Sunday, January 01, 2017

Goodbye Friend

   A good friend has died, one who was part of a great group of friends who has gathered each fall, many who met before kindergarten.  Karen Walker has been in my life since before I was a teenager, then there was a gap of several years during college before Brian invited me to the gathering that began a few years prior.  The last one she attended was 2013 on Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks.  Just before we parted for the last time I took this picture of her and Lucy.  She'll always be in my life, but from now on in memories and pictures and her influence on others.  I'll miss her presence, though I'm sure I'll sense it from time to time.
  I happened to come across this poem by Monk Gibbon today that seems pretty appropriate, Karen held back for longer than many who have fought ALS, and sure was part of enough stir:

The Last Thing
Who'd be afraid of death, 
I think only fools
are.  For it is not
as though this thing
were given to one man only, but all
receive it.  The journey that my 
friend makes, I can make also.  If I know
nothing else, I know
this, I go where he is.
O Fools, shrinking from this little door, 
Through which so many kind and lovely souls have passed
Before you, 
Will you hang back?
Harder in your case than another?
Not so.
And too much silence?
Has there not been enough stir here?
Go bravely, for where so much greatness and gentleness have been
Already, You should be glad to follow.

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