The Letter I Didn’t Get to Send

January 27th, 2014 by Karen

I started writing this letter last Thursday…sadly, I was too late to send it. My former boss and mentor passed away on Friday.

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Dear Kevin,

I’ve been meaning to touch base with you again as it’s been quite awhile since we last spoke and you’ve been on my mind. I’ve been quietly watching your struggle with cancer the past year and we’ve been keeping you, Margie, Shannon and Daniel in our prayers. It always makes me smile when they post new pictures of you and I was sad to see that things haven’t been going so great for you health-wise the past few weeks.

I want to thank you. We may have butted heads a time or two over things, but I think we can both chalk that up to my youthful testing of my wings. You taught me so very much in the years we worked together. I learned not only how to be a better marketer, but how to work with a team. You were always approachable and encouraging, even when I felt I had made missteps. You helped me learn to see the bigger picture, not just the minutia. It’s a lesson I still struggle with on occasion, but one in a series of career gifts you gave me.

You also taught me that work should not always be my priority. You always did your best to make time for your family and I admired that about you. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I stepped away so abruptly after my youngest was born…I craved work/life balance and I didn’t have the first clue on how to achieve that. In hindsight, I should have talked with you at length about it before leaving the company. I regret that and I apologize for it.

Thank you for all the times you listened to my ideas, my frustrations, and my aspirations. I enjoyed every lunch, every long discussion of the numbers, every conversation about parenting and how proud you were of your kids, and even when you occasionally swiped fudge from my desk. You always had a big smile and an even bigger heart. And above all, thank you for being a mentor to me. I hope I live up to your expectations.

Keeping you in our prayers,


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525600 Minutes

January 1st, 2014 by Karen

Well, technically it’s been 3,515,040 minutes or…
210,902,400 seconds…
58,584 hours…
2441 days…
or a grand total of 6 years, 8 months, and 5 days since I posted the photo of my sister Karey and I as my Facebook profile picture.

So much as happened in those nearly seven years…

  • Karey graduated from high school and college, got married, bought a house, and is getting a dog.
  • Our brother bought a house, switched jobs and is smiling more than I can ever recall before.
  • My husband and I have gone through 3 cars, pneumonia that nearly killed us both, a major overhaul of our business and more Excedrin and Tums than I care to admit.
  • Maria has grown from a wide-eyed six year old with a shattered elbow to a confident, strong, responsible young lady.
  • Alex has gone from three to ten and from his love of Legos to his love of Legos that he can control with programming.
  • And little two year old Sophia has taken those lovely eyes of hers and set them firmly on world domination. Or something glittery. It’s hard to say some days.

Along the way, we’ve gained family (yay Kirk!), we’ve lost a lot (Grandpa Bill, Uncle Allen, Aunt Marge, Aunt Louise, Grandma Kay, and Stephen just to name a few), and we’ve made a bucketful of new friends. We’ve done our best to make the most of every minute of these years and, though we may have worked too much and played too little, it was memorable nonetheless.

And I know that 9077 days ago, I got something I never had before and I know I’ll never have another one of…a little sister.

Also, I know how much she hates that “old” profile picture of the two of us from 7 years ago, so today, for the very first time, I’ve updated my profile photo. (I’ll just have to wait another 7 years before she appreciates the youthful, unwrinkled faces in that “old” picture. 😉 )

Happy New Year…may it bring us all many blessings!

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