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.