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?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Remembering The Good Days

I will never forget one of the most special days of my life. I was standing in my wife's delivery room, next to the doctor. All of a sudden, this most precious "gift from God" appeared. She had a bald head and big ears, but she was the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen. The doctor let me help deliver her (couldn't do that with the boys). I was so happy to have a little girl, especially since I fell in love with 2 other little girls from the past (Evey's baby cousin Kim, and our friends' baby girl Micki).
I love my boys  as much as I can love anyone, but that little baby girl was so special to me. She changed everything I did, how I acted, even how I thought. Instead of roughhousing with the boys, playing ball, coaching ball, or doing toughguy things, I found myself playing "Chutes and Ladders", having tea parties, playing with dolls (action figures to Craig) and doing little girl things. I will never forget the "dress up" dates we used to go on, even if it was only going to McDonalds or a quick shop. It was a very special day with a very special little girl. Unfortunately, we didn't do many of them because Kimmi was too sick most of the time, or so many other things came up. But, it was a very special date with the most precious little girl in the world, and nothing was more special to me.
Kimmi and I used to go to the Candy Store once a week, usually on a Friday or Saturday evening. I'd start out buying her some small piece of candy or candy bar, but she could never make up her mind. Most of the time, she'd take over an hour trying to decide, and eventually talk me into getting her 2 or 3 different candies. It was her special treat of the week, and our special time together; just the 2 of us.
Then, of course, there were so many times that Kimmi had some kind of money making project, and needed help making up flyers or building something. We'd take hikes at some park (Fontennelle or Aksarben), but I'd end up carrying her almost the entire time because she'd get so tired so easily. Sitting on her daddy's shoulders and seeing nature at it best was always special. I remember when we'd have a big snow, and there was this huge snow mound north of our house. After the boys got "too old", It was just me and Kimmi. We'd dig tunnels through the snow (I always worried about a cave-in crushing her, but it never happened). Then, there was sledding. She'd slide down the hill while I ran down after her. Then I had to tow her back up. Sometimes we'd ride down together, or she'd go down with a friend. But, she always had her daddy to tow her back up. No matter how tired I was, we always made it. Sometimes, I think she preferred the ride back up over the slide down.
As Kimmi got older, it was more thing with her mother (shopping or girl things) or her friends, but we still had times together. There was helping her buy her cars, fixing things on her cars after one of her male friends tried to fix it, helping with projects around the house, and even wasting hours in the jewelry or makeup stores. 
Just sitting around the house doing nothing was special because I always worried about Kimmi when she was away, especially if I didn't know where she was. It's been 2 months since she passed away, but I still haven't sat in her rocking chair. Her mom usually has dibbs on it, but I just can't seem to sit there because it's her chair. There were many more special times, and I will write them later.


It's been 2 months now since Kimmi died. This past week has been pure hell for me; feeling sorry for myself, screaming at the wall "WHY? WHY? WHY?", wishing I could die sometimes, wondering how we are going to get by without her, asking God if I could take her place, and feeling so damn lonely without her. All week long, I've been dreading May 3 coming. I don't need any more reminders that Kimmi died. I just don't know what we are going to do for Mother's Day and Kimmi's birthday. Nothing will ever make Mother's day a happy day again. How can you ever enjoy yourself when your heart has been ripped so violently from your body?

So many times in the past, I've stated, "I don't have a choice" when I really did. "I don't have a choice on changing employers" when I really do. I don't have a choice on this or that, but it really would have just made things a bit more difficult for me or us. I always had a choice, but this time we don't have a choice. We don't have a choice but to accept Kimmi's death. We don't have a choice but to get on with our lives. Being depressed constantly or living a full life is a choice, but we don't have a choice on living because dying is not an option we have control of. 

We are doing our best to move on; to get back to living some kind of normal life. And, we are mostly succeeding. But, some days, or weeks, are just hell, especially having to put up with those jackasses at the post office, who seem to enjoy making it harder. No, we don't have a choice on losing Kimmi, but we do have a choice on how we will live, or not live, with her gone! A full-time pity party is not living. Kimmi wouldn't want that for us, and neither do we.