I felt a jolt go through me yesterday when I realized that it had been 6 months since Kimmy’s funeral. I got through the date of her passing, but the date of her funeral caught me off guard. Your child’s name and “funeral” should never go together in your head. They can’t. I feel torn. Part of me still wants to lie down and die every day – a very big part of me. The missing her never goes away. I have grown used to coping by compartmentalizing and staying crazy busy. All this down time to think has been both a blessing and a curse.

I have also had the picture placed in my head continually – probably by my angel girl – of my daughter and the way she took on so many challenging times during her short life. Her music play list is still on my computer. While just thinking of the title stabs me, I still keep being reminded that one of her favorite “no one is going to keep me down” songs was What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger by Pink. During some of her most difficult, frustrating, upsetting times – she would blast that song, clean her room ‘til it shone, and dance her heart out. She would reclaim her power that way. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure if she learned that “blast out the radio and clean and dance until you feel better” thing from me, or if I learned it from her – I just know we’ve both always done it for as long as I can remember. While I’m not quite back into my dancing shoes mode – physically or emotionally – I realize that I am still here, still have things to do, and that I need to get stronger for myself, for my children, and for the people around me. I know that Kimmy is doing her part on her side of the veil, and that I have to do my part on my side. I know that I have a reason to make it to the finish line – because she’s waiting there for me.

I have said so many times that we receive constant reminders that she is with us. Most of her family and friends share things with me often as well. Sometimes someone asks me how I know that all these reminders are not just coincidences. I’m not always sure how to answer that really. Even though I can’t hug her or call her on the phone, feeling my daughter close to me now is the same energy I have felt anytime she was around me for the past 21 years. Parents who have more than one child may be able to relate.  If you have your back to the door and one of your children walks in, you can usually feel which child it is, without ever turning around.  It’s still Kimmy when she walks in.  When I hear her voice in my head, it’s her voice – not mine – her words, the way she talks, her personality. And I know my daughter. I know how much she loves Chris and her brothers and her friends. I know she would be reaching out to all of us constantly, in any way she possibly could – just like she did when she was a mortal angel instead of a spirit angel – to help us, to lift us up, to cheer us on, to let us know that she is there and that she cares. I just don’t even question any little reminder that I get from her – so I get them all the time.

And I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in synchronicities. While I can’t convince anyone against their will, I think you deprive yourself of a whole lot of comfort you could be receiving if you choose to line things up as simply “coincidence” or “confirming things you’re looking for” instead of recognizing the hand of God and angels in your life, in large and small ways. It goes along with faith maybe. Faith in God, in a power bigger than us. Or even if you’re doubting that – just faith in Kimmy. How would she not find a way to make her presence and her love known? How would a God who “knows when a sparrow falls,” “arrays the lilies of the field in glory,” and “numbers the stars and calls them all by name” not ensure that the world and the heavens that He created were in perfect alignment?


These are just a few quotes about synchronicity:

Synchronicity is being in alignment with divine time.

The word “coincidence” is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by “coincidence” but . . . by “divine design.”

Connections and synchronicities are always there – whether we can spot them in the moment or not. This is a Universe where there are no accidents.

Signs from Heaven


Yesterday, on that so yucky day, I didn’t feel well enough to be out and about much, but I felt stir crazy. I finally started going through some of Kimmy’s pictures and things I have left sitting too long since pulling things out to try to hurry and make her funeral beautiful. I’ve left them sitting for six months, to be exact. I was thinking how much I was dreading the upcoming holidays – I can’t believe we are almost to Thanksgiving, and then we have to get through Christmas, and I need to be a mom and try to pull this off for my other children, but how in the world are we going to get through any of this without Kimmy? I couldn’t help but remember all the other years – shopping for my little girl while she was growing up – how we used to love Christmas, it used to bring so much joy instead of pain and dread. I thought of later years, as a single mom when we didn’t have much money but how sweet and good Kimmy was, how kind and generous she has always been.

My heart nearly broke thinking about how last Thanksgiving Kimmy wanted us to go down to St. George and spend it with her and Chris. She had to work the day before and the day after so they couldn’t come up. I wanted to go – so much. But Ryan had started his first job and had to work on Thanksgiving Day, and I felt too bad leaving him. I knew they would be up for Christmas. If I could only go back and just go spend the day cooking with her, and laughing, and talking, and hugging her and soaking her in – I would give anything. But I didn’t know. I thought we had 40 more years. I thought about this past Christmas, the joy when she finally arrived back home, how she and Chris gave me a beautiful set of pans because I was still using the ones I’d had in college, her telling me about going to get them on Black Friday, how excited she was to give them to me – she wrapped them up beautifully and wanted me to open them early. I thought about always trying to find her the perfect comfy slippers, how I never dreamed when I tried to pick out perfect crystal earrings she would love for Christmas that we would end up burying her in them in May, and just the horrible hole that is going to be so apparent in our family and in our hearts this year – and every year from now on. It felt unbearable. Beyond unbearable.

