A Tribute To Karen, On Her Birthday

apples of gold

I was your stereotypical geek in middle school. All braces and books, completely lacking in confidence or curves. Insecure and out of the loop.

I played basketball, and one of my teammates was everything I wasn’t. Her name was Karen, and she was striking and stylish, warm and well-liked. Girls wanted to be her, and boys wanted to be with her.

One day while our team was waiting on the covered sidewalk behind the gym, Karen stopped and turned to me. Looking at me intently she said, “Stephanie, you know you have perfect eyebrows.”

I can’t tell you what that one moment did for me: that someone—especially someone like Karen—took the time to 1) notice me at all, and 2) find something praiseworthy in me. (I’m sure it was quite an effort. I mean, “eyebrows” was the best she could come up with—she really had to stretch!)

That one small comment, which I’m sure she would never remember, changed my life. With it she planted in me a seed. A thought. “Well, if someone as amazing as Karen thinks I have perfect eyebrows, maybe I’m not as hopeless as I thought I was. Maybe I have other attractive qualities, too.” It seems like such a small thing; but the fact that I remember it 30 years later proves that it was not.

I recently reconnected with Karen via Facebook. Of course she still looks stunning. But when I look at her profile picture, I don’t just see a beautiful face…I see a beautiful soul.

King Solomon once said, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

Thank you Karen, for your apple of gold. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and a wonderful year.

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