Thursday, April 30, 2009

Raymond

picture by Aiden...of Raymond and Karen
While in New Orleans I received a message via facebook from Raymond, someone I did not know  (had no idea who he was) that basically said hey if you're ever passing through I would really love to meet you.  Now..I'm a small young female traveling the country with 2 young boys... I didn't know Raymond at all and while I appreciate the offer from ANYONE I sat on the email and truthfully thought about how I could politely decline.  A couple of days went by and as I was leaving New Orleans en route to Houston, TX (in the night no less) I passed a sign saying the town Raymond  lived in was around 70 miles and thought oh crud...never emailed him back...SO I pulled out my phone and started typing the nicest decline I could muster up.  I received a response from Raymond about 35ish minutes later...which basically explained he was a fan of Katie's...but the part that hit me...in the face and gut was the following:

Katie meant a lot to me on many levels. I was very upset when she passed away. I think God may have been looking out for me and "prepped" me for a loss as I had to experience one much greater than that of Katie (whom I had never met) but was a fan....my twelve year old son passed away on January 30 after becoming ill in June. 

This was February 25th...not even a month after this man lost his son.  In my gut I knew I should call him...now only 10 miles away.  So I did...and thankfully Raymond guided me to a nearby McDonalds (for the kids sake and ours) where we met one another...shared our medical trauma stories...exchanged stories about our grief, but basically just related to one another...and had a very real, very human interaction.  It is everything I wanted the great adventure...it is a moment in my life..simple as it may seem which I will always cherish and never soon forget.  There is something so magical about sharing yourself with another...about interacting in a real way...if even for a moment.  So while it may have been a risky thing to meet a stranger at night...I knew in my guts it was the right thing to do..so I took a risk..and yet again it paid off.  
Thank you Raymond for being so bold and reaching out to me...I'm not sure how you carry on in this life with the burden of a loss of a child...but you inspired me on that night to continue to carry on with my head held high!  


4 comments:

stacy k said...

Wow. But should we expect anything less? ;)

Beth Grim said...

Karen, I've been following your blog for a while and felt I should introduce myself. I went to high school with Robbie and therefore knew the whole family. I was also involved in the Madeira Pres. youth group when I was in college and Katie was in HS. I spent a lot of time with Katie, we used to lead worship together (so much fun for me). It's a relief to know that her loved ones are moving on with life and doing okay. If your adventures take you and the boys to Seattle you have friends here.

jaime said...

Hey Karen, I am in i2y with Matt Zachary and emailed Katie last summer, in June. I was interning at Memorial Sloan-Kettering at the time, and wanted to send her some email encouragement. WHen I found out about her passing, I was at the LAF Summit, and I was floored.
I have begun watching the videos of your road trip and you guys are amazing - my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children!

L-VII said...

Hello,

I love your blog, I stumbled on it via facebook. I really like it, I keep a blog myself and I have been wondering how I want it to come across but you have inspired me to write it for me, so I can look back and know where I was at and what I was thinking.

I wish you joy and peace of mind.

L.