My Eulogy for Kim

This is the eulogy I delivered for Kim at her funeral.

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The first time Kim and I went out, she told me two things:

* she lived in little Italy and could have me killed for fifty dollars and

* she was afraid of surviving a brain injury in a car accident.

She told me that on our first date.

It was January 25 1992. We’d been friends for a while but had never gone anywhere. Now and then I got tickets from the radio station I worked for and invited her to go with me. This time she accepted.

Over the next couple of months we spent more and more time together but Kim didn’t really want to date me.

She told me later that she knew if  we dated, we’d get married, and she really wanted to marry a Catholic.

One night she told me she’d pick up dinner on the way back from class and we should meet at her apartment.

She stopped for Chinese takeout. We’d decided to split a meal and an entree. She chose the meal I chose the entree.

I met her at her apartment and was snooping around a bit. I opened her refrigerator.

There were only three things in it:  half-and-half for her coffee, a bottle of vodka, and a box – a box – of wine.

I turned around and she’d served the rice and the two entrees on plates for us and carried them over to the table.

“Where’s the egg roll”, I asked.

“What egg roll,” she asked back, her mouth filled with the egg roll.

“I thought we were going to split it.”

“You’re entree didn’t come with an egg roll.”

That was Kim.

For the next twenty-some years together I would say – “I should have known. That egg roll.”

That also wasn’t Kim.

Just last week we went to see the Shaker Community Band play. It was a beautiful night on the lawn and the music was fun. Maggie introduced one of the pieces and we couldn’t have been prouder.

“Did you know she was going to do this?” Kim asked.

“No.”

Maggie was poised, funny, and got all of the facts in effortlessly. Kim and I were so proud of what Maggie has become.

Kim and Maggie went out for food afterwards. They stopped for Mexican food. Kim texted that they were bringing some back, did I want any?

“No thank you.”

But Kim was already planning to share with me before she got home. She loves cilantro and I don’t and she ordered her burrito without cilantro. When she got home she asked again if I wanted any.

No thanks.

Nothing?

Maybe a bite.

She cut us each a big piece and I came to the table and the three of us sat and ate.

Not hardly the eggroll Kim.

Kim was not the woman I married. We changed each other over the twenty three years we were married.

We had 22 good years and one bad one.

Everyone assumes I mean the year that Elena died. That was a bad year for both of us but not for our marriage.

We went through something no-one should have to go through but I was fortunate to do it with Kim.

Many couples don’t survive such a loss. I don’t know how we did.

No the one bad year was our first year of marriage. It was horrible. We were eldest children, stubborn, and over thirty when we married and we didn’t understand that giving and giving-in can mean winning not losing.

One particularly tense day, Kim announced “I’m going to work. And when I get home I’m going to give you a list of everything I’m unhappy with in this marriage.”

She went to the kitchen to put on her shoes.

Then she came back in the living room and said, “and you can make a list too.”

I think my list saved our marriage.

One of the items on my list mentioned that she rode to work every day with her friend and co-worker Rick. He picked her up in the morning and dropped her off at night. I’ll bet that you say “thank you” every time. I think if I thank you every time you do something for me and you thank me every time I do something for you, we’ll notice how much we do for each other and not stay so angry that we think we’re doing everything and the other person is doing nothing.

Sure, you thank someone else to show your appreciation but you also say thank you to stop and note that other people are doing things for you. It’s so important to pause and feel grateful.

It’s not that we never argued after that. But we only every argued about stupid things and it was never personal.

I hated that when she washed up the kitchen counter with a paper towel she would leave it in the sink to use again later.

Stupid stuff.

She hated that when I knocked down the curtain from the back room to the kitchen I never put it up straight.

Last week she looked up at the curtain rod and looked at me. I looked at it and at her and said, “what?”

She said, trying to be encouraging, “thanks honey. I’m glad that you tried to put the curtain back up, but can’t you see it’s not even?”

I didn’t. I went to adjust it and she said “no, that’s ok, I’ll do it.”

I’d stand with the refrigerator open and say, “I don’t see the hamburgers from last night.”

