I have been putting off writing this blog post for almost two weeks. I am having a hard time believing the fact that Karen is gone. I am also struggling having to put into words what Karen meant to me and how wonderful she was. Nothing I say will do her justice. Here is my first shot at it. I am sure that there will be other attempts, due to the fact that I am going to her memorial service in Colorado next week.
One of my favorite people in the whole world passed away unexpectedly in Frisco, Colorado on January 14th. Karen Crawford was only 40 years old. She was, by far, one of the funniest people i have ever met.
I met Karen when I first moved to Frisco, CO in November 1998. Karen was the one who hired me to wait tables with her at the Old Dillon Inn in Silverthorne. We all quickly became friends: Karen, Charity, Kari, and I. We worked well and played well together. Sadly, the four of us haven’t been together since we went to see Karen in NH back when Kari was pregnant with Logan in 2000. Sadly, Now three of us will be getting together in Colorado to remember Karen.
When I first heard the news that she had died in her sleep I was shocked. I cried. I also started to point fingers at others thinking that someone had to be to blame. To say that Karen lived a healthy lifestyle would be a stretch. There are many things that Karen could have differently that would have prolonged her life. There are things that others could have done to help her do so. These things did not happen, but no one is to blame. Karen didn’t want to die. No one thought that she would. At least not at forty years old.
So here I sit, sadly thinking about the fun and enjoyable life that Karen did lead. She had a great life. She worked at a job that she was proud of and was recognized recently for her outstanding work. She had more friends than she knew what to do with, many of whom she had known for almost twenty years. She ate most meals out, watched the Patriots play football during season, loved her pit bull Bella, and lived in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Everyone loved Karen and she loved them back. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body.
My nickname back in those days was “Specs” or “spec chi no sc”. I was named after a burrito at the ODI. Karen always called me “Specs”. I thank God that I was able to speak with her back in August. I cherish that conversation. It was the last time that she and I will ever speak, at least on this side of eternity.
If Karen could tell me one thing, I think she would say, “Oh Specs, there are so many more important things in life to worry about. Lighten up!”. She would be right. Life is short! Lighten up and enjoy life. Don’t let the little things weigh you down. They are not important. What is important is family, friends, enjoying life, liking where you are in life, and doing the things you enjoy. (although not to excess).
I would add one more thing to the important list: “your relationship with Jesus”. We don’t know when our time is up on this earth. We need to make sure that we believe and trust in Jesus and know where we are going when it is all said and done. The day you die may be too late. I believe that Karen is in heaven.
Here are some things that won’t make any sense to you, but are memories for me….
N Sync in Denver (we were almost 30 years old, but watched MTV every day)
Sledding on a hiking trail, at night, in the middle of winter….not smart
Had “the lip” – when Karen drank too much her lips went flat, or something. I could always tell how much she had been drinking by her lips. We laughed a lot about that.
ODI – enough said!
There are many more memories that I have of Karen that can’t be put into words. They will forever be in my mind and remembrance of her.
Here is a picture of Charity, Karen and I.