Happy Birthday Karen

Today the sun is shining in Los Angeles.  It is a warm 80 degrees in January, the middle of winter.  And yet, my mood is melancholy. 
One year ago today I was laughing with my friend on her birthday.  It was particularly funny as our boss bought a very delicious cheesecake to celebrate her birthday without knowing that she does not like cheesecake in the least.  It made us laugh and cemented the day in the files of my memories.  One year later, the mood in the office is a stark contrast to those memories.  My friend and coworker passed away in November.  It was sudden, unexpected, tragic and completely unfair. 
And today is her birthday.
Today I will still celebrate.  Celebrate knowing such a wonderful person.  Today I will eat a wonderful dinner.  Dinner at Umami, one of her favorite restaurants.  Today I will laugh with friends.  Friends that share my delight in knowing her and pain in losing her.  Today I will remember.  Remember how much I loved my time working with her, remember how much I appreciated our talks, remember how much I enjoyed celebrating my birthday at Disneyland with her, remember how much I will miss her…today, everyday.
Happy Birthday Karen Gibbs!

Cheers to you Karen Gibbs!  We miss you!