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2 years later

June 26, 2011

Two years ago today we all gathered together, around Courtney, in a hospital…a few buttons were pushed and seconds later the last bit of air left Courtney forever…it was that fast.

Only just 2 days before we were heading down to Bend, OR where Courtney lay unresponsive in the ICU. Just 1 day before that she had been at my house, passing through Portland on her way back home to Klamath Falls with the kids. She was fine, I saw her, hugged her, kissed the kids and went off to work. She left our house a little while later and made it home safely, and all was well. She went to bed that night and never woke up. Suffering a mini-stroke in the night she was gone…

Portland is just about 3 hours away from Bend where she was flown to see specialists to see what hope we had of recovery. When I spoke to the nurse there I heard something I never wanted to ever hear, “You need to come now.” I packed my little family for our first road trip, Colin was just 3 months old, I had just that week returned to work. My head spinning, not having any idea what a baby would need for a trip I just threw whatever I thought we might need in bags. As I got myself ready I threw my watch on not even looking at it, habit.

On our trip down we each made calls, arranging to be out of pocket for work for a few days, not having much information. At one point I remember looking down at my watch and realizing it had stopped at 11:25PM. My first thought in that rush was to be annoyed at the inconvenience. A day later I learned she had suffered her stroke some time in the night. Could this have been the time? Sounds insane to write it but that’s what I thought. And I haven’t worn a watch since.

Regardless of what time it actually happened, then or 2 days later when she was declared brain dead and we were given no hope, I lost my baby sister.

Now, two years later. Does it hurt less? I don’t know, I’d say it hurts differently. I miss her every day and sometimes, out of nowhere I am leveled, kicked in the gut, like it just happened all over again.

We built Court’s Kids in Courtney’s honor. She was always an advocate of children with special needs and was credits away from her degree in special education. As a working mom of three she was doing amazing. Selfishly I have to say that Court’s Kids has been my therapy. I get the rare opportunity to walk in her shoes, meet people she would have known, do what she would have done, see what she would have seen…and I am thankful.

Today I celebrate my sister and her passion for helping children learn and grow, and today I miss her…very, very much. I was a part of a duo, Kiki & Courtney, like superheroes we tackled so much. We still do.

books for special education

West Texas Girls

Little by little,

Kiki

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