And she’d say, “you have to bend over and move things out of the way.”

We both tried to do what the other wanted. Some things just weren’t in us.

When we prepared to get married I wrote our service.

I talked to Kim about what was important to her and she looked through the standard vows and said, “I won’t say ‘obey’”

So I told her we could write our own vows. We each came back with a list. She read my list and said “these are really nice. Don’t read mine.”

So I read hers.

She couldn’t think of any so she’d gone to a drugstore and copied down the inside of greeting cards.

On our wedding day she had nowhere to keep the vows so I kept both of ours on index cards in my pocket. As we got close to the part where we were to say the vows I took them out of my pocket.

Kim looked at the top card which was to have the first vow she would make. She looked at the priest and motioned for him to look over. He laughed.

I had added a fake card to the top of the pile that just said “I obey.”

Once the priest saw, I moved that card to the bottom and showed our first real vow.

The vows are on our wedding contract. Our Ketubah.

When I wanted Kim to do something for me, I used to tell her, “you have to, it’s in the Ketubah.”

It never was an argument that worked for me – unlikely that the Ketubah says that a wife must get her husband ice cream on the way home from work. But it was worth a shot.

I reread our vows yesterday. We kept them all – but the first one captures our marriage. I am grateful we were able to live it.

It says –

“We were Friends first. Let us always be friends first. Let us respect each other as we share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences.”

Kim was my best friend.

We talked about everything. We made each other laugh. She gave me perspective.

I would get upset about the little things – a broken glass, a burnt pizza – she’d say “What’s the big deal.”

I’d sulk about something she’d done or said and she say “You’re being ridiculous.”

I don’t know if you know this, but Kim and I were within twenty feet of each other for many years before we ever met.

She worked in an office near where I lived and we went to the same Wendy’s for the baked potato.

My first year of teaching high school here in Ohio was her last year at John Carroll. I would meet many of the other teachers for drinks after work on Friday at the same bar that Kim and her friends would end the week at. They’d look over at the old teachers invading their bar and we’d look at these rowdy kids wishing they were a little quieter.

There was only a year between our ages.

Kim and I were in the same end zone when we were just about Maggie’s age to watch the Browns lose to Oakland on the last play of a bitter cold game. That’s right. I married a woman who saw Red Right 88 from just a few feet away from where I saw it. That same woman and I saw the Indians play in the World Series.

We had a shared background. A common context. A life of similar experiences that let us speak the same language.

We did so much together. We each saw different things but we mainly saw things the same.

We traveled the world together with and without the girls. Once Maggie was in college Kim came with me a lot – she was fun

One of my favorite pictures is of us in Greece last year. We are standing next to each other calf deep in the sea looking out towards the horizon.

Like so many of our adventures, it took both of us to get there.

I got us to that shore but she’s the one that moved us from watching the water from the sand to dipping our feet in the water.

I’ve got so many stories to tell you – but I’ve already taken up so much of your time.

You need to know that Kim never left anywhere fast. So I’m not in as much of a hurry as I might be.

We’d be at her parents house and she’d say, “Daniel’s going to yell at me, we have to leave.”

Her dad would look at me to see if I would get up. I’d shake my head and he’d nod. We both knew we were a good hour from actually leaving.

An hour later of saying goodbye and continuing to chat she’d look at me and say, “well?” like I was holding her up. I’d put on my shoes, say goodbye to everyone and go get the car.

Saturday, she was supposed to meet her friend, also a Kim, for coffee. “Do you mind?” she’d asked.

“Of course not.”

The last time she met this friend for coffee at 10 in the morning, I’d texted Kim at 2 to see what was going on. I texted her at 4. I texted her at 5.

When Kim was with you, she was with you. She didn’t pay attention to her phone. She didn’t have one eye on Facebook. I think one reason so many people here and around the world loved Kim is that she listened to you.

At 515 she texted me, “just saw your texts. Getting ready to leave.” From a ten o’clock coffee meeting.

Kim didn’t like leaving – it’s part of what makes it so hard that she’s left us now.

There are so many different kinds of love. Our life together progressed through many of them.

