We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Night in Italy for Kim....

           The bambini and got home close to 10...lit St. Jude and Mary of Guadalupe candles for Kim in the Nitcho and talked about the night...

            "Do you think Mama liked the dinner we did for her tonight?"  I asked them.

             "Yeah...I think she did." Tonio answered.

              "Uh-huh!"...Autumn.  Cody is spending the night at his friend, Jesus' house - his parents, Joe and Monique put in several hours in the kitchen serving dinners tonight!!

               "What was your favorite part?"

               "The slideshow."  said Tonio.  My neighbor, Brian, put together a nice one - I'll see if I can figure out how to post it later.  Thanks Brian!!

                It was a nice night to honor Kimmy.  There were so many people involved, who worked hard, gave selflessly and smiled the whole time - just like Kim.  I felt that the night's MVP was Cindy Petersen - Desert Sky Middle School's office manager - she helped plan the event, chaired decorations and really ended up directing the whole evening, arriving around 3 and we left together around 9:30.
                There are countless people to thank - Micah Mortensen, principal at Desert Sky, for offering his school as the venue, helping to plan and to promote and helping to clean up and take the extra food back to Viro's.  And to his Student Council, for volunteering to help work the event and their generous donation of $250!! Vito and Rosa Croce, owners of Viro's, who also helped to plan, made some incredible food and at a loss to help Kim's Foundation.  The Perrini family, who helped plan, rounded up volunteers and worked from set up through clean up (Kirk won the Derek Jeter autographed baseball during the raffle - which was great payent for his hard work, as he is a avid rabid NY Yankees fan.). Cheryl Devitt - for helping to set up, clean up and manage the kitchen!  The LaPlant family - worked the entire event and went wherever needed.  Lupe and Manny Barrios - who sold raffle tickets, 'Rando Acts of KIMness' bracelets and pre-sold 'Kimmy's Kitchen' cookbooks (Due out first week of December!).  Monique and Joe Longo, for their kitchen help.  Casey Rudzena, for helping with set up and serving while 8 months pregnant!  Angie/Andrea/Janene/Kim for help with raffle prizes, clean up and moral support!  My neighbor, Amy, for taking care of the 'Random Acts of KIMness' bracelet orders and promoting the event.  Lydia Crain, principal of Rincon Vista, for promoting the event.  Bobbi Mayeux, principal at Cottownwood for promoting the event.  Deb Bryson, principal at Desert Willow for lending us the inflatable projection screen, which was way cool, so we could show Lady and the Tramp (how Kim is that?), Melissa and Greg Grossheim for their help with said projector, ticket printing, placemats thanking our sponsors, promoting the event, helping get PTSA to make a donation of $100, etc.  Matt Donaldson, principal at Empire High School, who allowed us to sell tickets at his school. And, of course, all of the wonderful people who donated raffle items and who came out to eat and support the event (and those of you who just donated!!).  My apologies to anyone who I may have neglected to mention - you are appreciated, not forgotten!

            The food was incredible, the music complimentary (Vito put together five discs of Italian music!).  We had jumping castles, a giant slide and obstacle course for the kids, in addition to the movie.

            Thank you Nancy  Kirk and John Gimmler, from Carondelet for coming out tonight and speaking about the foundation, handing out literature, etc.  Nancy administers Kimmy's Foundation and John is in charge of the new chapel project.

             The night went by so quickly.  Everyone was so wonderful.  I felt Kim everywhere, but managed to not break down (well, a little during the Student Council check presentation, but I ducked behind the big screen showing the slide show Brian masterfully put together).  Everyone was very supportive.  It was a perfect night.  For Kim.

            And I never got a chance to take a photo...but, people who did, will email the to me and I will post them so that you can see...

             Thank you all,



Friday, October 21, 2011

On the edge...

If a Dr. comes to you, bearing 8 x 10 glossies...do not look - there's no reason to see them.  If the Dr. insists, turn and run.  Fast.  I think that is where the real terror began. The words brought icicles to my heart, but, seeing the photos, that deadly menace inside of my Kimmy...put me over the edge...


"Hi everyone...sorry for the late update, but to quote Pete Townsend, it was 'another tricky day'...I get no cell reception in the hospital (clever design) and between contacting the school to keep tabs on the kids, calling Rincon Vista to cover Kim's shift and Barnes & Noble to cover mine, I have low battery/no minute syndrome, not to mention nothing left in my tank.

