At the end of the week, Kathryn drove her father to the airport—where he gave her a startling goodbye kiss. "He forced his tongue into my mouth and then he just picked up his bag, waved goodbye and got on the plane," she says. "I stood in the airport for I don't even know how long with my hand over my mouth."
Kathryn, then a junior in college, returned to Stanford but found herself too paralyzed to continue. "I didn't register for classes," she says. "I literally sat in the same chair for days. If I slept, I slept in that chair."
Still, Kathryn says she desperately wanted to see her father again. "I remained uncomfortable about the kiss, but I kept saying to myself, 'Well, maybe it wasn't so bad.' Or, 'Maybe you made it up yourself,'" she says. "I think at that time in my life I was somebody who had a hard time turning down love in whatever form it was offered."
Soon, Kathryn and her father were talking on the phone and writing letters daily. "[He said], 'I am what you have to learn,'" she says. "My father looked at me and said: 'You are the most beautiful woman in the world. You are the smartest. The best.' I'd never heard anything like that from anybody."