
self. Back when Gilmore was Governor, we had a chance to make a
compromise which gave the agency more independence but which still
subjected it to the Governor's oversight. I wanted to make the deal
because, I figured, "a bird in the hand . . ."
blah, blah," Caitlin said, God bless her, and we didn't make
the deal. She insisted -- and demanded -- that we do it right. And
we did it right.
On a personal level, I can't say too much about how sweet Caitlin
was with my little girl Alexa. Caitlin sent the nicest baby gift and
asked for lots of pictures - she obviously loved children. We were
trying to schedule a time for Alexa to visit Caitlin when her
illness intervened. I look forward to telling Alexa about brave
Caitlin who always stuck up for the vulnerable and never looked
Tim, you were Caitlin's brightest star. The wonderful effect that
you had on her was clear to everyone. It was obvious that - more
than anything - you made each other laugh and smile. I can think of
no better sign of a great marriage.
It is devastating to lose a loved one. My father's death when I
was 18 took a piece of my heart that seems irreplaceable. But my
fond memories, friends, and family have been an incredible help. I
know that your cherished memories of Caitlin and your family and
friends will support you on your journey. Please call on us for help
or to just talk about Caitlin. We will always have you and Caitlin
in our thoughts and hearts.
Yours truly, Alexander
(Note: Alexander MacCaulay is a lobbyist for NAMI-VA.)