Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i want you to know....

dear james,
god how i wish you were here. i wish you were playing with the boys right now. i wish you were sitting on the couch so we could talk. i wish you had come in through the garage and i hear callie's tell-tale barking and excited prancing so i knew you were home. there is so much i didn't get a chance to tell you. i will always wonder if you could hear me when you were in the hospital.
i miss holding hands with you. i miss you laying in bed next to me. i even miss your snoring. omg it was so freaking annoying!!! but i knew you were there. and when it got to be too much i would just kick you. gently, of course. i used to look at you each night before i went to sleep. i used to listen to your breathing. i used to look at your silhouette in the dark, look at your hair, your face. it was always the last thing i did before i went to bed. i miss that. now that side of the bed is empty. and our bed is no longer a place i feel safe. it's just another place i feel lonely.
i want you to know how proud of you i am. i think you knew that. but i want to make sure. in the 10 years since you were diagnosed you went through so much. and it was hard. damn hard. heart transplant evaluation, so many medications, constant monitoring....always wondering....would you need a heart transplant or wouldn't you. would you live like this for the rest of your life? or what would happen. you lost so much.
i will always treasure the time we flew to fort bragg, just you and i. i am so proud of you for getting your pilot's license. and am so so sorry you lost your medical. i know it was hard for you. very hard. and i know how hard it was to not be able to climb anymore. or hike. but through it all, you never lost sight of who you are. yes, you got angry. you had every right to be angry. but you never let it change the core of who you are. and that is amazing.
i know, from first-hand experience, how hard it was for you to not let your heart take over your life. our life. we decided to live. just to live our lives, and not let this define us. omg. so much worry. i worried about you all the time. but tried never to let that show. because it was a vicious cycle of me worrying about you and you worrying about me worrying about you. it makes me laugh, in a sad sort of way, at how ironic it all is.
more than anything i wish you could hug me. i miss feeling your strength, your warmth, just being near you. the way you smell. i miss how much you freaking made me laugh. god you are funny. and so freaking smart. i always said you and barry are the smartest people i know.
i want you to know how sorry i am. sorry, i don't even know how to say it, but sorry i took your life away. sorry i had you taken off the ventilator. i know you would not have wanted to live like that. you couldn't have been a father to the boys. you couldn't have been a husband. you wouldn't have been james. you weren't james. you were not james after you seized, after your heart stopped, after you were put into a coma. you never came back to me. i am so glad i was able to talk to you before the seizures started. i knew what you wanted, that you wanted the TPA. you were so worried about me worrying about you. but i told you i was fine. that i wasn't scared. and at that point, i wasn't. i am thankful i was able to talk to you when i got to the ER. that you were you. slurring, yes. but you were still you. i thought they would give you the TPA, the effects of the stroke would be reversed and we would go from there. little did i know that's now how it would play out. i think i like being naive more than knowing what is to come. had i known what was to come i don't think i could have handled it.
i want you to know how much i love you. with all my heart. you used to say that to me. 'i love you with all my heart'. all the time. given the fact that your heart was two times bigger than a normal person's, that was saying something. and i can say that with tears in my eyes and a wry smile on my face, i love you with all my heart and always will.
ethan misses you. so much. he's having trouble in school but i have him seeing the school counselor once a week and after thanksgiving we're going to start going to the solace tree. i'll see if that helps him at all. if it does, we'll keep going. if it doesn't, i'll figure something else out. i had to bring him home on thursday because he started crying in school and mrs. dolan couldn't get him to stop. she called me and i went there. i took him home. it was all the talk of thanksgiving, and what the kids were doing with their parents and families that made him so sad. so this thanksgiving will be hard. but we'll get through it. i will do my best to make it as good as i can for the boys.
alexander misses you. he told me today he's so sad you weren't here to see him turn 5. he says you are in his heart and i believe he understands what that means. he is a damn smart little boy. very in tune with emotions and has spot on instincts. alexander gets sad mostly at night. he misses you reading to him, doing the gaite (is that how you spell that?) with lambikins, gallobs, gallbos' mom, and all the other stuffed animals on his bed. i miss hearing the two of you laugh and giggle while i was in E's room cuddling before bed. i have always loved listening to you when you are with the boys. alexander has stopped playing airplanes because there is no one to play it with him anymore. i try, but it's not the same.
i want you to know, that when i was deciding what to do, after talking to dr. chang and dr. katz, and your mom, and your sister, and your brother, and jan....i never for one second, thought about anything but what YOU would want and what would be best for the boys. in my heart, i knew you had already been through too much. now being paralyzed on the left side, never walking again, not being able to receive a new heart because of the stroke.....never being able to be off a ventilator, never waking up....never being who you used to is not what you would have wanted. but my god i am so so so sorry. i miss you and long for you so much. and the boys do too. but you wouldn't have been a father. or a husband. you would have been a body, laying in a hospital, not being able to breathe on your own, eat on your own, do anything on your own. that is a horrible decision and one that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
they told me it was a matter of time. i want you to know that i tried to have any organs that could be donated, donated. but for that to happen, you had to survive another 36 hours and they said we didn't have 36 hours. but i tried. because i know that is what you wanted. it was a horrible thing to have to talk about out in the hall, while you were inside on a bed, receiving air from a machine. but i did it. at least i tried. i knew that it was important to you.
i just want you to know how much i miss you. every single second of every day. i am doing the best i can with the boys. trying to make the right decisions.
sometimes i feel like a ghost of my former self. i feel like the photograph above is appropo. i am trying to figure out what we are going to do. and how we are going to do it. but i feel like i have lost who i am. i'm not even sure what to do, where to go. i just know that i want to make something good come out of all of his sadness.
who is going to explain movies to me now? who is going to help E with his algebra and homework i'm not smart enough to do? yes, it's coming. which grade will it be, that i'm not smart enough to help him complete the homework in? time will tell i guess.
i will miss secretly opening the stockings we exchange before the boys (or anyone else for that matter) get out of bed on christmas morning. i will miss searching high and low for the perfect christmas present for you. i will miss giggling to myself when i find just the right thing to put into your stocking. most of all, i just miss you. so much. i hadn't pictured in my mind, what it would be like after you were gone, i just knew that you couldn't live being hooked up to machines, struggling for air. i do know, and i tell this to the boys often, that if it were at all humanly possible, you would have come back to us. that i know for sure.
i will never ever now why it was you. why a cold virus attacked your heart. why this happend to you. to the boys. i do know i will miss you forever. and i will never let the boys forget about you. you will be a part of their lives forever. you will be forever present even though you are not.
i love you.