Kim's gall bladder surgery went fine, but while in there, Dr. Atikinson, her surgeon, saw something with her liver that he wants to further check out. This caused the operation to be 1 1/2 hours, instead of 15 minutes.

I just got home and she is resting comfortably and is doing much better since having her gall bladder out. We took a few spins around the hospital and she did great. They have her on morphine for pain, which helps (she needed more after seeing the Phillies game, unfortunately).

Tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m., Dr. Tsai, Kim's G.I. Dr., will perform an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy to further research her liver. She will be in the hospital until Friday. St. Joseph's has been great - the doctors are fantastic and the nurses are attentive. She's only able to eat broth and jello, so she's staying hungry, having only eaten an apple for breakfast yesterday.

The bambinis have been super too. I picked them up at school and hustled them down to see their mom. They were able to knock out their homework their and enjoy some fine cafeteria dining, as well. They miss Kimmy and we hope to get her home soon. I wore out a rosary today over there. She is even served communion and they have morning and evening prayer over the intercom.

Our neighbors have been great, taking the kids in the early evening so I can stay longer with Kim and we get them into their own beds to keep things as normal as possible for them. The schools have been great as well. In fact, Tonio's and Autumn's principal, Ms. Bryson called me personally to ask if she could cook for us or let me know if I needed her to help them with homework after school she'd be glad to. But they are doing fine.

I will be heading back down to see her after I drop the kids at school in the morning and will do my best to keep you all in the loop - bringing a notebook tomorrow to better write down the Dr's findings, please excuse the spellings.

Kimmy sends her love to all! Love, Dave"
And one from Autumn, to her friend Hadley...
Hey dude! What's up?! How was school? My school day was pretty good. My mom had her operation! We are going to visit her in a couple of minutes. She is coming home tomorrow I think. The doctors have to do a few more tests on her. We got up at 5:00 A.M. today!! The only reason we did was cause we saw my mom before school. Well, GTG! I just wanted to tell you! Autumn
....my little Kim...our optimist! 
    But, later, she found out more...
Dear Emma,
What's up?! It's so so ok! I understand! That's awesome your in band! Sorry your teacher is mean. Awesome, a funny music teacher!! I saw Mrs. Rienstra today! I am so so so super sad though!Crying face smile emoticon My mom is in the hospital!! Sorry I didn't e-mail you the night it happened.Embarrassed smile emoticon She has been there since Tuesday. Her ribs have been hurting for a couple weeks and it kept getting worse and worse so she called her doctor and she couldn't get her in to Monday and her doctor said if it was that bad then go to the emergency room. So she did, she went to St. Joe's hospital and had to get or gall Bladder removed. She is still in the hospital even though her gall bladder is removed. They found something wrong with her liver and she has blood clots too I think.Sad smile emoticon I am so sad! I don't even know if she will be home for the weekend!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!Crying face smile emoticon She has been gone for 3 days, I think this is the third. Well, I got to go now. Sorry I didn't e-mail you in such a long time! Dog emoticon
Your BFF, AutumnDog emoticon
And one to my District Manager, Tom:
 "Tom, another day down...feels like a week...I keep waiting to wake up from this bad dream and time is moving pretty strangely.
So, Kim's upper endoscopy and colonoscopy had to be canceled this morning, as the liquid they gave her last night to cleanse her system did not do their job. They decided to do a cat scan of her chest this morning and discovered multiple blood clots and a mass in her left lung. At the time, they had suspicions that she had either TB or advanced valley fever, but further tests ruled them both out, which was our good news of the day. She was moved to ICU, placed on oxygen and blood thinners. Now, they must get rid of the blood clots and get her back off oxygen before they can proceed to treat her liver and lung. They are also wanting to do a CVC and PTscan to figure out where else she might be affected...on top of it, she is in a lot of pain, despite morphine, from her gall bladder surgery.
She is such an amazingly positive person and has kept a great attitude during this whole thing...we're praying tomorrow brings some answers on how to help her get healthy and back home. We've had tremendous support and help from friends and neighbors, including you and the team at the store, for which we are so appreciative.
I'll keep you updated. Thanks again, Dave"
And by this time, the rush of support was incredible!  From our  Southwest family, Viro's, our 'hood, our schools, our church and the Knights of Columbus...
          The 'time thing' that I mentioned to Tom, how it moved strangely...it still does, in a different way...seems like we just do all we can to get through the day - I get the bambini to bed, avoid sleep...especially now...and hope, when I do sleep, that the dreams do not go back to these days last year...
         I'll try to include all of the email updates that I sent out, prior to us building her blog together - she wanted me to print them.  So, when she was feeling better, she could read them all...Here is one I missed from 10/19/2010:
Hi everyone,
Kimmy has had some stomach/rib pain over the last few days...she called her Dr. this morning, who asked her to proceed to St. Joseph's Hospital. They've just decided to keep her and schedule gall bladder surgery. I'm rounding up some stuff for her and the bambinis are headed next door (Autumn to Brian and Betsey's and the boys to Tom and Amy's). I'm going back to the hospital now and will keep you all posted.
Love, Dave"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Emails...

