We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Friday, January 28, 2011

The dances...

   Tonight, Autumn kept asking me 'have you blogged yet?'...'when will you blog?'...finally, I asked her 'what do you want me to blog about?'...'the dances Daddy, the dances'...I asked her, Autumn, haven't I already done that?  She said, no, you wrote about your first kiss, but not the dances, Daddy, not the dances...please.

   Ok, so, the first dance, way back in 1976, our nation's bicentennial year, at Nitschmann Jr. High...the butterflies were real, eating at the lining of my stomach, as I waited in Kimmy's living room for her to finish gettng ready for our first dance.  My Dad had given me a ride to her house, that night, and was parked out front waiting for us to  emerge.
   Kim's Mom came out to apologize, telling me I was so patient, to be able to wait so long...and then, descending the stair case, here she came...in slow motion, Kim came around the corner of the last landing, eyes down, hair bouncing, in a dress from Heaven...and, again, in slow motion, as she hit the last stair, her eyes slowly came up and met mine, as I sat transfixed on the couch...and we locked...like lightning...
   We walked out to my Dad's waiting car, in the freezing cold, our breath plumes of vapor, and he gave us a ride to our school.  I couldn't dance fast dances, and I wasn't sure if Kim could or not ( she later told me she preferred not to), so, I huddled with friends, near the bleachers in our gymnasium, talking and anxiously awaiting a 'slow song'.  This typically was 'Stairway to Heaven' by Led Zepplin..and my wait was always rewarded...
     Kimmy always smelled so good, and I remember sinking my head into her hair as we embraced for our first slow song.  I had no idea what to do with my hands, so I improvised...!  It felt as though we were all alone in that gym that night...slowly spinning each other around, just holding on in a tight embrace...
      We went to all of the dances that year,  and danced at our 8th grade and 9th grade dances.  Our main, 9th grade dance, in 1979, was themed after Pink Floyd, The Wall.  I was a huge Pink Floyd fan and couldn't wait to see how they decorated.  I remember Bill Stauffer, who was on the decorating committee, actually got to go to N.Y. to see the Floyd perform The Wall live...I have been eternally jealous, even though Kimmy and I saw Pink Floyd three times in concert.  The decorating committee did a great job and Kim and I danced several slow songs, even though we were not dating at the time...
      In high school, we were able to go to one dance per year and snuck in at least one dance per event...after high school, when we were together and a good slow song came on when we were driving somewhere, we would pull over, get out of the car and slow dance wherever we had stopped...she was so good to dance with...
      Ok, so today was an interesting day...full of ups, and downs, which is no surprise.  I gave Kimmy's Mike Piazza jersey to Mary Montes, who's husband, Emilio, is a lifetime Dodgers fan...and he quizzed me.  'Ok, was Kim a Piazza fan, or did she just like the Dodgers?'.  I explained to Emilio that Kim's first Dodgers jersey that I bought her was Steve Sax...way before Piazza's time.  She actually always was a Tommy Lasorda fan, a Norristown, PA, native - where Piazza, Lasorda's Godson, was from, too.  We always made a point to get down to the Vet to see the Dodgers play the Phils and actually made it to a game at Chavez Ravine to see the Dodgers play the Rockies!!  What an incredible stadium!! Yep, even though Kimmy rooted for the Phil's, too, she still bled Dodgers Blue!  And Emilio was relieved to hear she wasn't one of 'those' fans, or a Piazza groupie!
       The bambini's did well...Tonio went to his friend Monsi's home and Lupe and Manny hooked us up with some tortillas from Estrella bakery and some donuts, too!!  Tonio had a blast.  After letting the kids play out front, we went over to Betsey and Brian's home...Hadley and Autumn put on a dance show for us and all of the kids had fun playing...
       I had made some chicken fingers for them before we went to the Deevers...thanks to Janene and Andrea for the help!  They came out delicious!!

              I used 2 cups of mayo with 1/4 cup of grated parm cheese - stirred that up good.
              Made a plate of Italian bread crumbs...
              Dipped boneless chicken strips in the mayo/parm mix and then in the breading.
              Place them on a cookie tray, in the oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes and the kids loved them!! 
               For a side, I cut potatoes in half, dowsed them in olive oil and a punch of sea salt and, of course, pepper, and put them in the oven with the chicken.  I also made Italian green beans.

             Tomorrow is another day...going to take Cody biking at Fantasy Island...so good for him!  And, we'll move Kimmy's truck over to Fry's in the morning, too....
              Good night,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dove' 'e ora Kimmy?

