This could turn into a rather long post, so hang on, and hope you're sitting in a comfortable chair.
The phone rang today. My heart sank when I saw on the caller ID who it was. I was afraid to answer. It was the husband of one of my best friends. Sam was calling me with news that we needed to prepare ourselves for what was about to happen. Now I know that no matter what you do, no matter how you know that the person that you care about will not suffer any more, there is really nothing that you can do to prepare yourself for a death. I've cried till my eyes hurt and still cry some more.
I've lost several family members during my almost 55 years. Two grandmothers and one grandfather, several aunts, uncles and cousins and several people that I have known for a long time. But none as close as a friend as Kim.
I don't mean to talk about her as if she has already gone. She is still alive. Or at least some faint form of life. I guess I need to go back and start at the beginning for you to understand why my heart is breaking.
In December 1997 my husband was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. He was sent to see a doctor at UVA hospital in Charlottesville, VA. We both had spent many a night already due to other family members illness but this time decided to stay somewhere other than in a motel in Charlottesville. We had picked up a copy of a hotel/motel coupon book. Stopped at a Days Inn that was in Waynesboro and asked that even though they didn't have an add in there would they honor the same rates for a Days Inn that was in Staunton. They said...... Sure!
And as they say the rest is history. There were two lovely ladies that was working there, one as general manager and the other as assistant manager. Dawn and Kim. Not to mention some super people that worked the desk that proved that they were caring wonderful people. But anyhow, Kim and I just hit it off.
Have you ever met someone that you felt as if you had known them all your life? That is how it was with Kim. What was even more strange was when we realized several months later that we had actually met her father over a year before we met her! Then there were just those little things that really seemed to really draw even more attention to the fact that we were meant to be friends. Both of our mothers name is "Betty". Her husband and I share the same birthday, May 25. We were the same blood type, A+ and finally we would share a kidney named "Sydney".
Kim had been a diabetic since she was a teenager. Over the years the disease had taken it's toll on her. Kim had lost a toe and finally lost her kidneys. In March of 2003 Kim called me one morning to say that she was on her way to the dialysis center. A few weeks later she was put on the transplant list. I know that several of her family members were ruled out right off the bat due to health issues. Some were tested but their kidneys didn't work well enough. Then came the day that we were at her house and it was the same day that even her husband found out that his function wasn't good enough either. That's where my part of this story came in.
I had lost some weight at that point but needed to loose another 15 pounds. To my surprise I did it in a MONTH! Then I was able to start the initial testing here at a hospital near my home. Things went rather well. I passed all the test that were done here then they made me come up to UVA for more testing.
In October my phone rang with the news that a date for our surgery had been set. December 18, 2003. One week to the day before Christmas!
Checked into the hospital that morning, Kim and I both were not scared, nervous or anything. Can't say the same for our families! At one point I told them to hush their crying, I'd be right back!
I never will forget all the long talks we would have. We would talk a lot online at first. Then came the long phone calls. And would we ever talk about anything and everything! One of our favorite topics was about how things floated in Hot Tubs! I'll not say another word about that here! We would laugh till we about wet our panties then laugh some more. I'm really going to miss her laugh.
On January 15, 2009 Kim checked into UVA hospital for surgery to move her pancreas from where it was first put to another location that hopefully wouldn't cause so much trouble. I wish now that they had left things alone. I don't know exactly what caused all the infection, I'm no doctor or expert. But I can't help but feeling that if they had left things alone that maybe she wouldn't be on her death bed now.
I've got an Angel that Kim had given me just before our transplant. It has a built in recorder that Kim had recorded a message on it for me. To my surprise after over 5 years it still plays! I'm going to set it up, record it on video just in case it quits and I never get to hear her again.
I know I'm not the first person that will have lost a friend. Kim is one among many friends I've lost over the years. But none will hurt me as much as loosing Kim. I've got a couple friends that I've had longer that mean just as much to me, Scottie and Lisa. But to watch a good person die little by little is so hard.
Kim, we gave it our best girlfriend. We tried. I tried. Rest in peace when it's your time to go on. Always know that you will never be forgotten and that you were loved.