I don't remember 'meeting' Karen online. But I do know our friendship grew within the comment section of righthickssave. We bantered back and forth playfully until somewhere along the way we took it to e-mail. One night via e-mail, I invited her to my chat room. Turns out we had a lot of the same online friends. We may have even shared a few laughs in graycharles' chat room, but neither one of us could ever remember for sure.
I let her know early on that I have no interest in fan gossip or fan wars and she respected that. She never brought any of that up with me. I still don't know why she didn't get along with everyone within the fanbase and please- don't tell me. I don't care. None of it has anything to do with me.
I guess she helped run a fansite? I never went there, either. So right about now you're thinking this is the most lame tribute you've ever read. It sounds as though I barely knew her.
But here's the thing. Here's the reason her absence hurts me so deeply. Our friendship wasn't wrapped up in trading gossip or commenting at length about a Taylor Hicks photo. (Please don't take offense, I'm trying to make a point.)
It was about US. Our lives, our families, our hopes and dreams. She listened to me. She supported me. And when the serious stuff was purged, she made me laugh. We laughed our ASSES off.
I was supposed to meet her face-to-face for the first time last Sunday. But my life intervened and I couldn't go. I told myself there would be plenty of time this summer to get in on one of her frau-fests. And now suddenly, unexpectedly, painfully, time is up. So instead of getting together in Pennsylvania on Sunday, I found myself driving through her state on Monday, on the very day she breathed her last.
I'm forever making lemonade out of lemons, but I gotta tell you, this is a tough one. I'd like to take those lemons and hurl them, one by one, at God. Karen would probably tell me it's OK to be sad, but somehow she'd find a way to take me away from my sorrow even if only for a little while.
She made every day a little brighter and I'll miss her more than she realized.