I owe a lot to Catherine. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, sun, rain, and snow, from Amsterdam to NYC, Austria to the south of France, I traveled with her. Through many years of attending AWCA meetings and Mom's Night Out events, selling our wares on King's Day in the Vondelpark, multi-family Thanksgiving dinners, and progressive New Year's Eve parties, I learned from her. After many times of answering the door and hearing her say, "I was just running errands and wanted to drop off something to you I think you or your kids would enjoy," I experienced her efficiency and was the recipient of her thoughtfulness and generosity.
Catherine was an intelligent, resourceful, thoughtful, persistent, tactful, kind, giving, always thinking, always aware, always doing woman. She was a consummate planner who thought through relationships several steps ahead. She was a connector, always thinking of who she could help by making a personal and sometimes orchestrated introduction. For all of this, I am immensely and forever grateful.
Even though I won't be receiving emails from her with interesting articles with the phrase, "Thought of you," I live with the comfort and deep appreciation of knowing that she was responsible for much of my wonderful life and joyful memories during my years in Amsterdam. She urged me to join AWCA. She guided me (and many others) to join, participate and take leadership roles. She walked with me through my Tulip Talk and pointed out events and forums she thought I would enjoy. And, most importantly, she personally introduced me to a few of my closest friends. I will have these friends for life and cherish them and their families.
I know that Catherine's thoughtfulness and generous spirit lives on in my friendships and in my love for Amsterdam and the American Women's community, which will continue to flourish. She was a pillar of my life in Amsterdam and stands tall in my mind — as a role model of all that is good and noble about friendship, AWCA, being an American abroad and individual generosity.
I will miss you, Catherine. May your legacy live on in all of us and in the bonds that connect us.