Sunday, April 26, 2009

Worried About Your Mother

Dearest Kimmi,

I don't know how to tell you this Baby girl, but I am really worried about your earth mother. She is doing something extremely awful, something I never would have imagined while you were here. I still can't believe she'd do something like this! And, the really bad thing is that she got this idea from your "Iowa" sister-in-law, Missy. I'm getting more and more worried about Missy, especially with all the weird things coming out of Iowa.

Kimmi, you just have to talk with Jesus, and ask Him if he would relay a message from you to your mom. Ask Him not to whisper this into her thoughts, but to shout so loud that she knows it is from Him. This is extremely important, something that could literally change the course of the Riedel family and name. Since you left us, Evey has done some really strange things. I can account most of it to the shock of us losing you, but she's gone too far this time.

Maybe you better sit down on a cloud because the shock of this could literally knock you over and cause you to fall out of Heaven. I know I'm beating around the bush, but this is so terrifying that I can't speak it out. But, I have to.

Kimmi, your mother is making "INSTANT" mashed potatoes! There, I said it! You heard me right, Instant mashed Potatoes! Maybe it's because we don't have you to mash the potatoes properly since you were the only one who could do it right. Maybe she just can't do real potatoes because she doesn't have you to help her. Or, maybe she just can't do something that causes her to miss so much more, which makes it hurt that much more. Even I could tell that the real mashed potatoes weren't right because you aren't here to put the "perfect" touch to them, but we still need to do our best if we hope for any chance to continue living. Please, Kimmi, talk to Jesus. Tell Him how important it is to shock her out of this evil Iowa way of doing things.

Kimmi, I love you so much. I can't believe it's been 7 weeks since you left us. The house is so empty, Milli is so lonely that she is even wanting my attention. The holes in our hearts are healing, but only because we know you loved us and because we know you'd want us to be happy and to get on with our lives; but most of all because we know Jusus is taking care of you now, and we are trusting Him to heal us. Also, Kimmi, please ask Jesus to give us more dreams about you in Heaven. That dream on good Friday just made my entire week. I love you Baby Girl, and I can't wait until we meet again.

Your earth dad.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Visiting Her Grave

I've been to many cemeteries, and looked at lots of graves. I looked mostly at the markers or monuments and tried to imagine who the people were. It was always sad to see the markers of little children who died, especially if I knew them or their parents.
But, even with my own parents, I looked at the monument for information, but I don't really feel anything at a grave site. I knew the bodies of my parents, relatives, or friends were in the ground, but it didn't really mean anything to me. I mean, they're just dead bodies in the ground. As a Christian, I know that the bodies are dead and the spirit is in eternity; heaven or...I try not to judge. I would just look at the marker and have memories that always got me through. All the memories are in my head and heart, not in the cemetery.
But, that all changed. I know it is just Kimmi's body in the ground, and her spirit is in heaven with Jesus (I trust that she is with Jesus in heaven). But, when I go out to her grave, things change. Sometimes I picture her down in that casket all alone and scared. I can't protect her and it scares me. I know that is ridiculous, but when you've spent her entire life doing your best to protect her, you feel terrible because you're not doing your job. Sometimes I can't seem to picture her in my mind, and that scares me even more.
But, most of the time, I just miss her so much that I don't know what I am going to do. I can't wait to die, so I can see her again, which really sounds stupid because it should be Jesus that we can't wait to see - and I can't. But, sometimes, it is just a patch of dirt with some flowers and a marker with my baby's name on it. I can't accept that even after 7 weeks, but I have to. I have to live. I have two wonderful sons and their families to live for, and I can't imagine leaving them. I don't want them to lose more than we lost 7 weeks ago. I certainly don't want to hurt them any more than they are.
All I can do is pray that God will give me more dreams, especially like the one during the Last Supper. I can still picture Kimmi in such fantastic surroundings and having a wonderful time. Her entire face just lit up the whole place and lit up my heart. Dear Lord, please allow me, and especially her mother, more dreams like that. And, thank you for loving us so much that you let us borrow her for this long when she should have died 27 years ago. And, please help us overcome this lonliness.