There was the fresh relationship – everything is new – every touch is electric love.

There’s the over scheduled love – where you’re making sure the kids are where they need to be and you’re there to see them.

There’s the grieving love where you share the loss with the only other person who understands it quite that way.

We were just getting to the good part.

We weren’t settling in to a marriage where we stay together ‘cause we’re used to each other. We were doing more together and enjoying each other’s company more than ever.

She was concerned that as she aged, her skin was changing and getting old. She was still so cute. Sure she was beautiful – but she was cute. She was fun.

Was.

She shouldn’t be in the past tense.

When Elena died, Kim and I stood together at the wake as person after person came up to us in tears.

I turned to Kim about an hour in and said “I’m glad we could help them through our loss.”

I didn’t understand loss at the time. It was their loss too. They grieved for Elena and they grieved for us.

At the hospital this weekend, many people thanked me for letting them visit Kim.

I now understood – thanking me for allowing them to share our loss. It was all of our loss.

People asked if I minded if they came in the room to see her.

People asked if I needed time alone with her.

I now understand that this is important. That we as a community share this moment.

The other night my beautiful neighbors gathered in Elena’s garden and shared stories and prayers for Kim.

People have asked what they can do – I’ll tell you.

One of the hardest things about death is that the world moves on.

Please don’t ask how I’m doing.

I’ll either have to lie to you or say something inappropriate. Instead, tell me a story about you and Kim.

After Elena died, Kim and I loved to hear stories from people about Elena. We’d start to cry and they’d say “I’m sorry”

We’d say, “no, no, we love when other people mention her name.” So many people are afraid to talk about the dead to loved ones. I want to hear your Kim stories.

I worry most of all about Maggie. I said to Dave the other day, she doesn’t show me her emotions. She won’t accept help. He said, “of course not. She’s your daughter.”

So I will try to accept help from you. I’m not good at it.

Actually, I find kindness a little annoying. But I will try to accept your hugs and kindness in hopes that Maggie will do the same.

Please, small doses and not too much at a time. I’m new at this.

When you ask me something there may be a pause – I’m so used to saying, “hang on, I have to check with Kimmy.”

Kimmy.

Poor Honey.

She used to look at someone who was hurting, someone who things weren’t going right for and say “poor honey.”

Kim made it clear what she wanted us to do. It didn’t make it easier to actually do it –  but it would have been selfish to do otherwise. One of the biggest gifts you can give your loved ones is to make this decision for them.

Don’t say you are too young to do this. Kim was too young.

I told my friend Kevin, “Kim was the fun one. Kim was the reason we got invited places.”

“No,” he said, “she was the reason you got invited back.”

I worry most of all about Maggie. Last week I overheard Maggie telling Kim, “I hate my new glasses.”

Kim said, “take them back. Exchange them. Get a pair you like. You have thirty days.”

Maggie – I wouldn’t have thought to say any of that.

I would have lectured you that you should have made sure before you chose them. I wouldn’t have been mean but I wouldn’t have thought to be so nice.

Your mom knew when to say “it’s no big deal”.

I worry  about you so much Maggie.

How do you walk on the ground with confidence when the earth has crumbled beneath your feet twice?

How do you plan your future when you’ve seen how quickly everything can change.

Mom and my last text was about dinner. Did she want burgers or did she want to go out – we hadn’t gone out to dinner for our anniversary yet.

We were going to have burgers.

Kim embraced the moment she was in. She was never in such a rush for the next thing that she missed what was happening now. But she also flossed, paid the bills, and did the things that you might ignore if you only focussed on the current moment and ignored the future.

You don’t have to listen to this advice, Maggie, but I think you have to live your life with two thoughts in your head at once. I think your mom did.

You have to live each day as if it’s your last and you have to live each day as if it isn’t.

 

Published in: on September 29, 2016 at 7:57 am  Comments (1)  

Make a Wish

It’s my first birthday without Kimmy in a quarter of a century.

On the first birthday we were together, she was one of the friends that I had over to my apartment for a Chinese meal I cooked.

