We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Woops! There Goes Gravity!



                 All good things must end...for Bella, she was so good.  And we were blessed to have her in our lives for just over 6 years.

   

                  I believe I've told the Bella story before - how, just a couple weeks after our girl Zona passed from spleen cancer, Kim began researching puppy rescue organizations in Tucson. She searched online daily...waiting, watching.  We visited several, finally ending up with B.A.R.K.   And Kim spotted Bella, carefully picked her up, whispering to her, Bella snuggling into Kimmy's hair...I could see the connection and knew...

                  Just 6 months later, ala 'The Art of Racing in the Rain' by Garth Stein, Kim was diagnosed with cancer...by then, Bella was entrenched in our hearts - an integral part of our family.  She was a fixture by Kim's side as she battled...

                 ...and when Kim became an angel, Bella herded the kids.  Literally.  She would go room to room providing comfort and finally we would all be in the same place.  Her job done, she would lay down with us and just watch - to see who needed comforting...the intelligence, the knowing, shining brightly in her eyes.

                  She loved her kids and they loved her...


She would take turns sleeping with each of them...



She loved hiking (Tanque Verde Falls) and we were able to take her up Mt. Lemmon, Madera Canyon and to the beach (Laguna and Ocean Beach).  She was so spirited and enthusiastic!!



                           Bella was so sweet - she always let me hold her, wrapping her forearms around my neck, hugging me...


She loved to play sports with the kids.  She used her paws so well, she could catch a football with her mouth, securing the catch with her paws.  She could trap a soccer ball and really loved when the kids played hockey with her, slap shotting a tennis ball through the house with her in mad pursuit.

About a year before she died, Cody and his fiance' Jessica moved in with us, bringing Bella a new best friend...Simba.


They were pretty unseparatable, playing tug of war with each other, chasing lizards and tennis balls in the back yard, going on walks, curling up on the couch together...

But, then, we noticed a change in our Bella.  Sleeping more.  Needing a hand up into bed.  Cody took her to the vet for me numerous times.  Many tests were run.  Everything came back normal. 













                     I could feel it building.  My tsunami dreams had steadily begun to occur again...I just didn't know why.  Or from what direction it would come.
                    It's that suspense.  Of not knowing.  That makes us most uneasy.  And I wasn't sleeping well again...













                  When I would fall asleep, it was shallow.  I needed to be able to hear Bella.  To hear if she needed my help.  The sound of her ragged, labored breathing evoked flashbacks...and when I did finally go down deep enough to dream, sure enough, Bella would have an episode that would drag me from my dream world back to reality.
                  It is an odd struggle, when one is rushed awake.  One minute, dreaming, unaware that it is a dream...as something from the real world beckons, the fabric of the dream begins to unravel, and for me, it is a desperate, upward struggle, shaking off the world from the dream and clawing back to reality - with urgency - knowing I am needed.
                 When I saw the movie Inception, starring Leonardo DeCaprio, it was an 'ah ha' moment.  The scenes where they are awoken using a technique called 'The Kick'.  That's how it feels.  The world you believe, at the moment, to be real, being heaved apart as you are dragged towards awakening...



Finally, xrays were taken and the diagnosis...lung cancer...floored us all.  Dr. Burrows could not believe the amount of tumors that appeared in Bella's lungs.  We were devastated.  We made Bella as comfortable as we could.  The look in her eyes...pleading...begging me to help...once again, I was helpless.


We are left with many wonderful memories of Bella.  Part of our family.  She came into our lives just as we were about to need her most - only we did not know that.  She gave all of herself to us, there while we cried and grieved.  There to share in our holidays and vacations.  Our family re-building.  So strong, so stoic...


Thank you Bella









Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Dreams May Come



               A guy at work recently told me, that if I want to dream more, I should keep a 'dream journal'...Any truth to that?

                I still dream a lot.  And, in my dreams, I know Kim has passed, but am just so happy to see her and spend some time with her.  If I allude to the fact that I know she is no longer here, she turns her head slightly, never breaking her gaze, and gives me the most wistful look...sad, but in Kim's way, reminding me to enjoy the moment.

                During such a dream, Kim told me she was hungry for Chinese.  And in the way dreams do, suddenly we had arrived.  An older Chinese restaurant, but the type of place that upon sight you immediately know it is going to be a good spot.  No validation necessary.  Kim usually had good instinct that way.

                "I love a good joint.  This is a joint."  she would reason.  9.9 times out of 10 100% correct (I'd like to say 'spot on', but find that phrase pretty overused of late and Kim never once used it.).  She had the nose for a mom and pop establishment.  This place fit the bill.

                 We ate.  It seemed like we were there a lifetime.  Kim's smile brightening up the oriental decor.  The restaurant was really neat inside and the food was some of the best that we had found since moving away from the cuisine of Arch St in Philadelphia.

                 Of course, I didn't want it to end...but, like dreams do, it faded off as I woke to my alarm reminding me it was time to sell books.

                 Dreams with Kim, her visits, always leave me feeling so good.  It is always so good to see here.  To hear her laugh and see her smile.  This one stuck with me, as most do...and...

                 ....about a month or so later, I got an order from Pima County Community College at Barnes & Noble.  It was a pretty large order and I was excited and surprised since they don't purchase from us often.  When the books came in, I loaded them into the Expedition, Kim's Expedition, and started off...

                At the first light I came to, I realized that I hadn't checked to see where they wanted the delivery.  Pima CC is pretty well spread out through Tucson.  I figured it was for the west campus on Anklam (where the Klimb 4 Kim originally started!), then I thought, maybe it was the one off of Speedway and the 10...But, the address was one I never heard of...on a 'Bonita' street.  Thank God for 'smart phones' - I quickly spoke the address into my phone, without looking at the map, and let the voice direct me to my destination.

