Pink and Red
(I’m sorry, in advance, for the debbie downer post I’m about to write)
As you know, Mom, growing up I was very close with my friend Crystal . . . and if anyone is a close friend to Crystal that meant they were close friends with her big sister, Kimi. They were two peas in a pod, whether they wanted to be or not. They were as close as two people could be . . . even as they grew older and started to live their own lives.
A few weeks ago, when Kimi’s health took a turn for the worst, Crystal reached out to all of her friends and family members for stories, inspirational quotes, pictures, etc. that she could share with Kimi. I sent her the following note.
I don’t know what it’s like to have a sister but I can imagine that the thought of losing her feels like you will also lose a part of yourself. I remember coming over to your house and spending hours with you and Kimi . . . talking about boys and shopping and fashion. I loved going to the mall with you and her and all of our friends. Riding in the van . . . going out to eat . . . she was always so giving . . . buying things for everyone else. I also remember spending nights at Immaculata and being so impressed at the awesome friends she had made there. She never let her condition stop her from living . . . from graduating from high school and then college . . . from beating all odds. It’s truly inspiring.
It’s unfair that some of us get to walk around . . . drive cars . . . write on a keyboards using two hands while others struggle to do . . . well, everything. It’s heartbreaking to know that her life on Earth will be short but she will continue to live on through all of you. She will be with other loved ones and will be able to walk freely and eat all of her favorite foods and shop at her favorite stores and be able to spend her days at peace.
Kimi is inspiring but so are you and her other constant companions. Part of the reason she is such a fighter is because she has incredible champions of strength around her every day. You all have given her a life that has been full of love, adventure, laughter and tears of joy . . . and in turn she has given you the same. I wish you peace to remember those moments now instead of her in her current state.
Please tell Kimi that I will continue to pray for her and will think of her always . . . just as I have since meeting her decades ago. She is the type of person that leaves an imprint on your heart . . . one that will not fade with time. Please give her a kiss from me.
Kimi lost her 35 year battle with muscular dystrophy this past Friday. The viewing was last night and service was today. I couldn’t make it but have been thinking about her and Crystal and their family constantly. Even when I didn’t even know I was . . . everyone was asked to wear pink to the funeral today, since that was Kimi’s favorite color . . . I was going to wear pink to work today to honor her but totally forgot when I was getting ready this morning and walked out the door in my normal black on black on black . . . but something made me go back and get a pink scarf to jazz my outfit up a little bit . . . it wasn’t until I was on the subway that I realized who made me go back and grab it.
Also while on the subway this morning I read about a family in Cali that lost their 3.5 year old little boy on Friday and I can’t get it out of my mind. The little boy’s name is Ryan and his mom has a blog that is very well followed. He was at a family members house and was playing frisbee . . . ran into the street to grab it and a truck killed him instantly. (ugh, i know . . . makes you feel sick to your stomach – their best friend posted the story here :().
Since then the blogging/mommy instagram community has rallied around his parents providing support, donations for his service, sharing pictures of them, just letting them know that we are all aching for them as well. They created the hashtag #redballonsforryan and so far 19k pictures have been posted using that hashtag. Its incredible.
So today, I just wanted to spend some time remembering Kimi . . . and thinking of Ryan . . . and their families. Sending them strength and support as they navigate their new lives without their loved ones.
It’s amazing how much witnessing the miracle of life can also make you truly understand the incomprehensible grief that comes with death of a child. Going to give Julian a lot of extra kisses tonight.