In Memoriam

Caitlin Wright Binning

June 29, 1966 - July 25, 2003

See You Later, Kiddo ...

I am not a religious man. I have always had a strong spiritual I will attempt some of the latter this occasion.

With the passing of Caitlin, my youngest sister, several themes keep coming to mind. Early age? Yes. Death of the body is certain for us all. Caitlin's body failed to beat disease but no doubt she carries on in spirit. To leave us at 37 with her track record of accomplishments appears unjust to us. We can be angry, guilty, or remorseful, feeling we express through our emotions at this time, but we also have to make the effort to look outside our own feelings and be sure to remember what Caitlin was about. This isn't really about us, after all, much as it feels that way now, right? Regardless, we all should feel a certain degree of resolve at a time like this that the Justice over Life and Death IS clearly blind, and made no specific decision in this case. Caitlin's passing comes too soon to US, obviously. There is no blame to assign, or justification required. Rarely, a life extends long, with others, it simply ends early. That is the gamble this life is. It comes with NO guarantees extended to any of us. We own how we apply what we learn from it. We own what we chose to do with life while we are able. Most of the rest is up to other forces beyond our control. We all need to reflect on this event in our lives, and be sure to take its lesson forward, as Caitlin would certainly wish, and have her brief life time with us serve a purpose that extends unselfishly beyond ourselves, as she did very, very well.

Caitlin invested her time here very well. Digging up old lost family strays, advocating for the mentally ill, and underprivileged is a calling, like nursing, that requires a deep and unselfish giving of self. Examination and understanding of one's character is one of those deep personal choices required for such life endeavors. Some are more successful than others at these things. Caitlin was no 'shrinking violet'. Understatement? We have experienced her sharp wit and sense of humor. I found myself off guard at times by her fast rebounding humor, which, despite my unskilled attempts to shock or offend her in jest with classic backwoods humor like "road-kill" meat, blond jokes...Liberals...I tried hard to get to her with Liberals jokes...and failed miserably! And Rush Limbaugh claims "there are no good Liberals!" Rush, as Caitlin would truly love to hear me say, was WRONG. She was not an easy mark for poorly performed humor. Nor did she hold grudges or offense. More often, I suspect, she put her brand of jokes right over my I'm not blessed with particularly sharp wits...obviously. I suspect her upbringing including those certain critical sections of "John" may have been an influence? Someone once told me "It's easier READ than DONE..." Caitlin did just fine in her life interpreting "John" on what "Love is..."

Caitlin would want us to continue to examine and work on the future of the family history issues. I do not want to get into the past here as it's simply inappropriate timing, but a reminder here, on her behalf, certainly is. As we move though this difficult period of her passing, remember what she was about, smart, available unconditional love, bring that into your thoughts these days, and with each of you into the future. Caitlin was a 'teacher', and a good soul, and has enriched all our lives through experiencing her love, as our sister, wife, daughter or colleague.

That, family, friends, is what the measure of a successful life, of any length is all about and should be celebrated as her passing is mourned. St. Peter, without question, waved this particular Pearly Gate Visitor straight through....

Your Loving Big Brother,