We had a dream...to live, to travel. Laugh. Share. We dreamed that we would live together until we were old and gray. Helping each other through each day. That is how we approached things. We were a team and, together, we could do anything.
The year went fast, much rockier that last year. Much more challenging. And painful. Two years ago, I prayed for a Christmas miracle- it was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, after all. One of my all time favorite stories, in which Juan Diego, is visited by Jesus' mother, Mary, while on the way to care for a sick uncle. She asks him to go to the bishop, and ask him to build a church on the site where they are talking. Juan goes to the bishop, but he does not believe. Mary sends him back with a sign, roses carried in Juan's tunic. It was winter, and these flowers were not seen in this area, so the bishop began to wonder...when Juan puts the flowers down, an image of the Lady of Guadalupe has been imprinted upon his tunic. And, the church was built! She is believed to have performed many miracles in Mexico, especially around this time of year...
What I remember from that night, is too much to put in print - the trouble leading up to the 911 call is seared into my memory...and the strobing red and blue lights, bathing our once serene neighborhood in an eerie glow.
The last thing I remember from 12/13/10, is, being in a pool of water with Kim...the water a deep, vibrant blue...so clear, I could make out every detail of Kim's beautiful features. She was slowly sinking down, while I was slowly floating up.
She reached out to me - I can't read the expression on her face - resignation? Alarm? Peace? I struggled to stop my ascent, stretching out my left hand to grab her reaching arm...our fingers lightly touching...and then, I had her - for a moment. Eyes locking, Kim looking deep inside, telling me a million things - I'm trying desperately to hold on, but, my grip - the water - was loosening...
She tried to tell me - everything, but, she had to go....
Some of the people that I've talked to, told me, that for them, the second anniversary was the hardest. I've tried to stay level for the bambini - but they know. I've apologized to them so many times over the last few days...they are so supportive.
Tonight, we popped in Inception. I think that this is one of Leonardo Decaprio's finest movies. Dealing with dreams within dreams within dreams.
"Why do you do this to yourself?"
"So I can dream."
"Why is it so important to dream?"
"Because in my dreams we are still together..."
And for once, our hero, fighting all of the odds, all of the bad guys, surviving impossible dangers - cannot save the girl...but, reunites with his children.
I am so thankful that we had our children. I couldn't save the girl either, but, I am so blessed - these little guys have worked so hard - and, they still have their rough days, but who can blame them? I'm so proud of them and appreciative for what Kim built.
Albuquerque visiting my sister, Lauren and her husband Jason. They are now back in PA with four children! They took us all over when we visited - beautiful place. Here, we are at the petroglyph forest.
On the way back, we were driving a desolate stretch of Rt 40, when Kim suddenly yells "Pull over!". I had no idea what was wrong - Cody? Her stomach? "What Kim?" "I need to get one of those!" she was already getting out of the car and was pointing to this soaptree yucca.
"I can use it to make a nice decoration for our home!" She was as animated and excited as you've ever seen Kim - especially when she had a neat idea. I wasn't going to try to stop her, but couldn't resist yelling at her as she went about her business "POACHER! I'm calling the cops!!!"
Look at that laughing face!! She ended up getting a huge Mexican style clay floor vase for this stalk and dressed it up with other 'findings' - it looked incredible in our entryway.
Visiting my sister, Cheri, when she lived in Muskogee, OK. Her kids, Anthony and Jackie and their dog, Nittany are in this shot. And, of course, our Cajun girl.
Natalie must have taken the shot, since she joins us in this photo
Here's one from my NASCAR days, Kim so supportive!
Back to the beach!
Cody and his Mama at Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, NJ
And with Pop and Nana at LBI
Angie and I will be heading to a Mass in Kim's honor first thing in the morning. Angie set up the memorial Mass for Kimmy...and has it set for next year already, too...
Niki and Kim. These two look like sisters - Kim's niece had come out to visit about 17 years ago and we took her to the Grand Canyon. Niki has become an amazing person, just like her Aunt Kim!
These next two were from when Kim and I were 18...
Hard to believe it was a life time ago. We stopped at a picnic on our way for Kim's first visit to Shippensburg University, where I'd be starting another semester of college.
This one was taken at the house I grew up in. We'd spend hours in the t.v. room, laying together on the couch, watching movies...
...I just love Kim's smile...
And miss it so much...
3-1-65 to 12-13-10