emfalconbridge said...

heartwrenching. i'm so sorry k. so sorry for your sadness and loneliness. i am amazed by what you are doing every time i read a post, what you are doing for your boys - you are so beautiful and i'm sending you lots of love. xox

Moira said...

Hi Kimberly. I am a mom/scrapbooker in Vancouver BC who has been following your story since Tara Whitney mentioned you on her blog last month. I know there is nothing anyone can say to take away your grief but please know there are so many people thinking of you and wishing you the strength to get through each day. I am truly so very sorry for your heartbreaking loss.

Shazz said...

hi kimberly...i too found your blog through tara and emily's blogs.
i will be forever changed after reading what you have written.
may god bless you and your beautiful boys as your travel through life without your beloved james.
my his angel wings reach down and hold you all close and bring you some level of comfort and peace.


Lisa said...

I don't even have words Kimiberly
My heart still aches for you and the boys.
For James and all that he will miss
For the gut wrenchng decision you had to make.
For what it's worth, I believe in my heart you did what was right for him at his direction. I'm sure there are people who had a problem with that, but you know what...they weren't married to James.
I love you girl and I'm sorry that you are having to go through this.

Patrice~ said...

your love and respect
for James totally takes
my breath away.
peace and hugs.

Susan said...

You are an amazing woman Kimberly. I know there is nothing I can say to take away your grief and loss, but know that you are inspiring me to be a better wife to my husband and to appreciate him flaws and all. It sounds as though you and your husband had a special love, and these days thats rare.

Jason & Allison said...


