Kate is gregarious to a fault! This girl would talk to the wall if it would talk back. At 18 months a full assessment was done on Kate and we were told that she would probably never walk or talk and that we should consider an institution setting, for the sake of the family of course. Parents out there – let this be a lesson to you – NEVER LET ANYONE LIMIT YOUR CHILD! For those of you that have the pleasure of knowing Kate, you know that your “ears bleed” after spending time with her she talks so much. In fact when she is not talking – she is talking. You can hear her saying “I’m not talking. I’m being quite. Shhh, not talking”.
My parents live out of town and we were spending the weekend. After a good night sleep by us, this is what my Mom had to say “I didn’t sleep a wink last night. Did you know Kate talks in her sleep all night?” Yes we did, but I guess we were used to it by now.
A very dear friend of mine, Barbara Blasco, wrote a book about her daughter. The Kathryn Blasco Story – It’s a Girl But Will She Live? In there this is what she had to say about Kate and her willingness to be everyone’s friend. We were on a train heading into Chicago to go start the process of guardianship of Kate. “We got off the train and walked up the stairs to the street level. Immediately, Katie turned to the girl walking beside her and asked, “What’s your name?” The girl said, “Lisa.” Cheryl reprimanded Katie and said, “I told you not to talk to strangers.” Katie answered, “She’s not a stranger. I know her. Her name is Lisa.” Her comment cracked us up.”
On the upside of her talking to anyone or anything - all the time, is she makes a great person to ask for donations. We were at Walmart one Saturday collecting money for the Knights of Columbus and you can be sure no one got past Kate going in or coming out!
We were ever so grateful to the car industry when they installed window locks on vehicles. There was a time when we would go through a list of reminders to Kate when pulling up to a stop and pedestrians were on the sidewalk. I remember a it was raining and we were stopped by a train, before the automatic window locks. Kate rolls down her window and asks the man standing on the sidewalk if he wants a ride. “My Mom will give you a ride" she says. I am frantically trying to reach over her to yell “not really” and roll up her window - finally the train moves on.
Another time we saw a girl on the corner of a back street to Walmart on a very hot day. She was standing at the corner like waiting for a bus- at not a bus stop. After the trip to Walmart she was still standing there. A very large women, dressed in black on a hot day. This was a time I allowed Kate to roll down her window and offer a ride. Sure enough she was waiting for a bus – at not a bus stop - to take her to the train station. Well, I do know where the train station is, so we did give her a ride. Of course she and Kate exchanged phone numbers.
We were in the store the other day and the lady behind us struck up a conversation with Kate. She told us she used to work for NSSRA and was looking for a job. I proceeded to tell her of the different programs Kate is involved in and she even knew several of the staff members we mentioned. Hopefully we helped her - Maybe it's not such a bad thing to talk to strangers... after all, her name was Karen, so now we know her!