Happy Birthday, Katie O’!
You might think that this t-shirt (which I got from 6 Dollar Shirts - http://www.6dollarshirts.com/t-shirts, http://6dollarshirts.com/t-shirts/You-Have-Died-of-Dysentery-p-11195.html) is a weird one to wear for my cousin’s birthday, but it does remind me of her. No, we never trekked the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon together. She did start going to the same school as me when we were in the 5th grade, and back then there was no video game (especially educational video game) bigger than the Oregon Trail…
It was 1985, and I was at my last year at Fales in Westboro. Katie had moved to The ‘Boro from Northboro during February vacation, and I really had mixed feelings about it. One the one hand, I was looking forward to the change from occasional poking fun at her to almost daily poking fun at her. But, my familial-protective mode also kicked in. It was okay for me to make jokes, but rest assured no other 5th grader would dare make fun of Katie!
Because I have always been what you might call “late to mature”, it wasn’t until high school when my cousin Katie also became my friend Katie. We weren’t going to the same school then, but we were both in the St. Luke’s youth group (SYF represent!) together. I did still make fun of her, but it was in more of a loving way than my 5th-8th grade impress-my-friends way. We planned together, worked events together, and she even tried to help me if I had a crush on any of the other SYF girls.
We did have our moments of disagreement in high school. One night after I had watched a Bruins playoff game with a group of friends, we thought it was a great idea to play street hockey in the Fales School parking lot. It was about 11:00 at night and we were being so loud that Katie (the next street over) could hear us. Very motherly and authoritative, Katie marched over and told us how ridiculous we were being. Of course at the time I thought she was overreacting, but she was completely in the right and she was doing it because she didn’t want any of us getting into trouble (something that I haven’t had difficulty finding over the years). I just hope she laughs as much as I do when I think about this night.
While I was at BC for my freshman year of college, Katie was at nearby Emerson College. Because of this proximity, she sometimes had to deal with the not-so-happy results of the start of my relationship with alcohol. Luckily for me she only showed love, support, and patience. I just hope my drinking had nothing to do with her decision to transfer to St. Mike’s!
Since college, Katie and I have become even closer and (I like to think) the moments of my poor judgment have become fewer and fewer. She has helped develop my appreciation of Irish music, and even started an Irish session every Thursday at Mulligan’s in Westboro (http://www.mulliganstaverne.com). Earlier this year, she volunteered to host my birthday party/game night and not surprisingly it turned out to be the usual laugh-fest people always get when they hang out at the O’Neill’s. Katie simply been an important part in my realization (and often repeated motto) that the only thing in life that really matters is the people you have in yours. Katie, I am very lucky to have you in mine. I hope your birthday has been fabulous, and this blog has helped make it a happy one…I love you!
Oh yeah, Katie is an amazing singer and you should check out her site here: http://www.katieone.com
Other Katie-related t-shirt blogs: