SEPTEMBER 6–In the Meantime..

I’d like to recognize/document summer, and appreciate the continued kindness and interest in what is going on with us.


They started with Caitlin’s “main” ICU nurse, Erin, who visited us with her husband and three charming little daughters (3 under age 5!) in June.  They called me “Miss Maryanne,” and Nick, “Uncle Mike.”

In July, Dr. Penny, the CTICU director who did everything she could to save Caitlin, visited us, too.


Emotional times. But anyone who’s lived inside an ICU knows how intense it gets there. These people became part of our lives.

And next week, four wonderful friends/Pittsburgh neighbors are coming. I guess we will always be tied to Pittsburgh.



Turns out Nick took some photos I didn’t know about. I’m usually the one taking pictures, so I’m in some, for once.










Andrew at Larsen’s. Steamers.



People have been continuing to send us beautiful heart-shaped rocks. There was even an anonymous, perfect one in our mailbox. Thank you! There is no time limit. We haven’t even started building the memorial, and will always have room for more. Here are some more pictures.


The little kids in Ireland.




Spain hearts.







The Islands and Irma

We are worried about our beloved islands and everyone in Irma’s path. We haven’t made many firm plans yet, but going back to St. John is one of them. Like the Vineyard, Caitlin’s spirit is surely there.



I made a good friend in Pittsburgh, Barry Lavery. He was living with ALS and — talk about an inspiration. He had a wise, expansive spirit. I looked forward to our weekly visits/conversations, and after I left, we would text and I would send him videos of New England beauty and the wildlife. He was a lifelong photographer and photography teacher, a bird lover and hawk expert who volunteered at the wildlife center after he retired from teaching at the Art Institute. He was a lifelong student of philosophy, a Taoist. A man who never lost his sense of humor. I will write about Barry in whatever I end up writing about all this. He was certainly a part of the whole story. He left us during the August eclipse and promised he would seek out Caitlin. It’s a welcome thought.

This was his public Facebook profile pic, so I feel comfortable sharing it. It was obviously taken when he was still well, still volunteering at the wildlife center. The hawk connection is so interesting. I still haven’t written about the hawks, but I will.

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Barry and a hawk named Chuck.



This hasn’t happened much, but when it does it’s kind of awkward. We think of Caitlin all the time and talking about her is part of this new life.

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–Maryanne XO





Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

5 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER 6–In the Meantime..”

  1. Hearts galore! So much beauty throughout this post, Maryanne. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Pittsburgh friend, Barry. I would imagine he is delighted in meeting Caitlin. The sharing they must be having! xx

  2. Hi Maryann…I had the pleasure to meet your husband outside of the building on staniford…bonding over a mutual dislike of the lights at the intersection!

    Caitlin’s story came up and he encouraged me to check the blog out. Her story is truly inspirational and I see so many similarities in myself, a love of the outdoors, the beach and traveling. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss.

    If there is anything you ever need, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    -Kaitlan, your neighbor in 1017

  3. Maryanne- Thank you for continuing to write about Caitlin. Her spirit lives on, indeed. I have never met you or Caitlin (I knew of her through my father), but reading about her positive outlooks on life gives me strength. I struggle with my own issues everyday, but sometimes I read her writings that you post for a little bit of guidance. I just wanted to tell you this so you know that she continues to touch more lives than you may know… ❤

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