I think she and Jodelle came early to help me cut vegetables and meat and assemble the dishes. I know she stayed after everyone left to help me clean up.

A year later we’d celebrated my birthday as a married couple in our new house half a block from my apartment.

A month and a half ago on our anniversary I told Kim that in a few years we would have been together more years than we would have been apart.

Turns out, we won’t.

Maggie and I will go out for a late breakfast this morning and head over to the gym this afternoon. All things considered, I think that’s the best birthday possible right now.

Other than that, I’m going to catch up on email, pay some bills, and write some more thank you notes.

I never do much on my birthday – this year I’m feeling it even less than other years.

I don’t know why I’ve waited to post my eulogy for Kim. I’ll do that today as well.

No cake.

No candles.

Just a wish that Maggie have a long and happy life and that her mom lives on through both of us and the many people she touched.

Published in: on September 29, 2016 at 7:41 am  Comments (1)  

Someday

A few years after Elena died, Kim and I were sitting in the kitchen and she was in one of those moods that we all get in where she was feeling that life wasn’t going right.

“I don’t know,” I said, “except for that one horrible thing, our lives are mostly very good.”

That one horrible thing, losing our youngest daughter, was indescribably awful.

But, if you could put that aside, we had a wonderful life together.

For the most part we remembered that.

We had great friends and family, a wonderful daughter, and the two of us traveled the world together.

Except for that one thing, we had a great life.

And now this.

Kim died a month ago today.

This second indescribably horrible event.

I look forward to getting to the point where I can say – no, where I can believe – that except for these two horrible things, my life is mostly very good.

Not today.

Not yet.

Someday.

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:42 pm  Comments (2)  

Smile Train

Thank you to all of you who gave money in Kimberli Diemert’s name to smiletrain.org.

More than $10,000 was raised and more than 40 kids will get the surgery they need.

You can, of course, still give, but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who have.

Published in: on September 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Rings

We paid more for my wedding ring than Kim’s.

It’s hard to estimate the value of rings – it really has little to do with the amount you pay for it.

Kim saw one that she loved that went with a ring from her grandmother. The wedding band also went nicely with her engagement ring.

Kim had a very nice engagement ring that had belonged to my mom’s mom.

It was a beautiful ring -Kim had a good eye for value and she knew immediately that this was something special.

We had the ring cleaned at the same place we bought our wedding rings.

My mother told us a story of how long my grandfather had saved to buy the ring.

Kim and I told the story to my great aunt during one of our visits. Eunice laughed. The ring had belonged to her sister so she knew the real story.

“Max didn’t save to buy Edith’s ring,” she said, “he won it in a poker game.”

It doesn’t matter. That ring sat on my grandmother’s finger and sat on my wife’s finger.

Whether Max saved for years or won it in an instant, it doesn’t matter.

After I asked Kim to marry me and she said yes, my parents met me at Kim’s parents house with the engagement ring.

We went upstairs. I put it on her finger. Somehow we were more engaged.

The engagement ring won in the poker game paired with this wedding ring.

The wedding ring was sixty dollars. I remember it as being used but Kim had a nicer word for it. She had an eye for value. She loved the ring so that was the ring. I worried that it didn’t cost enough. She thought I was out of my mind.

Anyway, she had a used ring for $60.

My ring was beautiful hammered gold. It wasn’t much more than $60 but it was just beautiful, simple, not exactly symmetric, and wonderfully geometric.

Most people who know me or Kim said, “wait a minute, you guys didn’t wear wedding rings.”

We didn’t.

We wore them for the first year of marriage.

I put on enough weight that it got uncomfortable so I stopped wearing it and put it in my top drawer where it still remains.

Kim told me I could get the ring resized but I figured I’d lose the weight and start wearing the ring again.

I kept medium t-shirts figuring I’d fit into them again too.

Neither happened.

Kim lost hers at work.

She took it off to wash her hands and thinks she left it on the sink. When she went back, it was gone.

So, except for the first year of marriage, neither of us wore a wedding ring.

A ring is this unbroken round bit of metal that fits snugly around a finger that is supposed to lead directly to your heart. It is an outside symbol to others that you are married.

