I’ve written this post about a thousand times in my head, and yet I still struggle with putting it in written form. I’m afraid that my words won’t do it justice, that somehow the raw emotion that I’m feeling won’t transfer from my heart to your lips.
Tonight, I’m stepping away from my normal writings about our day-to-day lives as adoptive parents. Tonight I’m writing as Jenn, a cousin, who is reflecting on the life of a beautiful and amazing woman.
Last Friday, at approximately 8:30pm, my mom called. To say that it was “late” for my mom to call isn’t true, but I will say that my mom never calls at that time unless it’s with purpose. Friday her purpose was to inform me that my cousin Kimberly (or Kay as she prefered to be called) had taken her own life and we needed to reach her oldest brother Trey.
Kay’s funeral was this past Wednesday, and my parents and I (along with E) made the drive to Provo, UT to pay our respects. Through out the trip, I had a lot of time for reflection. I thought about Kay, how surprising this was because on Facebook her life seemed fine, good even. I thought about the strained relationship we had, and how even though I thought of her often, I wished I had told her that I was thinking of her and so amazed at the life she was now living.
I don’t have many memories with Kay, but I do have one that sticks out in my mind on how I hope to remember her. You see Kay was a passionate and adventurous young woman. She
wanted to be was a writer. Kay graduated from high school and moved out-of-state to pursue her dream, no matter the odds. She knew what she wanted and was willing to do what it took to make that happen.
In 2000, we were all in Southern California for a family event. After the event we all headed to Disneyland where we spent a really good time together as an extended family. Kimberly was 13 at the time, and her parents really wanted her to go on Splash Mountain (for the photo-op). Kimberly was having none of it. I teamed up with her mom and dad to encourage her to do it- after all they were offering a sweet deal that included cash and merchandise JUST for getting on this ride. After about an hour of hyping her up, we finally boarded the ride, and she and I rode together. About half way through she started to get worried about the impending drop- and while we had no option but to follow through with it, I tried to calm her fears. After the drop was over, she mentioned how it wasn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be- though she wouldn’t be riding it again.
This is how I’ll always remember Kay. She was always up for a challenge, never afraid to take a risk and see what happened. She also knew how to “sweeten the deal” and make sure she got the most “bang for her buck”. (Let’s be honest, she likely KNEW she was going to ride Splash Mountain, but waited until her parents came up with the best package – remember cash and merchandise- before accepting).
Tonight, I reflect back on Kay and her life. I read memories and scroll through pictures posted by those who knew her better than I, learning all to late what an incredible and amazing woman she truly was.
Rest in Peace Kay- This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.