We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucky 13

          Sometimes, you need to go back to the beginning to get to the end...
          This morning...dark, cold, rainy.  I asked the bambini, specifically, what they would like for breakfast.  I wanted to start their day special.  We turned south on Houghton, the rain pelting the windshield, the gray/dark clouds swarming the area...I glanced east.  Towards the slowly sloping Rincon mountains and caught fire - there was the rising sun, framed by clouds and earth.  I shouted out "Mama's saying good morning!" Over top of Eminiem's "You're Never Over", Cody's new favorite and to be able to make myself heard to Aut and Tonio, arguing in the back seat.   They whipped their heads in unison.  Just the music playing and all of us staring...

             ...How do you begin to commemorate a friendship that lasted 33 years?
                    Well, after last night's delivery from Andrea of the poinsettia and angel night light, I received a text this morning from Ami and Mary that said "Look outside"...on the doorstep was a basket filled with candy, movie tickets, a starbucks card and a bag of rice krispy treats!

What a great way to begin the day.

Angie came by after I dropped bambini at school...

Angie told me this angel reminding her of Kim..I had never, in all of the years I have come here, noticed this angle!!!  I lit a candle below her for Kimmy.

  This little, Indian made manager, was at the front of the church.

                                We went to 8:30 Mass at San Xavier.  Angie got to meet Toni and Ivan, who take care of the Mission and keep Kimmy's picture clean.  We lit candles in the church and Mary's chapel, too.  A stray reservation dog wandered into the church, reminding me of our wedding day...
                                 Then, we had breakfast at Bruegger's and ran some errands. 
                                  I was contacted by Phoenix Publishing - Kimmy's Kitchen Cookbook has arrived! 

I hustled to deliver as many copies as possible before making a 3:00 appointment I had with Dave Williams of Tattoo Artistry.
                                  Dave and I worked together for at least 5 years at Toys R Us.  He had a desire to be an artist.  On his breaks, he would be sketching and drawing, instead of eating.  Finally, he saw his chance, to become a tattoo artist!

                             Coneniently, Autumn's birthstone is the emerald (5/10), Cody's is the diamond (4/23) and Tonio's is the ruby (7/11).  Coincidence?  Perhaps...Nonetheless, here's my tribute on this special day.
                            Lupe and Manny had picked up the bambini for me from school.  When I was done, I met them for dinner. Lupe made a wonderful tostado and green enchilada's!!  It was an incredible feast and a nice dinner on Kim's night.
                           A busy day, with great support!!

                          It's been a ride.  I guess I had to go to that place, to get to this one.
                          Now some of you, might still be in that place.
                          If you're trying to get out,
                          Just follow me.  I'll get your there...

                   That day, a year ago, went so quickly...I remember Kim going under, for the lung procedure...I remember sitting in St. Joseph's garden and Janene bringing me iced tea...and Wendy, hospital chaplain, staying close.
                   I remember saying our goodbyes, not thinking it could be true...losing touch with reality...I remember having to tell the bambini and Tonio immediately vomiting...in grief.  And poor Brian, our neighbor...it was his birthday - but now, looking back, what a great day to celebrate!  Kim was phenominal.
                  We had so much support that day, as we did this day!  Thanks Ami and Mary, Angie and Andrea, Lupe and Manny!!  And all of you who texted me throughout the day!
                 As she left, it occured to me that Kim was my miracle.  I had been praying for a miracle to save her, but didn't realize that she actually was my miracle!
                 I'll never forget her.  And how special she was.  How she made us all feel amazing.  I remember her telling me, as I gave her her Lovenox injections, that I was her knight in shining armor!  Only, I did not save the day.  I do not get to ride off into the sunset.  And, I do not get the girl...


Monday, December 12, 2011

The 7 Days of Kimmy

    Instead of the 12 days of Christmas, the bambini and I are celebrating 7 Days of Kimmy.  We started yesterday with her famous biscotti.  Today, being the 6th Day of Kimmy, Antonio was a big help in the kitchen as we re-created Kim's best dinner dish - chicken piccatta.  Tonio cut Italian parsley, squeezed lemons, set the table, seasoned the chicken breasts, got everyone something to drink and helped clean up!  He is amazing.

                     It is so hard to believe that a year has gone by already...Sometimes, it seems like a blink of an eye...others, like an eternity. 
                     I know I've told you about most of the memories...95% of them wonderful.  Our travels, time together, things we shared, accomplishments...

                          I couldn't have been blessed with a better life...I'd literally out run my punt coverage when I hooked up with Kim...

                          The other 5%...I've told you a little about...mostly about the size of the hole  left in my heart.  What do I miss most?  Her smile.  Her laugh.  The way she held me and the look in her eyes.  Having someone, somewhere, waiting for me.  The way she smelled.  Her jokes.  The way she accepted me exactly the way that I am...and yet, made me strive to be a better person.
                          The memories that I have of of later tonight, last year...I thought I'd be able to share...but I never got the chance to, and now, I don't think I can.  The horror, the dark terror.  Sometimes, when I'm driving down Old Spanish Trail, that fear comes back at me, tightening my windpipe - I can feel fear's hand, pulling up through my stomach, as it wraps its icy talons around my heart and squeezes...and the images all come flowing back, in slow motion...

