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.