Jason recently wrote about the shock of looking around to see Kara is gone. It’s been over a year now, and I find grief to be a strange creature. I think often that I am so thankful for the friendship we got to have. What a gift! Some long for that very thing and no matter how much more time I would have liked, I am so very grateful for what I had.
We have a drawer in our house that holds household necessities. I am often reaching into it for tape, or a note pad, or countless other things. But I noticed that whenever I opened the drawer, it smelled like Kara. It was so incredibly strange! Kara, but not quite Kara. What could it be? I didn’t understand what could be making it smell that way. I would open it, catch a whiff and then stick my head inside and inhale. It was a God wink. It surprised me for a long time, until I began expecting it or even opening it on purpose. I loved that little Kara moment.
It wasn’t until I was looking for a cord that I found the source of my Kara smell. It was a candle Blythe gave each of us on Kara’s birthday last year. Patchouli. That’s why it smelled so much like her, and yet at the same time was missing the essence of her. Because when Kara wore the oil, it blended with her to make her own special Kara smell. I didn’t remember putting the candle in that drawer. It must have been one of those moments when we were hurriedly cleaning up and somehow my sweet candle got plunked in there. (The panicked clean up happens a lot at our house.) I have to say, though, that it brought me so many smiles while it hid in that drawer. Sometimes I would open it just to smell the mysterious Kara smell. And now that I know, I’ve left it in there. It’s become my Kara drawer. A reminder of so many things....including my friend Blythe, who was so thoughtful to gift us the candle. She makes me smile and laugh. She’s a lifeline for me. I imagine Kara looking down from Heaven with her sassy grin and waving a hand over her girlfriends who love each other so dearly. I did that, she’d say. Then she’d laugh and say it was really God, though secretly knowing it wouldn’t have happened without her.
What a gift Kara was. What a gift we still have in her writing, in her wisdom, in her friendships. People say we should stop and smell the roses, but I have to say, I prefer to stop and smell the patchouli.
Are you missing someone? What stops you in your tracks reminding you of them? How do you honor their memory while moving forward and choosing to live another day?