Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Woman's Story

Recently I featured a link to a local blog that is being written by Kim Richards. I have known Kim and her husband John for several years. One year I d-j'd a Father-Daughter Dance for the Girl Scout troop that Kim and Macy are a part of at St. Charles.

Kim's dad Bob and her mom attend church with us at Holy Cross.

One year, my wife Kathy was craving a cup of Higher Grounds Coffee on Thanksgiving Morning, and we walked into their Maplecrest location and they were there with a small group of friends, they got each of us our coffee and then we realized that they were actually closed. It was a Thanksgiving tradition that we had stumbled into, and John was gracious enough to invite us in and share a cup.

I don't know if you know the Richards family, but if you have ever visited a Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, you have tasted the fruits of their labor of love.

Earlier this year, Kim was diagnosed with cancer. It was a shock to all. Still is. Kim is sharing her experiences in a blog that you can access here. You can even sign up for an email notification that let's you know when she has posted a new entry.

I recommend that you start reading the journal from the beginning, back in July and get up to speed.
Here's a sample from her latest entry:

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2008 04:33 AM, CDT

One of my favorite pastimes have become watching people sleep – I just can’t win, either all I want to do is sleep or I can’t sleep to save my life. I am starting to see a 3am pattern (I wonder if I was born at 3am & its my way of celebrating another day J). Tonight, John even recognized my need to blog…I guess it’s my way of processing life. I especially love watching Macy & Morgan sleep. It’s like life on pause. I get to enjoy how much they have grown (I think Morgan has gained 5 pounds since Nanna’s house – must be all of grandpa’s good cooking), embrace the beauty each one has to offer, envy their ability to sleep and imagine what they will be like as they take on the world. Even watching John sleep makes me appreciate how blessed I am to have found my soul mate. For a brief moment, you forget all the imperfections and distractions life brings & you just enjoy the beauty and wisdom of the moment.

Cancer has caused me to re-evaluate my life – something I am sure I would have done just wasn’t expecting it to be so soon. I have regrets like not keeping up with friends, or not making my family a priority. (I remember one Mother’s Day, I missed Macy’s preschool presentation because someone decided not to come into work – how I wish I could bring that day back.) But overall, I know it is the hardships in life that shape our lives – the business may have its moments and it is far from making us millionaires but it offered flexibility that most parents never have – with a few exceptions, of course. I am one who enjoys predictability, has to have order (or at least appear to have order), and I somehow leave my mark on this world. I always imagined it would involve something to do with kids. When I was 17, I wrote an editorial trying to stop them from tearing down the old Krosher house in an effort to convert it to a safe haven for pregnant teens, at 35 I convinced John to explore the option of adoption to expand our family (secretly, I envisioned a huge house with lots of kids running around), then most recently, I decided I wanted to create a support group called Mom2Mom which would embrace, celebrate, and support moms using the media of television & internet. (It’s never been a money thing but an effort to provide strength to ones life.) Yep, many people believed I was a little nuts – I probably am – but that never stopped me from dreaming big. Ironically, it appears God’s plan was to make my imprint on life with cancer. What a journey it has been so far…I have connected with so many incredible people thanks to a circulating email, made the Pat White show, and the News Sentinal even wants to do a human interest story on us. I am a pretty private person (only sharing my intimate thoughts with a computer) so it is extremely overwhelming. Even when it came to business, I always let John handle the media exposure & considered myself the “behind the scenes” girl. The fundraiser is even difficult – for fear that everyone will know how really weak I am (can’t hide behind a computer). But God has worked through me – giving me a voice. Hopefully, raising awareness and hope about a disease that affects so many woman – and rethinking the concept of not getting a mammogram until age 40. He has also given me reassurance that I have made a difference just in everyday life…and you thought you were just signing a guestbook. You have shown me that to be remembered in life has nothing to do with BIG events but it has everything to do with the little things in life. Thanks for helping me appreciate the little things - kim

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