Saturday, February 26, 2011


My mom sent my sister an e-mail a few days ago and talked about sending love and positive thoughts: 

"We need to spread love. Like Katherine always says in my meditations from her: sparkle. It is a good word to think about. Sparkle. It is hard to sparkle when you are angry, hateful, negative. We need to sparkle more."

I love that word and have, as probably most humans do, love sparkly things.  I'm not talking about shiny diamonds and jewels.  Those are, of course, what I think one would expect.  Rather, I love sparkly organic items like plants, icicles, frost, water droplets, etc.  It captures my eye and just makes me happy.  Here's a picture that April and I took a couple of years ago while we were walking around our yards taking photographs of our yards:

And this one of my metal heart sculpture that Ernie bought for me a couple of years ago while on our vacation with family to Orcas Island, Washington:

So I hope all of you sparkle today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rainbow Butterfly

Natalie went to a birthday party this past Sunday and there was a face painting clown there.  Natalie said the clown would paint whatever the kids wanted on their faces.  This is what Natalie asked for:

In one of my mom's blogs, she posted a picture of a Valentine's card that Natalie had made for her, with swirls all over it.  One of her followers posted that they were just like the swirls of a healer. 

I find it quite intriguing and interesting that, again, the swirl showed up on her rainbow butterfly face painting.  She loves hearts at the moment (notice the heart in the center of the butterfly), rainbows, and has been drawing swirls for quite some time.

Today, in fact, she painted a rainbow heart with metallic watercolor paint she received from my mom. 

I have no doubt that she has an old soul.  Or rather, a deep indescribable connection with the earth.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The love for my Ern

As you read in my post yesterday, my twin sister and I are married to brothers.  Through the world of the internet, my sister met her husband through a chat room a little over 10 years ago.  He was I believe only 19 years old and going to UC Davis.  He has 2 brothers, one younger, and one older.  April starting spending a lot of time with Joel, and I, being her twin and that we always had the same circle of friends, soon started coming over to their apartment in Davis and socializing with Joel's brothers and their 1 other friend/roommate.  Ernie (or Ern as we call him for short) was just finishing his Psychology degree at UC Davis, and worked nights at a group home for trouble teen boys.  I rarely saw him, but in the evenings before he would leave for work.  He worked nights on the weekends, so socializing with him was few and far between.  After Joel and Ernie's younger brother and roommate went home for the summer, I began to spent some time with Ernie by myself.  It consisted of long talks late at night.  The boys, as April and I refer to them as, always said Ernie was quiet, and would be a great boyfriend or husband.  They encouraged me to look at it as a possibility.  At the time, I didn't like him in that way.

Then, during the summer of 2001, the four of us (Joel, April, Ern and I), decided to take a short 3 or 4 day trip to South Lake Tahoe.  We stayed in a little motel off the main highway in South Lake Tahoe.  We went to the beach and just enjoyed each other's company.  It was then that Ern and I started to spend more time with each other.  We would let April and Joel be together, so we would go to the beach at night, or go for walks.  After we left Lake Tahoe, we were going to meet up with mine and April's aunt and uncle who were camping at a lake called Pinecrest.  Pinecrest was a family tradition that goes back to my grandmother, who would go there as a child.  We took a highway over the east side of the Sierra Nevadas to Pinecrest lake.  I rode with Ernie in his car, so we had a long drive of just time to talk and listen to music.  It was then that I really started to realize that I liked Ern as more than just a friend.  I enjoyed his company, the way he thought, and his viewpoint on life and the world around him.  He respected me and cherished my friendship in a way that I had never had with a guy.  When I talked, he was fully engaged in what I was speaking about.  

And I tell him this over and over to this day:
That trip was the defining moment for me.  I realized that he was right there in front me the entire time.  The person I had always visualized that I wanted to have as a life partner.

He proposed to me on the anniversary of my heart attack.  He knew how special that, 2nd birthday as we call it, was to me.  We got married and had a wonderful daughter Natalie, in 2005.

