I was sitting at the picnic table in our backyard talking to my sister, Jill.

We were waiting for Kim’s sister Carolyn to join us.

The dog ran back and forth. Someone nearby was mowing their lawn.

It was our neighbor Tom and the lawn he was mowing was mine.

That’s just so thoughtful. He’d mowed the lawn a week earlier while we were in the hospital taking turns visiting with Kim.

Friday morning Kim and I had enjoyed coffee together, chatted about the day, made plans for that night. You know, had one of those typical mornings we’d had so many of.

So many of and yet, as it turned out, not enough of.

By Friday night we were trying to see Kim in this woman being kept alive on a respirator. Maybe by morning she’d recover.

In movies she’d wake up and ask what we were all looking at.

Go ahead Kim, we all thought and prayed, wake up.

And while we were in the hospital my neighbor Tom looked across at our lawn and thought, “well, I don’t want them to have to worry about that while they have so much to deal with.”

So on that first Saturday while we spent the day at the hospital, Tom quietly mowed the lawn without any fuss. I’m not sure he would even have told us. Our neighbor Sue helped in the back yard picking up dog poop while Tom mowed.

That is stunningly thoughtful.

I never would have thought of that.

Kim would have.

I’m not just saying that. She would have.

A while back one of our neighbors called. Her mom was sick and she needed a baby sitter. Was Maggie available?

Unfortunately, Maggie wasn’t around. She was playing soccer or something – I don’t know. The point is that the neighbor asked for Maggie and Maggie wasn’t available.

If it were me on the phone I would have given our neighbor numbers of friends of Maggie who might be able to babysit or maybe I would have called them myself and asked.

Not Kim.

Kim heard something in our neighbor’s voice – she was anxious and needed to find someone fast. Kim said, I’ll watch your sons.

That was Kim. Part of what made her special was that she was willing to do things for others and part of what made her special was that she thought of ways in which she could.

We also were lucky to be surrounded by people who were that thoughtful.

We were at Kim’s aunt and uncle’s house the other night.

We heard lightning and I looked at Dark Sky. It said we had fifteen minutes until this light rain turned to a downpour.

We’d parked a block away. I knew there was no way Kim could leave quickly enough so I told her I would get the car and come back and get her and Maggie.

I hurried to the car and just as I got there the sprinkles turned to heavy rain. I pulled around to the driveway and texted her that I was there. She just had to hurry 25 feet to the car.

Nothing. No reply.

About fifteen minutes later, I saw Kim through the pouring rain through the window to the kitchen. Ahh, she was ready to leave.

Her cousin Christine’s cousin Anthony ran out to his car, opened the trunk, and grabbed an umbrella. He hurried back to the house, soaked.

A moment later he walked Kim to our car under the umbrella protected from the rain.


He had thought to help her when he didn’t have to. Such a nice thing to do.

Kim turned to me in the car, barely wet.

“That was really sweet of Anthony,” she said.

“It was,” I agreed.

“Well?” she prompted.

“Well, what?” I asked.

“What are you waiting for? We can go now.”

“I thought I’d wait for Maggie,” I said.

She looked in the back seat. “Oops, I thought she was with us under the umbrella.”

I gestured. Anthony was making a second trip to our car, this time with Maggie under the umbrella.

Different levels of a challenge: first, be willing to do nice things for others. Second, think of more nice things to do for them.

While others stare at a glass trying to decide whether a cup of coffee is half full or half empty, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people asking if I’d like a little pie to go with my coffee.


Published in: on August 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Daniel ( as Kim referred to you ) I worked with Kim at Fairview Grace when she would come over & help with pts. Although I didn’t know Kim really well, but I thought very highly of her. She was always very kind to pts & staff. A very dedicated speech therapist to her pts. I was a secretary & the pantry was right behind my desk. Kim would be adding a thickener to some juice for her pt & would stand at my desk while waiting for the right consistency of the juice to take to her pt. we would have some good conversations.she would talk about you & that you would be coming home that night or next night & she would be happy, she talked about Maggie & there trips together & how much she enjoyed one of those conversations she talked about Elena & her death. I didn’t know about Elena since I had not worked at Grace that long at the time. But through the years as I got to know Kim I knew she was a special person. I was always happy when she came to Fairview. I would always get confused when the Drs, wrote an order for a MBS some they would do in the hospital x-Ray dept.. & some a company would be called in to do it in pts room, keep would take the time to explain how I could tell the difference. Thank you Kim I am so happy to have known Kim & devasted at her death & for you & Maggie that have to go through this loss again. You guys are in my thoughts I am she she is giving hugs & kisses to Elena from you & Maggie.

  2. Thank you Daniel. That conversation in the car brought a smile to my face, I can just hear her. And now tears.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Daniel. Your words are comforting to us…which is twisted…it should be the other way around -us comforting you. You urge us to remember the important things in life, especially when everything else gets in the way. Anthony shared that would always be his lasting memory of Kim – giving her a hug goodbye under the umbrella in the pouring rain. As you and I reminded each other last week, we both picked good ones. Very thankful for amazing family and friends, we love you.


  4. This story reminded me of another Kim story. You said you wanted them:) Do you remember what she was doing the night before Elena died? She was watching my kids at your house while I took Lou to puppy class. Mike was out of town, the kids were too little to go, and I was planning on skipping it. Of course, Kim said, “Don’t be ridiculous, drop them here. I’ll make mac and cheese and we’ll play.” Kim was effortlessly thoughtful in so many ways like that.

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