We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Wedding...

   Kim and I had a storybook wedding...really.  We moved here to Tucson in March of 1994, following the worst winter we could remember back in Pennsylvania.  In fact, the night before we were about to leave, we had a foot of snow fall on top of all the snow that was already on the ground.  We didn't care, we were getting out of the frozen tundra one way or another!  We drove to Baltimore and picked up my Dad, who drove my Toyota Tacoma across the country for us, while Kim and I drove a 29' box truck with our Jeep Wrangler in tow.  It was a fun, but harrowing journey, as we braved winter conditions across the country.  We opted for a southern route, thinking it would be a little clearer, but met with severe ice even through Tennessee!
    We arrived in Tucson, knowing noone and having no place to live...but, we spotted Chuy's on 22nd and Kolb on our way in to town and knew where we were having dinner that night!  Chuy's became a special place for us and we were thrilled when they built one within walking distance of our current home.  My Dad was such a big help to us when we got here, getting us into a hotel room, which was a challenge, because back in 1994, Tucson was a major spring sports town - there was a woman's tennis championship going on, a major golf tournament and spring training baseball and hotel rooms were scarce.  We were able to find an apartment quickly and began planning the wedding...
    Prior to moving here, we thought it would be so romantic to be married at the San Xavier Mission out on the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation.  Father Kino had the mission built back in 1797.  It is so beautiful out there, an oasis in the desert  nicknamed the dove in the desert.  We contacted the Mission and got permission to be married there by Father Dulmeyer.  Kim thought it would be fun to dress in old fashioned western wear, so her and I took a roadtrip down to Tombstone, the town too tough to die.  We packed a picnic lunch and ate it in a little park on the main street, sitting next to each other in the grass and goofing around on the swings after we were done.  We walked main street, hand in hand, visiting the OK Coral, posing for touristy photos that we laughed about later and stopping for a beer at Big Nose Kate's saloon.  We found some great vests for my Dad, the best man, and my college buddy, Spike and her brother, Kenny, who was to give her away on our wedding day.  I bought a pair of rustic cowboy boots and a pretty pair of old style high heel boots for Kimmy.  We had bought her wedding dress in Philadelphia prior to moving to Tucson, it was a beautiful, old fashioned looking dress with lots of lace.  She was absolutely breathtaking wearing it...beyond radiant.
     Our wedding day was May 21st, 1994.  It was a cloudless day (what a surprise!), with the deepest blue sky I can remember and the temps were low 90's...there was not a large crowd at the church, again, we knew noone when we moved here and about 15 friends and relatives made the journey for our most special day...there were also about 30 or so tourists that happened by! I cannot remember a happier day in my life...nope, not even close.  I was walking on clouds, my face hurt from smiling and the tears of joy flowed freely...
      I remember bursting in to tears as Kim walked toward me down the long, scenic aisle at San Xavier that day and again when the musician sang the Ave Maria.  My sister, Lauren, did the readings for us and everything was perfect.  Halfway through the Mass, a desert stray dog lazily wandered down the aisle...Father Dulmeyer did not miss a beat...not even pausing as he delivered our vows, he whispered 'it's ok, the dog is a Catholic..'!  Kim and I giggled. 
     Afterward, one of the tourists slipped me a $20 bill and told me it was the nicest wedding he's ever been too! 
     I had tied cans of Tecate to the rear bumper of my Toyota pick up and hoisted Kimmy into the passenger seat, literally sweeping her off her feet...we took our wedding party, friends and relatives to scenic Gates Pass to have a picnic lunch.  This is the most incredible vista in Tucson.  As you approach on Speedway Blvd, through a forest of towering Saguaro cacti, the road becomes a series of switchbacks as it climbs into the Tucson Mountains...then, you turn the final corner and...WOW!  you are faced by a severe left jog in the road and presented with a stunning view of a mountain in front of you and a huge dropoff if you are not paying attention to the road - it is so hard to multi-task while driving this road - impossible to thoroughly soak in the view and maintain control of your vehicle.  We had a fantastic lunch and then continued on to Old Tucson Movie Studios, where a lot of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and the Bonanza series were filmed.  We all had a fun time participating in stunt shows and walking the town.
      In the evening, we drove to the extreme eastside of town, way out Old Spanish Trail, to Reddington Pass Cattle Co., where we had a real cowboy cook out.  There was a huge bonfire and a cowboy playing guitar.  Grilled steaks, beans, etc and a beautiful cake made by our friends Rosa and Vito, who own Viro's Italian Bakery on 22nd & Sarnoff.  Everything was delicious.  The sunset was so brilliant, full of oranges and reds.  I've never had such a good time...it was a story book wedding...beginning 17 years of a blessed marriage. 
      I can't imagine having done anything different to make our day more perfect.  Kim had planned in so many nice surprises and details to our day, from the outfits she chose for us to wear, to the wonderful bagged lunches she had prepared for everyone, to the rustic floral center pieces she made for our cowboy cookout...you know Kimmy, she made perfect even more perfect, every time...but somehow it was even better on our magical day...

