Friday, December 29, 2006

The Gifts that Keep on Giving... Memories

Christmas Memories.... these are the best gifts of all.

The Sisterhood & some of the gifts that keep on giving :)

Soon there will be another baby girl born into the sisterhood and Baby Alana won't be the 'baby' anymore. . . it seems like only a short spell ago Baby-Belle-To-Be 's mother was a baby herself.
I remember one Christmas morning she quietly disappeared as everyone was tearing into packages. She took her little doll with her & wandered back to my bedroom. After about a minute, I wandered after her.
In the hall, I slowed my pace. I could hear her, she was singing. As I neared my room, I recognized the was 'Happy Birthday To You' in a toddlers lisp.
I stuck my head around the corner and there she was, perched upon my bed, indian style. She held her little doll out before her and sang to her hearts content. The doll seemed to be dancing around. Finally the song ended & I started to enter my room.
Then I heard her... 'Happy Birthday Baby blow your candles out.'

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Long Haired Southern Fellow with Locks Of Love

Locks of Love recently sent this hairy young man away, along with several others of us. It is not that his hair, or ours, is undesirable, they want it very much... they just want more.
Locks of Love wants a minimum of 10" of hair. This hairy & seemingly happy chap has only 7" to give.
I, Paiger, gave 10" to Locks of Love this time last year...before Kim was diagnosed with cancer & ironically enough, following her ritual of over 10 years of giving up the locks. Not long after I gave my 10 inches, this fellow decided he, too, would grow his locks for love. He's doing pretty good I'd say, wouldn't you?

Nonetheless, they just told him 'Come back in 2-3 more inches, so we don't have to shave you bald.' In the meantime, he's kind cute in apippy-long-stockings-kinda-way, huh?

So give us a couple more months & I'll be posting a pic of this fellow without the pony tails! And before you know it, we'll be posting pics of Kimbies with her own hair....

Let the radiation begin!

Her love, her spirit, her determination & faith radiate enough to lead any cancer cell into blindness.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lights, Camera! Action!

The phone rings and she's expecting it to be Mom, Me, Paige, the kids, yet another bill collector.... It's Friday, she met with her Surgeon (AKA "The Man who saved her life") on Thursday. He gave her the once up and down, commented on her well worn boots, hugged her and said "I'll see you in April". She loves him. We love him. He saved her life. And in doing so, he melded into our circle...arms out, cursing when necessary, hugging when needed.

The phone rings again, incessant ringing, she snatches it and is surprised to find it's his office. "Kim, what are you doing on Monday?" Her heart stops. Did he see something reflected in her scruffy boots, the shadow of a scare. Did he have second thoughts and the whirlwind, go here, go there, do this, do that is going to start again? Did she forget and leave her purse there or walk out without half her clothes? "Chemo brain" can leave you ditzy. "I'm not doing anything, I don't think" She forgot for a second that she has returned to work five hours a day and Monday is not a holiday. "Well, we're filming an infomercial on Monday Morning and he wants you to be in it" "Oh my God, what do I wear?" "You mean you'll do it?" "Are you kidding me? He saved my life. I'll be nervous, but I'll be there. And ummm, I guess I'll just wear, you know, jeans and my bandana and boots."

"See you Monday, Kimbies".

Love grows. And grows. And grows.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Five O'clock Shadow

It started with the first round of chemo. Those dark "liver splotches" that just popped up over night. Like old age smearing itself onto the surface of her baby bottomed skin. On the top of her hands. Splattered here and there. Tiny little kool-aid stains. Chemo stains. Over the last few weeks they have faded. Or maybe we just got used to them, and in their familiarity... they disappeared.

She's never worn her wig. Beautiful in her hippie bandana, she's never needed to. And it's HOT here in Florida! And she's hidden from the Sun, the warming, cleansing, healing Sun that she adores... except for Saturday. When she and Butch drove to the beach.... to the "place" where they fell in love, celebrated milestones and tragedies.... to the "place" where they became we... so many times. They slurpped up butter soaked scallops and guzzled ice cold beer, and Kimbies leaned just so..... into the Sun!

And then it began.
The reverse tan.
The tattle tale shadow under her bandana......