               Google had me exit I-10 at Speedway, head west a short block and then make a left onto Bonita.  I didn't think I'd been back that way previously, but found the campus, well, my phone found the campus for me and I off loaded their books.

               I nearly headed back up Bonita towards Speedway to head home.  Even slightly turned the Expedition's wheel in that direction before I flipped the wheel the opposite direction, without thought, and headed south towards Broadway instead.  At the moment, I didn't think about my sudden change of route.  I just did it.

               About a quarter of a block from Pima, I rounded a small bend...and on my left...was THE RESTAURANT!!!!  The one from my dream!!  OUR dream!!!

               The world began to blur and the scenery began to go backward in a very dream like feel...my world had lost it's boundaries, for a split second...and I realized the Expedition was drifting...I quickly pulled over for a better look.

               'The Dragon's View' the sign read.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  The dream had seemed so real - had I been here before???  After much memory searching, I remembered we had been here before!!  With neighbors from the Tanque Verde Apartments we lived in when we first moved here 22 years ago.  I think.  I actually cannot remember exactly who we had been here with, but I knew without going inside, that I would know what it looked like.  Not just from my dream - cuz you know how things are usually different in your dreams (kinda like places in tv shows are different from the real place they are based on....like Cheers.  We went there one summer in '89, waited an hour and 45 minutes to get inside and it looked nothing like it did on tv!!).  I didn't go inside, I felt numb.  Dazed.  After a few minutes, I drove away....


               The Dragon's View would not quite leave my mind, so one night, we decided to go check it out....


Autumn and her friend, Izzy, at the entrance.  See?  A joint!


Walking inside, was like being back in my dream...or stepping from a time machine into 1994...well before everything went sideways...It looked exactly like I knew it would...and I knew the food would be tremendous!



Monsi, Lupe, Manny,, Aut, Izzy and Tonio - it was a GREAT meal!!  They have a secret menu, too, if you ask!!  I have a friend from Korea and one from Jakarta, who both told me that this is the best Chinese that Tucson has to offer and it is the only place they feel comfortable taking visitors!!

A little overwhelmed, I had to ask our waiter and his Mom, who was hostessing, how long they had been in this location.  'Just over 23 years' they told me.   It fit.  I told them I thought I had been here years ago, and about the dream - the service that night was amazing!!  Thankful for Lupe to drive the White Whale for this occasion!!  We will go back!!

This dream journal thing...hmmm, I wonder....



Monday, January 4, 2016

Klimb 4 Kim 6





                       Here we are in 1998, our 3rd walk, climbing with Cody, not yet one year old, and Cajun, who had just turned 4.

                       It's that time again!!  The Klimb 4 Kim SIX will be on Saturday, March 5th.  Jack LeDuke, will once again grace us with his artistic abilities and design a shirt to commomerate the event!  The shirt will be a $10 donation to help Kim's Fund.  All $10 will go towards helping families here in Tucson!!

                      As you may have read, Kim's Fund, is now benefitting the Pio Decimo Center located here in Tucson.  They do wonderful work for families in need.  They provide services for infant to adults.  We have been focusing on the pre-school through 6th grade needs, but have also helped with older children and adults.  Check out their  website via the link below - this place really spoke to us when the kids and I visited it.  We loved working with the previous admistrator, Carondelet, but they have turned into a 'for profit' organization and could not longer help us.  Our search took a few months, but we feel in our hearts Pio Decimo would have been a place that Kim  wanted to, felt compelled to, help.

                     How much to walk?  If you can donate $25 to walk with us, that would be great - but any amount you can afford will help!!  Or, just choose to walk with us, enjoy the day and help us remember Kim.  Help us to keep her giving spirit alive!

                     The walk is approximately 6 miles round trip.  We walk up the road from St. Mary's to the top of A Mountain and usually cut through the scenic desert on the way back.  Please bring your Kim stories with you!

                     If you cannot walk - I know everyone is so busy, or out of town - you can help by ordering a t-shirt and/or sending a donation.

                    Checks should be made payable to:  Pio Decimo.  Please remember to put 'In memory of Kim Conca' on the memo line.  Mail  to us at 10513 E Satiny Willow Dr.
                                                                         Tucson, AZ 85747

                                                                                or to:

                                                                        Pio Decimo Center
                                                                        848 S. 7th Avenue
                                                                        Tucson, AZ 85701
                       You can also donate online at : http://www.ccs-pio.org
                        Simply click on the 'Donate' button in upper right corner.  There will be a place for you to put Kim's name as reason for giving.

                      There are no registration forms.  Help out as much as you can, when you can.  You can even bring cash/check the day of the walk.  We go over to Pio Decimo at least once a month.

                     We typically start our walk at 8:00 a.m. -ish sharp. ; )  I will post pic and address of starting point back to this post soon...

                      Join us if you can, we'd love to walk with you!!













         


"Gone Away"  The Offspring

Maybe in another life
I could find you there
Pulled away before your time
I can't deal it's so unfair

And it feels
And it feels like
Heaven's so far away
And it feels
Yeah it feels like
The world has grown cold
Now that you've gone away

Leaving flowers on your grave
Show that I still care
But black roses and Hail Mary's
Can't bring back what's taken from me
I reach to the sky
And call out your name
And if I could trade
I would

And it feels
And it feels like
Heaven's so far away
And it stings
Yeah it stings now
The world is so cold
Now that you've gone away