Ern has a special bond with our daughter.  When Natalie was a baby, I would observe him from afar.  He would walk around with her, and talk quietly to her, carrying on a little conversation with her.  It touched my heart.  This picture, to me, defines Ern.  He has a gentle energy about him.  

My love for Ern runs deep not only because he is my husband and our daughter's father, but, because I respect him as a human being and all that he believes in.  He was born with an inate ability to sooth people and make them feel comforted.  Ern is my love.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Open Heart

My mom blogs and thought starting my own blog might be a great way to share my story.  My blog is called "Kimberly's Open Heart" because in 1998, I had open heart surgery at the age of 21.  I have been athletic all my life, participating in basketball and track and field.  I particularly loved to run, and one summer evening, I decided to go for a run on the American River Bike trail near my college, Sacramento State.  My identical twin sister was with me at the incident which led to my need for the surgery.  She wrote the story a couple of years after my incident.  Here is her retelling of the night that changed her life, my life, and my family's life forever:

On June 8, 1998 my sister had a heart attack.  Here is the story…I came home from work and my sister wanted to go for a run at Sacramento State.  She made BBQ’d hot dogs and french fries for dinner.  I had just gotten done eating when she asked me if I wanted to go for a run.  I kind-of rolled my eyes, sighed, and said that I really didn’t want to go.  She shrugged her shoulders and said “man….why?”  I almost let her go by herself.  But, when I went into the bedroom to change out of my work clothes, I grabbed my workout clothes instead.  I changed into my workout clothes and walked back into the living room carrying my socks and shoes.  I said that I might as well just go, but inside I really didn’t want to run.  So we walked out to the car.  I carried my wallet which I put in the glove box and my keys and the cell phone (at that time we shared a celled phone).  I got in the driver’s seat and Kim got in the passenger’s seat.  We drove out the back gate of our apartment complex on Howe Avenue and turned right onto Bell Rd.  We turned right again on Northrop to go to Howe Avenue.  As we were stopped at the stoplight I turned to Kim and told her, “We’re not running far.”  She said “fine.” 

We got to Sac State and parked in the faculty lot in a 30 minute space.  She asked me why I was parking there and I told her, “we’re not going to be here for 30 minutes.”  So we got out of the car and walked up to the levee on a dirt path.  There were two women in front of us.  One was wearing jeans, socks, and Birkenstock sandals.  We were both kind of annoyed because they were walking slowly.  We got onto the paved levee and started to run north.  Kim said that she was already tired.  I said that I was also tired.  So we continued to talk about our ex-boyfriend’s and out trip to see them in August.  We ran all the way to a post and turned around to run south.  Kim started to complain that her chest was hurting.  I really didn’t think much of it.  She then told me that we would run to some Eucalyptus trees. 

Eventually, she had to stop because her chest hurt too badly.  I don’t think I thought too much about it because this had happened before.  I told her to sit down.  She said it was really bad.  She sat down with her legs bent and her arms over her knees.  She was pressing on her chest and saying, “God….it’s really bad.”  I just kind of stood there thinking that at any minute she would say she felt better and we could walk back to the car.  Then two guys walked by and were kind of looking at her.  I looked at them and was thinking that she was exaggerating what she was feeling.  I remember looking over at the river and seeing a canoe.  I thought how fun that would be.  I looked back at her and noticed she was sitting strangely.  She was holding her bent left knee with her left hand and her right leg was straight out.  I was looking at her and thinking she was looking really weird.  I said, “Kim, what are you doing?”  She looked at me with glazed eyes and said in a snotty voice,” what?! I can’t hear you!”  Then she started to lean back and my mind was racing thinking, “what the hell is she doing?”  Her eyes were even more glazed and she looked at me as if I was supposed to help her.  Her eyes rolled back into her head and she started to fall limp.  I ran over to her, knelt down and started yelling “Kim!  What’s wrong?! Oh my god, Kim!! What’s wrong?!  Oh my god!!!  Kim!!!!  I need and ambulance!!!” 

