This morning after tweeting the newspapers and checking my email, I went to the Wissahickon to take a long walk along the river. Since I do not have to leave for the airport until 2:00 PM, I just walked right on by Valley Green where I usually turn around to head back to the car. It looks they are setting up for a wedding by the river. Or maybe, the wedding was yesterday. This time I kept on walking.
After a while, I came upon a brand new park bench covered with wilted flowers and pictures of a young woman. The plaque stated "Katie Ladany, August 5, 2009." I stopped and tried to understand who she was. How did she die? Was she dead? A handwritten poem made it pretty clear to me that this person was no longer with us.
Who was she?
I kept repeating her name for the hour or so it took me to get back to my car. I wanted to make sure I remembered it so I could google her and figure out the mystery. On the way home from the park, I went to the post office to buy Abstract Expressionist stamps for the 170 letters I needed to mail to prospective medical keynote customers. During the entire time I was putting the stamps on the envelopes, I was wondering about the Katie mystery.
Finally I got home and googled her. She was a 23 year old jogger who was killed by a 30 foot tulip tree branch that fell more than 50 feet. She was a high school teacher, and her iPod was still playing when they found her body.
This is a random world we inhabit. I love the Wissahickon, and I love walking there. Why do I find peace and satisfaction there and Katie found death? This is a random world we inhabit. That is for sure.