A Weekend in Dallas

October 8, 2014

My older daughter and I flew to Texas for the tenant’s wedding this past weekend.  Before Simon got sick, we had out-ruled attending her wedding due to finances and because it was so close to our own anniversary.  Finances worked out and unfortunately there were now no conflicting anniversary plans, so I jumped at the opportunity to bond with our middle child.  The tenant had asked our daughter to be the “Girl of Honor” in the ceremony. Our daughter never says no to an opportunity to dress up and be lavished with attention. I have no idea where she gets that trait. *wink*
We arrived Thursday evening after an hour delay due to crazy weather in Dallas. No surprises there. While we waited to board the plane, our daughter shared with most of the terminal that her dad had died. That resulted in her getting a slew of new friends, an iPhone to borrow for playing games, and three bags of candy from the airport gift shop. Also, a passenger dropped some money and she pointed it out to him. She was rewarded with a $2 bill for honesty. She is learning very quickly how to work a crowd.

We were picked up in Dallas by a long time friend of Simon’s, D. It’s interesting to experience the dynamics of interacting with friends that were historically “Simon’s friend.” I haven’t heard from some since he passed, understandably. They were his friend by choice and my friend by default. Some are making a point to check in occasionally, perhaps to keep the friendship going, perhaps just to check in on my well being out of respect for Simon. And some are making the effort to transition from Simon’s friend to my friend. On Friday night, I went out with two of those folks, D and L. It was a lovely, warm, kid-less time of dinner, drinks, and conversation late into the evening. Both had been Simon’s friends since college and had kept up with us the last ten years. D spent the summer of 2001 in Houston with Simon doing missions work. L met Simon at the University of North Texas. Ironically, L and I had a Communications class together when I attended UNT and I regretted not keeping up with her. The world became smaller when Simon introduced me to one of his best friends and it was the long lost L! D and L visited individually when Simon was ill; what we experienced during those long days together was intense and bonding. Our connections run deep and they each have a special place in my heart. Always will.

The wedding on Saturday was beautiful. The tenant is Indian, so my daughter got to wear a Kurti or at least I think that’s what it’s called. She also had a bindi on her forehead.  Add a professional hairstyling and gold high heels and she may have been the cutest five year old on the planet. I surprised myself and held it together emotionally at the ceremony, even sitting next to Simon’s parents. The tenant and her husband’s love story makes me genuinely happy without feelings of jealousy or sadness. And the fact that I knew a handful of other folks at their wedding – including the son of the pastor that assisted at my own nuptials – reminded me that Texas and California really aren’t that far removed from each other. Our daughter did have a breakdown near the end of the reception as she realized the tenant’s marriage meant she would no longer be our tenant.  I assured her that the tenant will only be living 15 minutes away from us and we could visit often.

After the reception, we spent the evening at Simon’s brother’s home. Simon loved his siblings – he knew his brother faced an hour long commute to work each way and would try to catch him on the phone then so they could talk sports, politics, and life. It was wonderful to see his brother’s family, watch our daughter play with her cousin, and reminisce with his parents, aunt, uncle, cousin, D, and L. It still doesn’t seem right that Simon isn’t here. It doesn’t seem fair that we get to keep on living, eating, laughing, crying, and loving without him. On the drive back to where we were staying that night, I fought back tears. Our daughter was super tired and rambling about her fear of coyotes. Then she suddenly said she wished there was a train that traveled all the way to heaven so it could pick up Dad. Ugh. My heart. Some days I wonder how we will ever be okay or move on. But then a new day comes. And somehow we do.

We went with to church with D on Sunday. After dropping off my excited daughter in their extravagant kid zone, we attended a class for single adults in their 30’s. It was weird to be there but was good for my process. It wouldn’t have made much sense to go to a marrieds class and most widow groups I’ve looked into don’t have attendees younger than 50 or 60 years old. The speaker in our class talked about success and significance, stressing that family and who we love is priority; it’s what matters for significance. It was hard not to be cynical in my thoughts. I knew that already. I had been married nearly ten years. But I wasn’t the target demographic in that class. I don’t know if I’ll ever find a class or group specifically made up of young widows. It’s a unique predicament. I was able to get my mind off things once the contemporary service started – it was Bluegrass Sunday! It was like being at a free concert with world-class bluegrass musicians.

