City Girl in a Small Town

July 31, 2014

We don’t know what today holds so here is a fun story to give some smiles underneath the tears.

I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles – I’m a city girl who is used to lots of people, buildings, concrete, and busyness. Although I spent a semester of college in North Texas, it was still not the full Texas small town experience. Not to worry, I got what I wished for. In December 2003, Simon was falling madly in love with me and took me to his tiny hometown near the border of Arkansas and Louisiana to spend the weekend meeting his extended family. I’m from a city of over 100,000, surrounded by many other cities about the same size, that sprawls for many miles. Simon is from a town of 5,000 surrounded by a few other much smaller towns with lots of open space for hundreds of miles. It’s quite the paradigm.

Within a few hours of arriving in Atlanta (Texas, not Georgia), we were pulled over by the town police. I was following every traffic law and was dumbfounded – until I realized what was really happening. “Hey there ma’am, sir. What’s with the California license plates?” Ahhh, yes. Curiosity. “Officer, I just drove in from California. I plan to obtain my Texas plates within the week. My boyfriend is from this town.” He eyeballs Simon and says, “Son, who’s your daddy?” Simon said his father’s name and the officer replied, “Well, you tell him I said hello. Ya’ll have a great night.” Wow. I was already in love with the guy, now I was falling in love with the country charm.

The next morning, we were hanging out on his back porch. Word was spreading that he was in town so one of his cousins drove over in his big ‘ol truck with his Australian Shepherd guarding the truck bed. Pretty sure having anything that’s alive in a moving truck bed is illegal in California. And I thought Simon’s accent was strong and was fascinated that it could be stronger as I tried to decipher everything his cousin was saying. They wrapped up their conversation and his cousin casually mentioned he was going to feed the cows. I blurted, “FEED THE COWS?! I WANNA GO!” He stared at me for a moment and realized I was completely serious and TOTALLY EXCITED. He asked how long it would take me to get dressed. What was he talking about? I was ready to go in my capris and flip flops. In December. To feed cows.

He helped me into the biggest truck I had ever been in. We started along and I was wide eyed in awe of the new surroundings. “So, Mr. Cowboy man, do you have any guns in this here truck?” I teased. “Four.” He replied, unflinching. He even pointed out each one – pistol underneath his seat, back up in the glove compartment, hunting rifle behind us, and some other gun in the back. Ok, maybe I was a little intimidated now. I moved the conversation to something lighter as I looked at his Big Gulp cup. “Whatcha drinkin’? I asked as I peered into the cup. Oh. Um, tobacco. I shut up and took my rightful place as feed-helper for the next hour.

The rest of the outing was fairly uneventful. I’m sure his cousin was thoroughly amused watching me dodge cow patties in my flip flops that brisk morning. But to this day, I love Texas. The unpretentious vibe of Downtown Fort Worth, the glamour of Dallas, and the heart in every small town. Years later, there is still a bit of thrill driving in to the country and those open spaces where life slows down a bit.



  1. Susan Tidwell on July 31, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Just want you and Simon to know that you are being prayed for by so many in Atlanta. Our hearts are breaking, and yet we are amazed by your undeniable faith and strength. Thank you for sharing your walk in such a beautiful way. We will continue to pray for all of you!
    Jay and Susan Tidwell

  2. Judy Flint on July 31, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Wonderful story, you are an amazing person and God has really blessed Simon with such a beautiful wife.
    Love you,

  3. Jenn Lind on July 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Kristy, I will never forget you showing me around Denton. Marked for life… literally.

    • Kristy on July 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Best. Trip. Ever.

  4. Peggy Ash Madigan on July 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

    You’ve been on my mind lately, so I visited your blog this morning. I am at a loss for words. You have amazing strength – faith – so positive. I wish you & Simon the best. God bless you both.

  5. Samantha smart-frailey on July 31, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I am generally at a loss of what to write as a comment. I’ve pretty much just wanted to say “ditto” to most posts. I know Kristy and have never had the pleasure to meet Simon., although from following Kristy’s blog I feel as though I know him. How loved he is by his family, friends and community…..a beautiful marker of a life well lived. It has been an honor to be included in reading tributes to Simon and hearing these stories and reading the heartfelt comments. . I loved the Texas story. … “who ‘s your daddy”. …. priceless. My family is also from Texas and my mother was so thrilled that Kristy had married a Texan.!

  6. Jan on July 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Never heard this story, Kristy! Love it!!

  7. Beverly Pennington on July 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Kristy the love you have for Simon is in every word you write. Before the beginning of time God knew Simon and your children would need your love. Thank you for sharing your love during this heart breaking time.

  8. Jeff and Terri Peace on July 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    This small town is lifting up huge prayers for Simon and your family! Thank you so much for this blog and your transparency throughout this time in your life. We feel very close to all of you, though many miles separate us!

    Jeff and Terri (Hollingshead) Peace

    • becky ulrich on July 31, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      praying for the becky

  9. Debbie White on July 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Loved your story. People in Atlanta are so warm and friendly. Praying for Caver family with all my heart

  10. Erin on July 31, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    ….And, you MUST come back to itty bitty Hotlanta! We love you.

    • Kristy on July 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Girl, you know it. I will always be Simon’s baby mama. You’re stuck with me.

  11. TJ Wommack on July 31, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Hello Kristy, I was a friend of Simon’s from Atlanta through church and the good ol Boy Scouts. Being a few years older, I know I gave Simon a little grief as most kids that age do.

