I wasn't planning on writing a post on the passing of my dear friend Kim Ricketts vowing to leave it to the much more capable and eloquent writers out there who would no doubt do a much better job than I ever could. I didn't know if I could write about the too soon passing of a friend again. It just isn't fair. We always say that with the passing of someone close to us to the point of cliche but rarely is it ever not true, especially with Kim.
But I had to write something and I will admit this is for very selfish reasons. When I look back on the time I got to spend with her it is filled with smiles and laughter. There were the stories and hugs we shared, the encouraging words about being a parent, how we planned to revamp the event series we worked on together, and the dishing. I would not trade any of the time I spent with her for anything, even the time when facilities screwed up and there weren't any chairs for our event and she gave me the look I'm sure her children are familiar with that just said, "Fix it."
It's not the time we spent together that makes me sad but rather the time we won't have. I know this is really selfish because there are three wonderful people out there who won't have another chance to hug their mom and husband who won't have another chance to hold his wife's hand. I know this but I'm going to be selfish for a moment and I hope you forgive me for that.
When Kim found out we were having a baby she was so excited for us. At one point I expressed some nervousness about being a parent and her response was, "You'll be great, just make sure to read to her." She missed our baby shower because she wasn't feeling well and was still going to doctors to try to figure out what was going on but the next time she saw me she greeted me with a big hug and a bigger stack of books.
She never got to meet Julia. I think that's one of the things that has made me so sad over the past week. When Julia was born Kim was in the same hospital but on a different floor. We were so tempted to find out what room Kim was in and bring the baby to her but we said we'll have lots of other chances to introduce Julia to her Auntie Kim. Over the next few months we were back at the hospital a number of times with Julia and I would often send Kim a message saying we were there and Julia says hi and can't wait to meet her. She would often tell me to give Julia a hug for her and once she got out of the hospital and was feeling better she couldn't wait to hold her.
There was never a doubt in our minds that there would be another day, a day when Kim would feel better and be able to hold the baby and read her a book. If we had known how little time we had we would have just said screw it and showed up at her hospital room door with the baby. Julia would have loved Kim, I have no doubt in my mind about that. I'm going to say it again, it just isn't fair. It's not fair that Julia has to grow up in a world without Kim Ricketts. It's not fair that she'll never get to hear Kim's voice or her laugh. It's not fair she'll never get an email from Kim where the subject line is used as the introductory sentences to her message. It's not fair she'll never get to hear Kim tell stories, especially the ones where she gets really animated (like the Marco Pierre White story).
I've gotten to experience all of that and I look back upon those things with joy and happiness. But Julia will never get to experience them. The sadness doesn't come from looking back at the time we had together but rather the time taken away from us and the things we won't get to do. Because Kim told me to, and you never want to disappoint her, we will read Julia lots of books and in doing so Kim will always be with us.
I know I'm not the only one that misses Kim and I'm being selfish but sometimes you just have to be selfish.
Oh, and cancer, if I ever run into you in a dark alley be warned I will kick you in the nuts you fucking asshole.