As you read my post on Jason and then look back at my timeline you will see Karen and/or Jason mentioned several times. Today, I want to share a little more information, from my journals and from my heart, about those interactions. I mentioned earlier that I first met Jason, and shortly thereafter, Karen, through my work at the Financial Planning firm where we were each employed in Springfield, MO, in 1968. My wife, Rachel, and I became close friends with Karen and Jason from that time. These regular friendship and family activities continued when we each, over the next few years, moved to Tucson. Knowing Rachel and I well by that time, the friendship and family activities continued after I left Jason’s firm to set up my solo Financial Planning practice a few years later in the summer of 1975. We continued to attend University of Arizona concert and athletic events together as an example. We shared family picnics in Sabino Canyon and other locations around the valley surrounding Tucson.
When Rachel died in that unbelievable accident in 1983, Karen and Jason were there for Randi and I in our time of need. We will never forget the support they provided to get us through that very difficult period of our lives… and in the years that have followed. I was told at the time that the grieving period following such as loss lasts for several years, regardless of the way in which each of us handles grieve. I can attest to that being true.
Karen and Jason, for serious family reasons, moved from Tucson to Oak Springs, Missouri, her hometown, in February 1987. They initially expected to be gone for two years and then return. With that in mind, I enjoyed going back to visit them in the late spring of 1987. When they decided to stay, a stay that has turned out to be permanent, I continued to enjoy my visits to them each year as I went back to Missouri to continue to work with a few of the clients I have retained over many years since my time in Springfield.
Sadly, during my visit in June 1993, as Jason was returning from a business trip to the state capital in Jefferson City, he died in an automobile accident. As hard as it was, I was happy to be there for Karen as she experienced that strong sense of loss that I experienced nearly ten years earlier. She was, and is, a very strong person and has returned to her “normal” life, just as Jason would have expected her to do.
I continued to visit each year as I had done. Karen has done a great job of continuing to operate the Homeplace Country Inn in Oak Springs along with taking an even stronger and more active role in the family business, The Bevins Trust, that brought them back to her hometown in 1987. In 1996, their oldest son, Matt, and his wife, Susan, and their two children moved from the Boston area to Oak Springs where Matt is leading the effort to bring the Internet to the community of Oak Springs from the nearby Community College. I spoke with him about my needs, at the time, as a college instructor teaching online courses. When he assured me they were then, in the fall of 1996, able to meet my Internet needs, I decided to move to Oak Springs, myself.
This move took me back near my roots, near a very dear friend and her family, and much closer to my daughter and what other family I have left. It is a decision I have not regretted for a moment. This move is part of what has brought me to this writing project related to my journals. This brings me full circle. I hope you enjoy reading ‘the new me’ as well.
And that is how it went!