I lost a very dear friend of mine this week. Thankfully, I was able to see her before she passed. She had been on my mind a lot lately and I guess now I know why. Karen and I were friends for about 15 years, maybe one or two more than that. We met through a co-worker of mine, at the time, and instantly knew we would be friends for a long time. Karen and I actually found that we had a lot in common and we were good sounding boards for the other.

One of the memories (actually several) of Karen was the fact that even though she had an in ground swimming pool, she rarely got in it. In fact, for probably the first ten years or so, I never knew her to get in it at all. She would tell me, “The only water I need is in my bath.” Now, she didn’t mind at all letting me come over and spend the afternoon lounging in the pool, sometimes she would even sit outside and visit with me. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t talk her into it. But then, along came her granddaughter, who loved being in the pool. One day, we talked Karen into joining us in the pool and she actually said she enjoyed the time in it. Now, she didn’t start getting in it a whole bunch, but every now and again, she would join me in the pool. For the privilege of getting to swim, I would clean the pool while I was there. She would try to talk me out of it saying, she would get someone else to clean it. I would tell her, you are kind enough to let me swim, the least I can do is help keep it clean.

Karen had a stroke a few years back and was in rehabilitation for it when my daughter, Bethany, was in the hospital having Holden. She was in the same facility (sort of), but on the other end of the hospital. So the day Holden was born, I walked between 8 and 10 miles going back and forth from Karen to Bethany. I know this because my phone keeps record of it.

I hate I didn’t get to see her much after moving to Heber Springs, but we did talk on occasion. I’m thankful her daughter called me and let me know in time for me to see her one last time.  I’ll miss you and remember you always, my friend.