"A friend is a present you give yourself." --Emerson
I remember dedicated hospice nurse, friend, cheerleader, wife, mother, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, neighbor, acquaintance, my friend, Karen Doty. It was Karen who worked diligently to get Ed discharged from the hospital. Ed's wishes were to die at home, in private, with dignity. It was Karen who sat at his bedside, held his hand and said, "Think of me as your second wife" and, yes, I was jealous. It was Karen who prayed 2 Hail Mary's with me over a dying Jewish man. It was Karen who helped me drag Ed on a bath mat from bathroom to bedroom because he was just to heavy to carry and I needed to get Ed back into bed--Oh how we giggled. Yes, I remember Karen.
The following is an email to me from Karen before her sudden death. Not since Ed's death have I felt so sad. It is encouraging to hear from people who knew and loved Karen; it is wonderful to recognize special friends who support Walk With Karen. To everyone, thank you for acts of lovingkindness. I look forward to embracing you and leading you in a Walk With Karen, on Sunday, September 9, from County Center, White Plains, to Harney Road, Scarsdale, alongside the Bronx River Parkway, commencing 10:00 A.M.
In remembrance of Karen, and in her own words:
Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 7:24 pm
Subject: A MILLION THANKS!!!
My Dear Linda,
I'm sorry for my absence. You know the old story...life goes on. But as I told you at lunch "many moons ago", I ALWAYS read Griefcase. It centers me. It makes me appreciate the love of my life. Believe it or not I'm still working on my "Interview questions". Don't ask. Lots going on these days and I want it to read like an amazing novelette.
My million thanks are for the beautiful writings about our soldiers. You brought me to tears. We DO take our military for granted, but as you so succinctly stated "they serve for us - for our freedom, and our ability to walk this land." My son is currently in training at Fort Leonard Wood (or Fort Lost in the Woods as he calls it.) We're not yet sure where he is to be stationed, but my prayers are for a quick end to this war. ...... Work continues to be awesome -- very fulfilling. I've made some amazing friends throughout the years (yours included) but the sadness of losing a loved one - particularly a spouse after many years has only grown exponentially. Widows are an amazing group of people. I marvel at your tenacity, stick-to-itiveness and acceptance of something we know is inevitable. I attended the memorial service for a 55 year old gentleman who left behind a loving wife and amazing 13 year old son. Both of his parents are still alive, which just made the burden more tragic. The words spoken at this service were incredible, and make me believe that I do this work because it is my gift to people. I get back so much more!
Be well, my friend. Keep up that amazing writing. And, Happy Belated Birthday (hands over your mouth - cute!) I will remain in touch, and I WILL complete that interview. As always, I'm so proud to call you my friend. You've come a long way baby! I know that Ed looks down on you and says "YOU GO GIRL".
To Karen Doty, wherever you are. I thank you sincerely for being my friend. Say hello to Ed for me, and don't worry about completing my interview questions, something tells me, you just did.
Have an abundantly joy-filled day, Everyone. And remember, we're not alone.