In Memoriam

Part II:
We Remember You
Caitlin Wright Binning

June 29, 1966 - July 25, 2003



I remember Caitlin in Arizona, 
by Ron Larkin 

Caitlin and Tim came out to Arizona to visit just a few months ago. Caitlin had been asking about those famous energy vortexes and the claims of all sorts of amazing happenings around them. Sunset from the El Tovar While at the Airport Mesa vortex, I watched her take off her hat and she was using her hands to pull that energy out of the air and into her head with that wonderful smile beaming all the time. Later in the trip we sat on the back porch of the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon, sipping a beer (or two), watching the sunset, and sharing family stories. It was a wonderful evening. 



I Remember Caitlin in the Blizzard of 1979, 
by Uncle Brian

Shannon had just come to live with us and I was moving offices. Aunt Maureen, 13-year-old Caitlin and her brother Sean came with their station wagon to help move. Task master Aunt Maureen made sure we all worked hard all day, despite the beginnings of a snow fall and forecast for a blizzard. As the afternoon went on, it became clear that they wouldn't make it back to Richmond, so we all camped out in our apartment. In the morning, Caitlin got up early and went down to see the snow. She came back to report excitedly that it was up to her waist. Looking out from the 10th floor, the snow didn't look that deep to skeptical Aunt Maureen. "Let's pack up and go," she said. Caitlin said "We can't." Aunt Maureen said, "We can." Caitlin was adamant. Aunt Maureen was boss. So they packed up, went down the elevator, got out to the street and sure enough, they were no going anywhere. DC had two feet of snow and DC can't handle 2 inches. This turned out to be the 3rd heaviest snowfall in D.C.'s history. Caitlin was right and didn't pass up the chance to (sweetly) say I told you so. So, we all got to play for another day. Caitlin-the-organizer organized everyone into a snow ball fight and a snowman making operation.



I Remember Working With Caitlin at the Daily Planet, 
by Lori Berkey

I was always relieved when her name was on the schedule to work with me on Saturdays at the Daily Planet. When I came to the Planet, Caitlin had been there for years caring for folks in various capacities, but now she worked elsewhere during the week full time, and came to the Daily Planet on weekends as a weekend/relief worker. Despite her weekday work which required lots of mental energy, Caitlin always arrived for her shift at the Daily Planet giving 150% to all of the members and staff. I can tell you I learned an awful lot from her example. Caitlin took the time to know the members well. She could tell from across the room if someone had skipped their medication or if someone had been drinking. The members were keenly aware that she cared. She was a persistent and phenomenal advocate for helping the members to access needed services. I knew that when Caitlin was on the schedule --if someone was decompensating and needed hospitalization--that they wouldn't get missed. And if they were just a little off from their baseline, Caitlin would use her relationship with them to help them to help themselves prevent a crisis. She provided support to staff and members alike. She was never shy about expressing her opinion, and while she could be extra assertive when needed, there was always a glimmer of her soft, compassionate, feeling side shining through--which just added strength to whatever subject she was passionate about. And as everyone who knew her knows, her sense of humor was ever-present. It totally amazed me that she was able to sustain that humor throughout her illness. And even more amazing that she (or any human being) was able to sustain such a positive outlook, such a complain-free existence during the most physically and emotionally trying of times. Though she had every right to complain...her strength and toughness through all that will forever be a source of inspiration to me, and like her work at the Daily Planet, will serve as an example, providing vicarious strength always. You could count on Caitlin. Caitlin, may you rest in peace my dear friend. Thanks for the memories. Peace and love, Lori



I Remember Caitlin -- I Knew She Cared, 
by Steele Andrews

Caitlin was my email friend. I enjoyed sharing things with her. Several times she would email a prediction of sorts and oddly enough, it always seemed to come true. After the [Larkin] family reunion that was held here in August of 2002, I continued to have an email exchange with Caitlin that lasted until a few days before she died. I remember once complaining that I could hardly survive financially - I was worried about a bad winter with no snow and no business. Caitlin replied as per below... it was just a short message of hope. I got a few of these kinds of cryptic messages about some unknown event to come. Her prophecy would come to pass. On August 30, 2002, Caitlin wrote, "Lotsa snow this year. but it will be a little weird like 2 feet, then nothing, then another huge dump. They will come to you...."My numbers were up 15% when other similar businesses showed double digit percentage drops. There were record breaking snowfalls - exactly as Caitlin said it would. The winter was fabulous. It might be outrageous to relate my survival simply to Caitlin's words - but the fact is, I know she cared. Maybe just the positive support from a friend was enough to give me the hope I needed to hold on. -- Just some words to you Caitlin... should you read this from another dimension. I love you, and I miss you. Your friend, Steele


I Remember Caitlin Getting Heckled by the Man

by Anne Soffee (Open High School Class of '85)

 

 I have a Caitlin story that I have told for years.  In 1981, when I was a freshman at Open High, Caitlin (who was a year ahead of me) had a pair of electric blue spandex disco pants.  You could see her coming from blocks away in those pants.  Not exactly typical school wear, but I'm sure you've heard about Open High, so, you know, anything went.

 

Anyway, one day Caitlin and I were waiting at the bus stop on First and Broad, headed for class, and a fairly nice car pulled up to the curb and stopped.  The automatic window rolled down, and this austere looking joe-businessman type, a silver-haired guy, leaned out and said "I just had to pull over and tell you those are the most horrible pants I have ever seen!"  He shook his head disapprovingly, rolled up the window and pulled off.
 
Caitlin and I were speechless.  I can see her face like it was yesterday.  We were used to getting heckled by rednecks, winos and other teenagers, but it was really a fashion coup when you got heckled by the man!
 
On the bus ride to class, we had a good giggle and thought of all the smart-ass responses we should have said to him had we not been standing there with our mouths hanging open like we were.  Whenever I think of Caitlin, I think of those blue spandex pants and that disapproving businessman.  Who would have thought she'd go on to change the world?
 
Oval Callout:

 



I Remember Caitlin Loved Life
by Tracy Larkin-Thomason

My first memories of Caitlin were as a young girl at grandmother's house in the summer. A blonde shadow somewhere in the vicinity of Crystal. Later, I would live with Aunt Maureen, Grandmother, Sean and Caitlin for a year (1981 to 1982) when I attended school in Virginia. Caitlin was this tall, fearless young woman (15 to 16) who did nothing halfway. She embraced life with enthusiasm, she sang in a band (" Do you want to know a Secret" was one of the popular songs). She attended an alternate style high school. I remember bare feet and "parachute" type pants. I remember Aunt Maureen teaching her Latin at the dining room table as one of her subjects. She loved gardening and was a hard worker about the house. Her friends were an unusual crowd by my standards but were all fiercely loyal to her. Her humor is legendary.

Through the years as she embarked into her chosen career, she would share stories showing the absurdities of life. She used a rubber band gun to shoot unsuspecting coworkers to let off steam. She embraced life and the people in it. She had a rare gift to see all people as they really were and accept them for who they were.

She loved people in all forms and generally loved life. She loved the way Paige could tell a story; she loved lunches with Uncle Brian; she loved the way Mike and Brenda still hold hands; she loved the way Dan and Michele opened their home to her; she loved Nick stories; she loved that Ron and Marianna, personally took Tim and her on tour in Arizona; she loved Ireland; she loved Tim; she loved life.


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