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Kathi Morris – Wall of Fame Honoree
Image by WSDOT
Whatcom Transportation Authority, Transit Operator – Kathi has transit in her blood. Years ago, her great uncle was a transit and trolley operator in Bellingham. Kathi’s legendary contribution to the success of WTA is not measured in miles driven in her 21-year career, but by her positive personal relationships with her fellow operators and the public she serves.
Described by her peers as smart, friendly, and helpful, she looks for ways to support her coworkers, especially new operators. She actively assists all WTA staff members with great advice and extensive knowledge of Whatcom County. When recently recognized as WTA’s 2011 Employee of the Year, the words, “GREAT CHOICE!” were heard from her passengers and fellow operators.
WTA is fortunate to have Kathi’s kind words and positive attitude contributing to Whatcom County’s public transportation system. She is an outstanding example of what it means to be a great transit operator in every way.
edit: Just noticed that the music fades out just before the 25 minute mark. WTF Aperture?
So this isn’t really the "final" version, since I’m still apparently waiting for photos from some places, but it is *a* final version which I think is worth sharing.
There was this idea to have a "party at his place", so to speak. Go over, talk, have fun. I was never quite sure what this would do for him, but it was originally his idea, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. So I tried to start that up, and it failed a bit, but it came up that it would be fun to show — somehow — photos of him throughout his life. Well when the party fell apart (mostly because he insisted that it just would never be time for such a thing — maybe in the future he says, but what future, I say), this idea didn’t. I asked around for photos, went through his photos and stole ones that were of him, etc.
This small vignette is really just one side of his life. It is, perhaps coincidentally, the side of his life that I was most involved in — him as a father. But as so many fathers, he was also the uncle, husband, brother, grill master, chef, therapist, advice columnist, and so much more. But I don’t have pictures of much of that, so this is what it is.
Also like so many fathers (so many people, perhaps), he is not, I don’t think, happy with some of these memories. I do not know, for instance, what relationship he had with his parents, but it would be silly to not include them in such a montage of life. But such is life.
The author of "Animals in Translation" notes that hunger is the drive that forces us to hunt. We are hungry in the state of nature — it is our predominant mode. It has to be because if we are not constantly driven, we do not survive. As a species we need food and water and sex to continue. So we are driven by hunger and thirst and desire. But these are, in the modern age of plenty, the very feelings that we seek to eliminate from our lives. We invent ever more complex ways of eliminating these feelings even while they define us as a species. It is the very desire to be more than we are that forces us to do so. It is the dissatisfaction with our pace that makes us run faster. It is the journey not the destination, the finding not the find.
And so I cross my fingers for this round of treatment. I cross my fingers that he will be able to add "grandfather" to his list of accomplishments (though I know that even if he is not around, he will be a grandfather in spirit). I know that he is hungry for a cure even while I know that hunger tears him apart.
And all the while, I am grateful to him for the years of compassion he showed me, the wisdom he demonstrated silently, day after day, and I love him.