I have been following your story for a while now, and am just so heartbroken for you and inspired by you at the same time. I have been married for almost 12 years, and have a 5 year old and 3 year old. I scrap and create all sorts of things, and my husband is a professional photographer. I feel like although we don't know each other, we have a lot in common, and I truly can't imagine what you are going through. I want you to know how very sorry I am that you have lost your love, and that your sweet boys have lost their dad. I know you know this, but even though he isn't physically here with you anymore, the three of you will never really lose him. I'm sure things are so incredibly difficult for you right now, and will be for a while. However, hopefully it will bring you some peace to know how much you have inspired me, and so many others. Not just in your strength and courage in coping, but in the way that you have taught us just how valuable and precious life is. Since reading your story, I am so much more aware of how important it is not to take anything or anyone for granted. I have been looking at my husband in a different way and focusing on all the wonderful and amazing qualities he has, rather than those little things that can annoy me so much. I watch my kids everyday and when they are screaming and fighting, rather than getting frustrated all the time, I think about how thankful I am that I have two healthy beautiful kids who are ABLE to scream and fight and run around. Life can change in an instant, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story with everyone. You have truly changed my life.

Lynn said...

You've been in my thoughts very strongly, recently, and I just now realized I had a link to your blog, and found out about your loss. My heart is SO full of love and compassion, for you and the boys!! I am so, so sorry to hear this tragedy! My heart goes out to you, gurl! You're my friend...I wish you strength and peace! XOXOXO

Beret said...

Kimberly - I check our site each day just to be there in spirit with you and your boys. You are so strong and your love for your boys will carry you down this river into the next ocean.

Deep bows

jensmack said...

oh Kimberly... I'm typing this now with tears in my eyes wishing that I could do something for you. somehow take some of this pain away.

you are so very brave... and I know you don't think that you are, but you are. so strong. you're doing it for your boys, I know, but you're doing it... and that's what matters.

and even though its sad, I love coming here and learning more about the wonderful man you married.

lots of love.

(and thank you for understanding my love of the f word)


donab said...

Oh, Kimberly. *hug*

Sarah said...


Your words are so beautiful.

kerry lynn said...

sending hugs and love.

Michelle Jamieson said... I write this I am in tears reading your letter to your dear James.
It's so heartwrenching.
I can't imagine what you are going through. I found you via Emily's blog. I'm an Aussie Mum of kids are similar ages to your boys.

Know that I am thinking of you and your beautiful boys. Be strong, as I know you are, by your step and one day at a time. Thinking of you.
I am very sorry to hear about your heartbreaking loss.

Chelle Xx

Shandy said...

oh Kimberly,
my heart is screaming out right now for you! I am so sorry! I could feel the love and the struggle throughout your entire letter. I know James read it and is proud of you trying your hardest to keep life "normal" for the boys - I'm sure that is both physically and emotionally exhausting.
Just thinking of you this Sunday morning and hope you are blessed with a little bit of peace and comfort today....

Leah said...

my dear, sweet friend...your words touch my very soul...what you and james had together is so special...and because of you A and E will never forget their amaze me with you strenth and perseverance...the day will come when the desire to paint will be so overwhelming there is no way you cannot do it...I wait for that day...something miraculous will emerge from your devasted soul. I love you mucho.

Kari said...

Sweet friend, my heart breaks for you each and every day. You are constantly in my prayers, my thoughts. I hope that peace finds you and all that love that you have, that you share, will surround you and lift you up.

Violet said...

Thinking of you and your sweet boys. Actually, I find myself thinking of you guys EVERY day. <3

Carrie K said...

girl i would do anything in the world to take away just a piece of your sadness.

your words are so heartwrenching and you are amazing

love you...

Mama Marks said...

kimberly, i think about you and your boys every day, sending lots of love, jo xxx

exalthim said...

Thank you for these wonderful sentiments Kimberly. I am so sorry for you loss of what sounds to be an incredible person.
Linked in to your blog from a myspace blog by Sara

fjblau said...

Linked to you via my friend Sara's blog...

You are in my thoughts. Even though you don't know me.



tara whitney said...

oh my god i just have shivers up and down my spine. you simply amaze me every time i read something you write. as always, sending you my thoughts, support, strength, and love.

Charmaine said...

Kimberly I have no idea what you are going through. The devastation and loss that you and your boys are feeling so strongly.
I helped my sister after she lost her partner and that was also very hard to watch. I feel so sad for you but you are such a strong woman and you do have James' love to help you through. You will have some good days and some bad days but eventually although it doenst seem like it now and words dont mean much you will evolve from this tragedy so much stronger and ready to face life full on.
I hoep that you can find your passion again for painting because as i read it that is so important to will slowly emerge from the fog and your days will become a little less harder to bear.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your boys is to write it all down:)
Charmaine from australia....i linked from Taras blg