When I came down to San Diego in 1999 I contacted the chapter of my music group in San Diego. One of the first people I met was my friend Catherine. Except that she wasn't my friend back then.She had impeccably high standards of music performance and I didn't live up to those standards. And she let me know that. As the wife and mother of professional musicians and president of the San Diego Chorale Club she set herself apart in a competitive culture of music in San Diego.
As time went on I began to see Catherine's fun side. Although her standards were high, she was also incredibly enthusiastic, generous, motivating and involved in our musical group. She inspired me to be a better musician. I practiced really hard for my flute concerto and earned her trust to become my accompanist for a monthly meeting. I was truly honored to have her as my accompanist. This was in 2008.
I feel fairly certain she is responsible for my sword of honor back in 2006.Catherine was always very diligent about sending paperwork into national to recognize people who had given of their time and talents to the organization.
On Wednesday I went to a board and care down in Clairemont to visit Catherine. Although she recognizes me I cannot carry on a conversation with her. She just had another stroke and her Alzheimer's has progressed to the point where she has huge gaps in her memory. Her vitality is gone. She will no longer be able to attend SAI meetings.
And so I have a heavy heart. This kind of decline is worse than death really. The Catherine I knew is gone.