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http://lh5.ggpht.com/gallant.christopher/R0trya7cZYI/AAAAAAAAAKE/mJ54FJMa690/s400/FreshCutGrass_3360x1050.jpg Connie Shannon “When you open the tennis can and it whistles, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us think of me” -  Karen The other morning, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us an old friend came to see me. She and I and some other members from my tennis club were seated at a church service, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us in my dreams. Dreams are funny. They feel so real at the time we are dreaming them. I haven’t thought of Karen in a while. Life moves us forward and memories of those who’ve left us are eventually placed on our memory shelves, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us until those times we are compelled to remember them. It was one of those dreams that stayed with me after I woke up. Karen was a friend of mine I met at my club where I play tennis. I wouldn’t say she and I became fast friends. She was older than I was and a better player. I remember when I first met her, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us I was intimidated. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us On the court and off, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us she could be tough and no nonsense at times. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   In the same breath, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us she was the first to laugh at herself, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and had this naturally light, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us gracious demeanor.  And more than (almost) anything, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen loved tennis.  She was a terrific doubles player and formidable competitor. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Everything Karen did, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us she did exceptionally well. And for someone new to town, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us who primarily joined the club to socialize and meet people, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen’s strong alpha presence was something I had to warm up to. Which is one of the reasons why taking up tennis has been so good for me. Sports teach us a lot about ourselves and about others. I guess you could say I didn’t get to know Karen well until she became ill. She was playing out on the court one day and fell and fractured her hip. The injury led to her finding she had Stage four bone cancer. After she had been diagnosed, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us some friends at the club and I began to take dinners to her house once a week (which grew into more evenings as time passed) , buy hoodia weight loss gum in us which turned into welcomed weekly get togethers for everyone.  One various weekdays, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us I would take her two terriers for a walk.   To be more accurate, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us it was the terriers who walked me.    They were small, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us but incredibly strong for their size and equally enthusiastic for a run around the neighborhood.   At times when the chemo and radiation sapped her of almost all of her strength and energy, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us we would take turns driving Karen to the hospital for treatments. During such times, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us we’d catch up on the typical things happening over at the club - what matches were going on, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us  who was playing well and any club gossip she may have missed. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us We’d talk about how the chemo treatments were going, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us which ones had worked, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us which ones weren’t, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and how she was feeling. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   Interestingly, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us in knowing others who have gone through chemotherapy, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen actually looked forward to her treatments which seemed to make her feel better. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   They seemed to give her energy. It was only when her blood count would become too low that she couldn’t receive treatments, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us which was difficult for her in many ways namely because of the cancer spreading. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   At other times, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen would tell me about her days in the working world as an Advertising exec, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us of which I have no doubt she was probably the best in her field and/or at least her division. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   She did mention on a few occasions stories of being a female in a very male world, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and shared some stories of things she had to put up with at the time, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us as being the only woman at her level.   There were other things we didn’t talk about too much, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us but things she and I both understood. Karen had been in a long term relationship with another woman, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us whom she spoke of rarely, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us more or less in passing.  She had mentioned to me she had joined the club not long after her break up with her partner. I can’ t remember how long exactly they had been together. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us They had been together quite a while. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us To Karen, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us the break up was pretty abrupt and unexpected.  One afternoon I was over helping Karen get the upstairs cleaned up in her home. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   We were cleaning in the bathroom, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and I went to unplug a curling iron sitting on the counter which curiously was on, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us but Karen didn’t use a curling iron.  She stopped me before I could turn it off.   The curling iron belonged to her ex and Karen kept it plugged in and turned on since the day her partner left  some years before. The curling iron stayed on until Karen died.  For some reason, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us this has remained with me. I remember the ex partner failing to make it over to visit Karen when she was ill, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us or when she was dying.  That has remained with me as well. Ironically, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us if irony is the word, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us it seemed to be the chapter in Karen’s life which brought her to the club, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and to us for a time being.    In the eleventh hour of Karen’s time here, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us she even managed to make us laugh. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Two nights before Karen passed, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us our crew of friends were over trying to help Karen get things as situated as possible.  Before the illness took over, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen was always very organized and orderly. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   However, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us as the illness progressed and her body weakened, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us she was less physically able, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us needless to say to move up and down the stairs to get things done.    By this point, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen was bed ridden, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us on oxygen full time and extremely weak.     We were searching for the title papers for one of her Vespas which she was giving to her niece and nephews.   As the search was proving unsuccessful, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us Karen was becoming frustrated to the point that she exclaimed the best she could, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us “I’m not going anywhere until we find those papers!” While we finally found the papers and she felt at ease, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us we teased with Karen that, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us if she was not going to leave, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us then there was no reason in finding them.  I’m glad Karen came to see me the other morning, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us if only in my dreams. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us It prompted me take her memory off the ’shelf ‘and pay tribute to a wonderful person and spirit, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us who was incredibly full of life and enthusiasm while she was here.  Karen lived by her own standards and passions, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us fell deeply in love with a woman at a time and in a working world where it was anything but fashionable, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and she fought her illness as hard as she fought her opponents on the court.   She held the bone cancer at bay for a while too - longer than many. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us    There was one point during her illness that she was feeling better, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us the chemo was ‘working’, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us and she would take her beloved Vespa out for a spin and would drive to the club to watch the drop in doubles on the weekend. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us   I remember Saturday she was there.  She mentioned to me how incredible it was to smell the cut grass as she was driving over that morning.  She had tears in her eyes when she talked.  Whenever I smell fresh cut grass, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us I always think of Karen. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us And after writing this, buy hoodia weight loss gum in us I’m reminded to remember her when the tennis can whistles.  Love you Karen. Buy hoodia weight loss gum in us