  Where is Kimmy now?  She has moved to Desert Sky Middle School!  Thanks Mr. Mortenesen!
  I have say...the bambini's and I never fail to shed a tear as we approach this beautiful banner, with our Kimmy smiling at us, willing us to do better and to have a great day!  I was talking to Kim's oncologist, Dr. Taetle, the other day, and told him that each day, I struggled to meet each decision with Kim in mind and to just be a better person.  He advised me that I was setting myself up for failure, that Kim had set the bar too high!

    Anyway, we are doing our best as a family to keep each other up.  Yesterday was a half day, and I picked up the kids and their friend Lexy and we went to see the movie Narnia (I always catch a nice nap at the movies!) - then, the girls wanted to go to their favorite store 'Justice', where they bought new B.F.F. bracelets...Tonio discovered they had Webkins and got a zebra.  He had had a 'sad' day today, missing Mama, so we all took care of him to get him smiling again. We made pizza for dinner and the kids had fun playing...tonight, Skate Country!

    My sister, Lauren, told me that I should photograph and post some of the recipes that Kim used to make and that I am trying to keep alive.  This morning cemented that idea when Janene called and said 'guess what I made last night?'...Chicken Piccata!  This was my absolute favorite dish that Kim would make for me - for my birthday and for any other special occaisions...which she declared often!
    I'll have to get the lighting and presentation down...but there it is, with a little zucchini sauteed in olive oil and garlic and arborio rice.
     So, take 4 boneless chicken breast and pound them!
                   Lightly flour them.
                   Take a 1/4 stick of butter and melt it in a skillet.  Drop at least 2 cloves of garlic in it (minced).
                   When butter is hot, drop in your chicken breasts, add salt and pepper (note my dish of sea salt and ground pepper near the plate, I always keep this ready to go!).
                   Keeping burner on med-high heat, brown both sides of chicken breasts.
                   When they are brown, pour in 1 cup of white wine and 2 tbls of lemon juice.
                   Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
                   You can serve it like this, or add some capers to the top.

          Good morning today and thanks to Angie for inviting me down to Brawleys (best hole in the wall!) for breakfast with Kim and her son Micah, who fed Ernie and the Count pancakes today.  And they even paid, as I had forgotten to bring my wallet...another bizarro moment...


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Her Legacy Lives On...

On the sidebar, there is a link to the Kimberly Conca Memorial Foundation, through the Carondelet Foundation. Clicking the link will take you directly to the donation center, where you can easily: 
1. Donate online via Paypal 
2. By phone (520) 873-5000 or 
3. Print a form to donate by mail. 

Be sure to mention over the phone, or specify the name 'Kimberly Conca' in the memo section on checks or online to be sure that your donation is directed appropriately. 

This is what Kim was all about - giving unselfishly, putting others before herself. This is your opportunity to help us keep her spirit alive by giving to HER foundation.

 We appreciate you all. 
Love, Dave, Cody, Autumn & Antonio

Dove' Kimmy?

  Where's Kimmy?  Right now, she is parked at Cottonwood Elementary school.  When Kim was in the hospital and as the outpouring of support from the community kept on coming, she would often tell me, 'Dave, you have to talk to Ms. Bryson, no, Ms. Bryson and Mr. Mortensen, no, Ms. Bryson, Mr. Mortensen and Mrs. Crain and tell them, wait, no, talk to Mr. Baker and see if he can hold an assembly, I just have to somehow thank everybody for all that they have done...'  She was so overwhelmed by the support she received while in the hospital - she was so selfless and giving, it was hard for her to receive.
    Well, she did not get the opportunity to do that, but, thanks to Sean Smock, the Tucson Toros and the U-haul place at the Rita Ranch Car Wash,  for designing this and getting it produced - and footing the bill!  Sean worked hard with Clearchannel and Tucson Medical Center to try to get one of the billboards on Houghton, but they would not help out.

As Sean, Patti, Melissa, Bill and I hung the banner, I glanced at the sun...and to the right of it, was a small, round piece of a rainbow...I showed it to everyone, never having seen such a thing...it was beautiful.

And thank you from Cody, Autumn, Tonio and me for all of the help you all have given our family...

And then we ran...Cajun, uh, Zona, er, Bella, and I into the desert - we usually stick to the mile trail in the desert just behind our development, but, when we got to the end, at the barb wire fence...we just felt like running...all of us.  So, I carefully lifted Bella through the barbed wire...and she held so still (anyone who has ever met her, knows, she does not hold still.  I think she knew, any sudden movement would have resulted in me getting sliced, not her..) and I climbed through after her and we ran through the desert towards the ever elusive sun...