I simply don’t know how I’m going to get through it. I started talking to her about it, asking her to give me strength, and of course – crying. I came upon a little pillow she made for me when she was probably 9 or 10. She made sure that it was my favorite colors – lavender and pink, crosstitched “MOM” on it in beautiful careful stitches, and sewed it all herself. I kept it on my writing desk for years and we displayed it at her funeral, with some of the other things she had made. This is my sweet, thoughtful, tender little girl. That was enough to make me bawl, of course, and know that she had heard me. She used to work so hard to make gifts for everyone every year.


But then I found something I didn’t remember seeing when I had gone through her things in May. It was tucked in between two picture frames – an envelope that said, “To: Mom, Love: Boo.” A Christmas card, also from when she was a little girl. She had stamped it, and written in it, and colored it, and signed it, and told me that I was the best mom in the world.  And I knew that it was her way of telling me that she is here, that she is with us, that she knows Christmas is going to be hard, but she’s right here and she loves all of us. I know she meant the message now as much as she did then, and she knew I needed to read it.  On the outside it said, Wishing you A Joyous Christmas and a New Year of Peace and Happiness.  And on the inside, in her precious handwriting, it said, Dear Mom, Merry Christmas!  I love you!  You’re the best mom in the world, that’s a fact!  I know it.  Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!  Love, Boo  How did she know I needed to hear those words even more today than I did 13 years ago?  Because she’s my daughter, and she’s an angel, and she’s still with me.  It gave me a huge dose of strength and reassurance and felt almost like a hug from her. And it was not a coincidence. It was a gift. From my beautiful angel girl. Who I am so, so immensely thankful for. I will get through Thanksgiving because of all that I have to be thankful for.  And we will get through Christmas, because it is when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and we will remember what I said in my last post – that because He lives, we know Kimmy lives and is ours forever.  So Merry Christmas To: Boo  Love: Mom  So much love, Kimmy.




Faith 2

I have been trying to edit this for 2 hours because I inserted the wrong photo at the end of your post, Kimmy Boo.  I’ve never had it not let me edit.  This is important enough to me to add a P.S.

For the first time, these past few days, I have been too ill to get to the cemetery every day – or very close to it.  Sweet Chris took such good care of your earthly garden for you.  I am so grateful.  Tonight is the first night I was well enough to get out of the car and bring you flowers again.  I was again, so grateful.  My phone – your phone – would not work to take photos, even when I prayed, even when I asked you for help.  So I stayed longer, waited in my car trying to charge it.

And then Chris pulled up and I knew why.  His phone takes far better photos.  But more importantly, we needed to be there together, to miss you and love you on this very difficult day.  And we both brought you yellow roses, Sis.  You love yellow roses.  I think that made you happy.

I accidentally inserted into your post the photo taken before all the flowers were there, and it will not let me edit.  Maybe someone needs to hear this added tidbit too.  So here are ALL of your yellow roses.  You are so very, very loved.



*I have stated before that I am LDS (Mormon) and that Kimmy was raised LDS. Both she and I have many family members and friends of our faith, and many not of our faith. Through most of my adult life, but especially since she left us, I seek truth, comfort and peace wherever I can find it. My personal belief is that all truth and light comes from God. That being said, my purpose here is not to offend or ostracize anyone, but to share where I have found some degree of peace today, and to offer it to those who Kimmy loves and who love her. I hope that all of you may find some peace and comfort here as well. May you feel the warmth of angel light in your hearts today, and every day.

*     *     *

Today has been just about the hardest day since the beginning, Sis. Halfway to a year. I find comfort that in this much time again I can go do your temple work. That will bring me an added measure of peace, even though I already feel you with me every time I’m there. I was blessed to have enough strength to get there today, for just a little bit. I saw a beautiful picture in my mind and heart of everyone I can think of in heaven that we know and love, surrounding you, hugging you and kissing you, and pouring out love on you, and on everyone here on earth who is missing you so much. I saw your beautiful shining, smiling face – just like in so many of your pictures where your friends or Chris are kissing your pretty cheeks – and your magic blue eyes, and felt your love and light and joy. It helped a little to know that you are surrounded in love, and that heaven celebrates while we mourn. I know that as happy as Jesus is to have you there with Him, He also cries with us today.

Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. (Book of Mormon, Alma 32:21). (A similar scripture is found in Hebrews 11:1). That scripture has carried me through many difficult times in my life. When I start to question why, I remind myself to have faith, to trust in God and His plan, that He can see further than I possibly ever could. And that I don’t have to know everything or understand everything in order to have faith. Even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words (Alma 32:27). There have been low points in my life when I had to hold on to simply a desire to believe, a “particle of faith” as the ancient prophet Alma also says.

If I have faith, then I can have hope. If there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there be hope, there must also be charity (Moroni 10:20-22). (Also in Romans 5:2; Psalm 131:3; Jeremiah 7, 13, 17; Acts 24:15, 26; and a whole lot of other places in the Bible). And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise (Moroni 7:41). Or Titus 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

And so, my precious daughter, on this most difficult of days – halfway to a year since you slipped through the veil to heaven – I keep going because I have faith and hope that I will be with you again, that we will all be together again. To be received into the kingdom of the father, to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens. (3 Nephi 28:40). I know it is beyond our mortal comprehension, but just the beginning of the thought of “to go no more out,” that not one of us will ever have to leave again – no more fear of loss – inspires thoughts of unimaginable peace and joy. I remember the day I first held you in my arms, your perfect shining soul in a perfect tiny body, and I wonder what the shock of that felt like – knowing you had just left your heavenly home for this human experience, feeling angels all around you, looking up at me with big blue eyes. Somehow I feel that both of our souls knew your stay here would be brief. But I know you were excited to come, to learn, to grow, to be part of our family, to love the people you came to love, even to face the challenges you would face. I imagine that when I finally leave here and go back home, you will be the one waiting to greet me, and I can feel the joy of just squeezing you as tight as I possibly can again, and to finally see the whole picture of how everything was planned out, to understand it. For now – I hold onto faith while I can’t hold onto you.

I have wondered about writing this. I want this blog to be about you, Kimmy. It isn’t about me. But then you are a part of me, you continue to impact the lives of the people you love every single day, and if I don’t share that . . . well, I want to keep you here with us, for everyone. That’s all. Almost 2 weeks ago now I had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. I went to the hospital with what I’m sure now was also appendicitis a month earlier, but they said it was the flu and sent me home. So this time I waited until I was literally near death before finally giving in and going back. The only other time I can even remotely recall being in similar pain was the time I went through emergency childbirth with no medication. Having your appendix taken out is no big deal in this day and age, but then if you wait until you’re completely septic, it can be a big deal. Not so smart of me. I have zero fear of death at this point and I just wanted OUT of the pain, but I felt you right next to me at the hospital saying, “Are you sure, Mom?” I had to clear my foggy head and think about Ryan and I knew I couldn’t leave yet. As much as part of me would like to be, I know I’m not done yet.

I saw you – not with my eyes, but in my mind – and felt you so strongly, the entire time I was in the hospital, all week. I had so much time to think, to ponder, to pray, to talk to God and to you. The day I finally got out I just saw you in my room in your beautiful bright yellow shirt, dancing. Laughing and dancing. I have so many memories of watching you dance, and crying because you were so beautiful, so graceful and gifted. You danced from your soul. In the days since I’ve been home, still recovering, I have continued to think and ponder – I can’t do a lot else. I suppose in some ways it has been a blessing, all this forced down time. In other ways it has felt very difficult. I’ve made some difficult decisions. You have helped to give me strength. In thinking about my own life, I think, “Would I want this for my daughter? Would this be good enough for Kimmy?” I can see you, in your full light, so aware of your divine worth and who you truly are now – healed. Although my heart aches every single day because I miss you so much, I also feel so much peace to feel that for you, my beautiful girl. I so want you to be here, with us. I want you to be with Chris, living your happy married life, with your dogs in your little house. I want it so much for you that it hurts. I’d give anything. I’d trade you places in a heartbeat. But somehow my soul knows that you are where you are supposed to be, even though it makes no sense in my head. When I see your beautiful angel self in heaven, and I feel the joy around you and see your influence in all our lives every day, part of me just can’t wish you out of that. I know that would be selfish. So I instead pray for comfort for sweet, sweet Chris, for your brothers, for me, and for everyone who loves you, that we can make it to the end and get back to you. And I pray that all those boys I love who love you will still find joy in that journey, because I know you want them to. So I try to find some too, even when it’s very hard.

