To Kari


    My dear friend,

    There is nothing harder. Nothing. Not career changes, not divorce, not death of a parent, nothing. There will never be another moment in your life that requires more of you. There will never be another moment in your life that is harder. Or more emotional. Or more stressful. This is it. The worst thing you can imagine happening is happening.

     I remember meeting you 24 years ago on a campus in the middle of a wheat field during a drama filled pledge week as we both tried to find a sorority that was right for us. We came from the same town but attended different high schools. The friendship was instant that freshman year. Borne in humor, a childhood spent with single mothers, and rap music, we clicked. No one could make me laugh harder, argue longer, or conspire more devilishly than you. You were far more talented. Funnier. More focused. This tiny ball of energy that wanted to be a varsity cheerleader, and an advertising whiz, and the perfect girlfriend, and a creative rush coordinator, and a good friend and sister, and .. well, you seemed to be able to do all of these things. We sang together to recruit new pledges. We volunteered for skits that made us a mockery of the greek system. We traveled to concerts. We partied. We dreamed. We stayed up late in our bunks planning our lives. You were and are the best friend I ever had.

     Our paths have veered since then. Yes, we stood up at each other’s weddings. You are my daughter’s godmother. We are a country apart. But that girl. The one I met when we were just 18, that is the one I want to talk to right now. You are the strongest, best woman I know. I don’t always agree with you. Sometimes you make me crazy. But you can and will get through this. Your son couldn’t ask for a better mother to help him fight cancer. There is a reason he chose you to come into this life through. Because you were meant to fill this role for him. To love, comfort, console, provide. I’ve known you had it in you since the moment I met you.

    And when you can’t do it, you’re exhausted, it’s all too much. I’m here. The equally crazy 18 year old girl who, like you, can turn anything into a song, wore giant bows in her hair, and laughed easily and who has loved you half your life.

    I’m here. I’m here.

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One response »

  1. Stephany…You did it again…You made me cry. I also remember two 18 year old girls so full of life and joy. And
    even now as I look at Kari’s fight for her son’s life, I am amazed at how strong a person she has become in only
    42 years of life! And like other battles Kari has fought, she will win this one, too. Our prayers are with you.


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