In Memoriam

Part I: 
We Remember You
Caitlin Wright Binning

June 29, 1966 - July 25, 2003

I remember Caitlin Loved Ponies, 
by Aunt Elizabeth

Caitlin loved horses of any size and shape. She was wonderful with them. I, on the other hand, am scared silly of the things. Sweet girl that she was, Caitlin decided to take me for a ride on what I still think was a HUGE horse through what I know was a DENSE forest, miles and miles deep. We got lost and had to be rescued by the men in our family Uncle Brian and Sean. Now, Caitlin's memory was a little different. She always said it was a pony (anyone can tell from the picture who was right); the forest was a small wood behind their house (hmmmph) and the rescue was only the guys asking us to come back for dinner.

I Remember Caitlin in London, 
by Aunt Elizabeth

I have a wonderful memory of our recent trip to England. Despite some serious pain, Caitlin was a joy to travel with. She loved to find exotic ethnic restaurants -- something neither of our husbands seem to like. We enjoyed a fabulous Indian meal, finishing every last morsel. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing The King and I and My Fair Lady and riding on the huge Ferris Wheel near the Thames. We walked and walked, talked and talked and generally just enjoyed each others' company.

I Remember Meeting Caitlin for the First Time, 
by Lori Andresen

I remember when we first "discovered" this other Larkin family. I thought we might have a nice email relationship and possibly an occasional phone conversation. I remember so clearly when Caitlin said "We're coming up to Rhode Island next week." I was thinking to myself, "Slow down there, we Rhode Islanders take a bit longer to warm up to new folk." Nothing was going to stop her from getting here. She asked for nothing more than a couch to rest on and some cheese for her Mom. When Dad, Tracy and I went to meet them at the airport, I thought "OK, you can make it through a couple of days with these people and life will go back to the way it was." Well, basically it took nothing more than a beer and a single conversation for me to connect with my cousin. I felt I had known her forever and hated to see her leave three days later. I will be forever grateful that Caitlin charged her way into my life!

I remember that Dirt Woman knew Caitlin...
by Kristin Morris

Caitlin and I went to see Dirt Woman's Christmas show one year. Dirt Woman is a Richmond institution - a rotund, bear of a drag queen who delights in shocking local audiences. "Dirt" was in rare form for this show, distributing canned hams from a bejeweled chariot while clothed in her Christmas finery. 

Caitlin and I took it all in with glee, and after the show we approached this local celebrity to autograph her calendar for us. "Hi Caitlin," Dirt Woman said to my amazement as we approached the table. He signed our calendar "love, Donnie".

I Remember Caitlin at a Family Thanksgiving, 
by Uncle Brian

One of the best thanksgivings ever was 1997. Aunt Maureen, Caitlin, Dan, Michelle, Shane and Erica joined us at our condo for dinner. Now our place is not huge and while we didn't have to sit on each others laps all the time, we did get cozy. As usual, Aunt Maureen brought enough food to feed us all; Michelle made wonderful deserts. Aunt Elizabeth cooked the turkey. Caitlin and I had cleanup duty. Shane and Erica loved Caitlin -- who wouldn't. She might have been an adult, but she knew how to play. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving together. Caitlin was as much a part of our family as Dan or Erica. And that was one of the things that made her so dear  to so many people. Her cousin Lori commented on it above and her sister Tracy noted it below. Caitlin was immediately your daughter or sister. 

I Remember Caitlin and Toys for the Kids, 
by Lori Andresen

Another memory is that of the toys she felt my kids should have. Tongues that grew disgustingly large in water, whoopee cushions, and of course, potato guns. These gifts generally arrived in a plain brown envelope with no return address. As if I couldn't figure out who was responsible!! At her last visit to RI, she purchased potato guns for Zack, Nick, Riley, Hannah and Adrianna. What fun the kids had shooting potato pieces at all of the adults!! 

I Remember Lunchtimes at NAMI with Caitlin, 
by Amy Andrews

Amy Andrews worked with CaitlinFor the few years I worked at the NAMI-VA office. Lunchtime always felt like "Caitlin and Amy time". We sometimes took turns bringing food from home - my specialty being Mexican lasagna: Caitlin's was tomatoes and cucumbers in Italian dressing. Certainly far from fine dining but, in between phone calls, it became a wonderful time to hang out together. It was a time to talk about nothing and everything. To read the reams of jokes Caitlin printed off the internet. Caitlin said or wrote to me many times after I left NAMI-VA about how she missed hanging out and having lunch together. I couldn't agree more...

I Remember Caitlin as a Little Girl, 
by Aunt Nancy

When Caitlin was a little girl she would come to Chatham for summer vacations. She, Crystal and I made many interesting side trips during her stays. We did the usual like picnics with Grandmother Larkin and swimming in the old swimming hole and Lake Taconic. But we also took longer trips like going to New York City to visit the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.....that was when you could still walk up to the top. One very special trip was when we all dressed up in fashionable long dresses and went to the ballet at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She may have been a "tomboy" but she sure looked like high society that night....I want to thank you all for getting the family together last summer. I will cherish the time I spent with Caitlin.

I Remember Two "Freaky Chicks" 
by Tracy Wright Gandin

The last time Caitlin was here in Vermont, we went to get our hair cut together. Hers was finished before mine and I saw her saunter over to the hair embellishment counter out of the corner of my eye. She walked over and handed a tube to the woman who was working on my hair and the next thing I know I had stiff purple spikes, as did Caitlin. We were scheduled to go ride my horses at the boarding stable after the haircut. We got a few strange looks from the other clients at the barn! The horses didn't seem to mind. Had Caitlin not been in my life, I may never have experienced riding horses sporting a new purple spike hairdo. When Caitlin came back into my life as an adult, I expected meeting her to be strange and awkward. It was not. I never met anyone else who I could speak so openly to and who shared so many of my thoughts. She was my sister. I call the photo "Freaky Chicks."