One of my favorite things to hear from people since Kim died was that they remember me talking about her.

You couldn’t sit with me for more than a couple of minutes without me telling you something about Kim.

It turns out that she was the same.

Friends of hers from work told me at the funeral that she talked about me and Maggie all the time.

Neither Kim nor me had rings and yet we wore each other so visibly in public that you couldn’t help but know we were married.

Happily married.

Kim was so upset when she lost her ring. To her it was more than the sixty dollars. To me it wasn’t.

We wore the rings for the first year while we were working to understand what it meant to be married. The rings were kind of like training wheels.

I would reach over with my thumb and spin it. I was married.

 

 

Of course, I was married with or without the ring.

I’m glad everyone I talked to knew that.

Published in: on September 20, 2016 at 10:33 am  Comments (1)  

Accident

It’s been a month since Kim’s accident.

A month since I got the phone call from a social worker telling me that her hand had suffered significant damage.

Talk about burying the lede.

A month since Kim’s accident.

That’s the word we use.

Accident.

And almost a month since Kim died.

I tried using the phrase “since Kim was killed.” It felt more accurate but it didn’t change anything.

“Killed” is more active than “died”.

But I’m focused on Kim and not on the driver of the semi so I suppose I will use the word “died”.

Nearly a month since Kim died.

But, “accident”?

Accident doesn’t seem to cover it.

I know it’s the word we use to indicate that it wasn’t on purpose.

I believe many things about the other driver but I can’t imagine how this would have been a deliberate act.

Negligence? Bad driving? I don’t know.

Somehow accident doesn’t say enough.

I use words for a living and I can’t find the right one.

This has been a horrible month for me, for Maggie, for Kim’s parents, for my parents, for Kim’s siblings, for my siblings, for the many in each of our extended families and for so many friends around the world.

A horrible month since Kim’s accident.

Published in: on September 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Blurt

Sometimes I blurt out something about Kim’s death at an inappropriate time.

I try not to but sometimes I just do.

A couple of days ago Maggie let me know that it bothered her when I did it at the  airport when I dropped her off. I actually didn’t think she heard me – but that’s beside the point.

She’s right.

I’ll try not to.

After Elena died I tried not to but every once in a while I’d bring it up inappropriately.

Mostly I’d avoid situations where it might slip out and make others uncomfortable. I didn’t go to high school and college reunions for years.

I imagined people coming up with a big smile and clapping me on the back and asking me what had happened since they saw me last.

“Well, my daughter died.”

Better not to go to the reunion.

Now that Kim has died as well, I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever go to a reunion.

After Elena died I was in an elevator with a famous computer science guy and we chatted a bit and he asked me what had happened since he saw me last.

Let’s just say I mis-calculated the closeness of our relationship and told him.

It was a very quiet and awkward ride to our respective floors.

Last week I had phone calls from two telemarketers. Each asked if they could speak to Kim. I told each of them “no”.

Each asked if there was a convenient time to call her back. I told each, “I’m sorry, ‘no’.”

Each of them pressed me for more information about why they couldn’t call back.

I don’t know why, but I told each of them, “she’s dead. She was killed in a car crash.”

One, calling from a political campaign, was as nice as can be. She said, “I’m so sorry. This must be a very difficult time for you. You are in my prayers.”

I thanked her and we hung up.

The other one was calling from a job recruiter. When I told her Kim had been killed in a car crash she said, “Really? Well, if that’s true then I suppose I’m sorry.”

“If that’s true?” I replied, “If that’s true?”

“Yes,” she said, “I hear all sorts of excuses.

“Please don’t call here again,” I said and we hung up.

If that’s true.

It’s true.

Man is it true.

But, Maggie is right, the people who call us without us asking them to don’t need to know about the family they’re calling.

I took the cable box back on Wednesday to Time Warner.

Rhonda introduced herself to me, took the cable box, remote control, and the internet modem and said, “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you discontinuing your service.”

I said I’d rather not say.

She said, “that’s fine,” and started doing the paper work.

And then I blurted it out.

I don’t know why, but there was something comforting and real about this woman.

