Those were the days, my friend…

When I approached Kathi’s table to take her order, I felt like the sun was inside of her. She was so beautiful! Long dark fluffy hair. Warm brown eyes. Kind sincere smile that felt like it was just addressed to me and no one else. We became friends, immediately and forever. But alas, this “forever” lasted just 3 years for her, and for me – up until this moment, in my thoughts.

Kathi’s biggest love was music. It became a reason for our next meeting. I brought my daughter to her place for guitar and singing lessons. It was two weeks until the Talent show in the elementary school. We weren’t prepared then, but it went perfectly. Nina’s first guitar was bought by Kathi and delivered in person to Barney’s where we first met. So, she became my girl’s music teacher and my soul mate. Somehow we knew each-other from first sight.

We met, chatted, drank wine sometimes… It was hard to believe that Kathi was 20 years older than me. Everything she told me clicked with something inside of me, like I experienced the same things. We had so much in common: our difficulties with the same day-to-day routines, the love of everything new, the constant desire to create something and involve others in it… Kathi helped me with editing my texts. I was inspired to write a lot those days. The musical evenings organized by Kathi in the Back room in downtown Berkeley were kind of a Talent show for everyone who wanted to express themselves. We were singing there together as a trio: Nina, Kathi and me, in Russian and in Engish. The song was «Those were the days…»

Our last meeting was at the same place where the first one happened. Kathi was lit up from happiness as she showed me the ring – her fiancee proposed to her on her birthday, May 30. She shared with me her plan to have a wedding on Sicilia next year. But in two weeks everything turned upside down: the Universe made another decision about Kathi’s life. I don’t want to name this illness. I want it to dissapear forever. Too many amazing people are leaving this world too early.

Kathi left us so fast that I didn’t have a chance to say «goodbye» and came just to celebrate her life with other people who admired her with me. The house which Marc bought for the two of them was packed. Sometimes I come to Inspiration point in Tilden park where Kathi’s ash was spread out on the wind. I talk to the wind, thinking she is still here somehow. I am still looking for my inspiration, part of which left with my friend. I am writing these words here in the park on September 22, three years later after Kathi left this world.

My 102-year-old grandma says that a person is alive when people remember them. When I remember Kathi, her warm sunny energy hugs me again, as on the day when we first met. We need to tell people that we love them when we are alive, and they are alive. I am happy you did it, Kathi. I love you too, my dear creative sunny friend. Forever.

Sometimes when I look at what the world has transformed into today, I think that you are kind of lucky not seeing that…

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance, forever and a day
We’d live the life we chooseWe’d fight and never lose
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days…

Kathi Suprata and us… November 2016. The Back room, Berkeley

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