         The thing is, when it happened ('it' is the only adequate word that I can apply to the events that I described in yesterday's post), I was on the phone.  Non-stop.  Literally.  I'm holding Kimmy's hand, trying to tell her..my phone is ringing.  I'm holding her, consoling her...my phone is ringing...she drifts into an uneasy sleep...I'm on the phone.  You get the picture. 
         Texting was better.  But killing me.  You see, Kim and I were not into any of the tech gadgets.  We had the old fashioned little flip phones that did not even take pictures.  We had no text plan.  It was costing me $ .20 per text.  I reached out to Sprint and told them about 'it'.  In a compassionate move, they set me up with 1000 texts per month...which I handily exceeded!
         Thus, the mass email was born to better spread the word to Kim's well wishers, friends and family!

          October 20th, 2010 - I woke the bambini close to 5:00 a.m. to go see their Mama.  None of us were too concerned yet.  Kim and I spent much of the night talking.  She did not seem too anxious - hell, our neighbor, Amy, had just had her gall bladder out recently and was over to our house for dinner like a day later.  Why worry?  I guess, in the back of our heads, left in the dark shadows, we knew the dangers associated with anesthesia - Kim, as a vet tech, had seen several operations go bad on cats and dogs due to an allergic reaction, or too heavy a dose, etc...she knew this could happen to humans.  But not to us...not to Kimmy..

           " Quick update: Got the kids out of bed at 5:15 this a.m., snuck them up to see Kim - she looked much better and we were able to visit with her before they prepped her for her surgery. I know it did the kids good to see her, but boy, did Kim light up seeing her little ones! She was unable to see Autumn or Tonio yesterday, as you must be 13 or older to enter the portion of the hospital she is in, so she only got to see Cody for a brief moment yesterday (so how'd we get them in this a.m.? It helps when two orderlies on duty used to work with me at Toys R Us and at Kohls and one of the RN's is a family friend).

Kim should be wrapped up in surgery by now, I just dropped the kids at school and am headed back down to greet her in recovery. I'll let you all know how she did. Thanks for your prayers and all of your support!!

Love, Dave"
          First of all, this is where the "Love, Dave" comes from that I typically end posts with (except on particularly dark nights).  Quickly, as Kim's condition digressed, I realized that I could not keep up via phone, email or text...and that's where our friends Ami Bunch and Jen Corbelli came in "you need a blog!"  and helped us create this, so everyone who wanted to cheer for Kimmy and pray for Kimmy and leave an encouraging note...could.  So I'd sign the emails to our family "Love, Dave" and when I expanded to the blog - I was still writing to friends and family, so it just felt right.
            Secondly, this was the day we discovered the stairwells at St. Joseph's, as the friends I described above assisted us in getting to Kim.  We were instantly hooked, seduced by their dim solitude.  It was calming, relaxing and gave us our own bit of enjoyment as we literally ran, no sprinted, up them to see Kim and ran back down them to exorcise our fears.
            When I sent this email, I still didn't know...so I was alone when the news came, and gravity deserted me.  I had that anti-gravity feeling for the entire 55 days, it was surreal as it slip in and out of my existence, creating a dream like feeling.  It hung around for a few months, I could literally feel it coming back, little by little each day...until it was back.  Today, it side slipped for an instant - I can only say surreal, as it is difficult to explain the sensation of everything around you slowing down to a crawl and the feeling of weightlessness as the enormity of the situation overwhelms you...
            I was relieved, though, despite the news, to have made it back in time to see Kim wheeled out of the O.R.  Guess what?  She was smiling...and her hand was slightly lifted off the bed, waving to me..'Hi Dave.'  So soft, so sweet, but with such relief and emotion...that was to be short lived...

