A Driving Spirit…

for Kimmy Kay

I have mentioned in previous blogs that I have been pulling together a community effort fundraiser and tomorrow is the BIG EVENT!  We have pulled off getting fifteen small businesses to be part of a downtown walking “tour” for our guests followed by a fashion show featuring some of the most incredibly brave and beautiful women ever.  They are all Survivors of cancer with the majority of them being young women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age.  We are going to have a Toast to the TaTas and a sea of pink will wash over our little downtown business area!

I have never had breast cancer… my mother never had breast cancer… my grandmothers never had breast cancer… but a friend did… and it is her spirit who has driven me from the day she died.  I feel compelled to continue the fight that she fought with all of her might…

I am sharing something I wrote for her while my husband was driving me up to see her for the last time, knowing that her days on this earth were drawing to a close. It isn’t profound… it isn’t award-winning material… it is just a letter from one friend to another…

Kimmy Kay

Don’t ask me how I came to always call you by your nickname – maybe someone else said it , maybe I made it up – it doesn’t really matter because it always has felt right.

Kimmy Kay… my heart is filled with memories:  as eighteen year olds hanging at your house before heading “uptown” to check out the night life in our great town of Staples.  Sometimes hitting the VFW to say hi to your Mom and Dad… family always important even at that age.

Memories of Roger giving you an engagement ring and you “sneaking me a peak” before it was public news… your wedding shower with the girls at my house … your wedding day.

Then life changes and miles get between us as we start our young married lives and raise our families but the one constant has always been our memories and friendship… never wavering.  It may be one, two , three or more years and each time we reconnect – the comfortableness is always there as true friends… always having a deep place in each other’s hearts.

Then one day last summer, you sat across the table from me and told Paula and I the ugly news – the big “C” was back and you were starting the incredible battle to beat it down… to be a survivor.  When I see the “Warriors in Pink” logo, I think of you… a true warrior of determined strength and class.

I am sure only a few saw the tears, frustration and pain that you have endured these last many months.  The Faith, Hope and Love that you shared with the rest of us is awe-inspiring.  You are not only a true warrior but a HERO to me.

We will shed tears when you finally lay down your weary head for one last time.  The tears are for what we all have lost – an incredible daughter, wife, mom, grandma, sister and friend.  You have made an impact on each life you have touched “Kimmy Kay” and I will be forever grateful that you have been my friend since the day we met so long ago…

As I am making the last arrangements for this event tomorrow to raise funds to fight breast cancer,  I can feel Kimmy Kay’s driving spirit pulling me, prodding me and giving me the push to make this event better than the last.  Her spirit and those of all the other loved ones who have died due to this disease are also creating a community where friends, co-workers and yes, strangers are coming together for one cause.

“My dad had created a new set of communitarians.  He knew: When we’re connected to others, we become better people” 

~Randy Paugh, The Last Lecture

2 thoughts on “A Driving Spirit…

  1. I sat at Kim’s grave yesterday during my lunch break Pat. Talking to her about my sadness and lack of hope in life. I talked long enough to realize she was probably shaking her finger at me, trying to remind me that I have no reason to feel sad/alone. I am alive and that says it all. I told her I will try to do better going forward and if she had any help to offer me my eyes would be wide open to it. Pat you are helping me in my prolonged grief more than words can say. I have a ways to go, deep down I know I will get through and there is a reason for my circumstance. Again, thank you Pat.

    1. Kathi,

      My heart goes out to you because I know how hard it is to move through grief – not only grieving due to death but also grief due to circumstances in our lives. I hear some hope in your post and I encourage you to go with that bit of hope and the perseverance I know is within you to move a little bit each day in positive movement. If you want to touch base by phone, send me a message at pats@ patcoach.com with a number where I can reach you. Your sister is here … I can feel her … She loves you.

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