Sure, there is Martha Stewart, Nate Berkus and plenty of other interior decorators out there...but, if you ask me, Kimmy was the best! If you've never been to our home, here's a few snapshots - they cannot do what Kim did justice - how she would pull together all elements, furniture, photos, art and color, to create such a warm, inviting environment. The bottom photo, in our kitchen, Kim's kitchen, she had daringly painted a mellon green and infused the phrase 'Che la nostra casa sai piena di calore e di amici' in Italian...'May your home be warm and your friends be many'...Kimmy epitomized this saying - our home was so warm with her love and the absolute care that she put into how it looked and felt - and of course, the friendships she built helped to warm it even more.
And over the last few months, Kimmy went on a color kick. Out of the blue, she began painting each piece of furniture we owned. First, the kitchen table, a sea green. Then, our living room table, and coffee table,white. Then, she painted our computer desk, dresser, amoir, end tables and book cabinet varying shades of blue. When I asked her why, she said she was tired of all of the brown and wanted a punch of color. She would ask me before she painted each piece if it was ok and what color I thought she should use. 'Me? What color? Whatever color you choose, dear, will look fabulous' I'd tell her. When she would ask me my decorating opinion, I'd always tell her I just am the financer and grunt laborer of her visions! Whatever she touched, sparkled...
And you just never knew what she was going to do next! I think she even owned stock in Pier One, her favorite store and a source of her inspiration. She had the chance to work there for two late night Christmas sets and LOVED it! In fact, she went to work the Sunday night prior to being hospitalized that Tuesday - I remember her coming home around 2 a.m., saying she did not feel very good, but thought between the late night and the pizza she ate, she would feel better the next day. But there would be many times that I would come home, walk in and just stop dead, wondering 'uh...is this my home?'. Kim would have rearranged the entire living room or bedroom, moving the heaviest armoirs and furniture by herself! And she'd always say 'I just wanted to do a little something to brighten up our home...'
But Kim wasn't always a decorating wiz...in fact, when we first moved in together, I had the heavy decorating hand in our first appartment. An impressive shot glass collection, collected during our adventures and travels, graced the top of our entertainment center. A framed photo of Clint Eastwood, brandishing his famous "Dirty Harry" 44 magnum was on one wall. And above our couch, a framed Pink Floyd poster from 'Wish You Were Here'...it was the inner album sleeve with two men in suits shaking hands and one of them is on fire. It's actually on the front cover of my copy of the CD...sure wish I still had that one. Anyway, you get the picture. Kim was not immediately concerned with decor. In fact, we nearly got evicted because of Kimmy! One day, our neighbor's hot water, which were located in our closets, burst and flooded the place while we were at work. Our landlord stopped in our place to make sure our apartment was ok and left me a note saying we had 30 days to get out. I called her and pleaded with her, but you see, she did not appreciate the fact that Kim did not use a dresser for her clothes - clean and dirty laundry was strewn from one end of our bedroom to the next. In the kitchen, Kim had made a sandwhich for work and left the lunch meat, pieces of tomato and cucumber, etc all over the counter, etc, etc, etc...neither of us was very worried about the tidiness of our apartment...we had better things to do! And, I felt my decorating skills were fine...at that time.
I was able to talk our landlord out of evicting us, and, Kim grew and blossomed into the amazing decorator, housekeeper and home builder that she became. When we moved to Arizona, she lovingly convinced me that it might be better to leave the shot glasses, Clint Eastwood photo and Pink Floyd poster behind...how could I not agree with her? She had that way of making you better without you even knowing it, realizing it or even thinking about putting your heals into the dirt.
Recently, I was told that one night, around 3 a.m., our friend Kim, a nurse on her floor, went into Kimmy's room to check on her. She found Kim crying and asked what she could do? Kim told her 'you are all angels here'. Kim told her 'no Kim, you are the angel of our hospital. You don't even know how you've touched our lives'. Kim told her she was at peace with where her journey was taking her, but she was so scared for me and the bambini's and asked Kim to be sure we were taken care of. Sometimes I feel that Kim was put into my life to shape me, make me who I am today, to be able to do what I am doing today...she had that way, she was amazing. And, I have to say, Kim and her whole family have been taking great care of us, just as Kimmy asked them to, checking in daily, helping with the bambini's, and keeping us going.
Yesterday, I travled to Tucson's westside, to a little shop just at the base of 'A' mountain and picked up this statue (thanks Angie for spotting this for me!). While on that side of town, I was also able to take the opportunity to eat some great chile rellenos, two, which was a bonus. I always try to find a new hole in the wall place when I am over there, the food and the people are great! I felt that St Francis, gently embracing the birds, was perfect. Kim so loved to sit on our back porch first thing every morning, chai tea in hand, and delight in the birds singing and playing in our fountain. This will be the center piece of our nitcho for Kimmy, a sanctuary that the bambini's and I can sit and enjoy when we are in the backyard...with such fond memories of our Kimmy...
"For it is in giving that we receive..."
St. Francis of Assisi