6 months and 16 days to be exact. 28 weeks and 1 day. 197 days. I guess I’m still counting. Time flies and it crawls. But this smile full of life and joy is what I wake up and fall asleep thinking about every day and night. This is still Jim.
I know a blog update is long overdue, and I have to start with a pre-warning: there will be a plea for donation to Dana Farber Cancer research at the end of this blog. I really need your help with this incredibly important cause! (In case you want to jump ahead and get that out of the way Http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/jennklink)
In the meantime, I have to tell you that I have been back mentally to update this blog so many times since August. I know you still care, and I need you to know that Jim’s legacy is alive and well. Goodness knows with family and friends like you all, that’s a forever certainty! Getting myself to sit down and DO IT has been a challenge for a number of a reasons. There is so much to say -so much to thank everyone for- that the task seems overwhelming. Of course that’s a ridiculous reason not to get started -especially here in Klinktown where the favorite motto was, and continues to be, announced loudly, and worn proudly (and greeted with rolled eyes ;-)) NO EXCUSES! So, like usual, I have a whole lot to say. I have been thinking some about why it has been difficult to get started, and MUCH about what I have to be grateful for, and about what it has been like to focus on these things during this time. And I have put some thought into putting my thoughts into words that might possibly be used to help other people. But for the moment I am going to focus on a semi-short semi-basic update.
6 months have gone by without Jim’s physical presence. He is still with us every second of every day and night in ways I never even imagined possible. I still debate with him in my head, and sometimes out loud. I still point things out that I think he will find interesting, and I still hear his passionate side of the conversation to such an extent that he occasionally wins a disagreement I know we would have had. His spirit is here sharing every celebration, every frustration, every laugh, every disappointment, every joy and every tear. When I say goodnight to him every night, I hear his voice in response. I am not delusional … mostly ;-). But his presence is pretty strong. Right now he’s telling me to “GET ON WITH IT PIPSQUEAK” because this is too long already ;-).
Our celebration of his life was a most amazing event, and I am quite sure that if you are reading this blog you contributed in one way or another. I wish I could start naming names, but I would never get to the end of the list. So many people showed up in person, and/or in spirit, and in gracious words and deeds to share in the moment and give comfort, peace, and inspiration to us and to each other in Jim’s memory. I will never be able to even begin to thank you all for what you did! Not just that day, and before that day, but the days weeks and months following… it continues still every day. I could start talking about that but, again, I will never stop! And if I don’t stop now I am never going to get to the updates! So I will save it for another time. UPDATES NOW:
Starting with “little Klink” who hasn’t been little for a really long time-
Hudson is more than half way through his sophomore year at JJ Pearce High School! He has been sailing through from an academic standpoint, and flying through from an athletic perspective -see pics below! He just wrapped up JV Basketball after a fantastic season, and was one of the select few asked to practice and travel with Varsity during playoffs. Now we are out of playoffs, and the new reign is ready to take over! Hud and company will start practicing with their off-season team in the weeks to come. It has been so much fun watching him evolve as an awesome player and leader at each level of the game. I continue to live stream every game, and I laugh at myself a little bit as I imagine Jim checking in on my broadcast every once in a while. Of course he doesn’t … he has the best seat in the house, and he wouldn’t waste time fiddling with wifi when he is watching from above as Hud accomplishes his dad’s dream of being both a valuable team leader and a star player! That’s Hud!
Chloe is more than half way through her senior year at JJ Pearce! And, being the planning type, she has already made her commitment for next year! The winner is…. drum roll please……….
WOOOOOOOOOO PIG SOOOOOIEEEEEEE!!!!!!! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we have ANOTHER RAZORBACK in the house!!! Chlo will be joining Kenzie at Arkansas in the fall! She has been laser focused on her goal of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse for so many years that I think she might have been born with the idea. Of course that means senioritis and all she is stuck studying more than any second semester senior should be. Still she is managing a bit of fun enjoying dances and friend life and the occasional running event… even if sometimes she only does those to keep me company.
