Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goodbye and Goodbye

10-8-1972             5-14-2010

I have written this post a million times in my head, wanting to so clearly capture Kelly. Wanting to give those of you who didn't know her the best window into what a gift it was to be a part of her life. And I can't do it. I don't know if it is too soon. I don't know if its just me. I don't know. So instead, I'm just gonna write. Please forgive my stream of consciousness, perhaps it will provide some clarity.

Kelly and I were born five days apart on separate ends of the country. But when we met the summer before our 7th grade year, I knew that she would be somehow be a special part of my life. It wouldn't be for another year that we would become close, but close we were. "Kandy and Kelly" were always together. When Kelly's family moved away at the end of 10th grade, one of our teachers asked me, "what are you going to do with out her?" I didn't know then. I don't know now. 

As I sit here at my desk and look up at my inspiration wall, staring back at me, among other things, are two pictures of Kelly, an angel from a card she sent me years ago, and a note she had recently attached to two articles she sent me about women who had started their own businesses in her forties. The note says, "Kandie, Aren't these stories great? Maybe you'll start your pottery business when we turn 40!" Unfortunately, "we" won't turn forty. I'll have to do that alone. 

The prospect of life without Kelly is difficult to grasp. A huge part of me can't wrap itself around this. No more calls? Really? No more hearing her beautiful voice? No? No more laughing about our nutty children? You're kidding! It all seems too much and yet it's real and true and hurts more than I have words to express. 

There are so many funny and beautiful stories about Kelly. Since her death last Friday, her family, friends and I have shared many. And as much as I need the stories, they aren't enough. I want more. I want her. Because, though the stories are important and what we now have, they are a pale shadow to who she really was. And during quiet times, I find myself reflecting not so much on the stories, but what it was to just "be" with her. So much of our time together was just being. Even on the phone. Our understanding of each other ran deep. 

When Kelly got sick, she told me that I would be her light to get her through this. I remember thinking, "Dear God, help me to be this for her!" I hope and pray I was. I wanted so much to be. I am so grateful to have been given the extreme honor of being with her during her final days, a gift I will forever be thankful to her parents, Chuck and Susan, her sister, Erin and her husband, Matt, for allowing me. The moments with her over the last few weeks are by far some of the most precious of my life. Her last words to me were, "I love you so much." I said, "I love you, too, Kelly." I left the room. She slipped into a coma in the early morning. Good bye, my sweet, sweet friend.

The Blog

I wish you could read the emails we sent back and forth just trying to come up with a name. It makes me laugh to see how serious and nervous we were at beginning. I have been asked to continue the blog. I have thought so much about it. I don't know how to do this. It just feels so wrong. This blog was completely a collaborative effort, right down to the font colors. We never made decisions with out consulting each other. Never. Notions and Threads was ours. I can't make it mine. I don't want to. It hurts too much. Maybe after a break. I'll feel differently. But for now...

I have come to believe that one of the main reasons the blog existed, unbeknownst to us when we started it, was so that all of you could have a hand in this journey. Your role was no small part. Each comment made fed her soul. She was always so excited when we had a new follower. The Wellness Tree project blew her and Matt away. Nicole, my dear friend, a special thank you to you for the gift of The Wellness Tree and for everything else you have been to Kelly, Matt, Susan and me. One day, you'll get that hug. 

So this is goodbye, for now. Maybe I'll start a new blog one day. One about... I don't know (see, I'm no good right now). Or maybe I will surprise you with a post about something crafty that a memory of Kelly inspired. You never know. Right now I just need some time. 

Love and undying gratitude,


Monday, May 10, 2010

And so it goes...

Oh my dear friends,
I am heading back to Kentucky. The day after I posted last, Kelly's levels all moved in the wrong direction. They have continued on that course and now her kidney's are shutting down as well. Kelly's Dr.'s have said there is truly nothing else that can be done and she is being moved home. I really don't know what to say other than my heart is breaking. Please continue your prayers for her, her family, for me.       

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have been in Kentucky. I wasn't there for the Derby. I wasn't there for the storm. And despite what my children thought, I wasn't there for fun. I rushed there to possibly say goodbye to my precious Kelly. After a terrifying call full of tears and fear, I was on a plane. I have never been on such an emotional roller coaster.  From the initial call that Kelly was in complete liver failure to seeing Kelly and her feeling a bit better to Kelly being told that there was nothing the Dr's could would do to help her to her other Dr. in Louisville saying he wanted her transfered immediately and then finally to her making strides in the right direction. And through it all Kelly's beautiful family; Mother, Father, Sister and her husband Michael and little one Maddie, Mother and Father in Law, Matt and Ari being so strong, so supportive.  See... roller coaster. I'm getting sea sick just reading it. I thank God it has all taken the turn that it has taken. And what started as the most horrible trip of my life ended with my leaving full of hope. Hope. As you may have noticed the theme for this month is the same as last. Kelly requested that. I fully concur. We continue to hope that all will continue in the direction it is going now. Kelly is still in the hospital, but each day things get a bit better. Sodium levels are up. Bilirubin seems to be peaking, soon to be dropping. They hope to release her soon. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Kelly derives such strength from knowing you all are out there pulling for her. Me, too.