                          I know the meaning of the word 'deflated'...

                          ...and I'm looking to follow the little red dotted line...

                         Thanks for listening,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


              Thank you for checking back in, faithful reader.  You know, sometimes those of you who log on late night, might catch a different, rawer, version of what appears in the morning.  I may be a little more emotional while writing...and, when I doze off, I sometimes wake with a start thinking "What did I write??" and go back and do some revisions...

              I guess you can make an anniversary out of just about anything.  Kim and I did it all of the time.  These next 8 weeks, there are quite a few of them coming...

              How I felt today was...numb.  Unbalanced - wait, off balance - same thing?  I don't know.  The bambini, too, struggled today.  There is so much running through our collective heads right now, I don't know where to begin to sort it out and put it into print...

              But, at least I wasn't alone today...and that made a difference...

              ...and, as they have through this fuzzy time in my life, the Barnes & Noble team propped me up through my shift...on my way out to the 10, I detoured, drawn, like a magnet to DeGrazia...I bypassed the galleria in the sun and headed toward the small chapel that DeGrazia himself built, stone by stone, with his own hands.  He was such a giving, caring, compassionate man - you can feel it in his paintings and the chapel's atmosphere...

           I love this painting of Padre Kino, the same father who founded the San Xavier Mission...

Kim always talked about making tin flowers like these that adorn all of the doorways...

                    DeGrazia was a master at creating a mood.  The paintings he chose to do on the walls of his chapel bring you peace...

DeGrazia's altar.  His Mary of Guadalupe watches over, comforting...
How many times, was I blessed to visit DeGrazia, and sit in this very chapel with Kimmy?

                                     Here is Autumn, last October, in the chapel's doorway.


Cody and Tonio, my little angels, inside the chapel.

Kim and I enjoying a moment, outside the chapel...I can remember how relaxed I felt - on top of the world.  Which is how Kim made me feel.

A year ago, tonight, Kim was finally getting into a room at St. Joseph's after nearly 10 hours in the hallway of the ER..it would be the first of many sleepless nights for us (I'm in for a long one tonight!) as the wonderful life Kim had built for us began to blow up.

The two little ones would not let me out of their sight when I picked them up from Lupe's.  They had fought, and felt bad, but could not explain why, what had happened.  They cannot quite get their little arms around their feelings today.
And after they lit candles in the Nitcho for Mama, they hustled back to the porch and wrapped their arms around me, one on each side, squeezing, looking to the sky to say goodnight.
They said goodnight, telling Cody and I that they loved us, giving each other hugs and wishing each other sweet dreams and off to bed they went.  While Cody and I turned our attention to the next Jason Statham movie, '13' (the numerical coincidence was not lost on either of us), which breaks in theaters next week on 10/28 (don't ask).  It is an indie film - Kim and I could not get enough of them - starring Mickey Rourke, 50 Cent and Jason Statham.  Well done.

It was nice to spend some time at the DeGrazia chapel this afternoon.  The temperatures are getting so nice again.  Our house has several prints that I bought for Kim there.  I think about our visits there a lot as I walk through our house and view that pieces that she had framed and hung throughout. 

Just another piece of Kim turning our house into a home...


PS Just a few more days until Kimmy's dinner - proceeds go to her foundation, administered through Carondelet and will help build a new chapel at St. Josephs...link above can tell you more...click on her picture that says "Kimberly Conca Foundation"...but you knew that!

Gall Bladder

  What does a gall bladder do?  I still am not clear on that, and, I guess, in the scheme of things, I guess that I do not have time to really make it matter...

    One year ago, my Kimmy, who had not seen a dr in over 6 years, was going to see more in two months than probably her whole, too short life.

    It had become unbearable.  The pain in Kimmy's rib cage area.  She went to work Tuesday morning, one year ago, despite my escalating objections.  She was so stoic.  So brave.  So strong.
    But, she could not quite make it through.  Her RVMS team could fill you in better here, but, at some point, in tears, I believe it was my neighbor Amy, who convinced her to call her dr.  
     Now, I had, less than 24 hours before, talked her into letting me make her an appointment.  She wouldn't have, otherwise.  The bambini came first, than me, than Kimmy.  I begged her, telling her I'd change any work schedule that I had to make sure she could see a dr.  Finally, she relented and I made one with her dr for 10/25.  She never made that appointment.

