We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

High School????

           How did this happen?  14 years ago, Ami Bunch was welcoming us into her kindergarten classroom - Cody was such a snappy dresser...and how Kim cried that first day, her baby, went away to 1/2 day kindergarten (afternoon session, as we were not morning people, although Kim had begun her transformation by then...)...
          And Cody, insisted on wearing a full suit and tie today - his choice!  I warned him that it was going to be damn near 100 degrees today.  "That's OK Dad, I want to"...and he looked so sharp and was a cool and collected as Clint Eastwood in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
             Sure enough, by 1:00, when I went by Cottonwood to pick up Autumn, who wanted to come with me, it was 92...and climbing...I had a chance to talk with Jenny Rienstra, who Tonio will have for 3rd grade next year (I apologize in advance for Tonio's wiggles and will provide a year's supply of valium...oh, you may have to wait until after you have your baby to take them, but, consult your doctor!) and who Autumn had for 3rd grade, too.   I told her I was tired and would have to try to stay awake during the graduation ceremony...she advised that I'd have to try not to cry, too. 
             She was right, too - and when did I become the emotional equivalent of a roller coaster??  That was always Kim's department!!  I guess we merged, at some point...
              Aut and I had front row seats, thanks to Mr. Mortensen, the principal at Desert Sky - he delivered a great opening speech and kept the ceremony flowing nicely.

           His inspirational speech and the rows of Cody's teachers behind him started to break me down, as I thought how important this day was to Kim...she had been talking about it, prior to being diagnosed already!!  We had picked out a suit and she thought we could have him wear his newest pair of Van's, today's fashion statement...and was trying to think of something nice to do for him as a congratulations - this was 7 months ago...she was on it!
           And, as I looked at Cody's teachers - Mrs. Paton, Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Lopez, Mrs. Sarnowski and Mrs. Archuletta...I thought back to the times we had first met them and how much Kimmy liked them all...and then, when she got sick and after we lost her, how they all stepped up, with leadership and nurturing, helping Cody maintain - not just grades, but emotionally, too...They sacrificed for Cody, and for us.
          And Jim Coulter, of the Vail School District governing board and a past neighbor of ours, coming over to warmly greet us and offer words of encouragement - made me think back to the days, when Kim and I would walk our neighborhood, hand in hand, and say hi to Jim if he was out front...and John Carruth, Assistant Superintendent of VSD offering support and congrats...
         I did hold it together pretty well. I held Autumn tight, thanked the Lord for this day and for Cody and for all the work Kim did to get us all to this day...Yeh, I know she was there, but I missed having her at my side so badly...
                     Cody, having received his promotion paperwork from Mr. Mortensen, shakes hands with Jim Coulter, with Shannon Woolridge, Assistant Principal and big Conca supporter, to his right.
                           Cody poses with his buddies following graduation.  He's a little buried in the back row!
                   About a month ago, realizing Cody really was nearing graduation (remember when we 'graduated' from Junior High?  Wait, we never graduated!  We had a half day and went home for the summer with no fanfare!).  They make a big deal about it these days.  I know Kim would have thought of something fun and special for Cody...I had nothing...I put it out there to my peeps and Dawn Ball came through huge!!!!
                   Dawn recruited, communicated, organized a great afternoon for the boys!!!  First, she came up with a limo.  Not any limo, but a Hummer, stretch limo!!

                    The boys were ecstatic!!  Dawn also put together balloons and a great banner for the event!           

               The limo took the boys down to Mama's Pizza...arguably the best pizza in town.  I love their sauce.  As we entered the parking lot, I told Autumn how, before we had kids, Mama and I used to like to come to this restaurant and share a pizza or some pasta.  And, when Antonio went to kindergarten, we went to Mama's and had our first alone lunch in 12 years!!  It was nice...Kimmy cried.  So Mama's Pizza holds some meaning and fond memories for me....
           In Antonio's class, Mrs. Schrantz served breakfast!!! Tonio, in his dragon pj's, enjoys a yogurt.  Lupe made waffles, there was cereal, muffins, cake, donuts and I made bacon...
            These year end events were where Kimmy really shined and was able to convey our absolute appreciation to the teachers and school.  She did so many nice things...I tried.  These teachers really did go so far above and beyond this year for the bambini and our family!!!

             Cody's looking forward to going to high school at Cienega...I know he'll do great there!  Autumn will stay at Cottonwood for 6th grade and be blessed to have Mrs. Rudzena again and Tonio, on to third grade with Mrs. Rienstra. 

Romans 12:7 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.” (NLT)

           In the Vail School District, we are blessed to have teachers who teach well!

            Thank you,


  1. Congratulations Dave on Cody's next step. You have done a tremendous job. How proud you (and of course Kim) must be!

    When we get back to Tucson for a visit do you think Dawn can line up that limo? :-)

  2. You know what's funny - Julie and I were talking last night and she helped out OVMS with their promotion. She told me to be prepared for next year when Alec and Tyler "moved on". I said "Oh, Alec told me (as he helped at CFMS for NJHS), it was very emotional and that I would cry like a baby". NO, she said - I was talking about the outfits the girls wore!!! LOL!!!!!

    It is a huge step in Cody's life and I am positive that he is ready and prepared! I talked to Aut last night about 6th grade - and how excited she was to stay at Cottonwood. She is such a gem, seriously. I adore the kids that will have conversations with adults, not just stare at them like aliens :). I can't believe how grown up she is! Not the little girl we hid in the Shack a few years back when opening day was a freak cold blizzard!

    OH, last night at the game??? Another St-Ave event don't you think??? Go Rangers!

  3. WOW! that's just about all i can say about that! cody looks awesome in a suit! very handsome :) i can't believe cody is going to HIGH SCHOOL! it seems like just yesterday he was crawling inside of the lunch bucket searching for his lunch box! congrats on raising such a fine young man, you and kim are amazing!!!! :) sarah

  4. I just loved this post; Cody's suit (with the Vans!) was so sharp, and I'm so glad you all enjoyed the ceremony. I'm sure all of the Concas are so proud - I look forward to following your summer adventures!

  5. Congratulations Dave I know Kim is smiling up in heaven for all of you. Antony also had his promotion to High School. Sarah graduated from High School. I can hardly believe it. She will be a freshman at the UA in the Fall. I wanted to let you know that Antony participated in his schools relay for life. He wanted a chance to honor Kim and felt this was the best way. He has been reading all of your blogs. You and the kids are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
    Love you