Friday, May 04, 2012

{a personal word}

If you'll please excuse my doing so, I need to postpone my bug and insect activities and just share from the heart today.  Come back over the weekend for bees, butterflies, caterpillars, ladybugs and ants.  But life has thrown in a change and I feel it necessary to respectfully do the same.

At almost this same time last year a friend and co-worker of mine was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.  It came on so abruptly that Karen was in school one day, got the results of some tests the next and she couldn't come back to finish the year.  She and I met "on the island" {as we like to say} when we started as new hires on the same day, laughing through new teacher trainings and trying to figure out what in the world was going on at various staff meetings as we learned how we fit in a new school environment.  I spent many an hour {virtually every afternoon} in her classroom that first year, getting to know her and her funny kids.

Through the eight years on the island we developed separate work friend groups but still remained close.  She's one of those people that I naturally hugged every time I saw her...even if we'd done just that same thing two hours prior while passing in the hallway.

It was she and her daughter, who was five at the time, who came up with calling me Mockie {a play on my maiden name} that is still around among those of us who have been here that long.  It's the only thing Karen would ever call me!

She was funny, positive, encouraging and had one of those personalities that was just contagious.  Even if we were griping about a work issue or venting about personal drama, I always left in a better mood because she was able to me laugh about anything.  Even while texting me from the hospital while she waited on her chemo treatment.

We got the word yesterday that she had passed and for the first time in the 11 month process I just broke down.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were in the staff lounge having lunch and she was talking about going to the doctor for testing.  Now she's gone and I can't stop the emotions from coming.  Even though she didn't come back to work this year, I could pick up my phone and text her whenever I wanted to.  And now knowing that I can't, I feel like something's missing.

I fully believe in the power of prayer and that God could've healed her if that was His plan.  I don't know why it wasn't and I know it's not beneficial to drive myself crazy with but why but at the same time, it's really hard knowing a beautiful 43 year old mother is no longer with us.  If you believe in prayer please send one {or a few} up for her family, specifically her 2 children who I know will miss her dearly.

And maybe the next time a coworker or neighbor registers for Race for the Cure or 24 Hours of Booty or Relay for Life you might remember this story and find a few dollars to put toward their donations. It's amazing and disgusting how quickly cancer can come in and take a life.  I know our school family will never forget.

We love you Karen.  And we'll love on those kids til they're sick of us.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss (and her family's). I'm actually about to be on my way to our school's relay for life team. Saying a prayer for her family and you.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'll be praying for you and her family. One of my best friend's mother died a year and a half ago from Bile Duct cancer. The C word is an awful word.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

  3. Sending love and prayers to you and Karen's family. It's impossible to understand but sharing memories and hugging loved ones helps a little.

  4. I am so sorry. Prayers are going up for you and her family. Such a tragedy, hopefully one day there will be a cure for cancer.

  5. I am sending prayers to you and her family. It is so wonderful to have those friends who just get you and such a loss when they are gone. Keep her memories close!

  6. I'm so sorry, definitely thinking about you at this time!!

    The Daily Alphabet

  7. I will definitely pray for her family and coworkers. I'm so sorry...

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers your way:)

  9. Kristin, I am so very sorry. I am sending prayers for her family and loved ones, including you. Take care.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for her kids :(
    Praying for all of you.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss Kristin. Prayers being sent!

  12. Anonymous11:13 PM

    I was so shocked to hear about Ms. Kirch's death. My daughter Morgan was in her class last year. She was one of her favorite teachers. She loved her so much and when she heard the news she was so tore up. She was calling me at work crying. We will be praying for her children, family and friends.

    Monica and Morgan Ellison

  13. I am so sorry to hear about this loss. I don't know her or her family but I will pray for them. Her suffering is over but it is the ones left behind who suffer now because of their loss. I lost a very close work colleague last year to breast cancer and I understand the profound effect it has on our lives.
    Classroom Fun

  14. Thank you for sharing. *hugs* My prayers are with her family and friends.

  15. Oh my. Thanks for sharing the wonderfulness that she brought into your life with us. What amazing memories you'll have to hold onto. Sorry you lost a dear friend.
    -Leslie @KindergartenWorks

  16. Very touching. Your post was beautifully written and such a special tribute to a special person.


    Sprinkle Teaching Magic

  17. Thank you for your beautiful post. Karen and I were sorority sisters and I will always remember her infectious smile and sense of humor. We were co-teachers during a teaching practicum Senior Year and had an absolute blast together. Though we lost touch after graduating, the news of her passing shook me to my core. She was such a positive, beautiful, fun person 25 years ago and I'm so glad she stayed that way and touched so many lives after we parted ways.


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