Things I Miss

It's been SEVEN weeks today, but sometimes it seems like 10 years and other times it seems like yesterday. All I really know is that we really miss Kimmi and it hurts so dang much. When I went TDY or got assigned overseas, I missed my family. When I left home, especially the first time, I missed my parents. When my boys went off to college, I cried and missed them terribly. Even when my parents died, I missed them quite a bit. But, nothing, absolutely nothing in this entire universe can prepare someone for this - losing a child, especially one who depended so much on us to take care of her. We literally built our lives around her, around taking care of her. Now, every single thing we do reminds us of her in one way or another. I really miss that girl, and all the joy (and the grief) she brought into our lives.
  • I miss her crying out in her sleep. Sound asleep, she'd yell out a scream, or she'd talk about something. Never could make it out. I dreamt that twice now, and thought it was so real. Not even sure if I was sleeping. Maybe I'm hearing voices!
  • I really miss watching her sleep.
  • I miss her mashing the potatoes, like only she could do it. Now, we rarely have mashed potatoes and they just don't taste as good.
  • I miss her coming home from dialysis or after a night with friends, so I knew she was ok.
  • I miss her with that gruddy little hat/visor she always wore when she drove.
  • I miss her scrapbooking. Always late at night when it was time to go to bed, and she'd just "Have to do it now."
  • I miss her and her baby, Millie. Kimmi would have made such a wonderful mom. She just loved little ones, especially babies.
  • I miss the stories she'd tell us about her day.
  • I miss sitting at the table, eating with her. Don't think we'd ever sat at the table if not for her. We do a lot more now.
  • I miss her trying to walk Millie, or should I say, being dragged by Millie.
  • I miss kissing her good-bye at night when I went to work.
  • I miss staying up in the morning to make sure she got to dialysis.
  • I miss loaning her money I knew I'd never get back. She spent much more of my allowance than I ever did, and I liked it that way.
  • I miss her making fun of me; being old, modern illiterate, my habits, etc.
  • I miss helping her with her computer when she had problems with it.
  • I don't miss those stupid "reality shows" she liked so much, but I sure miss watching them with her, and whining about having to watch them.
  • I miss all the goofy ideas she'd come up with. Just glad she never tried most of them.
  • I really miss worrying about her, and hoping she was ok. It sure beats what I'm doing now.
  • I miss us nagging her about saving some money, but she always had enough, and the future would take care of itself.
  • I miss wathcing her get dressed up for a night out. She was so darn cute.
  • I miss sharing the joy of something, and comforting the sadness.
  • I really miss that cute little face, that cute little body, and that cute little pug nose.
  • I miss that tongue ring that I always wanted her to take out.
  • I miss the happiness she instilled in our home.
  • I miss her feistiness.
  • I miss her buying more and more candles, and me worrying about the house burning down.
  • I miss those extra high shoes she always wore. Made her 3-4 inches taller.
  • I miss everything being PINK! Practical wasn't important, but pink was. She would even pay way more to have pink. She sold a really good camera and bought a cheaper PINK one.
  • I miss all the pictures she took. But she made prints of them too. So many pictures.
  • I miss detangling chains and necklaces. Every week or so, she'd bring me a couple of them all tangled up. Usually took hours, but that cute smile made it all worth while. In fact, I just did 3 of them today, so I'll have to trust that she is smiling from heaven.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kimmi's Car

