We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kimmy's Klimb

       It was a gorgeous day today...I think, of all of the times Kim and I walked the Climb A Mountain for Cancer, this was the finest weather we have ever had.  There were years where we'd be several layers of clothing deep, including winter coats.  One year, it was raining sideways - we did walk about two miles total that year - we really tried, along with several stoic co-workers from Linens 'N Things.  And the walk is shorter now than it was the first few years that we made this trek.  It used to begin, downtown, behind the courthouse, at Presido Park.  We really enjoyed beginning there - they had great entertainment, including jugglers, bands, great food, etc.  The roundtrip walk was about 8 miles.
      When they shifted the walk over to Pima County Community College, it shaved 2 miles off of the walk.  Now that we had kids, we were not complaining!  Kim would always pack good snacks and drinks and plenty of 'just in case' supplies and clothes.  I managed to pack snacks and drinks...but Cody got so far out in front of us, that we never got to use them!  And, of course, Kim would make the kids each a t-shirt.  The logo matched the official walk t-shirt so closely, that we'd get 'where'd you get kids t-shirts?  They told us they don't make them'...the entire walk - they were perfect!
    The hardest year for us, was the year Kim's dad, Ken, passed away from cancer.  We had a special flag made in his honor, with his picture on it.  They line the road up A Mountain with these flags, and you grab yours on the way up.  It was emotional for all of us to see that flag from a distance and then carry it up the mountain.
    At the top of the mountain, aside from entertainment and food, they set up a large, white wall, so you can write a message to your loved one that has cancer, beat cancer or succumbed to cancer...this, also, always broke Kimmy up - and I'd hold her when she was done writing her message...today, this too, was the hardest part for me.  I made sure to go on the side of the wall that was facing away from the bambini's and our fellow walkers, wrote to Kimmy and dropped to my knees, unable to stand...

     Here we all are, in the southeast corner of PCC parking lot, roughly near the yellow #5 sign, our predetermined point of meeting.  Yes, it does appear I put two of the same photo up, but, look closely and you will see that the top photo features Mary Montes, while her sister Ami Bunch takes the photo and the bottom has Ami in it, while Mary snaps the shot.
       So, we have Brian and Ami bunch (and triplets!!!), Patti, Casey (Autumn's teacher!), Kim and Micah (in stroller - lucky!), Betsey, Jack, Sandy (Andrea's and Kim's cousins, who drove in from Phoenix, arriving at 1:30 a.m.!), Andrea, Lexy, me, Mariah, Rashon, Autumn, Renee Woolridge, Brian, Hadley, Cody and his triplets, Mitch, Tonio and Breanna, Jaimelyn, Devon, Mary, Emilio, Amy and her Mom - also, all the way from Phoenix!
      The support was great - and we had fun walking in the beautiful weather.  We made pretty good time, too. And passed some....'interesting' sights - like, the 'antique store', that we thought was a yard sale - they had a full sized turnstile for sale - and purses.  We all got spread out quite a bit, as I mentioned, Cody blazed the trail for us and I pretty much brought up the rear.  Mary and Kim did a great job, both about 3 months pregant and would have made Kimmy proud.  Along the way, we talked about how she made the climb 7 months pregnant with Cody (and at the top, fire fighters begged Kim to take the bus back down, but she would not!), 6 months pregnant with Autumn and 5 months pregnant with Tonio.  Mary commented 'and I bet she complained the whole way' and we laughed!  We all know that Kim was so stoic and always made the absolute best of things, figuring out how to get over any obstacle along the way.
         Wow!  And a stray Christmas tree!  Who still has a tree on March 5th!!!!
         As we neared the top, a hang glider sailed over our heads...the giant 'A' on the mountain was painted red, white and blue...
           We all made it!  Having shed some clothes along the way, as the day heated up!  I wish I had gotten a close up of the light blue shirts that Renee made for us 'Klimb 4 Kimmy' they say.  She worked on these until 8:30 the night before we walked!  Thanks Renee!  Mary had the foresight to coerce a complete stranger into taking this shot for us, so we could all be in it!
                     They had El Molinto cater the event on top of A Mountain!!  Chimi changas, taquitos, rice, beans, chips and salsa!  We gorged in the wonderfuly warm sun.

                          Tonio, Cody and Mitch check out the fire truck, climbing on its ladder.

                             Colton, Hunter and Ethan enjoyed their ride!  Brian sure got a work out today!

                                      Here, Cody and Tonio add their messages to Mama...I put mine on the other side of this wall...
                    Some of the group took the buses down, and the rest of us enjoyed going down hill!  We made it back to the campus near noon...I am so thankful for all of those who came out to walk today and all of those with us in spirt...Kim would have loved the day.

                   On our way home, I took the bambini's to 7-11 on St. Mary's st. for some liquid refreshments.  Across the street, is a little floral shop, that over the years, Kim and I would stop in - they have a great selection of religious pictures, statues, crucifixes, etc.  The owner, Josefina, kept us there for nearly one hour - she fell in love with the kids, and told them a lot of stories about growing up in Mexico.  We picked out an angel statue, made in Mexico, vibrant and colorful - to commerate the walk today, for Kim, our angel...

                 Later, it was time for more soccer!  We picked up David, over at Andrea's and headed out.  Hi Corbett was packed - I have not seen it so crowded in the 18 years that I have been here.  And the soccer was great.  Our team, FC Tucson, down 3-1 at the half, battled back to earn a 3-3 tie. 

           As the teams played, Antonio pointed out the Kimmy like sunset...
                                             Cody, David and Autumn...eating pretzels...
                                      Tonio, enjoys the sunset...

             Next, the NY Red Bulls played Sporting KC and were leading 3-2 when we left around 9:50, Antonio had fallen asleep around 9!
             It was a long day, and all three bambini were fast asleep when we finally pulled in our driveway around 11...Autumn and I went out back to say goodnight to Kimmy, the Big Dipper fully upside down...and she told Mama how we walked for her today, before blowing her a kiss, wishing her good night and telling her how much she loves her...me too...
             Thanks again everybody,

1 comment:

  1. What a special day that was! I can't wait to keep walking in Kim's memory. How hard to now be walking in her honor instead of next to her...but of course you kept your smile on for your kids. I was reminded again what a great dad you are when we were almost done walking: Autumn realized that she had lost an earring and the tears came quick when she said "but it was mom's!" You immediately put her at ease telling her that mom would be happy because now it is on A Mountain and this was her walk today and she loved the mountain.

    I know there are going to be many more moments like these and you just proved what a rock you are for them and will be in the future.

    We are all glad we were a part of her day!