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Against All Odds Part 5

Against All Odds Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

She had told her mother, the doctors, and everyone at the hospital that she wanted to live. She said that she knew David would not want her to give up. But within twenty-four hours of David's funeral, Kim collapsed while taking a shower. She got up, walked to the kitchen and fell again. Dawn managed to put Kim into bed, where she lay in semi-darkness, staring at a photograph on her nightstand of David with his arms around her.

“It was all happening so quickly.” A panicked Dawn thought.
It was too cruel.

Kim was just beginning to mourn her husband's death and now she had to deal with her own death. Dawn put her daughter in the car and took her back to the third floor of Presbyterian. Kim, in her favourite pink nightgown with white hearts, clutched her pink blanket.

(Read Related : Broken Heart Poems)

Those who knew Kim well said there was something mysterious and haunting about her final days. After Dr. Kramer stopped by to see Kim for the last time, he led Dawn and Kim's father, Bill, out to the hallway and offered a decidedly non-medical diagnosis.
"Her body is giving up." He told them.
"It's like she's dying of a broken heart."

When friends and relatives came to say goodbye, Kim whispered that she felt like she was getting better. In fact, her eyes were the colour of ash and her weight was down to sixty pounds.
"Mom," she told Dawn.
"I'm sorry I'm taking so long this time."
Dawn walked to a corner of the room, not wanting her daughter to see her cry.

Kim was semi-comatose for the last two days of her life. The only sound in her room was the hiss of the oxygen machine. It will never be known for sure why one of her good friends, lying in a room down the hall, suddenly awoke at three in the morning on November 11 and called for a nurse.
"I feel like something's happening." The friend said, scared.
A couple of minutes later, Kim regained consciousness, opened her eyes, and began speaking in a kind of mumble; a peaceful, cooing kind of sound that no one could fully understand. A nurse in the room said it sounded as if Kim was talking to David.
"Kim, what is it?" Said Dawn, who was resting on a cot at the foot of the bed.
But Kim had shut her eyes and died, still clutching her pink blanket.

She was buried in her white wedding dress. On her wrist was a watch that David had given her for Christmas. She wore ruby earrings, also a gift from David. She was placed beside her husband in a new section of Restland Cemetery.

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Despite his limited income, David had been paying $47 a month for that plot ever since he and Kim were married. He had said it was important for him to know that they had a final resting place together. Their tombstone read:

"David S. (Bear) Crenshaw and Kimberley (Tigger) Crenshaw. Together forever. Married three years."

For weeks afterward, Dawn half-heartedly sorted through their possessions, trying to decide what to keep and what to give away. She perhaps found some solace one afternoon while going through some of Kim's papers. She came across the last card David sent Kim before he died:

"We are close even when we are apart." The front of the card read.
"Just look up. We are both under the same starry sky."

By Skip Hollandsworth

Against All Odds Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

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