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One day, one week, one month, one year at a time

June 23, 2012

Three years ago this coming Tuesday, I stood by my sister as she took her last breath. It was quiet, we were all there, we said our goodbyes, switches were flipped, and in seconds…she was gone.

books for special needs

Kiki & Courtney

For the first 3o years of my life I was a part of this duo, Kiki & Courtney. She was my baby sister, my ally at times, the bane of my existence at other times, but always…my best friend. We went through a lot together us two, struggles and triumphs, happy and sad times, I imagined we would be little old ladies together one day, one-upping each other bragging about our grandkids.

When she left this earth she took with her a piece of me, and the hole that is left aches at times. I heard someone describe this kind of loss like breaking a bone and not getting it set properly. After it heals, you go on about your life, you figure out how to do things just fine. But, every once in a while, you move a certain way and it hurts. Every once in a while, for whatever reason, it hurts. It doesn’t just go away and you don’t just move on. The moment Courtney took her last breath I was at a loss, I had been part of this duo, Kiki & Courtney, and then..all of a sudden…I wasn’t.

Well, for me, that wasn’t good enough for me. Call it my deep Texas roots, if you like. I come from a long line of really tough Texas women, on both sides. But, I couldn’t end it at that. Months later, our brother Lee and I were talking about a foundation in Courtney’s honor. Not just a fund or an attempt to keep her with us, but a real working, living, breathing entity that helped kid with special needs which, was her passion. Almost 40,000 books donated later…I like to think we’ve not only kept her spirit alive around us but…we’ve made her proud. Selfishly, I feel like I get to work with her every day, and I am still a part of this great duo. I’ve met people I would have never met, heard stories I would have never heard, and gained friends I would have never known. Court’s Kids is such a gift.

books for special education

West Texas Girls – At a picnic on the Rio Grande

Are we a big organization? No. Are we pulling in loads of donations? Not so much. Are we helping provide books for classroom libraries and helping kids with special needs build their own home libraries? Yes. And that’s all we need to do…

Little by little,


books for special education

Kiki, Courtney & Lee

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Carla permalink
    June 24, 2012 5:30 am

    Kiki, I’m so proud of all you guys have accomplished in Courtney’s memory. I know this would make her so happy. Love the old photos! In the black and white one you look so much like your Mom it stopped me in my tracks! I know how much Court’s Kids means to her as well. You ‘ve done a lot in 3 years. Keep on movin’ forward.

  2. Diann Bowen permalink
    June 24, 2012 3:28 pm

    Kiki: In going through photos I am desperately trying to organize, I found one you you and Courtnety, about the same age as the picture above. If you would like it let me know and I will get it to you.

  3. Diann Bowen permalink
    June 24, 2012 3:30 pm

    My goodness, my key board is sticky. Obviously meant “one of you and Courtney”

  4. June 26, 2012 2:31 pm

    Courtney was my best friend. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that Court’s legacy will live on. If there is ever any help needed here in Oregon, I am your person as I would do anything for Court. Anytime I needed someone Courtney was there. That’s just the type of person she was. I love her, I will always love her and she will never be forgotten.

  5. Joy Taylor permalink
    June 26, 2012 8:47 pm

    Oh my goodness….ok….oh my God…how could this have been 3 years without our Courtney? Life is not only the same, but it never will be and all of the words I tell myself will never fill the void. I look for the times that Courtney is present in my words, heart and sometimes even in the room….I miss you sweet Court!! I hope that others will carry on her cause through Court’s Kids. Love you Kiki and Leelee….Auntie Joy

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