A woman was in the parking lot below and she yelled up to me “Do you need me to call 9-1-1?”  I said, “Yes…please!”  Kim was now blowing out her mouth deeply like she couldn’t get oxygen to her lungs.  I noticed brown fluid starting to seep out of her mouth.  She was what I imagined, seizing.  Her arms and legs were stiff but at the same time she had no life in her.  I felt like she was there, yelling to me to help her, but I couldn’t do anything.  I cradled her in my arms and turned her over and tried to shake the liquid from her mouth.  Her torso was limp.  I was crying, thinking and imagining my life without her.  I didn’t want to go home alone and live alone for the rest of my life.  A woman yelled at me not to shake her.  I hit her head on the cement when I shook her and thought, “Great I just made it worse.”  She was unconscious, her eyes still rolled back, and her torso limp.  I had her head off the ground and cradled her.  She rolled over onto her back and for a minute I thought everything was over.  She became semi-conscious and moaned.  She said, “ohhhh, my stomach hurts.”  Then she started to seize again.  She was breathing deeply, almost like her body was trying to force the liquid up, but also having a hard time breathing.  She became conscious again and the woman with the phone asked, “Kim, are you alright?”  She said, “Yeah, my stomach hurts really bad.”  Then her eyes, rolled again and this time she threw up our dinner.  This time was different because after she vomited, her lips started to turn blue. 

I started to think that she was dying right in front of me.  She wasn't really breathing.  I don’t remember the ambulance arriving.  I was kneeling next to her rubbing her arms and forehead when they came.  I stood up and away from everyone and crossed my arms.  They shoved a tube in her throat and shocked her twice.  I remember turning around to the river and thinking how I just saw that canoe go by and how the rest of the world was happening.  They took her in the ambulance.  I didn’t want to go.  I think I didn’t want to see her die in front of me.  I think I just may not have been sane if I had to see that.  I rode to the hospital with the woman who called 9-1-1. 

On the way to the hospital I called my mom.  I told her that Kim had had an accident and that she was going to the hospital.  She asked what happened and I told her that we were running and she just had a hard time breathing and then started acting weird.  When I got to the hospital I had to talk with the nurse there at the reception desk.  They were asking me if she had been on any diet medication (I guess because she was thin).  I was in a daze when I was waiting there.  The nurse came by and asked me if I wanted anything to drink.  I told her no.  I felt very strange sitting there by myself.  The nurse brought me a paper cup with some sort of 7-up type drink in it.  She said it was for my nerves.  When my parents arrived, they walked through the front door and I walked to my dad and hugged him.  I started to cry and said I didn’t know what was wrong with her.  They allowed us to go into the emergency room.  Kim was fighting the breathing tube and the nurses.  It was as if she was seizing.  The doctors starting asking me questions like, how long was she not breathing, what did we eat for dinner. etc.  I wasn’t sure and told them what I knew.  I felt like they were blaming me for not paying attention and that made me upset.  I felt partially responsible for what had happened.  I did hit her head on the cement…why didn’t I take the cell phone with me? 

They finally stabilized her enough to take her up to ICU.  We went upstairs to the ICU waiting room.  I told my mom I wanted to go home.  I guess I didn’t think there was much I could do there and part of me didn’t want to be there if she died.  Rick Todd, the Georgetown Fire Department Chief, drove me to my car at Sac State.  He followed me home and made sure I was ok.  I went to bed immediately.  As I lay there, I was looking at my sister’s bed, her clothes, and all her belongings.  I realized at that moment that I may be alone for the rest of my life.  I always thought that at least if we never had boyfriends again, got married, or had kids, that we would always have each other as life companions.  That was a given.  Now it was not a given.  I realized she may never sleep in her bed, wear her clothes…what was I supposed to do with all her stuff?  I couldn’t stand looking at her bed.  The evening kept replaying in my head like a horrible dream, and I will never forget it.

As I'm reading this story over, tears come to my eyes.  It is hard to imagine what my sister went through during this time.  We are each other's best friends.  Twins (I think identical ones especially) have a special bond which is hard to explain to people.  April is my best friend and will always be there for me.  We live next door to each other, are married to brothers (they are not twins).  She saved my life 13 years ago.  Now, she is expecting her first baby in May, 6 years and 3 days before my daughter's birthday.  I love you April.