In honor of My Dear Friend Kay

In honor of my dear friend Katherine Kay Welker Kahre

July 15, 1959-February 8, 2018

In honor of my dear friend, I posted a picture of the two of us on Facebook after she passed away last week.  A friend commented on my picture “dear friends are always in our hearts.” Kay and I have been connected for over 50 years. Since elementary school. Connected. Hearts connected in friendship. This led me to think about all our hearts being connected. Heartstrings.kayphotogrid Invisible heartstrings. There is a children’s book I am familiar with because my granddaughter came home from preschool a couple of years ago and explained to me in all her 4-year-old wisdom about the invisible heartstrings. She went on to explain how these strings tie all our hearts together and are held in heaven. If I miss her, I should pull on that invisible string and she will feel it and know I am thinking about her. What a wonderful concept. After a little investigation, I discovered her class had recently read “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst. The premise of the book “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.” So I know Kay and I are, and always will be, connected by this invisible string.

That string is pretty darn tender and it hurts a little right now. That’s okay. That’s how I know it is still connected. Kay was the kind of friend who is always in your heart. Whether we’d seen each other just yesterday or not for quite a bit longer, we could always pick up right where we left off. No matter how long it had been since we’d seen each other. She was that friend who knew everything about me. The one I could absolutely be myself with. When we were together we were always laughing. Kay was always so full of joy. A beautiful, strong and caring woman.

That invisible string is going to be tender for a while. It’ll always be connected from Kay’s heart to mine and to all of those who were lucky enough to know her. Those we love and lose are always going to be connected by those invisible heartstrings. Eventually, it won’t hurt so badly when it’s pulled; it’ll bring plenty of smiles and not so many tears. Well, maybe tears of laughter.

As life-long friends we experienced a lot together; Kay was my Maid of Honor 39 years ago. She also provided the beautiful music for my daughter’s and then my son’s wedding. Kay’s voice was as beautiful as her loving heart. One thing best friends cannot experience together, though, is each other’s funeral. We had an agreement between us depending on how things went: She promised to sing at my funeral and in return she made me promise that I would NOT sing at hers. I can see her looking down with that closed mouth smirk of hers, both eyebrows lifting as she says to everyone: “You’re welcome.” She’s yanking on that invisible string right now and having a good laugh saying she didn’t want to offend anyone’s ears. I feel ya woman.

Kay’s laugh, the twinkle in her eyes, her joy, her love and kindness, her absolutely beautiful voice, those things I will always remember as well as her strong faith. While we are all mourning the loss of our dear friend, others in Heaven are rejoicing. For us, Easter season is just a few weeks away, but Kay is celebrating her own joyous Easter now.

I’m going to treasure each memory, each and every tug on that invisible string. Love ya girlie!

What is your heart wearing?

A recent conversation with a friend has me pondering how we dress for church. Apparently she was confronted with her clothing choice and made to feel bad about how she looked. Seriously? Is what we wear to church the focus of other peoples’ attention? Is that why you attend services? To see what others are wearing? Are you offended by those who aren’t “dressed to the nines” for worship on Sunday morning? Wow, I think you might be focused on the wrong thing. I am sure my clothing choices would offend you. My normal attire for Mass on Sunday is jeans. Nice jeans, but jeans nonetheless. I have to be honest here; I really don’t notice what others are wearing. I am looking around, mind you, but at the people around me, their cute little babies that are taking it all with wide-eyed innocence, the younger kids who are poking each other while their parents try and shush them. It all makes me smile. Beautiful people! What are they wearing? Damn if I know…

I am what I am, not what I wear. I don’t dress to impress (quite obvious to those who know me) and my style is quite casual. Others have great style and dress beautifully. Always, whether at church or at the grocery store. That is how they are and they are beautiful! Well, I am beautiful too, just casually so.

We’re certainly all different on the outside there is no denying, and how we dress and accessorize ourselves highlights this. But on the inside? We are all the same. So, what one wears in their heart is another matter. Far more important if you ask me. I try and keep my heart “dressed to the nines” and hope that that is what people see. I know that is what God sees.

What is your heart wearing?