I figured out why I've been having such a bad week. We sold Kimmi's car last Saturday. This is just one more step in losing Kimmi, and it's been tearing me up.
Selling her car is mostly a good thing. First, we really couldn't keep it. It would just sit there and take up space plus force us to keep one car outside, and we are not getting rid of the other cars. I couldn't drive it because I don't fit in it. More importantly, we can use the money to buy Kimmi a really nice gravestone, and the people we sold it to are a nice couple. They bought it for their daughter who is going to NU next year.
So, why is selling it causing me so much trouble? Like I said, it is one more step in losing Kimmi. Now, I pull Rob's Civic into the garage. I feel so bad taking Kimmi's place in the garage. That is HER place. Every time I pull in or out, it reminds me that I'm taking HER parking slot. It's like I'm kicking her out. I know it's stupid, but I feel guilty taking, and enjoying, her place in the garage. I've really missed Kimmi this week, with selling her car that she worked so hard to buy and keep up, then having a very sad Easter Sunday with no Easter basket for Kimmi. Just about everything reminds me of her; of all the things we can never do with her again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad Week

Even this blog started out bad. I've been trying to log onto it all week, but kept getting a "Certificate Error" telling me that I needed to close out this blog. Nothing worked to fix it. As I tried to make a new site, I didn't like what it was demanding. Then, all of a sudden, this blog started working again tonight. This has been a LOUSY week, with a few good points.
We did get to buy two more plots right next to Kimmi's. I know it is dumb to worry about dead bodies in graves being alone, especially since we will be dead and nobody will even know who we are. But, it really bothers us that Kimmi will be alone there. We just don't want her to be alone. In the past, a grave was just a grave, but now, it's our baby girl. I can't get it out of my mind, seeing her little body down in that dark casket all by herself. As stupid as it sounds, I'm worried that she'll be scared, and I can't protect her or comfort her.
I did have my fantastic dream or vision Friday, but it ended way too soon. Finally, the picture people sent us the HD disc of all the pictures we had taken last December. It normally would have cost us $250 to get a disc, but with her passing, they gave us the disc free, and transferred all rights to us. That was really nice of them! And, that is the end of the good.
The BAD started on Easter Sunday, on what should be the most glorious day of the year. All day long, we were down in the dumps. visited Kimmi's grave on Saturday and put some flowers out. Then visited again Sunday, but it really hurt. For only the second time since Robby was born, we didn't do an Easter Basket (didn't do one last year because Kimmi just came home from the hospital in very serious condition). Fluid had been building around her lungs and the hospital couldn't stop it or find out why. We were led to believe they were sending her home for good, not expecting her to get better. So, we didn't feel like doing a basket, and Kimmi was too sick to care.
So, for the second year in a row, we didn't do a basket for Kimmi. Only this year, we know we'll NEVER do it again. Even though Kimmi was 27, she was still a little girl in many ways. She still enjoyed getting an Easter Basket every year, and still enjoyed special parent / child treatment just like she was a little girl.
All day long was just plain sad. We went out to eat, but didn't enjoy it. And, the rest of the week has been the same. I have no idea what we will do for Mother's Day, but I wish we could cancel it this year. Evey is really getting depressed, and may need medicine. I do have an idea that may help, but not sure if I can do it. I can only hope things get better when Craig, Missy and Maddie come. Then, of course, ther is work. The best way to make a bad situation worse is to work for the post office.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


While at the Living Last Supper, Friday, I was awake, but still saw a vision, or dream, of Kimmi, which I assumed was in heaven. She was in this field. This was a large field, but the grass was so green. It was literally shining; it was so bright green. Then the sky was such a beautiful baby blue, but also so bright and beautiful like nothing I've ever seen before.

But, what really stood out was Kimmi. She was so very beautiful. She had a huge smile, literally grinning from ear to ear. And, she was playing. She was jumping, dancing and having a wonderful time with absolutely NO LIMITATIONS! She was so happy and excited. I think I remember other people or animals, but my entire focus was on Kimmi, so don't know. It probably only lasted a second or two, but seemed like 10 or more minutes. And, as it ended, I was rejoicing inside, but wanting the vision to come back.

Thank you Lord for this dream. Thank you for letting me see my Baby Girl so happy instead of the sickness and sadness we saw her last days on earth. Please bless me, and especially Evey, with more visions like this. I can't wait to go home and see all this in person.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I asked my Lord to "Take this cup from me." I was hurting and suffering from guilt about my baby's passing into heaven. "Please take this Cup from me. Please take away the pain of her death. Please take away the pain and guilt of not taking better care of her and keeping her safe and healthy."

Then, when the Lord took the cup from me, I decided I wanted it back. When I was no longer suffering, it seemed like I could no longer see Kimmi or remember what she looked like. I could barely see her in her casket or in her bed as she died. I wanted it back. I needed to see her, to tell her I loved her.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me. I don't need to remember her suffering to love her. I don't need to remember her dying to love her. I don't need to remember her dead body lying in that casket to love her and know that she is with Jesus.

He took the cup from me, and I am rejoicing. Now, I am remembering and seeing the happy, wonderful and beautiful baby girl I knew before this terrible tragedy. Now, I am remembering the fun things we did, the great times we had, and that absolutely beautiful smile just below her cute little pug nose attached to her gorgeous little face. I still can see Kimmi taking her last breath on earth, but it was really beautiful the way Jesus took her home. And, I was blessed with a dream, or vision, of Kimmi in heaven dancing and jumping, smiling the most beautiful smile and praying for us down here. I don't need that cup anymore. I have Kimmi and Jesus!

Of course, I still have my moments, and will continue to, but that, too, makes me feel that much closer to my little angel.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We went to a "Living Last Supper" tonight. It was very well done, and brought more humanity to the 12 Apostles (their ways, fears, hopes) than we read in the Bible.

But, what really struck me when we were having communion was the REAL CELEBRATION in Heaven. I could just picture Kimmi with all the angels and other saints having an unbelievable celebration of Jesus' death on the Cross and His triumphant victory over sin, Satan and DEATH. I saw that beautiful smile like I never saw it before. I saw her body dancing and jumping, worshipping and praising, living to the fullest like she never could here on earth. I saw her praying for us, and I saw so much love that I don't even know how to describe it.

I thought about how I can't wait to die so I can see Kimmi again, but what I really can't wait for is to see Jesus; to be ashamed of all my sins, but to hear Him say, "Welcome My good and faithful servant. Welcome to MY eternal kingdom." I just kept seeing that beautiful little girl / woman / saint / angel with such a gorgeous smile, and glow of love all around her. Thank you, Lord, for giving me this wonderful vision!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I JUST LOVED (to be continued)