       Well, I try to tell the bambini's a different story every day, to keep their memories alive...they have done such an incredilbe job through this difficult time - sometimes, I don't even know how they do it...they give me such deep hugs, kisses and we have enjoyed our times together even more over the last two weeks...yes, two weeks already...at 7:59 tonight.   They are truly what hold me together right now and each day, I do everything as extra special as Kimmy used to - from homemade fruit smoothies to start the day for breakfast (and the boys and I ate fried eggs and tamales!), to taking them to Skate Country with their friends Lexy, Breanna, David and Alex tonight...we are staying busy, keeping Kimmy alive in our hearts, and building new memories for each other...
        People ask me everyday, how are we doing?  Is it getting easier?  No, it's not - we all miss Kimmy so deeply...but, again, I turn to Mother Teresa, who said:

        "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

        And with my little bambini's, we are making our way, finding peace...



  1. I never got to hear your wedding story thank you for sharing it. Would love to see some pictures of that wonderful day.
    A different memory each day is a wonderful idea for the bambinos. I like them as well. When loosing some one you love there are no time limits on when it will get easier. You have to take it one day at a time, "never be anxious about the next day for the next day will have its own anxieties..." Mat 6:34
    Our heavenly father, Jehovah, and his son, Jesus Christ, will strengthen you and your family on this journey.

    "throw your burdens upon Jehovah (God) himself, and he himself will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to totter" Ps 55:22

    Just ask for God's Holy spirit to keep you strong and he will give it to you. Joh 14:13,14 As mentioned by others God is our refuge and our strong hold so we must lean on him.

    I was thinking of you all today and prayed for strength. I also made a snow Angel. I will send you the picture via e-mail.
    Love and Friends,

  2. I remember that wedding day! It was magnificent! I must tell you, as I walked Kim down the aisle, I said to her "Well, this is your last chance" as I motioned my head toward the open rear doors of the Mission... She turned her head toward me with a bit of a surprised look on her face. "If I didn't ask, I wouldn't be your brother" I told her. She smiled and gave me the "Oh, Kenny" remark I so fondly remember hearing many times from her. Then I said "So, you're sure?"..."Oh, yeah. I'm sure" was her reply. I think she was looking right at you Dave as she said "I'm sure". I remember seeing the huge smile on your face too as we approached. It was one of the proudest moments of my life to have the honor of standing-in for my father and walking my sister down the aisle. I'm so happy to have been a part of that special day.
    On the lighter side... I kind of remember something about someone writing something on the bottom of the soles of the shoes so that when you kneeled at the altar it would become visible. I don't remember what it was though???
    I remember the view on the ride there as well. Spectacular! And the cowboy cookout was awesome as well, despite all the "Blazing Saddles" jokes we cracked that night! The bonfire, the food, the beer, the music, the stars... It was perfect! And I knew, as I gave her to you that day, that I was leaving her in good hands. That's what really made it special.

    God bless you Dave, Cody, Autumn, and Tony.


  3. Truly one of the greatest love stories I've heard. Remind me when you're ready, to show you how to have your blog printed out, into a beautiful hardbound book with pictures, comments, etc....Your kids will treasure this someday. Kim has done a lot of good in 2 weeks of being gone, Dave...I have literally uttered the words, out loud, "What would Kim do?" at LEAST once a day in different circumstances. She's got a powerful movement brewing down here! :)

  4. Dave I had never been to Reddington Pass before until this Sunday we went for a quad ride up there and WOW how beatuiful!! The view and weather were absolutely fantastic! And what are the odds that today you are telling us a little about it the perfect day now has been explained Kim's presence was there!

  5. Dave,
    Kim was such an inspiration for many people, but you are just as insipiring. It is so wonderful how you are keeping Kim's memory & traditions alive for your kids. I'm sure all you want to do is hide under the covers and never come out. Every time I read your blog I am more amazed by the strength you have.
    Love, Anabelle

  6. Thanks for posting the wedding pictures Dave. What a beautiful, happy couple! Wish I knew you guys then, would of love to have been apart of that special day.