I said, “well, my wife died. She watched television and I really don’t watch it that much.”

“Oh my Jesus,” the woman said respectfully, “I’m so sorry.”

And then I told her about the second telemarketer. I told her about the one that said “If that’s true.”

Rhonda said to me, “my mom died when I was 18, in 1978.”

Rhonda is the same age as Kim.

She said, “about two months later I got a call from a bill collector. The bill collector said, ‘we have evidence that your mom is working, you need to pay these bills.'”

She said, “I said to the bill collector, ‘really? You have evidence? You need me to take me to where she’s working because I would love nothing more than to see her again.”

I know I shouldn’t have blurted it out.

But the story Rhonda told me comforted me in a deep way.

It was a momentary connection with someone I will never see again.

It was a moment with someone who decided to stop typing in numbers and see and listen to the person in front of her who was just turning in his cable box.

I love that we live in a world where there are people like that.

It gives me hope.

Published in: on September 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Blurry

I couldn’t sleep.

I’m not sure why. Most nights I’ve slept pretty well but Friday night I couldn’t sleep.

So I flipped on the light, reached for my glasses and sat up to write some more thank you notes.

The writing looked blurry.

I glanced over at my nightstand and saw a pre-moistened lens cleaner packet. I opened it and I took off my glasses.

I cleaned the right lens.

When I moved over to clean the left lens my thumb and forefinger met with only the moist cloth between them.

The left lens was missing.

No wonder everything looked blurry.

I looked around the nightstand for the lens.

Nothing.

I felt around the bed and pillows.

Nothing.

I looked on the floor by the bed.

Nothing.

I stepped carefully on the floor where I’d already checked there was no lens and reached for my phone. I turned on the flashlight and searched the bedroom and the bathroom.

I had had the glasses on downstairs so I knew the lens was somewhere in the house.

I walked carefully, using the flashlight ahead of me, and went downstairs and looked around for the lens.

Nothing.

I was afraid that I’d find it when I stepped on it.

I was afraid that “oh there they are” would follow crushing the lens into pieces.

I went back upstairs.

I looked at the glasses to make sure the lens was really missing. I checked it was lost the same way I looked over at Kim’s side of the bed to make sure she really wasn’t there.

The lens was still missing.

How did it pop out without me noticing. I felt so stupid. I felt so helpless.

It’s only a lens.

I could go to the store and have them fill my prescription. I hadn’t gotten new glasses this year because my prescription hadn’t changed that much. I could go and get new glasses.

But still it’s so stupid.

It’s weird. I know that stuff is stuff. It’s not important. But the little things can really knock me off my center. They cause me to question everything.

Without the left lens everything looks blurry. It’s like the glasses suddenly represented my life with Kim. We each clarified the world around us. Without her contribution I wasn’t seeing the world clearly.

Suddenly, I felt better by feeling worse.

It made more sense. I wasn’t tearing up because of my lost lens, it was because of some association with losing Kim.

Stuff is still stuff.

Still, I felt so stupid. I hate doing stupid things.

The next morning I decided to retrace my steps.

The lens still wasn’t in the bed, in the bedroom, in the bathroom, or in the hall.

It wasn’t on the stairs.

It wasn’t on the floor downstairs or on the table or in my chair.

The couch!

I had sat on the couch.

I shined the flashlight on the couch and there on the far cushion was the lens.

“Wait,” you say, “you found the lens? Why didn’t you just tell us that in the first place? Why did you take us through this story of loss?”

It’s kind of what this whole blog is.

At some point I’ll find the tools I need to feel a bit better and stronger and be sad a little less often.

In the mean time, I’m walking around carefully trying not to step on my missing lens.

In the mean time the world is a little blurry.

Published in: on September 13, 2016 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Kevin Walton’s Eulogy for Kim

I’ve been friends with Kevin since my freshman year of college. He came to visit this past weekend so that I wouldn’t spend Kim’s birthday alone. He got married, then I got married. He and Lisa and Kim and I got along so well. They were so easy to spend time with. He had kids, then we had kids. Our families took vacations together. When I was thinking of people who might want to say something at the funeral, Maggie suggested Kevin. Here are his remarks.

