Reflections ~ Guest post by Mickey Gauen

March 22, 2016 marks the one-year anniversary of Kara’s Homecoming. For the week leading up to that day, we are publishing a series of reflections that some of Kara’s nearest and dearest have written as they’ve processed what this anniversary means to their hearts. This article is a part of that series.

I am a talker.

I love conversations.

Most of my relationships are built around conversations.

My kitchen has been filled with conversations over the years.

My relationship with Kara began in my kitchen over deep conversations and giggles.

When I walked with her during her cancer journey, there were never enough hours in the day for all our words.

Many times at night, she traveled up stairs to bed and I traveled to the hobbit hole, my basement room, to still text each other a few more words.

I can find words to tell you of the daily hard and the daily joys of those days.

I can find words to tell you of her desires, longings, and fears during those days.

I can find words to tell of her last words we shared together and there was nothing left unsaid.

I can tell you of the deep, deep sadness we faced the days following her going to Jesus.

But I find myself at a loss of words to describe the grief I feel without her.

To go deeper is a grief that cracks open my heart and lays against my soul.

And so I find myself holding And It Was Beautiful and feeling the crack.

I put it aside to hold and read alone.

It has been a year since my walking with her as she moved toward the veil.

My TimeHop reminds me daily with an image.

I would sit at her bedside and watch her sleep.

She would sleep on her back with her legs on pillows.

Her beautiful profile smooth with little hair.

I would wonder, How did we get here?

I did nothing to deserve this honor of receiving her friendship and trust in being allowed so close in this miraculous journey.

As I read And It Was Beautiful, I hear her voice.

Many of these words I heard her speak.

And again the cracks.

The cracks hold longings to hear that voice full of laughter and her big joy for life.

That beautiful smile with twinkling green eyes.

Her big, big love.

All those beautiful words that always lead back to Jesus.

But life pushes on.

Reading And It Was Beautiful reminds me of the miracles of grace that have answered all those worries she carried.

This year has given so much grace in all her questions.

How amazing and wise her man has been.

How the children have grown and faced their world with the beauty she gave them.

They have held on tight to each other through the bumps and the grace was there.

As she knew it would be.

Her wondrous girlfriends.

Oh, yes, they showed up big.

She knew it would be beautiful, and it has been.

Her beloved Westside reflects her personality in their loving and caring of each other.

And she now holds the answers to all our big questions.

I really like that.

My heart cracks open, my beauty, because we liked you so much.

Because we liked you so very, very much.

And I love you.

And it was beautiful.

It truly was beautiful.