We were all hanging out in a church youth group where there was earnest pursuit for something more. We became friends with each other out of proximity and stayed friends for years that followed. When I think about the most sacred places in my heart during that coming of age era, Kara and Mary are tucked away in there.
Mary and I spent so many years filled with fun and laughter, summer camps and lake houses. I stressed out her father to no end with my pitifully lacking manners and far too casual demeanor.
Kara had limited exposure to me because I was considered a bad influence over her. She became too loud, too outspoken, and too excitable after we spent time together. I loved those things about her.
In college I spent a summer in Colorado having a low grade nervous break down. It was my first time revisiting the death on my brother since he passed when I was 11 years old. I called Kara from Colorado because she had walked a road fraught with struggle and dark valleys, and had successfully continued on to mountain tops. I asked for her help that summer I was stranded in Fort Collins. I remember sitting in a hallway pay phone booth in a Colorado State sorority house when she said to me, “Peggy, sometimes things break and you don’t get to know why.”
It was the saddest, truest thing she could have said. There are no silver bullets to life and pain. There is persisting on, and sometimes you even get to receive the revelation of a problem’s root cause. And sometimes you don’t. But still, persist.
She is still so wise. And ever the beauty. She offers comfort, support, love, and no cheap answers. She is reliable counsel. Soon, it will be 30 years I’ve been able to count on her. She is flesh on bone mercy in my life. Still sacred in my heart.