A friend and co-worker died suddenly a couple weeks ago. Like me, Kelsey had spinal muscular atrophy; we first met back in 2006 when she interviewed for a job at the Department of Human Services. Kelsey was smart, funny, and adventurous. She was thrilled when she was elected as a Minnesota delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We didn’t get to talk as often after I changed jobs, but we still found time to hang out in my office and talk about work, finding decent help, and all the inexplicable things able-bodied people do in our presence.
As happens too often to people with SMA, Kelsey contracted pneumonia and she didn’t have the strength to fight back this time. Her friends and co-workers demonstrated overwhelming support for both Kelsey and her family; a final testament to the person she was.
I will miss her. And I have a renewed appreciation for my own continued presence in this world, however tenuous it may be. Farewell, Kelsey.