I drafted my first post for today last week, not realizing the date of my post. I wrote this post this morning, remembering what day today was!
April 7 2009
As I sit here today, I think about this day exactly 9 years ago.
On that day, 9 years ago I would have never dreamed to be sitting where I am, to have gone where I’ve gone, and to be going where I am going.
I’m sitting here thinking about all the things we, Kari’s friends, have done in the last 9 years. Things, she never got to experience. Places, she never got to see. People, she never got to meet.
We are 9 years older. Yet, in my mind she is still 17. I think about what would have become of her if April 7, 2000 would have turned out differently. I think about what she would have done with her life, the great things she would have done, and the way she would have changed this world. Yet, I never remember talking to her about what we wanted to be when we grew up. (Heck, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up)
As I’m sitting here I think of everything she’s missed. As I’ve watched our friends graduate college, go on exotic excursions, get married, climb career ladders, have babies, and try to leave footprints on this world, I think of Kari’s footprint. I’m joyous for all the blessings, but it’s bittersweet to know that she’s not here growing old with us.
A couple months ago my pastor gave a great sermon with a different perspective about death. He said that we are somewhat selfish in our mourning our loved ones. We see it as they are losing out on so much in this life, yet we forget how wonderfully majestic heaven will be. We think about the things they’ll miss: the weddings, births, parties, holidays, children and so forth; and we think about how we will miss them. Yet, we don’t think about the other things they will miss: disease, heartbreak, pain, and suffering. Pastor said we need to mourn because we will miss our loved one, but we need to rejoice because they are truly in a much better place, that we can never comprehend.
After Pastor’s sermon, I thought of Kari and how often I thought she was missing out. Yet, I know she’s hanging out with some pretty amazing people right now and I’m sure from time to time she visits this world. I think about her footprint, and how it could have been different. Yet, what if this was the footprint Kari was meant to leave? I am one to believe God truly has a plan for each and every one of us. He had a plan for Kari. Kari left a huge footprint in her wake, which I can only dream to leave half as large of one.
God’s plan for Kari was to show LOVE, His Love. Kari loved her life, and everyone in it. She was a young lady who had an aura that is hard to explain. She was wise for her age, stunning, goofy, intelligent, and had a beautiful soul. She was just a fun person to be around. On her short time on earth, Kari shone God’s love and grace to all she met. (We all have our flaws—Kari being no exception to that reality—so please do not think I’m try to portray a picture of perfection :0)…but she was a pretty special person regardless)
Since her passing God’s love has shone even more. I’m not sure which commandment it is (and I’m pretty sure that many religions believe the same as Christians) to Love Thy Neighbor as Thy Self. Isn’t that what organ donation is all about? To love a neighbor?
She was not a celebrity.
She was not a super model.
She was not an inventor.
She was not a child prodigy.
She was not a millionaire.
She was not many of the things that we see today as “news worthy”.
But let me tell you what she was and IS:
She is a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend.
She was a confidant.
She was a smile.
She was a giggle.
She was a shoulder.
She was a hug.
She was an organ donor.
She IS a hero.