I'm reposting my mom's blog here about the last few weeks. It says a lot that I can't say right now.
From my mom's blog:
We gathered this week to mourn the loss of our beloved Karen.
Mikey called her BeBe, we all called Karen Jeanne the Jelly Bean, Beaner Butt and my Dad named her Kaye-Kaye like his sister or just Jeanner Beaner.
We will miss so very much about her, from her wild, loud laughter to her gentle touch. Next week will be hard when we wait for her phone calls, just like the other day when Cat realized that we were all together and she was missing. We really needed her to come in a cuss, so we could all yell at her to watch her language. It always brought a good family laugh. You knew when Karen was in the house.
Karen, Karen, Karen.
When she was little, she couldn't sleep without her stuffed dog, Poochie. It became so ratty and nasty that she would throw it at Cathy, just to make Cathy scream. 25 years later, Cat found a brand new Poochie and sent it to her. As she opened the package, she called Cat in anticipation of thanking her for whatever gift was inside. I snapped this picture of her delight. Today, when sorting her things I found the original Poochie. Catie now has them both on her bed to remember her Mom.
There are no words to express the sadness inside. Anyone who has lost a child, a sibling or someone very close to them knows. However, we are so blessed with family and friends who have given of their love this week. As always, they dropped their own lives, traveled great distances and came to comfort and mourn with us.
Hugs, food, flowers, love.
They fed our bodies and our souls.
My aunts mothered me, my cousins held me and cried with me
Friends just kept coming
We felt so loved and comforted and are deeply grateful.
Laura tended to Karen as a loving sister for 4 days, then took care of all of us.
Joey gave a beautiful eulogy and then loving buried his sister.
Cathy held her sister, mothered Catie and took care of us all.
Andy, Mike, Joey, Uncle Jim and Steve carried her with love.
Paul cleaned and carried, worked and worked, just helping and helping
Debbie held me, washed my dishes, clothes and floors
Dave and Maryann created a beautiful photo show that captured Karen. It helped everyone and most especially her children to cope. We got to see that Karen smile over and over.
The whole family has teased me about learning to knit. I love the colors, so I have made ONE single sock of every color yarn....get bored and start a new one. I recently convinced Karen to stop at the yarn shop with me. She told the owner "I am NOT the crafty daughter, she lives in St. Louis.....I am the wild one." He laughed and convinced her to pick out HER sock yarn, so she would like the socks she would definitely get. Of course, she picked out something wild and last weekend, she was delighted to see me finishing the second sock. She asked me to photograph the finished pair, so she could put them on her blog. She said "I can't wait! I am going to make Cathy and Joey crazy. I can't wait to write the article and say....See! HA! HA! Mom loves ME the most, cuz you all have ONE sock and I have the only finished pair!"
As Fr. Ben said, "Karen lived with passion". May she rest in peace.