Family Remembrances

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Cassie's 15th Birthday archive

A Mother's Remarks

(These remarks are based on one of Debbie's statements made at Cassie's memorial service on May 22, 1998.)

I never guessed that I could miss Cassie more than I did at the moment of her death at 9:35 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 1998. When I woke up on the morning of her memorial service, I realized that I could. I went outside to feed our cats, felt the warm sunshine and the cool air, and thought to myself, "This is Cassie's favorite kind of day." I now know there will be many days like this, when the intensity of my longing and of my loss will grow to a magnitude previously unimagined.

It's nearly impossible for me to articulate the extent of loss, sadness, and disappointment that I felt that day and every day, but I can write and speak about Cassie because of the love I have in my life, and because Cassie is my inspiration. Cassie lived fourteen years, four months, and twenty-seven days. It was not enough for me, and it certainly was not enough for her. I believe that had Cassie lived she would not only have continued to bring joy to all of our lives, but she would have achieved greatness. She may have changed the course of the world.

Debbie and Cassie playing Mastermind My Cassie is the smartest person I have ever known, with a perfect balance of sarcastic wit and gentle spirit. She rode shot-gun in the car every morning when we left the house to go to school. She was my study-buddy, my Scrabble and sit-com partner; we were such companions. She had a life-force paralleled by none. It's hard to imagine my life without her. But the fact is, most incredibly, that I will have a life without Cassie. One that will always be filled with a longing for what could have been.... what should have been. I will live my life in her honor, where I will love my best, and work my hardest, and achieve all that I possibly can.

My birthday was about a week before Cass was first hospitalized in March 1998. Cassie and I had been home together for five weeks, and despite her illness, and the round-the-clock care she came to need, they were wonderful weeks because she and I were together. Cassie, with true eloquence, wrote me a card that paid my mothering many unnecessary compliments. The final words she wrote on my birthday card were, "You are my soulmate." These words were an amazing gift on that day, but that gift is an even greater, and perhaps truer gift now. Now Cassie is everywhere, part of everything that I'll ever do. She is indeed inside of me once again. Cassie is truly my soulmate.

Cassie's death will never make sense to me, but it is important for me to make sense of my life. The finest tribute I can pay Cassie, and that everyone who has ever known Cassie can pay her, is to cultivate his or her own intelligence and life-force: to live with passion, and with direction, and without delay, because life can be very short.

Cassandra Beth Montemurro Memorial Web Site

Cassandra Beth Montemurro Memorial Web Site
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