Keep In Touch

One of the last things she ever said to me was, “Don’t get in front of tree limbs or wild flowers in your pictures. Let them tell part of your story.” May she rest in peace, my friend Karen will never be forgotten.Keep In Touch

Sadness has become my companion over the last few days, as a drunk driver murdered our friends last Thursday night.

Keep In Touch

Karen & Russ Musgrove

We’d not seen this couple since 2007 when we took a group trip to Grove Park Inn in North Carolina. They lived in Georgia, we are in Alabama. But, in May of this year, while we were in Italy, I received a message from Karen saying, “We are in Rome, too! Let’s meet for gelato.” We could not make it work out due to schedules and now I’ll never see them again. My heart is broken and I am filled with regret. We did not keep in touch.

Why is it that we constantly say to people we care about, “let’s keep in touch,” and then we don’t do it? I have friends in Utah, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to name a few that I’ve not heard from or reached out to in years. Now I know first hand what it feels like to have tomorrow snatched from my grasp. I will never have another opportunity to talk about photography, kids growing up, church memories or marriage with Karen. We can never reminisce about our wonderful trip or compare notes on Italy.

Keep In Touch

It is my hope that this post will remind folks to keep in touch with those you love. And as I write and insert these photos, it is in honor of this dear couple.

I’ve always loved my photos from this trip because Karen taught me so much about photography with just a few tips. The above photo would never have been framed by these trees without her. (The rear view of the Biltmore Mansion.) I can still feel and hear her standing behind me helping me get this photo just right. She was an angel.

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She suggested that things always be just a little bit off center.

Karen & Russ at Restaurant

She reminded me to snap as many candid shots as possible…. A couple who were so in love with each other, while always focused on those around them.

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(Celebrating an anniversary was the trips’ purpose.) Oh, that we had known then what we know now! We’d have celebrated their life.

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Good friends, great time – lots of photos.

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One of my few limo rides was with these smiling faces. (Thank you Lana and Tim for this gift!)

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We celebrated the 25th anniversary of Rick and Denise (center). We partied in style. Karen was a natural beauty.

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Girl fun!

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Lana and Tim, another couple I dearly love. We need to keep in touch since we live across the country from each other.

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The next day we had a tour of the Biltmore mansion.

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We had lunch in the Stable Café. We caught up on our children, laughed at some of our parenting memories and just genuinely enjoyed each others’ company.

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A frame-worthy photo, which was another suggestion by Karen.

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I have no idea what Rick whispered to Russ here, but he loved to laugh.

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We toured the Biltmore Winery and this was the landscape design. Another suggested shot by my photo-genius friend.

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Karen helped me frame this picture, too. The color and beauty of the landscape in this picture could also frame the picture of their lives. They were a bright, creative, firmly planted couple who radiated their Creators’ image.  Karen and Russ were a beautiful part of this world. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention here that we’ve been robbed of their greatness. We are left with the knowledge that a 50 year old man with drugs and an open container in his car walked away with a laceration to the forehead.

However, just as she taught me how to focus my camera lens, our focus should be on telling their story not his! She had an eye for detail, a heart for love, a creative spirit and a laugh that tickled your ears. We could be in a crowded room and the sound of Karen’s laugh alerted me that my friend was indeed in the house. I will miss knowing that she is just across state lines from us. I am grateful to our Lord for the privilege of knowing this beautiful woman and her precious husband. In her sweet, short life she brought brightness, a positive attitude and was an example to follow. She was a great mother, wonderful wife, sweet friend and devoted Christ follower. May you both rest in peace, Russ and Karen. You are already missed. May God comfort and continue to lead your three blessings, Brent, Jake and Emily.

And to all of you, my dear friends who faithfully read this blog, let’s please do a better job of keeping in touch. In an instant our tomorrows can be snatched from our grasp.

20 thoughts on “Keep In Touch

  1. What a BEAUTIFUL tribute you have written for Karen and her husband. I was a teacher with Karen’s mother Suzanne many years ago. Such a lovely young woman… so sad that her life was shortened at such a young age! Thank you so much for sharing your touching story about your dear friends! Love❣️❣️❣️

    1. Thank you, Mylissa. They were a beautiful couple. I didn’t know Karen’s mom, but I do know they were very close. My heart aches for her loss as well. Give her a hug from a friend if you see her soon.

      1. Kim… thank you soo much … I was sooo touched after reading this about my friend’s daughter❣️ You are really gifted in your story telling which easily touches the heart! I hope you have a “BLESSED HOLIDAY❣️

  2. Such a heartfelt post about the tragic and unnecessary loss of your friends. You have woven many lessons into this reflection on your friendship. Prayers for the friends and family of this lovely couple.

  3. I could see and feel your sadness this weekend about the unbelievable news of your friends. So much life left to live and beautiful children to enjoy their futures. Taken too soon. May God bless this precious family and give them peace.

  4. What a beautiful post. It so summed up Karen and Russ. I am still in shock…still hoping I will wake up and realize it is a dream. With that said…when can we get together?

    1. Caroline, the next time I’m in town I will call you. Denise and I are trying to plan something to get us all back together. We need to!!

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I agree that friends are a gift and we should put our busy schedules aside and reach out to those we love. I love you and and so hate it about your friends.

  6. Oh, Kim with tears streaming down my face after reading your post I want to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your friends. Such a tragedy!

    You have reminded us well to keep in touch with loved ones and friends. Your pictures are lovely and tell a beautiful story as do your words.

    I will be praying for their family and friends like you and will be sharing this post with others.

  7. Kim, Thank you for the beautiful message and pictures of Russ and Karen. My husband and I are still numb from the news of the loss. I have no words yet so thank you for sharing yours with us. Patti

  8. Kim,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Your friends sound like they were both very special people and prayers go up to you and their family during this time of sorrow. Looking forward to seeing you next week.


  9. What a terrible tragedy. I’m so sorry this happened to your lovely and dear friends. Oh my goodness, their family must be just devastated. Sending my sympathies…and hugs too.

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