I have thought so much these past few days about the many things that I am grateful for. I am grateful for parents, and siblings and a family that loved me. I do have a lot of happy childhood memories. I had 4 amazing grandparents. I didn’t realize growing up that not everyone is so blessed. It brings my heart immeasurable comfort now to know that those 4 amazing grandparents are with you, hugging you, laughing with you, kissing your sweet face, taking care of you while I cannot. I also knew 4 of my great grandparents, and Great Grandma Clayson I was blessed to have in my life until I was 21 – as long as you were with us. I know she was your guardian angel in St. George. She had a whole lot of family history there, and when I dropped you off there I felt her promise me that she would watch over you. You never met her in this life, but I’m pretty sure she saw you on your way out and also back into heaven. I know she adores you, and I’m sure you adore her. I missed Grandma Checketts so much after she left. We were especially close my whole life. When she died you were 3 years old and I was expecting Ryan. A little while ago Ryan just out of the blue said, “Mom, I bet Grandma Checketts just LOVES Kimmy.” It made me cry, but it also just comforted my heart, to think of you laughing and playing games with her, and doing your nails, and eating ice cream, talking late into the night (if they have night in heaven) – and then Grandpa teasing you and telling you you’re being silly – just like we used to be. I think Ryan was inspired to tell me that.

I am grateful for the incredible extended family I have on both sides – so many aunts and uncles and cousins I love and would do anything for even today, even though we don’t see each other like we did all the time when we were younger. I am grateful for the pets I had, for vacations and holidays, for so many happy childhood memories.

I am grateful for so many wonderful friends. I have been blessed with lifelong amazing, incredible people in my life. Some I’ve been friends with since childhood, some are very recent, but so many friends who would do anything for me and who I would do anything for, who I think the world of. I’m grateful for friends who make me laugh, friends I can talk to, friends who are there when I need them, friends who I just feel complete loyalty and affinity with even when we haven’t seen or talked with each other in a long, long time. I am grateful for the many prayers of friends and family. I am grateful for a job that I love, for the people I work with – many of whom are also dear friends. It is a blessing to see the joy of children and growth and hope when I go to work every day, and to feel like I can make a difference somewhere. I am grateful for my job this year especially, so that I can finally take care of my family. There is immense relief in that.

I am especially grateful for my children. I remember feeling almost terrified that I could love tiny little beings so much, because then I had something to lose that could break my heart. But I can’t regret it. It was worth having my heart broken. I have millions of moments engraved forever in my heart from raising those four beautiful children – the greatest gift God ever gave me. The joy they have brought to my life is indescribable. I wasn’t able to give them the perfect childhood I wanted to. Things didn’t work out the way I thought they would. I know I didn’t do everything right. But I tried to always put them first and do what I thought was best for them. And God has always blessed me to be able to take care of them. He has blessed us, immensely. I remember singing in the car, dancing in the kitchen, stories, museums, playing in the yard and at the park, birthday parties, Christmases, making playdough, blowing bubbles, watching basketball games and dance recitals and crying because they were so amazing to watch. I remember being the only mom crying at the bus stop when the other moms were jumping for joy. I could write a book just with a list of memories, but I’ll stop. The point is, these are gifts. And I get to keep them as comfort until we’re all together again. I also get to keep making memories with your brothers, and with your fiancé, and I know you’re with us. We feel you, even though we miss you.

I adored my little boys, loved them to pieces, would not have traded them for anything in the world. Still wouldn’t. But I also have the unique joy of having a daughter. Not every mother gets to have a daughter. Not every woman gets to be a mother. And out of all the women in forever, I got these four kids. Wow. I got to do bows, and nail polish and curls and dance recitals and proms and wedding plans. I remember how fun it was to dress you up when you were tiny, Kimmy, the fun of taking my little girl into the princess shop at Disneyland, the way you loved on your stuffed animals and baby dolls and cuddled up to me and how you were so different from your brothers. I remember late night talks, and going to Twilight movies. I remember sharing clothes, all my cute things going missing, and the adventure of dating again the same time my daughter was. I remember the time I felt like I should stay home from my dance after seeing you off to yours, and then getting a phone call, “Mom?! Are you home? I have an emergency! My dress broke!” And your date running you home so I could sew your dress back up – so funny. We laughed. Even you laughed. I was so grateful that I was home for that tiny moment in time. And somehow we happened to have the exact right shade of shiny mint green thread. I remember all the friends and all the boys and all the homework, the ache of watching you leave for college, the joy every time you came home, watching you fall in love, and when you brought back the man you planned to marry. I am grateful for the people my children have loved who I also love. I count Chris and Renee as mine too, and they bless my life every day. They help keep me going.


