Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memories Of The Way We Were

I’ve made numerous visits to the cemetery since June 19, 2010. Each trip was so hard; I’d find an empty spot with not even a marker in place. I was so anxious to see Clark’s monument finally in place after several attempts to make it just what we wanted. On November 11, 2010 the headstone was set. I came around the curve entering the area and there it was, Clark’s face smiling. My son, Clark! Maybe the empty site was better? No, after taking a few moments to remember the way we were, the way our family had once been, the way it was when Jim was with us; I faced reality of the memories. Remember when all the kids were still living at home and depending on their parents yet. How sweet the moment! Now I have two members of our family at Mount Hope Cemetery and still missing them both. Often wondering what Jim would look like today as he aged? How proud Jim would be of his children? What things would have been different if he was still alive? Wondering about Clark if he hadn’t gotten sick, would he still be working at the same job? Would he be holding the Priesthood? Would he be married? Then I read the verse on Clark’s monument. It reads Alma 40:12,

"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."

I felt a great peace, nearly an envy. I then walked over to Jim’s headstone to admire the new vases I had set on his headstone too. What a nice addition!

The vases were empty and I wanted to get them filled with special flowers as soon as possible. I didn’t want to go to any store in Watertown to buy the flowers, as others in the cemetery might have the same flowers. So I made a special trip to Sioux Falls to buy them at Michael’s. After Clark’s passing, I found in the glove box of his car, a $50 gift card for American Express. Knowing not many stores take American Express I had wondered where and what to best spend the card on that would be “special”. I had tucked it away in the glove box of MY car. I’ve been struggling with a cold, so on my way to Sioux Falls, I reached over and opened my glove box for a cough drop. There it was. The American Express card. I thought, “wouldn’t it be great if Michael’s accepts American Express?” I entered the store, looking for that something “special”. Flowers of all kinds all over and 40% off too. So it wasn’t long before my cart was FULL. Flowers for fall and flowers for Christmas.

Then it came time to pay. A lump came to my throat. My lips quivered and tears flowed as I stood in line to pay. When it was my turn, I felt a bit silly looking like I did, so I explained to the clerk that I had lost my son this summer and was wondering if the store accepted American Express Cards? She smiled at me and said, “Yes, we do.” I pulled it out and told her that I had saved it for something special and that I had agreed to use it for the flowers for the graves of my son and husband. She opened her arms, bent over, and gave me a big hug. People standing behind me had to be wondering what was going on. Then she said to me, “I know what you’re going through. I lost a three month old child to SIDS, and my husband passed away a short time later. We comforted each other and I knew I truly had met someone who understood. Someone who knows the pain I was feeling.

Yesterday, November 15th, 2010 I was joined by Wyatt and Myls as the three of us went to the cemetery to assemble the fall flowers in the new vases. It was a special time for me, to have the boys help. Wyatt cut the wire on the flowers to just the right length as Myls duplicated the flowers in the vases opposite of me. As I drove away I was reminded of “One More Final Thing” that had now come to pass. that had now come to pass.

- Rhonda Jo Kimble (Clark's mother)


Anonymous said...

I have followed Clark's journey and I have checked back to see how your family is doing. Tears are streaming down my face as I read this. The headstone is beautiful and so are the flowers. Both Jim and Clark are smiling down on you and couldn't be more proud. May God bless you through the years to come.

Elliot said...


Thank you for sharing this post and for the beautiful pictures of the Clark's, Jim's, and your headstones.

These posts always seem to bring so many emotions into me. I always end up reading them when I'm at work so sometimes my co-workers catch me with tears on my cheeks and shirt.

I love you.

Stephen said...

I read them at home. So nobody ever sees me weeping.

Come to think of it, that's kinda sad too.


Anonymous said...

It never fails....every time I bring up the blog whether there be a new story or not...I cry! Our home continues to think about and talk about Clark on a daily basis. Sometimes we laugh about memories, talk about times he was with us or just hanging out at our house, always telling people where we got Viscious from, the 'Happy Liver Dance' song comes on and we all yell "It's Clark's Song' and sing as loud as we can. Lots of fun, happy, and sad memories that we will carry with us FOREVER!!!!! We love YOU and we love CLARK....to eternity and beyond!

Brittany Herbert said...

It is so beautiful. Made me teary eyed to see it though. He was far too young to leave, but he is still bigger than life and touched so many people. He will continue to live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

Pepa Kruse said...

I know exactly how you feel :). I lost my sister 19 years ago. She was only 15 years old.
I love the gospel and the peace that we can feel knowing that we can be together for eternity.

Kim Langenfeld-Steen said...

Beautiful a great way to honor Jim and Clark, Rhonda!

Shawn Tempel Husmann said...

God Bless You Rhonda and your family. Memories will always keep them alive.

Susie Althoff Stroup said...

It is perfect. I will admire it when I am out visiting Lily. Beautiful!

Kristin Sidener Hobson said...

Clark's headstone is AMAZING, to say the least! xoxoxo

Stacee McConnell said...

I miss you Clark Kimble. Rest in peace. Your headstone looks great! I hope to see you again.