Kari’s Farewell Message

Kari’s Farewell Message
Kari hugging Guest House Graduate

There are so many things to write about my 17 plus years at Guest House. As I was synthesizing my thoughts and as people have been asking about accomplishments and things left undone…

Primarily I treasure the relationships that I’ve built…sharing resident’s and the staff’s triumphs as my own…together we have had births, graduations, weddings, survived Covid, courts, surgeries and illnesses, and simply put – we’ve been present for one another…witnesses to the simple and the elaborate pleasures of family. There have also been difficulties and challenges and similarly, we’ve wept together, we’ve hugged and yes, at times we’ve even cursed at one another and yet again, we still stand together as family should.

Seventeen years ago I could not have known what I was walking into…and today, I cannot tell you how difficult it is to walk away from Guest House…and yet, I know that what we have built is solid and my confidence in those who will carry on the mission is strong…The Guest House is in very, very good hands. Not only are the staff, board and volunteers super capable and committed, but the community is engaged and dedicated in their support.

So much more could be said, but I’d rather leave with a beautiful poem that was first sent by a former board member (Erika I feel you smiling) and which has carried me through and sums up how I feel about the privilege and honor these last 17 years have bestowed on me…I am forever and inexplicably changed and I thank each and every one of you for your part in my journey!

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and entertain them all! Even if

they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

(s)he may be clearing you out

for some new delight.


The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes,

because each had been sent

as a guide from beyond.