Wednesday, May 12, 2010

About Kate

Kate Levin had the office next to mine at C-K. Every day at about the same time I would hear her call her kids. She'd be so loud and happy listening to how their day went. Afterwards on occasion, she would come into my office and we'd talk about our kids, almost never work. C-K was a very political place but Kate stayed away from the drama. She got her work done with a passion and the only other thing she wanted to talk about were kids. You could tell that she was conflicted with what I would imagine many women feel: that is, a need for work and a bigger love for her kids.

Kate was a creative director and so she was sort of my boss. She was also a great writer. She came from New York. You know those really entertaining IBM commercials? Kate did many of them including one of the most famous about Christmas morning. Sometimes she annoyed me because she had this new way of writing headlines that was shorter and with more edge. But she was right. I needed to write shorter and with more edge. 

I became an admirer of hers forever one day when we had layoffs. A friend of mine got the axe. Kate was hard on him in the past so I just assumed that she had a hand in firing him. But she didn't. When she found out, she was really, really crushed and actually tried to stop it after the fact. Kate believed she could get the best out of everyone. Instead of not being fond of this writer, she actually liked him because he worked hard. I realized then that no matter how tough Kate was and how much she stayed away from the drama at work, she really cared about her people. 

And boy was she tough. Advertising is a real man's world. Still is today no matter what you may hear from agency heads. So to get anywhere near Kate's position, she needed thick skin and a steel back because a lot of people would be trying desperately to stab at it. 

Kate died today at just before three pm. She fought cancer for a long, long time. I can't even count how many years, it was that long. And she had it bad. I think I've learned a few things about cancer but I can't even pronounce what she had. I can't even describe it. All I know is it was bad and in a lot of places including her brain for a while. I mean, she came back from having cancer in her brain. How is that for tough?

When I was really in a dark place with my second relapse, I called her. She was going to be the one to understand. And because of where she came, way out of the darkness many times, she was going to be the one to lend me that help up. Like myself, she didn't talk to people much so I talked to her husband Rob and heard her many comments in the background. They both offered to do lunch sometime and repeated that offer the last time I emailed them both. I felt better after talking to them. I wish I feel that way right now. 

Kate leaves behind many memories and two beautiful girls. One plays hockey. Tough like her mother. I hope today, sitting here as McKenna gets ready for bed, Maddie sleeps, my wife watching TV and Conner taking a shower that they know how hard cancer people try to stay alive. I hope someway, somehow, it's Christmas morning to Kate. She deserves nothing less. This disease sucks. 

 

19 comments:

  1. RIP Kate.....Michael, you now have a new Guardian Angel! God bless you both! Go outside and feel the sun & breeze on your face....this moment, right now...hug and pet every living creature in your house...another day, and there will be many more!!!!!

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  2. Oh man, Mike. I've been lurking for a while but I had to surface for a bit to say hello and just...well, say hello, and wish you well.

    I thought Kate was an amazing writer, and a tough cd. Always fair.

    She was also the person who turned me on to "Click Clack Moo" for my son Sam when he was little. He still loves the book, and he's 9.

    RIP, Kate.

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  3. Just letting you know I was thinking about you!

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  4. 唯有用熱情、用智慧去觀察事物,這事物才會把他的秘密,洩漏給我們...............................................................

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  5. Loving words from Jim Croce:
    If I could save Time in a bottle
    The first thing that I'd like to do
    Is to save every day
    'Til Eternity passes away
    Just to spend them with you

    If I could make days last forever
    If words could make wishes come true
    I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
    Again, I would spend them with you

    CHORUS:
    But there never seems to be enough time
    To do the things you want to do
    Once you find them
    I've looked around enough to know
    That you're the one I want to go
    Through time with

    If I had a box just for wishes
    And dreams that had never come true
    The box would be empty
    Except for the memory
    Of how they were answered by you

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  6. Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah

    The river is deep and the river is wide, hallelujah
    Green pastures on the other side, hallelujah

    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah

    Jordan's river is chilly and cold, hallelujah
    Chills the body but not the soul, hallelujah

    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah

    The river is deep and the river is wide, hallelujah
    Milk and honey on the other side, hallelujah

    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah

    Think of you and sending prayers for God's blessings

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  7. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

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