She scrubbed.
And scrubbed.

And finally....asked Butch to look. Her whole noggin was kool-aid stained. Bless his heart. He had to put his glasses on. And adjust her head just so. Examine his beautiful wife's stained crown, and somehow make her feel better.



We are feeling the healing. Thank you all!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Locks of Love

Kimbies, year after year, grew her thick, auburn-brown hair out. Then she'd go down to the local salon & whack! 10" or more, she'd give them a pony-tail for Locks of Love
Of course, she did this long before cancer came knocking on her physical hearts' door.
Last year, I did the same for the first time.
Now, I find myself popping strange vitamins trying to grow my hair even faster, so I can do it again. (The girl at the salon said that it takes about a year[ha!] to grow the minimum required 10 inches)
My husband is growing his hair out too. (How does his seem to grow so fast?!)
This week-end we went to a party of old friends...people I've known for 25 years.
We talked about being hippies, getting older and growing long hair.
One guy said that finally working for himself, he would love to grow his hair long & with a smile, he pulled his baseball cap off to reveal his shiny bald head.
That's okay. Locks of love needs volunteers, sponsors and donations, as well. they need us to hang signs and pay for ads, promote their good cause.
Spread the word, pop your vitamins, grow your hair, contribute your time, your energy, your hair and/or your money.
Check out the pics...A little bit of hair goes a long ways with these kids
BTW, Hair Cuttery charges you not one cent to get your hair cut, when donating to the Locks of Love. Aren't these children beautiful?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ok, so it is no secret that our Dear Kimbies doesn't really 'do' pink.
Nonetheless, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Because of that & because of & my staff will all be wearing Pink this Friday to work. Please Join Us.

Tidbits to Know about Breat Cancer...
~About 2000 MEN will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year
~Well over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with INVASIVE breast cancer, this year
~Over 2 million women have been treated for breast cancer
~Over 40,000 women will die from this disease, this year

~Early detction is key, breast cancer can grow rapidly...perform monthly self-exams, have annual mammograms if over 40, discuss with your doctor any family history of breast cancer, changes in your breast(pain, swelling, redness or discharge), exercise, eat good, laugh often & hard & share your love, spirit & thoughts!
Please access link to the right for further information on Breast Cancer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kim in Bandana, the Staff in Pink...

So many times, so many lives, so many thing left unsaid...until it's too late.
But not THIS time, not THIS life, not THESE words.

'We All Love You.'

Kimbies, my sister & so much more to me and to many of you, is also a lunchroom lady...among 101 other things.

She doesn't 'do' pink and she doesn't 'do the pink ribbon thing.'

But, oh, that crew up at her school, they got her.

Just as they had gotten her week after week, they got her this week too.

They got her right where they want her... in their hearts, in their thoughts, in their prayers & in their lives.

...and they got that girl to wear pink!

A couple of weeks ago, they said 'Kim, wear green on Wednesday, we are all going to do it.'
Then, it was 'Kim, wear blue on Wednesday, we are all going to do it.'
Pink Wednesday, lazily rolled around & she thought nothing of it.

She didn't even have a pink shirt! But that's OK, they provided them.

Who are they? They are the ones that know sides of Kim that I do not know, that you may not know & that she may not even know herself. They are the ones that work with her. They are the ones that love her in ways that only they know.

All of our love in individual & divine....and they have a very special love for Kim.

A love that calls on 900+ students, all their teachers, the nurses, the helpers, the groundkeepers, the maintenance men, front office staffers & cooks to all come together & keep a secret. They are An Army of Love.

And they had a surpirise for Kimbies.

But I will let her, in her own time, tell you about that.

In the meantime, War has been declared, Kimbies is kicking butt & the Army is ever-growing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

High Times

September 18, 2006
Second round of Chemo is magic stuff! Kimbies is doing wonderful! Has had two doses of the dreadful stuff already and her reaction to this potion is.....Have a beer, a baked potatoe, a steak, some sea scallops, turn the music on and dance! We are Lovin' Life and Livin' your prayers!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Letters From the Seawall

Thoughts to you girls .
(Email from our "new best friends" and we knew it the moment we met!)