I do have many stories left...but, I can't seem to get them out right now...something is missing...I'll do my best to continue, when I can...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kimmy Sunday...

    Ahhh, and while the NFL continues to play on Sundays, it will remind me of my final night with Kimmy, watching the Eagles beat the Cowboys...great memory.
    We got to go see some pro football over the years.  Mainly, we saw a ton of hockey, having been partial season ticket holders for 5 seasons in Philadelphia, who had just terrible teams back from 1988 - through 1993 when we would see them.  They had just traded 8 players and $15 M in cash to the Quebec Nordiques, in 1992, for Eric Lindros...this lead to the Colorado Avalanche (who Quebec became when they relocated) becoming a dynasty in the NHL and led the Flyers to futile seasons (well, they made the Stanley Cup in 1997 and got completely embarrassed by the Detroit Red Wings getting swept 4 games to 0.  To make matters worse, Kim and I had tickets to game 6.  And even worse, they lost game 4 during my sister Lauren's wedding reception.).  We really enjoyed our hockey and saw a lot when the Coyotes were established in Phoenix (thank you Winnipeg!). 
     Kim and I also saw a lot of baseball, which was much cheaper than football.  We'd go to opening day at the Vet and tailgate - sometimes missing half the game - before going in to watch the Phils kick off their season.  Then, we'd always see the Dodgers (Kim's favorite) at least once and several other games.  We'd also road trip down to Baltimore once or twice a year to see the O's play.  We saw their final series played at Memorial Stadium prior to their move to Camden Yards.  Memorial Stadium was awesome, but it was nestled in a neighborhood and the parking lot was so small, that they would park the cars bumper to bumper.  You couldn't leave early if you wanted to.  My Dad taught us early, to find parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.  I loved walking to the park and seeing all of the vendors and fans streaming in to see the O's.
       As for the Eagles, we did get to see them several times.  Usually braving the December winds and chill. And having to sit about as high as you could in Veteran's Stadium.  The crowds there are very passionate and raucous.  Never saw a game there where a fight did not break out.  Good times.  Then, we'd head over to South St. and hand out at Smokin' Joe's or some other place, eat cheesesteaks and just have a good time.  Out here, we used to see the Cardinals play at ASU stadium.  We'd like to get up there early and hang out with the crowds on Mill Ave.  It was a neat stadium to watch football.  We used to think it was kind of sad that typically half the crowd would be rooting for the visiting team.  We never got to make it to the new stadium up in Glendale.

         Our Sunday was a good one.  I took Autumn and Tonio to church, with Betsey, Brian, Hadley and Mitch.  Then, we all went to Viro's for breakfast.  Amy, Tom and Alex met us there with Cody, who slept over there last night (yes, he was heart broken to have missed Mass this morning!).  And we saw Janene, Brad, Bryson and Caison.  Vito set us up at the special long table - he told us that he had just cleared out some diners who had ignored his 'reserved' signs.  He told them the big boss was coming in for breakfast and would be upset if his table wasn't ready.  Rosa came out and hugged and kissed the bambini's.  Then, we feasted!  Omelets (Christina and Vito Jr. make some awesome made-to-order omelets!), seasoned potatoes, bacon, sausage, etc, etc.  Round 2 - we ate chicken, pork, mashed potatoes and then ate cheesecake for desert!!!  We were all quite round when done.  I always feel better after seeing Rosa, Vito and their team at Viro's.
          On the way home, Angie called and asked if she could come by with Andrea, Janene and Kim to help me clean and organize the house.  I'm not going to turn down that kind of help!  They brought their kids and they all had fun building tents in the living room, having Nerf gun wars and playing outside.  Meanwhile, Angie and her daughters helped me organize and clean...it was incredible!  And it the house needed it!  When we we had enough, I made arborio rice (thanks Rosa and Vito!) and the rest of the chicken piccata and we ate, not as much as for breakfast, but enough!
         I took the bambini's out front to play and poor Mitchell broke both bones in his forearm when he fell off of the monkey bars.  Poor Brian can't get away from TMC hospital! 
         Can't believe this weekend is over already and I'm not ready to part with the bambini's...it's toughest when they are at school.
          "Father, give me the strength, to be everything I'm called to be..."
                                                                    -Sanctus Real