My daughter-in-law jokingly says, "I just love this" or "I just love that" referring to things she likes at the time. but, I JUST LOVE MY BABY GIRL, KIMMI! Even though her body is dead and her spirit now lives with Jesus, she is still my Baby Girl. These are just a few of the things I just loved about her:
-- I just loved her cute little pug nose.
-- I just loved her beautiful smile. I may be prejudiced, but she had the cutest, most beautiful smile I've ever seen. Her smile just lit up the room and melted my heart.
-- I just loved her small frame. At only 4'5" and 75 lbs., this girl sure could carry herself.
-- I just loved her orneryness (she got it from me). She was usually the instigator when her and her friends got into something, and she'd work it out to the tiniest detail. Then, she would be so proud of herself when done, and have that gorgeous smile.
-- I just loved her stubbornness. I've never known anyone to out-stubborn her. Losing to her was frustrating, but fun, and oh so predictable!
-- I just loved her strength. Kimmi took everything thrown at her in stride. Even when she knew she was dying, she never felt sorry for herself. She never gave up hope, but kept fighting. But, most of all, she kept her real condition from us so we wouldn't worry. She privately suffered while putting on a show of normalcy for us. 50-plus surgeries, countless hospital stays - many in the ICU and being sick so much of her life couldn't break her spirit.
-- I just loved her gentle spirit. She so loved babies and little ones. Always bringing home, or wanting to, a kitten or puppy. She really wanted a baby, but knew she couldn't. But, she surely loved to babysit.
-- I just loved her taste in clothes. She'd come home with some of the strangest bras and undies. we'd get such a good laugh sometimes.
-- I just loved her love. She loved everybody, including the unloved.
-- I just loved her work ethic. Sick all her life, she worked as much as she could to buy her own car and pay her own insurance. When no longer able to work a "real job" she still babysat or did anything she could. At home, she always tried to do her part, even if it left her totally exhausted after only minutes.
-- I just loved to watch her sleep. So peacefully! Sometimes, I worried that she wasn't breathing.
-- I just loved her driving abilities while I hung on for dear life!
-- I just loved kissing her on the forehead and telling her I loved her. Especially this.
-- I just loved how good we felt when she'd come home, because I always worried when she was gone.
-- I just loved to watch her dress up to go out. She was so very beautiful.
-- I just loved being loved by her. As much as she wanted a normal life, she always appreciated her home and her parents. She gave more love than she ever got.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I am so sorry for continuing to dwell on this, and I promise to stop soon. But writing is my way of dealing with Kimmi's death. When I write it (many times for myself) I can look back and reassure myself that God is in control and that He will see me through this, even if I don't always want Him to (sometimes the hurt makes me feel closer to Kim).

What I'm writing today is the thing that has bothered me from the very beginning, the one thing that has made her death so terrible for me; the one thing that causes me to agonize so much: what caused her to code; did she suffer, how long did she suffer, and most importantly, why wasn't I there to take care of her like I am supposed to?

I remember releasing her to the doctors that day. I reassure her that, "It will be ok, Kimmi. You will do just fine." However, she was already starting to worry and panic. She wasn't afraid of the surgery, but of being awake while they did the surgery (they were worried that putting her out is what caused her heart attacks the last couple of times, so they were doing a local while keeping her awake). This is what really caused her to code every time, and it killed her this time.

In the past, they always sedated her while she was in pre-op with us. We kept her calm while she fell asleep. But, the last few times, they waited until going to the OR to start sedating her. Each time when they did, she coded. She was afraid and didn't have us to protect her and calm her nerves. So, she would become anxious and start to panic. This time, since they weren't putting her out, she kept panicking which caused her to code.

But, why weren't they ready for that? They even told us that they were prepared in case she did code. BUT THEY WEREN'T! All her symptoms should have tipped them off - that she was starting to code. They knew it, but didn't do anything until it was too late. WHY?

She coded for 15 long minutes before they could re-start her heart. Knowing she had a history of coding, why didn't they have a heart team there just in case (by the time they got there, it was too late). Yes, they did CPR, but 15 minutes without oxygen to the brain is many time more than what is needed to kill the brain.

HOW LONG DID SHE SUFFER BEFORE SHE CODED? WHY DIDN'T THEY STOP WHEN SHE SHOWED SIGNS OF CODING, AND BACK OFF - LETTING HER KNOW THEY WERE STOPPING SO SHE COULD CALM DOWN? IT WOULD HAVE SAVED HER LIFE (yes, to suffer more as her body and brain weakened). HOW MUCH PAIN DID SHE GO THROUGH BEFORE SHE CODED? AND MOST OF ALL, WHY, WHY, WHY COULDN'T I PROTECT HER? This is tearing me up inside. I released her to them so they could kill her body through ignorance or just plain stupidity. But, the responsibility was mine. I should have stopped it when I saw her starting to panic. It's always taken too long before the sedation took effect, but I still allowed them to continue as her panic was so intense that it caused her so much anxiety.

Lord, you removed the cup of pain of her death, but why haven't you removed this cup; the cup of pain and guilt for allowing the doctors to do something I didn't feel comfortable with? Please remove this guilt and fear of her suffering from me. Help me to quit worrying about that time and remember that she is no longer suffering now. Please help me to get this fear of her suffering out of my mind.

