Tag Archives: karen

Karen’s Memorial and My Thoughts on Passing

There were two very different parts to my trip to Colorado: having fun/snowboarding with old friends and dealing with the death of a dear friend. It was strange to have such a dichotomy of emotions within four days. There was even a little guilt involved because I was so excited to be back in Frisco….I just I just wished it were under better circumstances. But, once again, I think Karen would have told me to “lighten up and have some fun!”.

I am going to tackle the memorial service first….

I had not been out to Frisco, CO in almost five years. The last time I was there, Tom and I flew out with Faith, who was only 8 months old. We actually went to see Widespread Panic at Red Rocks. One night we went to the concert while Karen babysat Faith and the other night we all went together – us, Karen and Faith. It was great. It was neat to tell Faith that she had met Karen and and that they had spent time together.

Karens memorial service was at Tuscato’s restaurant on Main Street from 12:30 – 3:30. People began pouring into the place right on time.  Karen was so loved and so much fun. Everyone enjoyed her company.  Over 300 people were at Tuscatos throughout the three hours.  Over 250 signed the book for Karen’s parents.

Leon Joseph Littlebird, another county icon, said a few words and played an old Native American tune on his flute. I think Karen would have gotten a little giggle out of this. Leon’s words were very kind and appropriate.  He also reminded us that the residents of Frisco are a “tribe” that take care of each other. So true!  That is the part that I miss so much about Summit County.

People stayed for hours remembering Karen, looking at pictures and crying over their loss of her. They literally had to kick everyone out so that the restaurant could open for dinner. In typical county fashion, the party moved to The Moosejaw, Karen’s (and everyone’s) favorite bar. Kari and I stayed socializing for as long as we could.  In the end I was there to comfort Dellrita, Karens best friend for over ten years. She is lost without Karen. So many hurting people.

I went to Karen’s house over the weekend. As I arrived, strangers were taking Karen’s bed out to a trailer. It was strange to see her belongings being given away. She no longer needed them. I walked through her house where I once lived with her. I went to each of the rooms and remembered the the way it used to look and the things I had done there. Then we went through a big box of photos that karen had. I was in some if them and some I had even taken. The photos spanned over twenty years time.

I realized that once we die all that is left of us is our stuff. Stuff that no one else really cares about. It is just stuff to them. Our belongings will be divided up amongst family, friends and strangers. What is left of our existence on earth?  If our name isn’t written on a tombstone or a plaque we will be forgotten with the next generation.  I realized that my children will be my legacy and proof that I was once walking this planet.  I need to make the world a better place through my actions and the morals I instill in my children. Will I still be remembered in one hundred years?  Maybe not my name or my face, but hopefully my legacy will out live me for hundreds of years.

If i die tomorrow, I am challenged to be more than a pile of photos and a house full of stuff. How will I do this?  I am not sure, but I am motivated to find out.

 

Colorado Fun

Surrounding the memorial service for Karen was many fun and memorable experiences with old friends. I could literally go into any restaurant or breakfast place and run into old friends that I knew years ago. Almost nothing had changed. It was fabulous! I felt so loved by these people upon seeing them again. They were as excited to see me as I was to see them. I literally cried one night because I was so touched by their enthusiasm and love for me after all these years.

Here is a brief overview of what I did over those three days…

I met Kari Snell at the airport on Thursday afternoon. I had not seen her since my wedding seven years prior. She and I went to Copper Mountain to go snowboarding on Friday morning. It was snowing, hardly anyone was there, and conditions were perfect!! We had a blast!

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Saturday morning Kari, Charity Palmer and I went to breakfast at our old favorite spot, The Mountain Lion, and then went over to see the ODI, where we used to work together with Karen. It is now all boarded up and unused. Very sad. We were able to pry two small brass letters off the building for Kari and Charity, “BA”.

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Then we wandered around Frisco Main Street and took some pictures of the beautiful scenery.

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This is Mount Royal. I used to hike this often. One hour up hill!

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Charity, Me and Kari

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I got to go hiking by myself to Rainbow Lake on Sunday morning. It is an easy hike that I used to do all the time when I lived with Karen. It was right out our back door. Beautiful!

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Sunday night was the Super Bowl. I met up with Valerie at Johnny G’s. John Greco owns the bar and was a friend of mine. We had a great time socializing and (barely) watching the game. Monday TC drove me down to the airport. She has been a great friend of mine for years. She actually used to be my boss at the liquor store where I worked. I look to her for advice and she has taken me under her wing for years. I actually lived with her and her husband for a while too.

Me and Val Pipher

 

 

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Debbie Crawford, Lisa Buonerosa, Marilyn Navan and Katie Drees (Counter clockwise)

 

 

 

 

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Oddly enough, I don’t know who this guy is in the picture.  He jumped in and we couldn’t retake it.  It is me, TC, and Val at the Moose Jaw.

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Colorado. Day 1

It is amazing how much I enjoy relaxing when I am forced to relax. I can’t relax at home. There is always too many things that I think need to be done: laundry, meals, cleaning, sleeping, etc. Today I was forced to sit on an airplane for almost five hours. I slept, started a book, read an entire DIY magazine, and began typing this blog post. I loved it! I was even blessed with an entire row to myself. I actually laid down across all three seats and took a nap. How fabulous it that?!?

Am now reading the book “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese. I have wanted to read this book for years but never bothered to get it. Now I have the perfect opportunity. Embarrassingly enough, I had to look up the definition of over five words within the first ten pages. I could have read it without the meaning of the word, but why not? I am on vacation! This just proves that I need to read more often and sharpen the brain daily. I feel smarter for just reading those ten pages. At this pace, I doubt I will finish it in five days. Hahahaha.

Kari’s flight was delayed two hours so I had to hang out in the airport another two ours. Originally this caused me major anxiety! I was ready to get the hell out of the airport! I decided that I needed food and a beer…..it helped.

I am actually still sitting here in the bar. The salad was mediocre at best, but the beer and the conversation with the random man next to me was entertaining.

The one lesson I learned today was this: get a direct flight!!

Karen Crawford

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.

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