    She was so strong.  For so long.  And, a year to reflect upon, I wish I had seen it coming.  The bambini are beat up this week, as well, subconsciously remembering a year gone bad.  Especially Tonio, who I give a medallion of Mary each morning, before school, to let him know that Mary will watch over him and that I am close, thinking of him.  He and Autumn will not be separated at night.  Cody is quiet...reflective...

     Yet, I am daily reminded that it was not all in vain, as I receive messages from other who tell me that Kim continues to inspire them and when times are tough, they think of her....that helps.  But, these last two days, I have felt especially alone...

     And so it was, one year ago, that my cell phone rang while I was at Barnes & Noble, around 10:30 a.m.  It was Kim.  I picked up "I told you to never call me here..."  I joked.  It was our joke.  She typically giggled and proceeded to tell me whatever was on her beautiful mind.  Not today.  "Dave.  I'm on my way to St. Joseph's"  My mind blanked.  "What?"  "I called Dr _____ and she told me, if I could not wait until my appointment on 10/25, I should go to St. Joseph's."  Crying now.  When was the last time I heard Kimmy cry??   ?   "OK.  I'll meet you there."  I told her...
          I remember calling my D.M. to let him know something was amiss...
        Then, I was there.  In the ER waiting room.  With Kimmy.  Holding hands, like we always did.  Telling her it was going to be ok.  She telling me she knew.  Gall bladder was the idea.  Our neighbor, Amy, had hers removed just weeks ago.  Kim would rebound quickly, just as Amy had done.  Piece of cake.  Right?
          Except the minutes turned to hours...and finally, Kim got a gurney, not a room, but a hall way space.  She was evaluated, while I stood next to her, holding her hand.  We talked. 
           And then, after what seemed like days, the ER drs said they would do an ultra sound...and, yes, it was the gall bladder.  No biggie, right?  Surgery to be performed the next day.
           I spent the next several hours with Kim, in her hallway gurney.  There was a homeless man brought in, drunker than me, who was babbling about being left faced down in front of Circle K.  He was wanting full treatment...We prayed for him...and waited.  Finally, around 9:00 p.m., 10 hours after Kim first walked into the ER, she was given a room...and I left her side to go take care of the bambini...
             I woke the bambini at 5 a.m. the next morning to go say hi to their Mama, before school.  Before her operation.  They were ready!!  We raced up the stairs to see her and they were getting ready to transport her...We followed her down to that dreaded third floor, I kissed her and gripped her hand, our finger tips trailing as they led her through those irrevocable double doors...
            The drive to Cottonwood and back was excruciating.  I went faster than the speed limit, as is my way, and hurried back to wait for Kim, making it in plenty of time.
            I sat there alone.  Head in hands.  Hands in lap.  Praying.  Praying.  Waiting.  Endlessly.  I knew, just knew, it would be fine. 
            Then, around 9 a.m., Dr. Atkinson, came out through the dungeon doors and called my name...He was holding 8 x 10 photos.  Glossy.  I did not think anything of it at the time.  "Mr. Conca?"  "The gall bladder surgery on your wife went fine."  Relief.  I knew it!  "But."    "Look at this." 
             The glossies.  I should have known.   Never.  Never trust a dr, especially one emerging from surgery, who is carrying glossies.
              "This is a photo of your wife's liver."  Black.
               "Wha?"  I wondered, my world begin to teeter. And toter. 
               As far as I could get.  "Cancer."  He told me.
               My mind went a zillion different ways...not Kimmy...no....no way...they can get this...curable..
               "We are going to find out where it came from...."
               "When.  When can I see her???"  I needed to see Kimmy.  Needed to hold her.  Needed her to tell me she was ok.

                 The bambini.  They know.  Without me saying, that the year is approaching...especially Antonio, who is in tuned and affected.  I give him a Mary medallion each morning before school and tell him that Mary will watch over him.  Keep him safe.  I kiss her and tell him that he now has a kiss from me if he needs one...Our time at the Nitcho has increased, too.  The kids lingering...remembering..

                   And yet, we are here, to help others, as they face challenging times.  Our neighbors, who lost their boy...we talked to them this morning, to help them to find peace, healing.  Not 'closure'. I am convinced that there is no such thing.
                   My good friend from high school, let me know his Mom passed yesterday...he told me that he was sure that time would heal the wound and his had not yet started to scab.  I told him:
          Anyway - we all know loss...it's a challenge. It will take time to heal, my friend. Do not set a time frame, or let anyone set one for you...but, with good support, it does get more manageable..
              Reconnecting with my past...

