Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ginny's Remembrance for Karen


We were ten; Barb, Beth, Betsy, Ginny, Jackie, Joan, Karen, Kathy, Kay and Sue.  Our Bridge Club.

Once each year, the conversation was the same.

“We’ve got to get a photo. We should put a piece in the paper.”

Why? We are ten!

Until August 23, 2011, we ten met once a month, always a Thursday, for 43 years.

On August 23, we ten became nine.  Karen passed away.

We met at Kodak’s computer division, most fresh out of college.  Some remained at Kodak, some moved away for a few years to follow their husband’s job, some stayed home with the kids and others took different positions around town. But our Thursday get-togethers were a sacred pact and we met every month.

In the early years, we’d play seven rounds, 3 hands each round (more cards than talk), ate sweet desserts and drank strong coffee, never ending ‘til 1am.  Then we’d meet up again the next day at work. We gambled for high stakes, 25 cents. We’d have Christmas gift exchanges, sleepovers and dinner outings.  We were ten.

More recently, we begin an hour earlier and end at 10pm.  Most are retired so there’s no rush but 10pm is becoming late for some. We sit together at one table, we play 2 or 3 rounds, 3 hands each (more talk than cards), the snacks are veggies and the coffee is decaf.

We raised our stakes to $1. “Winner” takes $4, second takes $3 and the “loser” keeps their own $1. Except, there are no “winners” nor “losers” in this group. We’ve seen and conquered everything in life there is to see and to conquer. There are the happy events to celebrate, the sad and disturbing times to push through, the traumas and laughter of raising children and grandchildren and the ups and downs of marriage, money and health. We were ten who could celebrate and achieve anything.

Now, the last and saddest of all – the unthinkable – we ten have become nine. That photo will never be taken. We do have pictures over the years but someone was always missing. We could Photo-shop them in but we’d know the truth of it.

We will continue to celebrate our time together, our longevity and we will never forget our good and dear friend, Karen. Her life was inspiring to everyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed.

Karen, there will always be a chair for you at our bridge table.

We are now nine. But, only temporarily.  Someday, we will be ten again. The card game will go on once more and maybe we’ll get that photo after all.

In loving memory of Karen


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Ginny is another member of my beloved bridge group.  She has a wonderful way of writing which I enjoy so much from the emails she sends describing the exotic out of the way lands she visits on her travels.

This is a beautiful piece in memory of our dear friend Karen.

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