The first summer after the accident, I attended a Christian youth work camp as a tribute to Kate.  The idea is similar to Habitat for Humanity, but rather than building homes for those in need, teens spend a week repairing them. Our work camp was on a Sioux Indian reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota.  There were 400 kids from across the country at the camp, and they were broken into teams of about six, with each team assigned a home to repair.  I did not know anyone on my crew until we met for the first time on Sunday night. 

Our home base was an elementary school, and the columns in the cafeteria served as prayer boards – if we had someone we’d like the entire group to pray for, we would write their names on the paper-covered columns.

Some of the Grafton kids wrote Kate’s name with her dates of life underneath, then encircled her name with their signatures.  They used yellow, Kate’s favorite color.

I’ve come to hate the “dates of life” thing, because seeing the end date is so painful.  I’d very much prefer to never have to think about November 23rd again.  But Kate’s birthday of February 2nd will always be special.  

One evening, I went to take a picture of Kate’s name so I could show it to Jill when I got home.  But there was a girl writing something on the prayer board, and her body was blocking the view of Kate’s memorial.

I took a few other pictures and returned, but the girl was still blocking my view.  So I took a picture of her, then waited for her to move and got my shot of Kate’s name.

The next day on our worksite Josh, one of our crew members, was looking through the pictures on my camera.  When he got to the picture of the girl writing on the prayer board, he called me over and asked “Mark, do you know who this is?” 

“No,” I replied.  “I was trying to get a picture of Kate’s name, and she was blocking my view.  I took a picture of her while I was waiting for her to move.”

“That’s my sister Kate,” Josh said, “and her birthday is February 2nd.” 


Birthday Buddies

Not all God Winks are long stories such as “Road Sign From Heaven.”  Some are shorter, but just as powerful.  Kate sent me this sign when I was at a Christian youth work camp in her honor. 

© 2012 Mark Zoromski