Finally, Lord, help me to dream again. Yes, many of my dreams were nightmares of her being stranded somewhere and crying out for her daddy to rescue her. But, those dreams, even the nightmares, would allow me to see her again; to talk with her again, and, even with the pain of a nightmare, allow me to be with her for awhile longer.

Friday, April 3, 2009


While at work last night, I got an Ice Cream headache. You know, the extreme pain you get from eating ice cream, or some other frozen item too fast. it only lasts a few seconds, but the pain is so intense that you're not sure you will live. This immediately made me think of Kimmi and helps me accept her death; even feeling relieved that her frail body passed away. I read 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

This is what keeps me going. Knowing that my baby was suffering so much that she couldn't think clearly, and that she knew her brain was failing, and having it proven by her MRI, helps me deal with her death in a positive way. I could never stand to see her in pain or suffer emotionly. This, and knowing that she is resting in the love of Jesus makes all this bearable.

Kimmi left us one month ago, today at 4:43 p.m., and went to rest in the arms and love of her real Father in Heaven. While we still suffer in the pain of losing our baby, we also celebrate her new life; her pain free life; her victory over death and suffering, her glorious joy of everlasting peace!

I don't know when our pain and suffering will diminish, but in some ways, I hope it never does. Hurting like this makes me feel closer to Kimmi even if I can't see her beautiful face and little pug nose, hear her making fun of me, or feel her precious little body as I kiss her forehead and tell her I love her.

Happy 1-month anniversary Baby Girl. This is just the very beginning of your timeless joy in eternity. I know you are preparing a place for us, and we will really celebrate when we see you again. To us, it will seem like forever, but to you it will only feel like a split second. Sweet dreams my little angel. I love you!
P.S. Milli really misses you, but I take her for a walk nearly every day. She really enjoys that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Tuesday was the 4th week since Kimmi had her surgery and coded, causing the brain damage and eventual death. It was a very bittersweet day of missing our little Baby girl, but rejoicing that she is with Jesus and no longer suffers in any way.

But, the day made me think of all three of my children, again especially Kimmi because she needed it the most. When the kids were little, they'd get tired going somewhere, and the words came out, "Daddy, carry me". When they were really little, Evey or I would pick them up and carry them (never understand how moms can carry a child for hours, but dads tire out after only a few minutes). Also, dad would pick them up onto his shoulders and carry them. After a minute or so, I'd jerk their legs up as if to push them off. They (especially Kimmi) would scream and hold tightly onto my head. Kimmi would say, "Daddy don't do that." But, I continue doing it, and they'd scream and laugh with complete joy (fearing a fall, but knowing completely that daddy would never let them fall). Eventually, they would get too big to carry, or dad got too old.

But, in Kimmi's case, since she was so tiny, I carried her on my shoulders up to about the age of eight or older. Even up to this last year, Kimmi would sit in Evey's lap while Evey would lift the back of her shirt and lovingly scratch her back. This was continued bonding, growing love and maintaining closeness.

However, in the last few months, Kimmi has been carrying her mom and dad by not letting us know she was suffering. Just like we lifted her up to carry her, she carried us by hiding her pain as it got worse and worse.

Even after her death, Rob, Craig and their families carried mom and dad through the terrible shock and loss. I don't know what we would have done if not for them to run things for us (doing obituary, taking care of details, making decisions, and encouraging and loving us through this tragedy). We were completely lost while they did just about everything to carry us through this. In these past weeks, they'd call us to make sure we were ok, cry with us, and encourage us in every way.

But, we also have a daddy that we cried out to, "Daddy, carry me." Where else could we turn, but to the one who allowed our baby to die. Yes, if not for our Father in heaven, there is absolutely no way we could ever live through this. There is no way we could ever find peace in our baby's death if not for our relationship with our daddy "God".