                         And, as far as the person Kim worked to make me become...sometimes, that darkness beckons...sometimes, I do want to completely break down and just let go...but her memory is there...and there have been a couple of you that have also worked hard to make sure that I don't go scittering back down that icy road and hurtling over the edge into oblivion...For her and you, I've kept it together...and, of course, for the bambini, who have told me how much that they need me, love me and admire what I've done...

                        Last year, this day, Kim did break down.  Twice.  No, three times.  I only shared one of the times, previously.  For it was today, last year, that Kim and I were sorting through our lives in pictures to help Autumn create her 'Star Student' poster.  We were laughing and remembering as we went, when, suddenly Kim dropped her stack of photos, covered her face and began sobbing...I held her and asked her what was wrong...she looked up at me, those bright blue eyes shining with tears that had spilled down over her cheeks, cascading off her beautiful face..."What a wonderful life we had."  Actually, going back to look at our post from a year ago, I was mistaken, I did tell you that she cried in the morning when she discovered, despite her best efforts, that she still could not walk...
                      But, I can tell you, that she had a beautiful day...we got her out front, so she could sit and visit with our neighbors, Betsey, Amy, Brian and Tom.  Andrea had come and taken Autumn to a party with her and Christmas shopping, while the rest of the kids played out front.  It seemed, almost, normal...Betsey made Kim tortellini soup for dinner.  Later, Andrea and her girls watched Elf with Kim and I and the bambini.  We loved that movie.

                   Today, once again, it is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe...Mother of miracles.  I remember thinking, with the kind of great day that Kim had just had, that this was it!  Her day for a miracle!!  I prayed.  We all prayed.  Looking for an Advent miracle.  And again, I know my prayers were answered...only, it was a 'no', this time.  I know there was a good reason for that 'no'...I may never know why, but I'll always believe.

As I was writing, tonight, I got a text; "Quick!  Look outside!"...our family's angels had made a delivery...

Kim and I both loved poinsettias and I would get her one every year...I hadn't thought to by one this year.  This one is incredible - the photo does not do it justice.
I had plugged the Angel night light into the outlet just outside our bedroom door, where for years Kim and I had a nightlight.  Antonio saw it and gasped "how beautiful! It looks like the one we saw on the mountains today!  Can we put it in the bedroom?" Tonio asked?
Well, I forgot to mention that.  I was running late to get the bambini from school and ended up not making it out to Cienega to get Cody until 4:00 (he gets out at 3:20). He was waiting outside, in the drizzle and chill, with no coat.  As we were driving home, I looked to him to ask if he was warming up and if he was ok and caught a glimpse of the Rincon mountains.  The Rincons were blanketed in low hanging clouds, that were delivering rain and snow.  The mountains were completely covered except for one spot, where the sun impossibly was shining through...and it looked like an angel. "I'm going to crash the car trying to look at this." I told the awed bambini. 

Now, it's in our bedroom, lighting our path...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful Sunday

     It was a beautiful Sunday, just like it had been a year ago...Kim had a great day, helping us prep to make breakfast and lunch.  We rolled her in her wheelchair to the table's edge and she cut all of the vegetables that we needed...and truly enjoyed it.  Then, she directed the cooking from afar 'I don't want to blow up!'  she'd tell us...
     I know everyone misses Kimmy.  A lot of people, over the last few days, have stopped me to share their stories and memories of Kim.  Their favorite thing about her, like her laugh.  And the things that she used to like to do or say.  It is fun remembering how fun Kim was.

     Today, we celebrated our friend Kim's birthday (Angie's youngest daughter)!  No less than 30 of us converged on Fuddrucker's, taking up most of their back room.  I love when the kids get together, the things they find to amuse themselves, the 'prizes' they win from playing the games there.  The burgers are so big, that I don't even have to order one for myself.  Everyone asked me tonight "Aren't you eating?  What did you order?"  I told them that all I had to do was wait a little...sure enough, I was rewarded with half of Autumn's burger...followed by 1/4 of Cody's...and then half of Tonio's burger...
      Kim and Rashon's little girl, Maleah, is growing so fast.  She is such a pretty little girl and was well loved tonight!  She's two months old already and very alert.
      Angie had brought a Carvel cake - my Kim's Dad had worked there many moons ago, back when they had their own ice cream shops.  It was a good cake.  We all sang raucously.  The bambini had a great time...and it helped end our day on a high note.  Thanks for having us help you celebrate your birthday Kim! 
      Kim's husband, Rashon, invited me to join his fantasy NBA league...today was the draft.  I don't know much about basketball and will need some help.  My team name is 'Durden'.  A tribute to Tyler Durden of Fight Club.  Team highlight?  Kobe Bryant. 
       Today, we did start our celebration of Kim's life.  Well, I guess we do that everyday anyway, but officially kicked off this week by making a batch of biscotti.  We tried a recipe Friday and another one Saturday.  Armed with the experience and knowledge, we were able to make Kimmy's biscotti today and the bambini proclaimed it to be the best!  We'll do something each day this week to celebrate her.

        Thanks for being there,
   We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.  Not until the future eats the present, anyway. We know when it's too late.