Kenzie is fully settled in to her sophomore year at Arkansas. She was accepted into the Graphic Design program this year, which is a HUGE accomplishment, making all of the hard work and long hours of her crazy freshman year seem very much worth the effort. This year has been a bit more organized and settled, though still extremely demanding. She is living in the ADPi house, and enjoying the friendly, loving, never dull energy of sisterhood living. That said, she is very much looking forward to moving into a more private house next year, and she and her small group of friends have already secured a place to call their own. This summer will be an exciting one starting with a session abroad in Italy!
Hang on to your hats, there is LOTS of big news from Hayden! Our darling boy Hayden and his girl Jennifer have made Cheryl and Bill and Francisco and Alma and me/us … dare I say … grandparents? Well… ok… maybe that isn’t quite the right word, but I’m pretty proud of these grandbabies, and I know Cheryl and Bill and Francisco and Alma are too, and you all know how Jim felt about these….
In fact Jim got to meet Tori, who joined the family in April. Brees (that’s right… as in Drew!) came in December. It is definitely a glimpse into grandparent-style fun when I get to visit Hayden’s new place, where he and Brees are living, get the puppy all riled up, and then go home ;-). Really the fun has been in watching Jennifer and Hayden taking such good care of their little ones! They will both be great parents some day -they have had wonderful role models! In the meantime, Hayden has started writing for the New Orleans blog All Saints Considered. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!!!! And follow him on twitter! https://www.allsaintsconsidered.com
And he and a couple of friends are going to be starting a podcast soon, where you can listen to them debate about sports. I can hardly wait for that! We have been listening for years, I can’t wait for the rest of the world to get in on this discussion. I am already imagining Jim up there gathering his friends around a cloud to listen… I believe he will be so proud that he will hardly even suffer the frustration of his opposing point going unheard down here ;-). Although if I know our Jim, and I do know our Jim, he will find a way to get his point heard! I will get you the podcast details when they are available!
Adam is finishing up his 4th semester in Texas at Collin College, and this semester he is focusing on his EMT certification.
This is his first step in his pursuit of a medical career, and so far he is loving every second of it! When he isn’t studying, he is either running ridiculous distances, or rolling in mud on the way to a Spartan “double trifecta” or, perhaps, his first Ironman achievement. He will be off to California to be head counselor at camp again this year, which will be a new adventure managing a temporary location after our camp burned in the Malibu fires. His original plan has always been 2 years in Texas, then on to Colorado or back to AZ. He is thinking back to AZ to become a … SUNDEVIL?!?! I am crossing my fingers to get one extra semester with him here. It will be hard enough letting Chloe go in the fall! But of course I want him to do what is best for him, and I am so grateful for the time he has been here!
OK, so this really is TOO LONG and I do still have to add my plea for help supporting Dana Farber Cancer research. I am running Boston in SIX WEEKS to try to make sure someday NO ONE ELSE has to go through what Jim went through, and what we have watched so many others go through. Dana Farber is helping on so many fronts… not just Multiple Myeloma. It is such an amazing organization. Jim and I were there together in Boston 2 years ago and we were so inspired. Our plan was to run together this year. You know what they say… the best laid plans. So it’s up to me now. I put the details on the Dana Farber site so I won’t go into them any more here. Just to say that we had this mission that we stop people from having to be cancer survivors. Jim was a cancer survivor, because he survived countless days inspiring us despite this awful disease. It has to stop. Please click on the link, please help! And then please enjoy some more pics of the kids :-).
Also ONE MORE TIME (though this certainly won’t be the last) THANK YOU so much family and friends for everything you have done every single minute of every single day to get us and us through this time. I am so incredibly grateful… I realize I am a broken record but words are insufficient and you all have done so much to help.
THANK YOU from the bottom, the top, and every other edge of my heart!
(PS I’ve included the link to Jim’s service at the bottom in case you missed it and would like to watch)