Tuesday, March 6, 2012

karen: our dear travel companion

I have to take a few minutes and touch on the blessing it is to have Karen here with us.

First, a little history.

Karen is one of my dearest friends.  I can't believe I can say we've been friends for over 20 years!  We met freshman year in college at the University of Tennessee.  We lived on the same floor in the same dorm.  Our freshman year was full of all kinds of silly antics as we hung out in the dorm goofing off until the wee hours of the morning while many of our friends went out partying.  My homebodiness was evident even then.  We laughed, we painted our nails, we prank called people, we dropped birthday cakes out of 10th floor windows (I know), and we squeezed our studies in somewhere in between.

And JD and Karen have known each other almost as long because JD and I started dating in college -- they go waaay back, too.

We have remained close through the ups and downs of life: marriage, divorce, births, deaths, joys, sorrows.  She is one of the most selfless and good people I know.  She doesn't have a judgmental bone in her body.  She has a zest and zeal for life that I so admire.  Almost anything makes her laugh therefore we spend a lot of time laughing.  At what?  Pretty much nothing.  Which I love about her.

And pretty much nothing can make her cry.

Case in point:

There are three families adopting children here at our hotel (us and two others).  The other two are parents who traveled alone to come get their child.  Both of the parents are married, but for various reasons chose to travel without their spouses to come get their children.  After we visited with the other two families for a minute, we resumed our attention to the breakfast buffet (a-hem...Karen's now staple breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, six plum tomatoes, hashbrowns and toast were waiting).  As we sat back at our table to eat, Karen and I lamented about how it was interesting that both the other children were being picked up by just one of their parents.  We immediately started looking at our situation and laughing.  I said, 'Leave it to us to go over the top.  JD and I couldn't just come alone -- we decided to bring Payton and you!'  The next thing you know she says she couldn't imagine making this trip alone and bursts into crying with laughter intermixed.  We were saying how emotional it is and how nice it is to share it with someone.

This is the point of this post.  Karen didn't have to come, but wanted to.  We've been thanking her profusely amidst her attempts at thanking us.  It's a mess.  We can't seem to get it through her head that we're the ones who are blessed by her coming (and of course she continues to insist that she's the one).  Not only did she take time out of her life, but she spent an enormous amount of money to come alongside us.

And, I kid you not when I say she has been the most amazing support to me/us.  She is behind every photo and video you've seen (leaving not many to choose from with her in them to post on here, I'm ashamed to admit!...I promise, I'll start taking more!), she orders our room service (!), she calls our guide if we have a question, she has taken notes at every meeting we've had, she's kept track of phone numbers, addresses, flight numbers, flight times, hotel addresses, you name it.  She is invaluable.

And she loves our kids something fierce.  Oh, how we can't put a value on that.  She is truly their Aunt Karen.  And it's a beautiful thing.

She's a true friend.

We love you, K.  :)

(Now, go dry your tears.)


  1. And now I'm crying. She is indeed invaluable as a friend! I'm nodding my head as I read this, not surprised by any of it (not even the breakfast!) She's a true gem and I can vouch that this trip means so much to her! What a special friendship you all have and how lucky you all are!:) She's a proud auntie to your kids and now sweet James too!

  2. Wow, what a heart-felt shout-out to Karen. You are all a precious gift to EACH other. A true blessing, indeed.



Design By Sour Apple Studio | All Rights Reserved