Many of buttons that Karen received over the past years were once lost or separated from their garment. Someone found it and held onto it until they gave it to her.
We sometimes get lost. We lose our thread-like connection and fall away. Sometimes we decide to let ourselves fall away. Karen told me she was ready to fall away. She fought until she could no longer fight. She fought until those affairs were in order and the people she loved were less afraid.
The Fates were three sisters Their names were Clotho, the one who spins the thread of life; Lachesis, who draws the lots and determines how long one lives, by measuring the thread of life; and Atropos, the inevitable, she who cuts the thread of life with her shears.
Buttons and threads were the lovely metaphors that brought much joy to our days together as the cancer worked.
It never diminished her.
The next chapter is one where I and those that love her celebrate her life and her love of life.
A Celebration of Life is planned for May 27th at our East Hampton home. From 3:00 to 8:00pm we will gather to play games, make art and music, celebrate with stories of love and life.
Karen did. Even as chemo brain aphasia was fighting her ability to express herself. I knew she was writing but I couldn't read it until after he passed.
In her own words
I tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, some of the times I failed, but I tried. I was born in 1952 and grew up outside of Schenectady N.Y. I was active in all sorts of outdoor activities; swimming, skiing, hiking and canoeing. After graduating from Schalmont High School I attended Ithaca College where I met my future husband William Evertson. Bill and I were married in 1975 in a simple ceremony on a farm in Ithaca. We lived in Delaware for two years while Bill worked on his MFA and I began my career as a social worker. After two years of school, teaching, work and travel we moved to New York City. In 1982 I received a Master of Social Work from Hunter College. I was hired after my social work training at the Metropolitan Center for Mental Health as the Administrative Director. In 1986 our son Ian was born and we moved to Connecticut where I had a job at Inter Community Mental Health Group as the Executive Director. After about ten years, I was recruited by the State of Connecticut to develop and run Western Connecticut Mental Health Network as the CEO. My last position before I retired was CEO at Capitol Region Mental Health Center in Hartford, Ct. I value the traits that I grew up with that were further engrained by my social work training; such as, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, helping those in need, honesty and equality. There are people who taught me of course. My father, Robert C Mackeown and mother Gary Wiggin Mackeown. My husband, William and son Ian. My brother, Douglas and his wife Tamzen, their children David and Caitlin. My aunt Georgia Clingen, her son Eric, his wife Kerry and their children Brian and Elaine. My father's sister, Dorothy Mackeown Jeroloman and her children, Charlie Jr, Amy and Robert C. Jeroloman. I have been blessed with very special friends who loved me, assisted me and cared for me. Since my diagnoses of breast cancer I welcomed the chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. They have laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful happy life. I am blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. If you think of me and would like to do something to honor my memory here are some suggestions. Volunteer at a school, library or art museum. Write a letter to someone and let them know they had a positive impact on your life. Make someone smile today if it is your power to do so. If you haven't educated yourself on global warming - start. If you haven't educated yourself on renewable energy sources - start. Turn off the electronics and take a kid out for ice cream and talk about their hopes and dreams. And finally as some have said, be kind to one another.
William and Karen - Karen and I have been married for 41 years. Karen's breast cancer has reached stage 4. This is what happens next.