Shared Memories: Paul Galbraith
I was terribly upset when I received word last week about Caia's passing. We had fallen out of touch recently, but I have clear and fond memories of when we were both working for Netron, and living in Northampton. We were very close friends and for a lot of that time, roommates.
I can still clearly remember the very first day that she arrived for work in Northampton... I thought that she was impossibly bubbly, happy, and friendly. I remember smugly thinking that there was no way that she could keep that upbeat attitude for long. Was I ever wrong!
Caia was always organizing social events for our little group of Canadians, and managed to gather a sizeable group of English colleagues into our little clique as well. Our tight knit group owed a lot to her; our lives in England would have been very different without her efforts. I especially remember Caia's unbridled love of games, and organizing events around them. I don't think I will ever be able to play a game of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit, without thinking of her love for them, and that infectious and unmistakable laugh of hers!
Caia was adored by our colleagues in England. Many tears were shed during that time when she returned to Canada for her transplant. In typical Caia-fashion, upon her return, she made it clear that there was to be absolutely no special treatment or consideration for her ordeal. It still makes me smile, to think of her strength and determination, and her stubborn insistence that she be treated no differently than anyone else. But it was more than stubbornness; it was a wonderful and rare quality. Caia always found the time and energy to care for others, even when she was hurting. Her sense of fairness and equality was unshakeable, and I will always admire it.
Caia and I shared many fun trips through England and Scotland. One particular trip, to Skipton Castle, is very memorable to me. We went soon after her operation, and Caia was having a tough time initially upon her return to England. When we went to Skipton Castle, though, she lit up with the delight of her memories of being there when she was young (photos: 1, 2, 3, and twenty years later: 4). To see her so happy and enthusiastic again was a very happy moment for me, and nearly brought me to tears. This is the effect she had on me, and this moment of delight is the way I will remember her.
I will miss Caia dearly. I wish you all the love and the strength in the world to get through this difficult time.