In celebration of a woman I knew named Karen
I received the email listed below today and thought it was quite appropriate to share on my blog with all of you. I was intending to write today about a birthday celebration I can no longer participate in and here I am doing what I intended to do and sharing this email as well.
Today would have been my step-sister, Karen's birthday. I thought about her a lot today and in my mind thought about what her life would have been like for her and her son. I thought about what my life was like the many years ago that I knew her and how much I didn't know about her. So I'll share the little I did know and what I appreciated about her.
I was young and didn't understand the dynamics of the various relationships that encompass our every day lives nor did I understand the complexity that comes along with them. Karen's father married my mother and as it does in many families it brought about sadness and bitterness in the children that were left behind as they saw their father start a new life with children that were not his. As a child I completely understood this to the degree that a man entered my home that I did not know and I was faced with the realization that my dream and prayer of my father returning was to be unanswered and final. For many years due to the complexity of the relationship and feelings that were generated as a result I unfortunately did not get to know her.
Something happened in her life and for whatever reason she started to set her feelings aside and began spending time with us. During this time I was able to spend time with her and experience what it was like to have a sister. Even with our age difference we had things in common and I revelled in it and her vibrant spirit. We both loved and collected unicorns maybe because we fantasized as children that our lives would turn out differently, who knows. Each time I see a unicorn I think of her and it makes me smile. I went to her apartment to spend time with her and appreciated the talks we had. I appreciated being able to share my feelings and ideas with her and hearing her point of view. I loved the smile she had, it lit up the room. My time with her was short and her life here was short but the impact she left on me and on others was HUGE.
So, Happy Birthday Karen. Those of us that loved you deeply continue to celebrate your life that you left behind.
Here's the email that I was sent today and ironic that it should arrive today of all days....
Karen's life was unfortunately taken prematurely by cancer's devilish hand.
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating. Even if it's to one more person. In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer, and in support of anyone battling it now. A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle. Please Keep This Candle Going!
This one I do ask that you send on.