D and I spent the rest of the afternoon with friends at a relaxed outdoor eatery. My daughter was able to run around like crazy while we relaxed in the glorious sunshine of the expansive Texas sky. So much of my time was invested in my relationship with Simon. In the midst of the tragedy, it’s good on the soul to have dear friends.

After three days in the state that I fell in love with before I ever met Simon, it was time to get on the plane back to California. Ascending into the sky and watching the infinite horizon of a place that has been so influential in my life made me pretty much lose it right there. Our daughter had already fallen asleep in my lap. I stroked her hair and wiped my tears off her shoulder as I watched the landscape diminish. Those roads and sights and people mean so much to me. Gratitude, sadness, hope, and wonder were the main emotions overwhelming my thoughts. I had shared a bit of our story with an older Irish gentleman sitting next to us on the flight. His last words as we landed, somber and comforting in his soft accent, were, “And yet, somehow, life goes on.”


  1. Holly on October 8, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Simon would be so proud of you Kristy. God bless you and your kids…

  2. PapaSteve on October 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I LOVE these…

  3. Shannon on October 8, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Tears and smiles. There are never any words. I think of you and your kids daily. Xoxo

  4. Lori on October 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Troopers! Glad #2 got some mommy and me time!

  5. Cathy on October 8, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Thank-you for all these wonderful reading.

  6. Margaret on October 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Kristy, I am a friend of Simon’s parents and I also knew Simon. You are a remarkable young lady with so much courage. Thanks for sharing your daily life struggles and adventures. They are uplifting. Thanks for sharing. I know Simon is proud of you.

  7. Susan Gaines on October 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Having come to Christ at age 23, leaving behind former companions and a lifestyle, and not being raised in a protestant church I had no concept of the variety of groups one could fellowship in. Attending a small church made of older marrieds and young marrieds, children and teens and then there was me, the former worldly single woman. There was no singles group because just I and 2 really dorky guys were the only adult singles. What interested me was Jesus. I was His girl. I just wanted to learn about Him among other believers who cared about me & age simply did not matter. Most of those in the bible study classes I attended tended to be the older crowd. I liked that. I needed big sisters and brothers. The co-worker who led me to the Lord attended the same church and when I turned 26 urged me to go to a larger church with a singles group because God wasn’t going to drop a man on my front porch. I chose a large church with a larger singles group than the little church I’d been attending for 3 years. I attended 5 weeks. Loved the sermons in church; hated the singles group. I wasn’t “ready” for primetime; God had more work to accomplish in me – the quiet work of being with him, learning of him, trusting him to provide all my needs. I returned to my little country church for the purpose of just being “His” girl. It was lovely, occasionally difficult & teary (especially on valentine’s socials) and yet, Jesus always supplied my every need including my deep need to love and be loved. He just did it differently by placing 3 teens under my wing. Oh, that thing about God not being able to drop a man on my front porch… Dennis didn’t get dropped on my porch. However, his older brother and his family began attending our little country church. It was a total mismatch but God has a purpose and He brought it about via Den’s brother. I’ve been a Catholic. But since coming to Christ, I’ve never been a denomination although having attended 4 completely different denominations. I’ve just always been His girl, a Christian. I do recognize that my experience is NOT prescriptive for others. However, I do think it is a sweet story of love, growth and provision in His good timing. He’s just the best! I love being His girl, single, married or single again. I love you.

    • Kristin romo on October 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      First off, you and your daughter look stunning in the picture. Secondly, she and Tori are cut from the same mold. She used to go to yard sales, find something she liked, then bat her lashes and flash her dimples at the resident, till they would say “Oh your so cute, just take it”. Hey, smart girls! Third, I agree that Simon is smiling an saying”girrrrl”. You are doing an amazing job of being human. Dang, I’M proud!

    • Kristy on October 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Love you back

  8. Tara Collins on October 9, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I believe it helps everyone who follows you. You are an amazing strong woman. Proud of you. Carry on….
    Sending a hug,
    Tara (Kyli Caver’s favorite aunt)

  9. Crystal O on October 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Kristy, it was so nice meeting you at the wedding! I was star-struck 😉 Your positivity and humor is just the best! Hope we meet again sometime. Like I told you at the wedding, you’re a total inspiration… and I sincerely mean that. God has his hand on you and your precious babies. May your faith stay unshakeable. Love and hugs!


    • Kristy on October 10, 2014 at 6:58 am

      You are so sweet. It was great meeting you, too.




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