Today is Friday, July 26th, 2019; Karen's Korner #4085

(This is a final Karen's Korner until Monday, August 5, as I will be away from my computer for one week.)

Still celebrating Merry and our memories through Sunday, July 28, the day she was killed. Below is something I wrote and posted as part of the reason I began Karen's Korners. This one is #17 and was posted on March 25, 2003. Between her final few emails to us and some thoughts which I had at the time, I didn't want to forget-------thus Karen's Korners!

'when Merry died'

"It had been a summer unlike any other I had experienced. Hospitalizations for both Merry and Jim. Each time they recovered quickly. Each time we believed surgeries to be successful. We had made travel plans to go Europe, but changed our minds until Merry's condition appeared to be settled down.

"We decided to travel to Wisconsin, stay overnight, enjoy the Mississippi, catch up with Jim's niece and family and come back home the next day.

"It was while we were at Deb's house that Jim and I replied to Ed's message, left on her phone recorder to recall him. His one sentence said it all, 'Merry was killed late this afternoon in a car accident'.That was all the details we heard, asked, or knew. We hurried around their home trying to figure out the quickest way to Amana.

"Jim seemed to be able to take in the reality of what was happening. This new reality had a hard time settling in for me.

"Maybe we should try to find a charter flight back to Iowa/ Getting 'home' as soon as possible was the goal. Getting in the car and driving seemed to be the best plan.

"As much as we wanted to get to Amana, it was as we drove through Cedar Rapids and passed the hospital and Merry's 'home-away-from-home' too many times that summer, that I felt like I wanted everything to go into slow motion. The closer we got to Amana and Merry and Ed's apartment, I wanted things to go even slower. Not getting there would somehow make the reality of the situation disappear!

"Now it was late into the evening, only Jamie and Ed were there. Talk. Tears. Plans were beginning to take shape. Would anyone be able to sleep? Surprisingly, after tossing and turning----all four of us slept.

"Early the next morning, Jamie and I took to the streets of Amana to walk. The morning was bright, clear, and still. All the normal sounds which take place inside my head were strangely quiet - the thoughts, the running internal dialogue had been silenced. It was if I had, too, had died emotionally, intellectually, mentally, maybe even physically. I can recall telling several friends in the upcoming few days that I felt like a part of me had died......and then I knew 'it (she) had!'

"There was only one thing in my life still standing:  the spiritual part of me. And that part remained strong and tall. All of the things that I had been taught for years in Sunday School and church, all the things I said I believed.......seemed absolutely real. For the first time in my life, I knew that all of that stuff was true!

"Normally, I question, not only did I not have any answers, my questions had also stopped.

"This was not the time to turn my back on God...........He was going to be my only answer. He would be my strength.

"Some might ask, 'How did you/do you know?'  I just knew. I guess it is called faith. I had a choice. I have a choice! Believing or not believing. Life, and certainly death, don't make much sense without it.

"God seemed unbelievably real to me. Heaven was no longer something to be talked about. It had become a real place where real people now lived.......not only old people who had lived a long and fruitful life, but young people with energy, talents, and an enthusiasm for life which they wanted to share with others.

"I knew I was loved. I knew He was taking care of Merry. And I knew that He was taking care of me.

"I was entering a new phase of my life...trusting day, one minute, one step at a time.....

...."when Merry died"...