Karen.

Today is Karen's birthday, and we tragically lost her to cancer just before her 31st.
I’m at loss for words for the future at this point, because my head is flooded with the past. Growing up with someone locks them in your heart forever. Karen had my heart the first time we met. She had this big smile that lit up the room, not to mention her impeccable style, or her brilliant comical side, that kept me laughing for hours. She was an amazing friend, and to prove that she had the best of friends in return, ones that are left deeply heartbroken.

Karen worked harder than anyone I ever met, always had a plan. She often ignited me with ambition and inspiration. She encouraged me to be my best. Repeatedly along the way Karen directed me into positive light, without ever really knowing. The times I went my own direction, I carried Karen’s strong expectations of who she thought I was with me so that I wouldn’t screw things up. She seldom judged, always talked things through, and forever made me feel like a star. But she was the star I admired; I was always in awe of her grace, such a natural beauty.
Her ability to go after her dreams, and accomplish so many of them in the short time she did, and carry herself with ease.

Although the past few years we have not been together as often as I wanted, I could pick up the phone and call her anytime and it was like we never spent a moment apart.

It hurts knowing that I can’t hear her voice directly, but I hear it my head like it’s filling the room.

Karen will live forever, as a confident beauty with a humble heart and someone that I will look up to with wonder and admiration. I always questioned how someone so tiny was so fierce. I guess that’s what a true warrior is. *(Damn you evil cancer.) 

Karen, your courage is praiseworthy. Your sacrifice will heal a million lives to come.
You are a hero. I love you LI. Rest in Peace.

Thanks for taking an amazing photo Adrian McFarlane -Mollo,
one that I used to inspire my Karen painting.

Karen_photo

As my dear friend Meaghen posted today on her facebook page, In Memory of Karen Neely, on what would have been her 31st birthday, you can still give her a gift.

Bc Cancer Foundation for Karen Neely