Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Keep Calm & Fight On

It was 2007 and MySpace was my social network of choice. I remember teaching high school computers. I always prided myself in keeping up to date with the new and most popular technologies. It didn't take me long to realize social networking could be good and bad. 

Like anything else those crazy kids started using, I decided to get myself an account and see what all the hype was about. I knew it looked fun: adding music to my profile, adding an updated picture of myself, and finding a background I liked. 

What I didn't expect was how creating a profile would connect me to people I had not even thought about since I was in school (80's & 90's).

At first it started slow, but then I found myself amazed at how all of our lives had changed. It was great seeing so many of my friends had married, had children, and had abundant lives. It was sad to see those who divorced or maybe had not had life turn out as they had expected so long ago. 

It was in 2007 that I found a long time friend of mine in that crazy MySpace place. Candi and I had been only a year apart in school, but fate brought us to become friends and God brought us to be better friends as adults. 

I was a sixth grader and by all accounts was not cheerleader material. For some crazy idea (like many of my ideas), I thought trying out to be a cheerleader was a good one. Now, mind you, it was not even a whole year since my brother had been gone. Looking back, I see God played a HUGE part in this scenario. I tried out and made alternate. THAT was a door only God could open. So, I went about my business until one day by some twist of fate, the phone rang. The voice on the other end told me that one of the four girls moved and I'd be cheering on the squad in the fall. Really? What are the odds? I'm sure my parents were just as floored. :) 

Candi and I cheered different games since we were in different grades. We were not bff's and, to be honest, I cannot remember really talking to her that much. After high school, I was most concerned about getting out of that small town and moving on.  

Fast forward almost twenty years and we both found ourselves reconnecting in a way that did not even exist back then. I remember reaching out to her first and we immediately realized that it was not an accident that we had stumbled upon each other. We kept in contact almost daily. We both saw each other through some really rough and discouraging days. 

Then, the day came that we both merged ourselves over to Facebook. Funny how we all abandoned the "other" site. I remember her posting a status about taking Karly to the dr. Then, I remember her emailing me. Karly's test results were not good. I was speechless. What do you say to someone who's just got the worst news of their life? 

2009. It seems like forever ago. I remember crying for them, praying for them, and offering whatever I could to help. We went to visit them in Houston several times and even had the chance to join them during a service with Joel Osteen as Joel's mom prayed for Karly. My girls loved Karly, too. :) Her bright eyes and bright smile can capture lots of hearts. 

I enjoyed being around her as we'd talk about computers, video editing and such. She is definitely not a girly girl and I enjoyed that I about her. No matter what, she made me smile and calmed my spirit. Weird. She was going through a time of struggle and she was calming me. Not many people in our lives can do that, so when it happens take note, be grateful, and pass it on. 

This Saturday there will be a 5K run/walk for Karly's medical expenses. She will have to have another surgery soon and this one will take many weeks of recovery. 

When Candi told me it might be in the works I said I'd be there without hesitation. How could I miss it? I love 5K's, but, most of all, I love Candi and Karly. 

A friend and I decided to make team shirts in honor of Karly and when I asked Karly what she wanted her "saying" to be, she told me "Keep Calm & Fight On." 


So, this weekend I will be going back to the place I call home. The place where many memories lie. The place where my brother was laid to rest. The place where God grew me to be the person I am today. 

Is it ironic that the weekend I'll be there coincides with the anniversary of losing my brother? 

God doesn't do coincidences. 

Kroozn' For Karly is something that Candi would like to continue so that other families like theirs can be helped, too. If you're interested in helping Karly, please visit the site below and donate via the Paypal links provided. 
"Greater things are yet to come and greater things are still to be done." ~ Michael W. Smith

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