We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The space between here and There

             Today was one of those days where between here and there was thin.

             If you have ever lost someone close to you, you know what I mean.

              In the cool, crisp Autumn air, I could feel Kim this morning, as I ran my circle, taking first Tonio to Cottonwood (and just squeaking in the back gate, as Kim used to say, before the bell rang) and then over to Desert Sky to drop Autumn.  Mr. Edwards greeted us curbside, broad smile, hand shake - a reminder of the support Kim had, his wife, Jenna, an RN, ready to assist Kim at home, to nurse her back to health...
             When I drop Autumn, before she leaps to the sidewalk, she quickly turns to me, holding a Mary medallion towards my lips...
               "Did you kiss Mary today?"  she asks, her brilliant blue eyes searching mine...

                 Those eyes....Those eyes, so like her Mama's...but I don't need to tell you that.

                "Do you have to go into work right away Dad?"  she asks.  She's so worried about the amount of time I put in.

                 "No honey, I'm off to Mass at the Mission."  I tell her.

                  And the concern is gone in a flash - she's lit up like the sun coming over the Rincon Mountains at dawn.

                 "Lucky!"  She squeals in her best Napoleon Dynamite voice, genuinely excited for me, knowing it's the best way for me to start my day.

                  And it can be.

                   Today it was.  I was compelled to stop in the gift shop, instead of going towards the little history of the Mission museum a few doors down, to get my candles (always one for Kim and a friend).  I like to buy them at the museum, because the kind lady who peddles them always shares a 'secret Mission fact' with me.  In a conspiratorial way.  Like:
                     "Those candles you buy?  Do you know what they mean?"  She looks at me from behind her candle laden counter, smiling.

                       "Uh...that I want to light them?"  It's early.  No caffeine.  Yet.

                     "The Virgin Mary of Guadalupe and the San Xavier Mission candles are for special intentions.  The Father Kino and St. Jude are for the critically ill." 

                         I'm enlightened....delicately choosing a Mary and a San Xavier.  They will work.

                       But today, I'm drawn to the gift shop, where they only have the San Xavier candles.  Which will work.  And further, instead of just getting the candles at the front cashier, I need to go back into the shop, where the crucifixes, statues and biblical books are...I'm drawn...and I see, among the statues of angels...

                   I buy it, with the notion it is for Autumn...from Kim.

                    I take my candles, first to the main church, before Mass begins, up to the altar for Mary.  As I pray, thanking the Lord for Kim.  And the mother that she was.  And the wife that she was.  And the best friend too...I felt warm and peace coming over me - as if my prayers were being answered right now.  Kim was there.

                     Anyone who has ever lost someone close to you.  So close.  As close as the ocean's waves are to the sands of the beach, intertwined - so close, you cannot separate the two...you know what I mean.  I could feel her.  So, she was there.

                     I finished and headed to the side chapel dedicated to Mary, where Kim's smiling picture patiently waits through the days and the nights.  Toni was there, cleaning, always keeping Kimmy up front on the altar.  And dusted.  I embrace her and tell her - 'Kimmy's here.'  She knows.  And she fills me with stories, from the reservation.

                      I believe that Ivan and Toni, keepers of the Mission, know things.  Things that I can only suspect.  They are more in touch with their loved ones that have passed before them.  They lovingly relate to me stories...and happenings.

                      And when they are done..."Hurry, Mass is starting!"  Toni urges, breaking the bond.

                       The Father tells us it is St Teresa of Avila's Feast Day.  He described her life as one of helping others and urged us to walk away with the desire to do the same...Somehow, I'm feeling it's Kim, channeling, reaching out to me, as bits and pieces of our wedding day flash before me...but it's not sadness, or longing, that comes with these memories - but warmth and knowing that the moments that I am reliving were as monumentous to me as any miracle. 

                        I carry these feelings home with me, delighting in them...and choose to place Autumn's Mary on her desk, where she is sure to find it...

                        And I'm right - she texts me a picture of it and asks:

                         "What's this from?"

                        I'm working late...

                          "Mission"  I answer.

                       "That's pretty!"

                          "I'm pretty sure it's from your Mama..."

                           "When I saw it, that's what I thought too!!"  she exclaimed.  "Because it was sitting right next to my journal."  She still writes to Kim.  Every day.  About her day and how we are doing and what we did and who helped us through our day...

                           "How's it look?"  She needs to know...


                          As I wrapped up the busy day, getting home close to midnight, I logged onto email...

Hey Dad!
You are even sweeter dad! Mom would be so proud of you. The only reason I'm like this is because you and mom are such great role models and so caring and giving. Thanks so much for everything dad. :) Hope you had a great day today dad! Soccer was good but by the time we got home tonight I felt like I was going to fall over with exhaustion! Soccer for about 2 hours is hard work after a day of school! I hope I'll be ready for the championship games because I hear we don't get much of a break between games and they are hard work! well, hope you sleep good! Thanks again for my statue! I love it! Sweet dreams! Good night, love you.

Love, Autumn
xoxoxoXXooXOoxXooOx ;)

Subject: Re: Good night!
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2013 23:34:56 -0700

You are sweet Autumn!!  I know that you make Mama so proud of you everyday Smile emoticon and me too!!  Love you!!  Dad

From: Ciao Bella 
Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:20 PM
To: Dad
Subject: Good night!

Hey Dad!
Hope your day was good even though it was so long. Did you eat dinner? Hope you did! :) That's not fair though that you had to work pretty much all day, at least 12 hours! You can't keep doing that Dad! Well, I hope you get good rest. Love you lots! Sweet dreams, good night!

Love, Autumn
           Autumn gets it.  She knows.  
           She's so caring and deep like her Mama - brings me to my knees sometimes.
           Some days it's just thinner.  Whether it's hummingbirds that linger, clouds that flash pinks/oranges as the day prepares to end or that feeling of warmth and love deep in your heart...
            Today was one of those days....