I am hitting myself because I didn’t borrow a photo that I saw in an old photo album my mom had. It was a group shot of 7 or 8 of the 9 siblings in my family. I was about 10 in the photo, and my kids all thought Evangeline looks just like I did in that photo. It was taken outside my grandmother’s house in Talmadge, Ohio (suburb of Akron–you didn’t even know Akron had suburbs, did ya?) When I was young, we never really took vacations, but almost every summer we traveled 2 hours west to the greater Akron area to visit my dad’s parents. We visited them because the Burkett family reunion was often held near there, and we would all sleep in the dorm-style attic and the basement of their small home. When I was 10, my sister was 28, and I am pretty sure she met us there having traveled from Elgin, IL, the Chicago suburb where she lived.
I remember thinking it was so cool that she was grown up. I always wondered what it would be like to live on my own in someplace more exciting that DuBois, PA. So it really didn’t matter to me what Kak was doing; I just knew it had to be better than being me. I really looked up to her, and I wanted to grow up to go off and live on my own just like her.
As it turned out, about 14 years later I ended up graduated from college and not really knowing what I was going to do with myself. Kak and her husband Randy lived in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at the time, and they invited me to come stay with them to look for work there. I said yes, and I was off on my own grown-up adventure. They were new to that part of Florida, and they didn’t yet have a church home. So my first Sunday there, Randy said, “We would like to go visit Dr. Kennedy’s church. We watch him on tv, and we like his preaching.” I agreed to go along, and I appreciated the service. I also attended the young adult Sunday school class where I heard the best Bible teaching I had ever been exposed to in Sunday school. When we were eating lunch after church, I told Kak and Randy this was the church for me. Ultimately, I joined the church and ended up working for the television ministry, and 2 years later I met my husband there. So I will always remember Kathy — Kak as having a hand in my meeting Mark.
I spoke to my mom tonight. It seems that Kak’s time is drawing even closer to the end. She is medicated so much that she is sleeping nearly round the clock. Randy has decided to have her buried in Pennsylvania in our family’s cemetery. It seems we are just waiting to say goodbye to Kak.