Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scotts letter to his sister Kim

I am Scott Gwaltney, Kims older brother. I wanted to say something today to honor my sister and her life, but for those of you who know me, know I am a little bit of a crier and I would never make it through this. First of all I want to say this is the hardest thing I have had to do in my 31 years of life and that’s why I am having my uncle Mike read this to you. I was the first born and had it pretty good, I mean mom and dad gave up a couple of horses for me and I thought I was pretty special but then 16 months later the moment you arrived I knew it was all over for me. How couldn’t it be you were so cute. But remember everybody thought we were twins. Growing up, sure we got into our fair share of fights and got punished for them, the duck tape over the mouth which I think is illegal in 9 countries and 37 states including Arizona comes to mind. Im still mad at mom dad for that one. We can actually thank them for our big lips because the swelling never went down. Remember all the games we use to play. We would play the card game war. We would play Mario brothers on Nintendo and when mom and dad weren’t home you would call them and say, “Mom, Scott wont let me be Mario”. I use to hate that., but you would eventually get your way, and by the way I forgive you for the vicious attacks you brought upon me with solid objects including, one curling iron heated to a cool 350 degrees which took off all layers of skin on my left arm., I think the scar is finally gone, how about the 7 iron to the back of my head, or the tennis racket to the spine. I wonder why I have problems. Through all that I never laid a finger on you because I loved you and was scared to death of dad, but I did get you back when I use to hit your toes with my knuckles. That was my only revenge. Anyways back to the games, my favorite was when we use to lay in each others beds and guess what we were writing on each others back. We had the only front yard in the neighborhood with no grass because we used it as a soccer field, football field and a baseball diamond. We would play outside all day, with mom hitting us grounders, we were peppering with your volleyball or you would watch me kick my soccer ball endlessly against the wall. You thought as we got into high school I was mean and didn’t want you around me and my friends but let me tell you a little secret it was them that I didn’t want around you., I am protective over you, you are my little sister and lets face it your beauty is breathtaking (did I mention people say we look alike) As long as I can remember people have been drawn to you for so many different reasons, Im not sure if it was your beauty, charisma, welcoming smile or everyone was intrigued because they had to look up to you, im just kidding you weren’t that tall. Speaking of tall is that why you could buy an alcoholic beverage at the age of 15. I still get carded for R movies. I think it is your gentle brown eyes, kind heart, quick wit, and sharp tongue. I could sit here forever talking about your qualities but you know them as well as I do and so do the people in this church that’s why they are here. Look at how much you accomplished. I am so proud of you. You were a volleyball and softball stud in high school and competitively. You had college offers in both sports, that is amazing. You played two years at GCC and made 1st team all region both years not to mention the records you set while you were there. You signed at Auburn but chose to give up your college dreams and stay when mom had been diagnosed with her cancer in 2000 because you knew she needed you. I think that was a loving, noble thing to do. Im glad you stayed I never told you but I didn’t want you to leave either. Not soon after that you met your hubby at Country Thunder and got married later that year, by the way hes not a bad guy, I think you did good, you have 3 beautiful children who are blessed they were able to know you and call you mom. And I know how much you love them. This is the hard part. I want to talk about our relationship lately and clear up some things. As we get older and we have families we get into ruts and become complacent with the day to day grind of life. We might not talk as much as I would of liked but that doesn’t mean everyday your not on my mind or that I love you any less because all I have for you kimmy is LOVE. I have so many wonderful memories with you its hard to recall all of them. When you were diagnosed with your cancer in October I couldn’t believe it, when they said it was stage 4 colon cancer I did my research on the internet as did everybody that knew or followed your blog I am going to admit I was in denial. NO way could this happen to my sister a 29 year old woman as healthy and athletic as you. I asked God everyday why he would do this to you to our family, your family. I never received an answer for that. You went from Mayo to Banner Estrella and finally to Cancer Treatment Center of American. In all of your trips and stays at these hospitals and through all your scans, procedures, chemo and frequent bad news you always had a positive attitude and a smile that kept me strong. You had good days and bad days, I knew it was a good day when I could tickle your swollen feet and you couldn’t hit me so you would just yell at me to stop or throw a brush at me and hit your own foot, ouch that had to hurt. You never lost your sense of humor either. You would give us the middle finger from time to time and I knew when I saw that you were feeling pretty good. Every time I saw you, well not every time but most the time, I would give you a hug and wait a minute before I came back up to make eye contact because I didn’t want you to see me cry so I could be strong for you. When you would see me you would always comfort me and tell me everything is going to be ok, why are you crying? I am going to beat this. Those were the words you always used. I am so amazed at your strength and courage, These last 9-10 months you have become my hero. The fact I can say I am your brother is a privilege and an honor. I cherish all the time I was able to spend with you and one day stands out for me. It was last Tuesday and your pet scan was moved back a few hours so you had them bring me and Danny back to see you and we talked for about an hour and that was the last time we talked and will never forget that conversation, A very special moment for me was when Cher cleared everyone out of your room and I was able to talk to you just you and me. Although you weren’t able to talk back to me, you were squeezing my hand and moaning a little bit but I know you were trying to tell me you loved me and I know you do Kim. We were all there with you until you took your last breath, crying, holding you, I wrote on your arm over and over “I love you” (just like when we were kids) as we let you know it was ok to move on past this world onto your next journey into heaven. The hardest day of my life was watching you in that hospital bed and realizing that would be the last time I would be able to see your beautiful face and hold you or tell you I love you. My little boy (Jenner) will not be able to meet you, but hes going to hear about you and all the good times we shared and he too will love his Aunt Kim. Words can not describe how my heart aches I will no longer be able to pick up the phone and call you or see that face you use to make to me that cracked me up, you know the one. I will never hear the words “Hey Buggy” out of your mouth anymore. I never imagined I would lose you this early in life. One thing that gives me comfort is that you are pain free now and I know you left us when you were ready to go. You fought so hard in the face of adversity and you were right, you did beat it Kim. You are cancer free in heaven with God watching over us, you are our angel. Now I want to let you know how much you were loved as if you already didn’t know. Mom and Dad loved you sooo much and you were sooo close and I am happy you were able to experience that. They would have done anything for you and so would I. Deron and the kids adored you as did our entire family not to mention all of your friends. I want to say to my mom and dad I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart for the loss of your daughter. My heart breaks for you, now having my own family it would absolutely destroy me to lose one of my girls. If there was anything I could do to take your pain away right now no matter how great the measure I would do it. I know there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel right now, but with time it will get easier. Remember, I love you two I am here for you both. I know this is going to be difficult for everyone but as long as we have each other we will make it through. She is still here in our memories and will always be forever alive in our hearts. Pickle puss I love you so much and I miss you even more but I know I will see you again in a better place. Say hi to Nana, Grandpa Al, Grandma Anne, Keith, Smitty, and Uncle Mike, I would like to thank some very special people at this time for their support, love and selflessness during this time of hardship and sorrow, and if I forget someone please forgive me. First, I would like to thank Mike, Karrie, Kathy, Kirby, Mitch, Lisa, Tracy, Kristen, Eli, Daniel, Justin, Jake, Jesse, Michael, Kandus, Kohl, Megan and Mackenzie, we are so lucky to have you as our family, and I love you all!!! To all of Kims friends that have been there through this time Natalie, Becky, Erin, Laura, Randi, Sammy, Mary,Sherri and Vinnie. Also I would like to thank my friends for supporting me, even those who never had the pleasure to meet Kim, they knew her thru me and were there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Last but not least, I would like to thank my beautiful wife Cher, you are my rock and I love you. I have two things I hope you can take away from this. First, please take the time and make the effort to let the people you love know you love them, don’t take life for granted, no ones time is guaranteed on this earth. Tomorrow is a gift, make the time today. Colon cancer is becoming more prevalent in the younger society; please get checked it’s what Kim would want you to do. Thank you and God Bless


