Friday, February 20, 2009

The Green Donkey

I thought this story was worth posting again. I love you Karen!

This is the true story of what Deepak Chopra would call a "Whopper". Something so touched with the hand of God that it seems almost impossible to believe, and yet, there can be no doubt to those of us that are believers!

My best friend died on May 15, 2004 from breast cancer at the age of 45 after a 10 year battle with HER-2 Breast Cancer. We had spent 40 years weaving the fabric of our lives together in a dance that was just magical. Ours is a long story of love and friendship. It is hard to relay in a few words the significance of this miracle, but I will try.

We were both Transformational Healers, which is a form of energy healing …or laying on of hands. We work as conduits for God to work through us and ignite the healing that we all are capable of. She became interested in this because of her cancer and I was always searching for new spiritual avenues and she led me to it like a horse (donkey) to water. (Another whole whopper of a story!) Anyway.....

In the spring of 2002 Karen began having massive head aches and was feeling “"weird”". We were headed off for a little R & R weekend in New York state and having a grand time …just the two of us tooling around in the car. She became very serious at one point and told me she thought her chemotherapy may be causing these "weird" symptoms and she was struggling as to whether or not to go off the chemo and just let God work. I told her this was a HUGE decision and one not to be taken lightly. I am a big believer in asking God to give us a sign when we need an answer to an important question. Because this was a VERY important question, I told her she needed to ask for a sign that would be unquestionable. Something so “strange” that it could only be seen as a "sign" from God. I then said, "How about a green donkey"? She giggled and agreed that a green donkey would be the sign she needed to let God heal her rather than continue on the chemotherapy. The whole rest of the weekend we searched for a green donkey. We found yellow pigs and purple cows, red dogs and even a green we tried to rationalize that a horse is almost a donkey, but we knew it had to be a "Green Donkey". We spent the next afternoon in Woodstock, NY going through every store searching for her sign, but never found a green donkey.

A week later the headaches she was experiencing became much worse and she called her doctor and he scheduled an MRI . During this same week …her father passed away from Alzheimer’s. It was a heartbreak to her very close knit family but had been expected. On the morning of his funeral… she received a phone call from her oncologist that he had the results of her MRI and the cancer had spread to her brain, thus the headaches and "weird" feelings. She went through the whole day of her fathers funeral …and told no one except her husband what she had found out that morning. She had courage beyond human strength. She made it through brain surgery, massive radiation… and lived two more years. She passed on May 15, 2004 surrounded by her whole family.

What follows is what I said at her memorial service (which 700 people attended)...notice the part about the “green donkey” toward the end.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Karen for over 40 years and calling her one of my best and dearest friends. But I know I am just one of countless best friends that Karen had…there was something about her that just made you want to be close to her and know her better. It reminds me of the song by the Carpenters.

On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

To Karen’s family…she was a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a cousin…but for the vast majority of us here today….she was our friend. A friend of the truest sense…one that was there for each of us no matter what was going on in HER life. Remarkable, selfless, trustworthy, sincere, kind, compassionate, spiritual, beautiful are words that can only begin to describe Karen.

Besides being a friend…Karen was a teacher…she taught me more about strength and courage than I ever wanted to know. When my son deployed to Afghanistan in Oct, she came to me one day like an angel sent from the Lord…. She held me and cried with me and instilled in me the Power of Now and gave me strength that I did not know I had. If I can take one tenth of her strength and live the rest of my life than I will be happy.

I will miss her human presence more than I can even imagine at this time... her spirit while she was on this Earth was immeasurable. What I look forward to from this day forward is how she will guide, love, and watch over each of us in her new found strength in SPIRIT.

And so I say to you my dear Karen…Godspeed to you on this new journey you have undertaken. I know Daddy was holding your green donkey… and that now you know all the Divine Order that is so hard for us to understand here on Earth. I giggle at the thought of our next life together and I ask you Sister Karen to hold down the abbey until I get there.

When I returned home from her service, there was a message on my answering machine from my son Quinn, who was in Afghanistan, serving in the US Army. He had NEVER, EVER called during the week since his deployment in Oct. of 2003. This happened to be a Tuesday night. This in and of itself spoke volumes to me…. I was sad I had missed his call, but I knew he was OK and surely sending me some love from afar, even though he did not know of Karen's death yet (at least on the physical plane). Karen had given me extreme comfort about Quinn's deployment and the first thing she said to me whenever we spoke was, "How is Quinn doing?"

The phone rang again around 2:30 this same evening and again it was Quinn. What a joy to hear his voice. We spoke for about 20 minutes and during the conversation he mentioned that his best buddy had put new pictures up on a website of them in Afghanistan. I tucked this info into my mind to take a look the next day. I had only seen two photos of him since his deployment almost 7 months earlier.

The next morning I went with Karen's family to a private burial and then spent the rest of the day with her family. I arrived home around 4:00 and read some e-mails and then remembered I had to check out the pictures of Quinn. This is now 5 days since her passing. There was a folder named "the Month of May". I opened this and started looking for pictures of Quinn. There were around 20 new photos. Mid way down the page I noticed that one picture was titled "Donkey". In the small picture format it looked more like a green tree. I opened the picture to its full size and almost fell to the floor, for there sent from a war torn country by an American soldier was Karen's sign that she had been healed. Not on this Earth, but alas in heaven. It was a picture of a donkey with a bundle of GREEN branches tied around it. She knew that if she involved Quinn in getting this sign to me, that she would be successful. I would NEVER not look at these pictures. This is SO Karen.

Karen left behind 3 children, a husband, 4 siblings and her mom, besides the countless, countless people she touched while here. The news of this Green Donkey gave peace to her family and our community. I feel her presence with me always and thank her for her continued caring and love. I know she is still with us and just around the to speak.

Blessings to all that read this story and please pass this on as a sign of faith and healing for the world.

Lisa Sullivan

No comments: