This week, in my Pool Party Tablescape post, I mentioned the fun times we had at our old neighborhood pool. Now that we’ve moved away, I call those years in that neighborhood “my charmed life”. We were so blessed there!
It’s rare in a suburban neighborhood to have adults that get along so well, and kids the same age range with complete friendship among them. There was no back-biting, not ill will, nothing of that sort.
Last Sunday was my friend Kim’s birthday. Her family lives in the old neighborhood, and we did all our neighborhood activities together.
At Halloween, we’d walk with our kids in the neighborhood parade on their tricycles, bikes, and wagons, then walk with them that night to gather their candy. We would meet in the cul-de-sac at the end of her street for the kids to play. We gave baby showers together, and we had cookie parties, and all those fun types of things.
Kim and I painted our watering cans together. (Hers looks much better than mine.) Remember this re-purposed watering can? Yep, that’s the one I painted with Kim.
Kim’s painting talent has blessed many of us over the years. As a going-away gift, she and two other neighbors painted this plate for me. Kim did the writing…her script is amazingly good. She helped the others with their flowers, too. Remember the plate from my kitchen valance reveal?
The picture isn’t very clear, but it says,
Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.
Isn’t that sweet? I feel the same way…so hard to leave such good friends.
As I walk through our house, I see things in every room that Kim gave me or made for me. What treasured memories come to mind!
Kim was the friend I called if I was in dire need. One time, HH was out of town and the kids and I were at home with a horrible stomach bug. After my SOS call, she kindly and quickly placed a jug of Gatorade on our front stoop. That’s the kind of friend she was…always there.
She loved flowers, and her yard was beautifully tour-worthy at any season. She was our neighborhood Martha Stewart.
After we moved away, Kim was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was sad to be gone from the neighborhood. How I would have loved to help her! Neighbors immediately formed a group schedule for providing meals, cleaning service, and whatever was needed for their family.
Kim fought a long, hard battle of chemo and radiation, but on her 53rd birthday last Sunday, she crossed over into eternity. She’s pain-free now and with Jesus.
I think I may have told you about a quick trip I made to Atlanta about three weeks ago. I had a three-day window available to make the trip, and with all our travel plans this last month, I took advantage of the short window of time to go and see Kim. She was home with hospice care, so I knew things weren’t good.
Kim was very talkative…her normal sweet self, smiling, and asking me questions. She caught me up on all the neighborhood kids, who is at what college, who graduated, etc.
Hey, what about chemo brain? She showed no signs of that. She amazed me with her alert state while taking meds to keep her comfortable.
HH and I were on the road this week. Yes, another motorcycle trip, this time to Minnesota. We were only a few days into the trip when the text came with sad news. We discussed leaving immediately to try to make the funeral. But, God had arranged my visit with her while she was alive. I assured HH that I didn’t feel the need to be at her funeral. I’d been blessed with that special visit with Kim, such a wonderful gift from God.
It was an emotional week for me as I remembered all the fun times we had together, raising our kids together and her friendship most of all. It occurred to me that I never heard Kim say anything unkind to or about anyone. Ever. Never a foul word, either. Her bright blue, sparkly eyes were always engaged with a smile. She lived well. She loved well. And, she finished well.
Her legacy lives on. I thought a lot about her legacy this week. There are many more things I could tell you about her…her love for her two boys, now grown, her love for my two kids, and her love for the pre-school kids she taught these past eleven or so years. Her great cooking…her amazing German chocolate cake…how she popped by with a sampling quite often when our house was conveniently on the way to the bus stop. How I miss her!
Kim was all about giving. Herself, her talents, her everything. Whole-heartedly. All in. That’s her legacy.
What will you want your legacy to be? What will mine be? I think we should decide that first…and then live it.
Begin as you mean to end.
That quote is so appropriate. How do you mean to end? Will you have a legacy of living out your faith? With love?