Nancy said...

wow what a great tribute to a baby sister...Kim was loved so much and I am proud to be able to hear her life from her loved ones..I feel like I knew Kim and am praying for her family .God Bless You All...Nancy Abrams from Texas

Bre said...

Pickle Puss...makes me laugh because I remember Kim saying those two words during a vball practice one time and I remember looking at her like, what did you just say????....and laughing to myself. Such good times.

JennGrooms said...

The letter that Scott wrote is just amazing. I never really knew Kim, I just knew of her from highschool. I have followed her blog the last few months. I wish I would have known her more. She's an amazing woman, wife and mother. My heart goes out to everyone that loves her!

Jennifer Grooms (Shroth)

Rebecca said...

What a great letter Scott! It made me cry my eyes out. I only met Scott a couple of times but Kim always told me wonderful things about him. Scott, Kim loved you so much! She was so proud of you!
I hope everyone is doing well. Its getting colder, so I am sure the kids are enjoying the horse blanket that I made for Kimmy.

osecret3 said...

This is truly an amazing letter from Scott. I do have to say that I can remember the days of the Mario Brothers on Nintendo. There was so much arguing over that silly game. When I watched you kids for a summer while your parents were at work, there were lots of good times and fun that we had that I'll never forget. I actually have a fear of cats that stems from that summer. I think your cat's name was Cookie and she growled like a lion, which made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!
I'll never forget the fun times we had growing up together.
Kim, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

Leah Rogers-Rigney