I am grateful for a Heavenly Father and a Savior, and to know that even though this crazy earth life hurts and confuses and feels dark some days – that there is a heaven and that there is hope. I am so, so grateful for that. I remember the peace of knowing that all four of my children were home safe, in their own beds at night, going to kiss each one of them on the cheek and telling them that I loved them. I did that every single night, no matter how old they got. I am grateful to know that one day I can have the peace of knowing we are all back in heaven. I am grateful there is hope for joy here. I pray my heart out that my children will feel joy. I feel your joy, my sweet Kimmy, and I know you don’t want us to hurt. I know how much you love Chris. I am so proud of him. I know that you are so proud of him. He works so hard. He takes such good care of your dog babies. I am so proud of your brothers. I see the progress they are making. I see you trying to reach all of them, to help them, to comfort them. I wish I had a way to close the gap between their pain and heaven’s joy. I wish I understood everything and could give them all the answers.

What I do know is that the only thing that matters is love. Faith, hope, love. We try to love. The way God loves us. The way Kimmy loves us. When we were going through her things and I held up her blankie, Chris said, “Well, one thing’s for sure – Kimmy loved her blankie.” It is worn to shreds. She loved that thing to pieces. I held it up at her funeral and told everyone that if you are blessed enough to be loved by Kimmy, that’s how she loves you – to pieces. She loves deeply, loyally and truly. She gives amazing hugs. She serves. She takes care of people. She makes you laugh until you cry. She’s probably the smartest person I ever met. She’s creative, artistic. She loves to surprise people, to give gifts. She has always been an angel. As a baby, she would just kiss all over your face if she loved you. To become an angel, one must become love . . . Being an angel is what Kimberly does best.



If you miss her, try to feel that love from her, and then try to share it somewhere in the world, with someone or something else. And with yourself. We forget how much we are worth. Kimmy forgot for just a little while how much she was worth. Please remember your divinity – do it for her. Every single person reading this is a piece of God. And no matter how alone you feel, you are not. The way Wayne Dyer describes it, imagine dipping a cup of water into the ocean – you have a cup of ocean, which is part of the ocean and contains everything within its molecules that the ocean water contains. You are capable of incredible, amazing things – and you have things to do here, because you woke up today.

I heard the other day that “fear not” appears in the Bible 365 times – once for every day of the year. Interesting, whether or not it’s true. It is in there a lot. And fear is the opposite of faith. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). I pray for that peace for all of you, for the peace that can come through the Savior and His atonement. I know that he is real.

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father – that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God (Doctrine & Covenants 76: 22-24). Because He lives, I know that Kimmy lives on in heaven, and that we will live there with her again someday. Even if the rest of this life is hard, that is a small price to pay for forever. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men . . . if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20).  

I read an article recently, where someone had asked Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the general authorities of the church, about losing his wife to cancer. He replied, “First of all . . . I didn’t lose her. She’s on the other side of the veil . . . We’ll be together forever.” I know that Christ, our Savior, has “descended below all things” and “taken upon him (our) infirmities,” that he understands our pain and has the power to help comfort and heal us. Even Christ, in the garden of Gethsemane, asked God to “remove this cup from me,” but he also said, “not as I will but as thou wilt.” And I have thought of his mother. While I am not comparing my daughter to the Savior, I can only imagine the pain that Mary felt, how she must have begged God to spare her child as well, to bring him back, to let her trade him places. Can you imagine how it would have upset God’s plan if He had complied with that request? As much as it must have broken His own heart to sacrifice His son? We just don’t know what He knows. I am reminded of this over and over again.

I am also reminded that I would not trade being Kimmy’s mom for 21 years on earth to be another daughter’s mom for 80 – because that is the only girl I want to spend forever with. I want to see that smiling, shining gorgeous face come running to greet me when I get there, with Misty and Thunder, and whatever other hundred dogs she’s collected since she got there. I want to squeeze that girl, kiss those cheeks, and hear that laugh, and then hear all about her adventures while we were apart. I will hold it in my heart until I get there. I pray so hard for the peace and light of heaven and angels to rest on Chris, on my boys, on Renee, and on all of you. I wish I could hug each one of you for Kimmy. Thank you for loving her.

Good night, my beautiful, amazing, funny, brilliant, wonderful angel girl. My daughter. My Kimmy. Good night, Boo. I love you to heaven and back, and all through forever.