Elizabeth, Karen and Hunter were the three amigos back in high school. They all lived within a half block of each other, and they loved spending time together. I felt like they were the female versions of me, newp and erich. Just three people who found some common ground and really grew fond of each other. They were inseparable.
I became good friends with this crew junior year of high school, growing quite fond of Karen. We eventually became very good friends and dated most of our senior year of high school. You could say Karen was my first love, even though at the time I don't believe either one of us know a damn thing about love. We had a tumultuous relationship ... first me chasing her and then her chasing me and then just months of a relationship. It ended somewhere in June, the summer before we left for college. We both knew it was the right thing to do.
Karen and I had remained somewhat in contact ever since. It just goes to show how good of a person she had become. We even partied hard together, dancing on tables, at Elizabeth's wedding reception. Her spirit was incredible. She was always very full of life, although sometimes she just seem to let her mind wonder. I suppose we all do at times.
The last I spoke to Karen was to let her know of my exciting news ... that I was going to propose to my little lady. It was a hurried conversation, but a sincere congratulations and good luck ended it. I actually thought of her over the holiday. She's one of those folks who celebrate the birthday and Christmas within a couple of days. I should've picked up the phone for a call, but I didn't. It's hard not to reflect on the high school friends when you are home. I only still speak with a few of them often, but I do find myself wondering how life is treating the others. And then I get a call with this news.
I've been in a state of funk all day. Of course I am saddened by the news. Karen was a big part of my life, and she really made my heart grow. I think about her parents, and how they watched us grow as two dumb kids thinking they were in love. They always welcomed me into their house, and my parents did the same of Karen. Life was so easy back then.
I'm not sure of funeral arrangements yet. I'm hoping Elizabeth keeps me posted. It isn't an easy pill to swallow, but as Elizabeth and I both agreed ... we hope she is in Heaven and that God realizes she was over taken by a disease.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family, her husband, her friends and, of course, with Karen. I want to thank her for the spirit and self esteem she added to my life. She was such a beautiful part of it. Karen was in my life for a reason, and I believe it was to help shape the man I would eventually become. I will think about her often over the next few weeks, and then, as time fades, my mind will be filled with other memories and new experiences. However, Karen's face and spirit will be forever engrained in my mind. I pray God is with you Karen. You will always be with me.