                   I'm not alone in experiencing loss...
                   We've all been there...or will be....but, the people that are immediately around you, will make a difference!
                   Does 'time heal all wounds'?  I dunno.  I've always hated that phrase.  And still don't have an answer.  Rather, again, I find that everything, anything, is more bearable if you can surround yourself with positive people.  And we have been blessed, over and over, with that.
                   I've discovered that there is so much that I do not have control over, no matter that I think I might! 

                     "He makes everything work out according to his plan"  Ephesians 1:11

                   In Kimmy's garden, the Mexican sunflowers are blooming....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I have something to tell you...

             ....but I can't.  Not yet....

                Here's something else.  This Sunday, last year, Kim was getting ready to leave to go to Pier 1 Imports for her second overnight, helping to set the store for their seasonal items.

               She didn't want to go.

               Not because she did not like the work.  As I've said before, she really enjoyed it.  Even though it was hard work and she did not get much sleep before going to work in the morning.  She didn't feel good.  Her lower rib cage was hurting.  Her head hurt.  I thought she had some sort of bug.  But, we had gone to church that morning and over to Viro's for breakfast, as we always do.  Followed by errands, etc.  So, I thought, in Kim fashion, she'd be all right.

              I didn't really try to talk her out of going.  I was so thankful and proud of her for taking this opportunity to make Christmas gift money, money I wasn't sure where it would come from otherwise.  I told her to stay home if she wanted and she could work the next shift or wait until Carmella needed her on day shifts to help with the Christmas rush.  I feel badly about not forcing her to stay home  But, it seems that is what Christmas has done to us, making us feel pressure to be consumers and buy, buy, buy.  I didn't know than, that we had so few precious moments together in our home...

              Of course, Kimmy went.  It was her way.  I like to tell myself that she would have gone no matter what I said or did...but I know that's just to make myself feel better.

               She came home around 2:30.  I was dozing, but waiting to hear how she felt and how it went.  She looked pained.  "We had Mama's pizza."  She told me by way of explanation.  Now, Mama's has always been one of Kimmy's favorite pies here in Tucson.  We started going 18 years ago to their location on 22 and Kolb, a dark, quite little restaurant with great food.  And, again, as I've told you, we would go to the newer one on Broadway and Houghton.  The pizza is truly phenomenal.  We took Cody and his buddies there after their 8th grade graduation - they make a huge pie that filled up a lot of hungry 8th graders!!
              Kim thought she had a bug too.  And, she believed eating pizza at 1 in the morning had not been a fabulous idea, but she could not resist Mama's pizza!! 
             I helped her get ready for bed and begged her to let me call her out for work at Rincon Vista in the morning (obviously feeling guilty for letting her go to Pier 1 in the first place, I was going to make amends dammit!).  She ignored me and began to tell me about her night, the nice people she was meeting and working with, the product (spending her paycheck before she even go it, but with the idea of making our home even more beautiful, if that was possible - Kim could do it!).  Once again, she told me what a hard worker Carmella was and great leader.  She drifted off into an uneasy sleep telling me stories...I watched her angelic face, looking peaceful in sleep, for awhile and then fell asleep myself.

                The next morning, as I readied for work, Kim was not doing too much better.  She hurt.  She looked pained.  "Kimmy, please."  "No, I'll be all right.  Chai tea."  I made her a chai tea and she sipped it, smiling, eyes twinkling "You make the best Chai tea David"...I was not convinced.  "Kimmy, how about at least going in late and working a later shift?".  "I'll be ok."  End of conversation.      

               She made it through her day, prepping for a Vail District Meeting the next afternoon to plan for Vail Pride Day...came home, called me to tell me about her day, as she always did and took a nap before going to round up the bambini at school.
               When I came home, she still was not feeling too good.  I made dinner and then we laid down together to watch Inglorious Basterds starring Brad Pitt.  Kim and I enjoyed it and I still thought she'd be feeling just fine the next day...she talked again about hoping to work 15-20 hours a week at Pier 1 and we discussed logistics about how we'd work that out with the kids. 

                I did not know how fragile the wonderful life that she had carefully (and with a lot of hard work) built for us had become...

                                                                          October 2010

                                                           Damn.  I miss that smile...!