Please forgive me for not writing sooner or commenting on the site for Kim. I haven't been able to after reading it over and over and crying all the time.
I just don't have the right words for all of you; I am so saddened by Kim's taunting illness and could not find the courage to write.

After reading your stories time after time, I finally realized that you have inspired me to give in to my weakness and fear of not finding the right words or way to convey them to you and Kim.

The strength and courage you have is never ending. The love you and your family generates is felt by all surrounding you.

Kim is such a trouper and I know she'll get through this with great strength and prayers .
The family bond is remarkable; your Mom and Dad are to be pinned with the #ONE Award!! They have done a fine job. God Bless all of you.

I know you are so very busy and consumed with loving and giving of yourself to Kim and the families. Please take care of yourself.

I am so amazed at your writings but not shocked!!! I could read between the lines in our email!! Who ever knew we'd meet up with gals of your talents with writings and paintings!!! I am so excited for you in that way and saddened in another . I feel helpless for you.

Please give the kids our love and thoughts and Kim a great big hug.
She will get through the second phase..God is with her.

I love you and miss you. God be with you.
Corinne and Stan

Monday, September 04, 2006

Never-Ending List of Things To Love About Kim

Of course there are all the traditional things to love about her, but this list will focus on some of the not so traditional things....
1-She doesn't care if her socks match or not
2-Even when she thinks she's losing her patience, she's really patient
3-She's read all of the Willy Wonka & J.R. Tolkein Books
4-She's given CPR to a goldfish
5-She wears clogs & somehow can make one pair last twenty years
(she probably needs a pair right now, size 10, soft leather ;)
6-She knows how to go gigging...that is spearing for flounder
7-She learned to drive in a car that didn't have a floorboard
8-She's terified of the Golden Arm & the Chicken Man
9-She took Jewelry making in H.S, when the other kids were taking Home Economics
10-She once tried to make a fish tank out of an old commode
11-She can sing any song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show
12-She has been mistaken for Raquel Welch in the 70's & Julia Roberts in the 90's
13-She loves okra & sometimes grows it in her yard
14-She's raised three girls with only one bathroom
15-At the age of 30, she still wasn't sure what exactly 'circumcision' meant
16-Repeatedly, she has grown her thick, brown hair out, just to give it to Locks-of-Love
17-She prefers her coffee instant
18-She lied about her age to get her first job & didn't get caught for 2 yrs., when she turned 16
19-She scrunches her shoulders together when driving over it will make her vehicle more narrow.
20-She once oiled her bicycle chain with Oil of Olay

Friday, September 01, 2006

Round One!

Just want to keep you all posted! Round One is done, over with, see ya. Rough Stuff. (Actually, no words quite poisen enough to describe ) Next round starts Wednesday. Fourteen weeks. Thanks to all for praying, for sharing, and for being there. WE LOVE OUR KIMBIES!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Love Letter from the Heart of Badri

Who is Kim, the very first time, almost twenty years ago; when I met Kim I thought she must have been the Beauty Queen of her high school whom the Beauty in her is well preserved. Slender, tall, with beautiful smile and talking eyes. Her ability to throw her feelings into her artistic work is enough proof to her genuine self.
Later I realized that her inner beauty is equally noticeable. One does not need to have a long time to realize this. She is truly a friend no matter how long she has known you. Her manner and her down to earth character is enough to attract you deeply. It comes to mind that the way that Kim’s parents brought her up must have to do a lot with who Kim is. Among all three sisters there is not one unsweet bone to untie one from the rest. Even though our busy life style has always kept us mostly apart, I always deeply wished to be in her circle of friends for my admiration for Kim and her family is immense. Love you girls; you sisters are pure, sincere and exceptionally kind.

Friday, August 11, 2006

In the Garden of Love

In the Garden of Love, even the Gnomes want to Come Out to Play with You!
Dana & Al send you All The Love in the World.

The Keeper of Words

Sometimes when you least expect it,
where you least are apt to find it,
you remember....
to believe....
The Words Just keep coming.....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Love Letter

The Threads that Bind Us

This is a letter written by Kimbies following a week-end read of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. She bopped it in the mail to Paigey and cc'd a copy of it to me, The keeper of the Words. I came across it today and asked her if it would be ok to post it here. For these are the thoughts, the threads, the faces, the hearts, that so bind us.

"Dear Paigey,
Here it is, early Saturday morning. I have just finished your favorite book, a very quick read. I slowly placed it on the table, my thoughts swirling...hum, was it great? did it move me? was I spell bound? As thee idol thoughts raced through my head, I questioned one you have to wait to meet these five people or are they present and we are just too busy to notice the importance of common every day interactions?
My mind races back to many years ago. We are just children. Running, jumping, picking up pecans, swinging on the front porch swing. Sandy running on the bare wooden floors, Uncle Rufus calling be Timberly, chicken and dumplings, my favorite okra, fried corn bread all on the table. All the family together...Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brothers ,sisters, Mom, and Dad and of course MawMaw.
I move quickly forward to a time about 8 years ago. I was working in the school cafeteria, I would be training Johnny today. He has retired from the head of maintenance, but doesn't want to sit at home so he will join us in the lunch room. We worked together for 2 weeks....chatting, laughing, singing. We talked about many things, some silly, some powerful, heart wrenching. He spoke of losing his son with tears welling in his eyes and mine as well, fresh heartache that will never leave. I see him about twice a year, we always greet each other with a hug and a warm hello.
It is the day of Nadine's funeral. There must be 150 people, maybe more. Her house if filled, people everywhere, all of her best friends, each in their own way. Many I know, many I do not. I bustle in and out, checking on food, clearing plates, getting drinks, greeting people. I have kicked off my heels and enter the living room, serve up a plate of food when across the room a conversation sparks, takes root and holds for a few minutes. i introduce myself, not knowing many of the people in the room at that time, but knowing we are there because of one common thread...the love we have for Nadine. Before exiting, Tom bounds from the chair to embrace with a hug. A little later, I meet a beautiful blonde in the kitchen, Candy.....she is married to Tom, she is a breast cancer survivor. We embrace, and in that hug, I myself knew something, although I did not know what it was, but I knew we were to be dear friends. In the months that followed, we spent Christmas together, Tom's birthday, and helped with Nadine's estate sale.
It is now February 2006, I find my lump and I know what it is, different from the others. In April I go for the mammogram, the radiologist comes in and she knows that I KNOW what I have. She is sweet and kind, she does not tell me I have cancer, she does not have to. I tell her with tears in my eyes about Nadine and meeting Candy and Tom. She hugs me tight and whispers "you will need their support".
In May, I meet with the surgeon. He is up beat, young, and aggressive. I have referred several people to him, but have never met him until today. Pam is with me. I know why my friend Joan loved him so much, her body crumbling, faulting, but her spirit, her strength, her courage, her laugh, her love of life overpowering all her ailments. She was a gift! And, of course, his favorite patient.
One week later, I was back at the surgeon's office with Pam. We sat waiting. I heard a familiar deep voice, somewhat like Ray Charles, and lifted my head to see Johnny and his wife. He is facing colon cancer, we will be chemo partners. We embrace, he talks about a family reunion he hopes to attend in July in Thomasville, georgia. Of course, I know where this is ....our Aunt Ernestine grew up in Pelham. With his deep Ray voice, he turns to his beautiful wife and smiles and says " I knew we were related". His father was born and raised in Pelham. We talk weekly now, keeping up with each other.
So here I sit, contemplating your favorite book. I look around at the cards, flowers, figts of lotions, potions, music, candles, dinners cooked, homemade cheese cakes, pajamas, tokens of strength, of love of support. And I question? Who am I? A daughter, mother wife, sister, aunt, niece, a cousin, a neighbor, a friend, a lunch room lady, and a breast cancer patient. All this out pouring of love and strength has been sent to me by so many people. Many of them I have never met, the LT at Debbies work in Dunnelon, her coworker, her best friend in New York. Co-workers that I see everyday or once in a while, neighbors who have moved out of state, Amber's co-workers, Olivia's best friend and her gramma Sandy, our cousins, of course Mom and dad and all my sisters and brothers, Aunts and uncles, dear friends that have left us, but guided a course for me. People that we meet by chance that are now like family. Wow, it is so deep, so I guess you could say, your favorite book got me thinking very deeply."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Letter from Bonnie

Dear Sweet Kimbie! 
You are an amazing woman born to do amazing things, 
which you continue to do 
just by being the phenominal woman you are!  
I wish you so
much peace that it just runs over on every body else.
My prayers are with you!
I'll be checking in.


Shooting Star

Shooting Star, Bad Company
Johnny was a schoolboy when he heard his first Beatle song, 'Love me do,' I think it was. From there it didn't take him long.

Well, I am not Johnny & I wasn't even in school when I heard my first Beatle song. I can't remember which song was first, but the album was Meet the Beatles. It was my sisters & I wasn't allowed to touch it.

So, when my older sisters would take off to school, I would ever so carefully pull the albums out, trying only to touch the edges as I put it on the turntable. Sometimes I would double-stack them, which was pretty scary. Yes, it meant I would touch them less, but they would have to endure the drop of the second album. But, like Johnny, after hearing the Beatles, it didn't take me long. I, like my sisters before me, had developed a love for rocking out.

Twenty years later, Kim & I went to the bar 'around the corner' where my soon-to-be-rocker-boyfriend's-band was playing. They played a bunch of old rock -n- roll songs... including Bad Company's Shooting Star. We were rockin'!

Driving home from this hole-in-the-wall, Kim & I were talking about Shooting Stars
& about how they made us feel blessed, kissed by God or Mother Nature, anytime we got to catch a glimpse of one.

Now the drive, from dance floor to front door, was no more than 6 blocks so it wasn't an extensive conversation, but about 3 blocks into it something magical happened.
A colorful shooting star swooshed across the middle of the night skyline right in front of us. My foot left the gas pedal & both, Kim & I, were shooting out words of awe when SWOOSH here came another one. They formed a big x in our windsheild.

We felt like we were being called upon by the Lords above. It was after 2 am & we should have been beat ... late night, dancing, alcohol ... but we weren't. We were ignited, charged & driven. Those shooting stars were so sobering, yet so intoxicating... energizing us with a blanket of tranquility.

We pulled the tri-fold beach loungers out from the shed. We made coffee. We piled up, like little kids on their first camping trip, in the backyard. We watched the shooting stars carve a kaleidescope of colors into the skies. If we saw one, we saw thirty. We saw pink ones and blue ones, red and green ones, purple ones and of course, pure white ones. We talked about fate and free will and feelings of peace, music and harmony...harmony of people, places and events.
We went through bouts of silence, as well...just soaking up the sensations that Mother Nature's choreographers had designed that exceptional night. We wondered if anyone else in this great big world was sharing this arena with us? Was it just as magical for them? We were right where we beleived we were supposed to be...on the top of the sandy little hill, in tri-fold beach loungers, wrapped up in mexican throws, in Kim's backyard, feeling at one with the world.

Fate and free will, music and harmony brought us there & filled us with peace, blessed us and kissed our inner spirits.

So here's an affectionate toast to sisterhood, neighborhood bars, the Beatles & shooting stars.
God, Mother Nature and the Lords up above have blessed us in so many ways.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Kim's Hand-Me-Down Levi's

A poem written by Paigey in 1993 based upon a true story & modeled by mannequin, Wednesday Wishes, in 2006

Kim's hand-me-down Levi's
Worn by all of us
Handed down three times
white, worn and tattered
three generations old but thats never mattered
Kim's Hand-me-down Levi's
handed on down in the order we were born
they are a little bit older and a little more worn
always easily found, but not easily torn
Kim's hand-me-down Levis' worn by Kim, Curt & me
And sometimes I can see Kims' hand-me-down Levis
Kind of in me.

*2006, may the spirit of these Levi's live within all of us. Our Dear Sweet Kim has joined the battle of a lifetime, one against cancer. May she be as strong, as durable, as consistant & resistant, as the fibers of those famous hand-me-down Levi's. White, worn & tattered...none of that matters.

The Emperor's New Clothes....

Levi's are fine with
holes in their knees,
Faded ole fannies,
And no zipper keys.
When the Emperor got dressed
in the Emperor's new clothes,
he probably had Levi's
and was trying

Off the walls of my porch
Peace~love~and Button up flies!