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A little history, from Kiki’s point of view

September 9, 2009

Hello everyone,

So far we have made enormous progress in developing this organization designed to supply books to special education programs in honor of our sister Courtney. This blog is one step forward in what I hope will be a central repository of information, updates and feelings on our progress. We have gotten so much support already and I feel truly blessed to have such a network of friends and family, talented people who are willing to jump in and help make this idea become a reality. I hope you will all pass along the link to our blog to your own networks to help us get the word out even further.

So, as we launch this new piece of the puzzle I thought I would share the history of this organization from my point of view. I hope it will give a little more detail on how we came to this point. It has not been an easy road. I wrote the following a few weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know us very well I hope it will offer a little window into how this idea for Court’s kids developed in the midst of a tragedy.

August 20th, 2009

We’re rapidly approaching the 2 month anniversary of Courtney’s passing. Not sure how I feel about that, it all just doesn’t seem real. At times it feels like we just haven’t talked in a while. Courtney and I played phone tag sometimes, missing each other in the wake of daily details and responsibilities. But, we were always connected, sometimes I trick myself and think we just keep missing each other and will talk soon. But that doesn’t always last very long as reality creeps in.

Right now I am holding my sleeping little boy, just under 5 months old, crashed out on my chest, breathing rhythmically and peacefully. I’m writing with my free hand in a notebook I hope will one day tell the story of how we lost our sister and what we did to stay close to her.

The Dunbar 5: Wells, Kiki, Courtney, Jane & Lee

The Dunbar 5: Wells, Kiki, Courtney, Jane & Lee

Courtney loved kids, she had no patience for adults but had an unlimited supply for children, in particular for those with special needs. A few weeks after Courtney’s funeral I got a call from our sister Jane. She had an idea, what if we (each using our varied skill sets) banded together to form a nonprofit organization geared toward something Courtney would have loved to be a part of. Jane had (like we all have recently) been approached by friends who wanted to make a donation in Courtney’s name and wanted to know what she would have supported. Why couldn’t we create something they could all give to support? And, wouldn’t it be healing for us to be involved, create it even? We talked for a while (the way Jane and I always have when one of us has an idea) excitedly chattering, often interrupting each other because another idea popped into our heads. We arrived at the thought that whatever organization we create should help support special needs programs. Courtney was just finishing up her degree in special education and had she had the time would have probably been involved in something dedicated to helping kids. She had just been working at the Early Childhood Intervention Program in Klamath Falls.

So, we left it at that for a while. There the idea sat, marinating for a few weeks with all of us. For me it was more of a simmer than a marinade, bubbling up during my few quiet moments which were most often on my commute into work. “Hmm….maybe we really could do this…but how? Where to start?” I was almost scared to say it out loud to anyone outside our family because that would mean I would actually have to move forward with it…scary…

I’m sure lots of people say they want to do something like this in the wake of a tragedy. But then ideas, half cooked, lay sitting, stuck at the roadblocks…too hard, their importance diminished in the day-to-day responsibilities. Good intentions swallowed up by life moving on. I have a stack of half cooked ideas taking up space in the dusty corners of my brain. Some make it out only to find a spot on a dusty corner of my desk, too hard, not enough time, all that. I don’t want this idea to suffer that same fate. This is for my baby sister, she deserves more than that.sc002dddbd

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