A few memories of my rock star, Kindra. I knew she would be a rock star when she as a toddler explained to her mother that the object in her nose was a “wock”. She added that she found it in one of the houseplants. That was our first of many trips to the emergency unit with Kindra. She went there so often that eventually the ER became her chosen career.
My second memory of Kindra and a rock occurred on her first ski outing when she was 3. She learned how to turn, and she learned how to stop, but she preferred not to do those activities as instructed. Her preferred ski position was to point her skis straight down the hill, get into a tuck position and go as fast as she could. Kind of the way she would go through the rest of her life. Her mother and I watched in horror and screamed for her to turn or stop as she skied straight toward a rock that was sticking out of the snow. She skied straight ahead. Her skis went up to the top and she fell sideways into the snow. She got up, looked at us, and excitedly said, “I hit a rock. Did you see me? I hit a rock.” Then she turned entered her tuck position and headed down the rest of the slope.
Later she would lose her grip while swinging on a rope at a church youth outing and hit her mouth on a rock, embedding her braces into her lip. That required another of those many trips to the ER. Then came jumping from rocks into rivers, lakes, and oceans and taking up rock climbing as a hobby. I noticed that many of the photos some of you posted on the memorial web site actually show her climbing rocks, so you know what I mean. One of my favorite memories is of her heading out across a narrow rock path to find a spot to sit all alone and watch the sun rise over the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon. Later she would tell me that was the most deeply spiritual moment of her life.
Finally, she became a rock that people could lean on when they felt pain, when they needed somewhere to stand to reach new heights. It’s funny to think of her as a rock because inside that rock was the softest heart imaginable filled with love, compassion, and a desire to help others in any way she could. Leading her to take her final career step and become one of the first nurses certified in the state of Illinois as a sexual abuse nurse examiner, SANE for short. We both laughed when she told me she had been certified as a SANE nurse. She would work long, difficult hours with those victimized by sexual assaults and help them prepare to move on with their lives, confront their accusers if they desired, and not allow themselves to become just another statistic. By the way, in a memory shared just this afternoon another “SANE” nurse referred to her as a Rockstar nurse. We also want to thank those of you who have donated to Resilience to make help to abuse victims available free of charge. In less than a week the Kindra memorial fund has brought in more than $1100 for this purpose.
Fourteen years ago, Kindra introduced us to her rock star. The lady who would be there for Kindra no matter what she needed, who would love her unconditionally and always speak truth to her, and who would share life with her with joy and passion. Karen, we are so blessed and thankful that you were our rock star’s rock star.