Saturday, June 30, 2007

R.I.P. my friend...

I've always sorta had this thing about me where I like having a best friend where ever I go. Growing up I had my best friend at school and my best friend for at church. Got me some more best friends in college and had some along for the ride through graduate school too. When going through graduate school I was blessed enough to work part-time for my uncle's doctor's clinic. So being another place, I quickly picked up another close friendship to have there as well.

This is actually the first time I've posted an identifiable picture of myself on my blog. I decided this was the best one for this occassion because it reminds me of how much fun we had together...

This was my closest friend at work. She and I did ALL sorts of things together (at work, outside of work, etc.) She was crazy as hell, which I think was why we got along so well! She was 5 years older than me, but many times would act 5 years younger than me. HA! She was seriously as nuts (if not more) than me. I liked this picture (though it's from nearly 3 years ago) of us because it shows how crazy fun we could be.

Today my friend was murdered in a murder-suicide by her husband she was going through a divorce with...

Things were going just like normal at work. I had made a BIG batch the night before of my homemade chicken salad that this friend of mine absolutely LOVED (she would pass up eating out if I'd make this stuff...HA!) So there it was lunchtime at work and several of us were making chicken salad sandwiches. As we were finishing up making them my friend asked if she could make her husband one (he also loved my chicken salad...i had made it for their family several times before) and I said, sure. She wanted to make him one too because she was going to meet him and get him to sign some paperwork for insurance purposes. Then she left...

That was the last time I saw my friend...

About an hour and a half later we were in route to the county hospital where she had been taken because of the trauma of a gun-shot. We were unaware of her status at that time, we just knew her husband had shot her and he was in a stand-off with the police at the hotel he was living out of at the time.

My friend didn't have any family in town (just a mother and brother in houston) so myself and two of my fellow co-workers who were very close to her went to the hospital...it was there at the doctor informed us of her passing. I was the only one to remain calm. I proceeded to talk with the chaplin and the nurses about giving information and sorts. The big concern at this point became my friends three young children...

Her oldest had been staying in Houston for the week with his grandmother, so they were contacted, but the two youngest children were at a daycare center and all we could think about was those poor children. We didn't want those two young girls to be stuck in CPS custody and placed with a foster family the night they found out about their parents deaths, so we worked with the "next-of'-kin" the grandmother in Houston and got it arranged so my aunt and I could take "custody" of the girls till we could get them to Houston. This bought about the following situation...

No one had told the girls what had happened yet....

My aunt (who is also very close to my friend) and I knew we wanted to do it rather than a CPS worker or a cop, but I looked at her and said, I don't know how to do it. I don't know what to say.

Sure, they all looked at me with my training and all, but trained or not, personal cases are in a whole different ballpark.

I had been one of the very few out of our whole office to be calm through this whole ordeal (which had been going on for some nearly 6 hours by this point), but I knew telling a 10 year old (turning 11 next week) and a 7 year old that their parents were dead was not in my line-up for the day.

How do you tell two young girls, two young girls that invite you to all their birthday parties, two young girls that look up to you and call you "Ms. Kimberly" that their mom that they loved so much and that loved them SOOOO much was dead?!?!

Well we did it. There was a lot of crying and hugging and sorta stuff. And then I was off back up to work to go through my friends personal belongings to find contact information and any other important papers I knew where she kept up there. I went through emails and got a contact number for her pastor from church and contacted him and told him the situation and he rushed over to speak with the girls.

When I got home the girls were off with my uncle and his two daughters (almost the exact same ages as my friends girls) to pick up our dog from the groomers and they stopped at Best Buy and got the girls iPod nanos and several cds to load on them.

So the rest of the night the girls and myself and my uncle occupied our minds by focusing on music and loading iPods. I think it was good for all of us.

But that didn't mean it was all easy...

I couldn't help but to start crying as I was going through my pictures on my computer of me and my friend to add the pictures to their ipods. And then they saw the necklace of her's that I had taken from her desk drawer at work (which I had stuck in my desk drawer) and one of the girls started crying and we put it on her...and yeah well we just had another crying, hug-fest.

So i don't know. It's nearly 2 AM and I'm not tired. I haven't eaten anything but a banana since my chicken salad sandwich at noon, but I don't feel like eating really.

I have one of the girls asleep in my bed (she's the one that likes me the most and was all excited about her birthday party that was going to be tomorrow and that I was coming too). And a little bit ago before she fell asleep she was like, "Ms. Kimberly, do you think my dad is in Heaven?"

Well, I tackled that one and also the one earlier from the other daughter of "Do you think my dad would have gone to jail if he hadn't shot himself too?"

Okay, I guess I should get to sleep now. It's been a long day...

5 comments:

Amanda said...

Sometimes just being there is better than having the right words to say and that is what your are doing. I'm sorry for your loss.

Ellison said...

Wow Kim. I am so sorry to read about your friend. Please know that you, your family and her family are in my prayers. Don't hesitate to let me know if you need anything. Love you kid!

Jackie Beth said...

I love your guts and am praying for you this week. Yuck.

Melody McKee said...

My gosh! You know, you hear about these things on the news and never think that one of these situations will ever hit so close to home. I am so sorry about your friend.

Brooke said...

I'm sorry Kim. Take care of yourself too.