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Hello. I’m Kevin Walton and I have known Dan since freshman year in college. My first memory of Kim was before I met her or even knew her name.  It happened the weekend that Lisa and I were married, in Ann Arbor.  It was the usual thing: family and friends.  Dan was there, of course, but it was a long weekend, and he had to finally start back to Cleveland.  Then, a very unusual thing happened.  Attempting nonchalance, Dan asked if he could take a bunch of flowers with him.  I can’t specifically recall if he said it was to give to someone, but that was clearly the intention.  So, with equal nonchalance, Lisa and I said, sure, of course, take them. But after he turned his back, that was when the knowing looks were passed around.  No one could recall Dan going to that kind of public effort for a girl.  Once that happened, there seemed to be no turning back.

Kim was a wonderful person, a perfect foil for Dan, a terrific mother to Maggie and Elena.  Our family went on vacation with them several times, and Kim taught us about salami and cheese roll-ups, and the fun of frozen grapes.

She was friendly, and supportive, and caring.  She was great about trying to give advice about something that she had a very strong opinion on but didn’t want to appear overbearing.  So she tried to give it with a kind of take it or leave it feel.  But I don’t believe she ever succeeded in fooling anyone about what she really thought of the way you were doing it.

There are many things that I will be sad about not having the chance to experience again.  I loved her voice.  It had a kind of gravelly quality that I really enjoyed.  And she would stretch out words.  Her “yeah” always had at least a couple of syllables in it.

Even though we had only spent time with Kim, Dan and their family about once a year, twice in a good year, it was always like we had just seen them, continuing a conversation we had just left off.  It is hard to remember back, but I think Lisa and I felt immediately comfortable with Kim.  And that is the right word, comfortable. It might not sound like a lot, but someone whose presence just makes you relax is a wonderful gift.

If Lisa and I had the option to pick our family members, Kim would have been at the top of that list.  Of course, Dan had that option, and my family and I always felt we got lucky that Kim took him up on it.

But, maybe we all get some latitude in choosing who we get to call family.  So, to Maggie and Dan, I hope you will always feel that our family is your family, because I know that you are ours.

Published in: on September 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

One more

I’ve been watching the shows Kim DVR’d for us – clearing off the list.

Last night I deleted all of the shows she’d recorded just for herself.

I unsubscribed from all future recordings.

Over the weekend I watched the Mens Rugby seven medal matches from the Olympics.

That left two shows.

We’d watched the first episode of the final season of Inspector Lewis together. We’d planned to watch the second episode together. The third and final episode aired while Kim lay in the hospital.

Tonight I watched episode two and then pressed “Stop and Delete”.

That leaves one more episode. I’ll watch it tomorrow night after Tai Chi.

Then the list will be empty.

The problem with death is …

Well, I almost said something stupid – the problem with death is that the person is dead.

What I meant to say was that the problem with dealing with death is that everything appears to be a metaphor. Everything feels like it represents something.

I’m just cleaning off the DVR and then I’m going to return the machine and cancel cable.

I don’t want it right now.

These shows that Kim recorded seem more important than they are.

Tomorrow night I’m going to watch the last episode of Inspector Lewis.

It aired while Kim was alive yet she’ll never see it.

We did plenty of things by ourselves or with other friends without the other one there.

This feels different. Small as it is, silly as it seems, we watched the episodes of this show together.

I couldn’t start Mystery until she was in the room. She loved Alan Cummings narration. She would stay after the closing scenes to hear his voice again.

When the sponsor credits ran before the episode she would always say “and schlubs like you” when Alan stopped narrating the names that appeared on the screen.

Tomorrow night I will watch the final episode of Inspector Lewis.

I will smile and say “schlubs like you.”

I will have to stay awake for the whole episode.

Usually I would fall asleep half way into the episode and wake up and ask Kim what I’d missed.

Tomorrow night I will watch one more episode and then I’ll clear off the DVR.

It doesn’t need to be a metaphor. Does it?

Published in: on September 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment