Monday, July 11, 2011

Craig and Missy came home June 29 thru July 2, 2011 and to Michael and Vinnie's reception in Wichita. A major highlight, besides seeing Craig, Missy and Maddie was to see our beautiful baby granddaughter Lauren Kimberly (after our Kimmi) at nearly 4 months old.

While holding little Lauren, she held my finger in her hand, which brought instant tears for me. It was so sweet and so special, but quite painful at the same time. You see, the last time Kimmi was still able to hear us as we talked to her while she lay dying, she would hold my finger in her hand. I'd ask her to squeeze my finger to let me know she could hear me. That was the last conscious thing she ever did with us.

I swore I'd never let anyone hold my finger like that again because it hurt so much and it was our "Special Goodbye".

But, little Lauren, in all her innocence, had ever right to hold my finger. It was like a "gift from God" to remind me of Kimmi and to know that life does go on, and as God takes one life from us, He blesses us with a new life more precious than ever.

Finally, at the reception, I picked Lauren to dance with her grandpa. As we danced, she had her hand on my shoulder just like a grown up. Then, she laid her head on my shoulder to snuggle with me. Again, it so reminded me of Kimmi, and it was such a precious Gift from God to be allowed to dance with the most beautiful baby girl in the world (I might be a bit prejudiced)!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Whenever someone would ride in Kimmi's car, they'd be scared to death because Kimmi would be all over the road (she couldn't see the road very well). As we hung on for dear life crying, "Look out" or "watch it" or something else, Kimmi would say, "Oh, stop it". Also when we'd worry over her too much (I was extremely overprotective with her), we'd hear, "Oh, Stop it" with her cute little smile.

I can just hear Kimmi today and tomorrow, "Oh, Stop it." Today was our anniversary, but it's really hard to celebrate it with Kimmi's birthday tomorrow. Yesterday, we had a great time with Craig, Missy and Maddie in Des Moines, but I cried almost all the way home. Today was a good day (took Paul and Shawna out to eat for Kimmi's birthday celebration). Also talked to Rob and Jen on the phone. We had a really good time with no tears. But, I was close several times (I'm crying now!). Went to Kimmi's favorite restaurant. Talked about Kimmi and what we're all doing now (I got the doggie box - Kimmi always brought me a doggie box, even if it was just one piece of meat). Tomorrow, we go to her grave site, have a guy come by to show us head stones, and just try to get through the day. "Oh, Stop it."

It's been 3 months now, but sometimes the pain makes it feel like 10 years of suffering. We are getting on with our lives, and I am writing less and less blogs (as it should be), but not 10 minutes ever goes by that something doesn't remind me of her. Every time I see a tiny girl in church or with her daddy, I miss Kimmi. Every time I see a teen or pre-teen doing something, I think of Kimmi. Every time I see a young person in the Obituaries or hear of some young person sick and dying, I think of Kimmi. And, every time I see a young woman: Kimmi, Kimmi, Kimmi. "Oh, Stop it."

Baby Girl, we sure missed you today. Wanted so bad to take you out to eat, hear your voice and see your precious face. Need to hold you one more time! But, we are getting on. When mom is ready, we will go through your stuff and get rid of much of it. But, we are also keeping many of you things, as if you were still in the house with us. Your room will stay the same. Your toothbrush, watch, bracelet, and bathroom stuff stays there. We will keep some of your favorite clothes (and shoes) in your closet, and your coat in the closet. And, we will keep much of your furniture to use in the basement. You will NEVER leave us, in our hearts or in our house physically!

Miss you so much and LOVE you more and more every day!



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Praising Her Courage

Kimmi was an amazing young woman, even though I always saw her as a little girl. Where did this little girl get the courage to face death, but keep it to herself so she wouldn't worry us? In all my life, I've never known any other person who knew he/she was dying, yet kept it to herself so her loved ones wouldn't worry
  • She wrote in her diary how sick she was, but didn't want to worry us.
  • She never complained about her suffering; about losing her sight, her ability to think, or the terrible pain she was having in her head. 
  • Kimmi wanted us to take a family picture (Evey and I, Kimmi and Millie) because she wanted us to have a last picture of her. 
  • She bought Evey a Digital Picture Frame (10 inches) that was well beyond her price limit. I had to pay 75% of it, but she really wanted her mom to have a special Christmas gift, and it had to be that.
  • The day of her fistula surgery, where she had the heart attack, she told her mom that she wasn't afraid even though she had two previous heart attacks and knew she was getting weaker.
  • She organized all her papers and Millie's papers so we wouldn't have to go through a mess.
  • She told Shawna she knew she was going to heaven and would ask Jesus to save a place for her, so we wouldn't have to worry so much about her salvation.
  • While she lay dying that first night, she would squeeze my finger to tell me that she loved me. That was her last "conscious" action.
  • But, the one thing she could not do was fix the holes in our hearts when she left us. Those holes, though healing, will never go away!
I really, really, really wish we had known how weak and sick she was; how close to dying she was. I so wish we could have said our goodbyes to her when she was conscious; so we could tell her how much we loved her and would miss her.
We could have taken her on a very special "Kimmi Picked" vacation so she could have had a great time doing what she wanted (she so wanted to go to Vegas that she even planned sneaking off without our knowledge - If I had only known).

Now, we have to learn to get along without her. I only wish we were 1/10 as brave as her. Although we are living a "normal" life without her, a minute rarely goes by without thinking of, and missing, her. I thank God, every day, for letting us borrow her for 27 years longer than we should have had. And, I thank God for the memories and the dreams He has given me. I pray that more dreams, and more great memories, will come in the future.

Monday, May 11, 2009

After Mother's Day

Mother's Day was not a happy day for us. It started at church. Our Pastor's wife gave the sermon, but I thought it was a bit mean spirited; even painful. She preached on Psalm 116, which is great scripture for grieving people. But, first, she was handing out flowers to women in the church who did something special or suffered loss this past year. Pastor Walt told me that Evey would receive one, but she never did. Then, Kerrie started on Psalm 116. 
The only problem is that she was kind of cold. If you have a loss, just read this scripture and everything will be ok. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and give your sorrow to God. He will sustain you. Yes, this is true, but it is never that simple or easy. I hope she never experiences the loss of a child. If she does, I guarantee she won't be so self-assured. Next, she put all loss in the same category. I'm sorry, but losing a job, a grandparent, a sibling, or even a parent is nothing compared to losing a child, especially a child who depended on you for so much and was so close to you.
After church, we visited Kimmi's grave, then went home. Evey opened her gift (all the cards Kimmi ever gave Evey over the years). That helped Evey quite a bit. We talked a bit and moped around our very empty house the rest of the day. Went out to eat, then back home for more moping.
One very positive note was that Evey finally admitted that Kimmi was getting weaker and weaker the last few months. She never admitted that before. Knowing that Kimmi was getting weaker and sicker, even knowing that she was dying really helps us in that we never wanted her to suffer, especially over a period of months slowly wasting away. Knowing that she didn't suffer very long really eases the pain of her death.
The thing that really did cheer Evey up quite a bit was the phone calls from Robby and Craig. Talking to them was definitely the highlight of the day, and helped her immensely.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kimmi's Pain in HER Words

Kimmi's last diary page. She talked about her health and her pain. 
She wrote, "How about the time she was sick? Everyone knew she was sick, but no one knew how sick she really was. She kept it to herself. She didn't want people to worry. She knew she was close to the edge. She knew she couldn't take the pain anymore. She knew her brain was starting to fail. She knew she couldn't think clearly anymore. Don't cry, I'm happy now, I feel no more pain. I couldn't take it anymore. It was affecting my need and my way of thinking. I'm with God, I'm cured! It doesn't hurt anymore mommy and daddy. I'll see you guys when you get here". I love you!
Kimberly Riedel

Wake Up Again

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Wake up.

When I wake up I think to myself another day to get through. Always thinking about the things I dont have. Sometimes I feel so alone and that no one would understand. The only thing that keeps me sane sometimes is the fact that I know there are people that will help me and be there. When I feel really down I think about the fact that I have a nice place to live and great parents that would do anything for me. I take it for grantid but not everyone has that. Id probably be in a shelter somewhere if it werent for them. I just pray that things get better with me so I can move on with my llife instead of feeling like Im stuck and everyone around me is moving as Im standing still.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

I've been fearing this day for about a month now. How do you make Mother's Day a happy day when her baby girl just passed away 2 months ago? Mother's Day could end up being the saddest day of the year, or the 2nd saddest next to Kimmi's birthday or her death day.
I did have a very short dream about Kimmi this morning. All I remember is being with Kimmi, then touching her on her little pug nose and calling it that while she smiled. Not nearly long enough, but better than nothing.
I've been trying to think of some gift or card that would make Evey feel good Sunday, but I don't even think a $100,000 diamond ring would do it. All I could think of was to go back to all the Mother's Day and birthday cards that Kimmi gave her mom over the years (we saved them). I'm hoping that those old cards will perk Evey up and help her get through the day. And, if she is ok with that, I also have all of Kimmi's paintings, drawings, and art projects from all the years. 
Last Saturday we went to a friend's (from Royal Rangers) birthday party. Another friend had his 2 little girls there. They looked just like Kimmi when she was much younger. They were so pretty and we loved watching them, but also felt much loss from not having Kimmi with us.
Finally, Evey showed me her new Willow Tree statuette she bought for Mother's Day. It is called "Close to Me. Apart or together, always close to me." As soon as I saw it, I broke down crying. It is of a mother closely embracing her daughter, who is looking up at her. All I could think of was missing our little baby girl and Evey's pain of not having her "little girl" on Mother's Day. After that, I moped around the house for about an hour, then got back to my yard work.
Although I don't cry nearly as much as at first; every day, all day, I just miss Kimmi so very much and think about her constantly. About the surgery, the anxiety that caused her heart attack, her time in the hospital, squeezing my finger that first night, taking her home and saying my final Good-bye to the little girl that meant so much to me, and this lonely, empty house that is so filled with sadness. Will the pain ever go away?