    I’ve been reading your posts to keep up and each time thinking what to say in response and while I still have not figured it out I felt compelled today to comment here. Simon was, is and will continue to be an incredible guy that I am happy to be able to call a friend, and the strength that shows through your posts both of yourself and Simon is remarkable and only can be explained as a God-given gift.

    Prayers and love to you all from Texas! Please tell Simon that Stacy and I are praying

  12. Linda Manley on July 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Gotta love Atlanta, Texas….many, many prayers being lifted here for y’all!

  13. Pat Collins on July 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Your faith and gift with words amaze me. I have been living a “faith story” with my husband for many years. I know I am to write a book, but the words don’t flow from me like they do from you. Wish you could help me write my story. I am Chris Cavers grandmother inlove (not law). It was his love for Kyli that brought us together. Will be praying for you and Simon.
    God bless you, and your children.

  14. Kim (Yarbrough) Ruger on July 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    This made me smile. I’m pretty sure, from your description, that I know who that cousin was who visited and he’s one of my nephews. The Texas drawl, the Australian Shepherd (he’s had Australian Shepherds for as long as I can remember), the chewing tobacco, the cows. Yep, that’s him. What a beautiful story and thanks so much for sharing it. Continuing to pray from Alaska.

  15. Sharlyn Teale on July 31, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Many people are praying for you and Simon here in our small town. Your blog has been such a beautiful expression of your love and sadness during this time. God has truly blessed you with such a wonderful gift. Thank you for your daily writing. Many hugs to Simon and prayers for all of you.

  16. Sanjung on July 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm


  17. Kristy Lindsay on July 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    We could gather up some folks and start ourselves a small town in Texas. We can name it Simonville. 🙂

  18. Stan Savage on July 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Growing up in the small town of Atlanta, I can say I know Simon…but I am lucky enough to also call him a friend. Even though he was a couple of grades behind me, we still shared many of the same interests. His quirky sense of humor, positive outlook, genuine kindness…he just had this amazing personality that stretched well beyond his smallish stature. I’m glad to see he is still the same and time has not changed that.

    At first he didnt talk much in our group of friends, but I soon learned that once you got him talking you couldn’t shut him up. I liked him the first time I met him. He is a genuine good soul who would do anything to help anyone. Even through all of this, I still see that same smile on his face.

    I was completely gutted the first time I heard the news of his diagnosis. I’ve been lurking and watching. Praying and hoping for a saving maricle…because if anyone deserves that, it is Simon. Things look bleak, yet you and he forge ahead, chins up, faith unwaivering…that is love in its purest form. It makes me happy that Simon found someone that is as amazing as he is.

    I will continue to pray. I will pray for Simon, for you, for those babies, your families, and those who have done so much to care for him. Give him my best, and thank him for always being a great example as to what a friend should be defined by.

  19. Ashley on July 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    The best and worse thing about a small town is that everyone knows everyone!?! 🙂 I can’t think of one person from A-town who is not praying for Simon and his beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  20. Blayne Hunt on July 31, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I love you and I love your Family….And I love Texas! I have basically started only checking FB for your posts! I laugh and I cry. I am incredibly awed by your strength among many other things! Praying for you constantly and sending you all sorts of love!!!!
    Blayne Hunt

  21. Kate Reynolds on July 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Kristy, I grew up with Simon at FBC Atlanta…I am a little younger than Simon, but have kiddos around the same ages as yours. I am praying for you, your strength and your job as a mom and wife right now. I know God will give you what you need, even when you don’t know you need it! We are praying for you, Simon, the kids, and your whole family. Thanks for sharing your journey. You are such an inspiration to me.

    My very favorite verse:
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

  22. Pam on July 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Wonderful and fun to read.

  23. Michelle Stevens on July 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Me too friend, sometimes I miss the slower life. Much love to you both!

  24. Pam Ernest on July 31, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    My heart goes out to you as I sit here with my Dad who is on Hospice with pancreatic cancer. Dad and Mom are originally from Atlanta and I am a cousin to the Stanley’s. Phyllis, Jim, Tammy, Erin and Tracey.

    I remember when Simon was born and had to have heart surgery. What a fighter he had to be at such an early age. It sounds like he has proved do many wrong as he has lived a life full of live and fun times.

    I enjoyed reading your rendition of a true small town Texan experience. The population sign of 5,000 has been there since I was little!!! The southern east Texas drawl is unique in its own right.

    I have just had you, Tom, Donna Ann and the rest of the Cavers and Stanley’s on my mind. I wish you peace of heart…

  25. Susan Gaines on July 31, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    “In December 2004, Simon was falling madly in love with me…”
    How could he not?

  26. Lori Cullins on July 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm


    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are a very talented writer and a very strong and courageous young lady. I am praying for you, Simon and your family. May God Bless You All.

    Lori Cullins
    Atlanta, TX

  27. Teresa Moore on July 31, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Beautiful story from a beautiful person. Prayers continue daily.

  28. Grace on July 31, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    I can totally imagine how excited you were to feed the cows 🙂 I love reading all your life stories. Thank you for sharing♥️

  29. Danylle Gutierrez on July 31, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    All your stories have moved my heart. Prayers

  30. Trevelyn Phillips-Marsh on August 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Please know that I am praying for your family. My sister just told me this evening. I have read your posts through tears and loved the story above about feeding cows and how you meet. What a joy to have such amazing memories. Prayers.

  31. JP Sanders on August 1, 2014 at 6:26 am

    I gave my e-mail but I cant see anything sent to it I don’t use computers much except to play on facebook. So forgot password to it but only mail I got other than what comes in the post box. I really like your blog and always sort of wondered what happened to Simon. we where not really close but we hung out some and we to school together and I always liked him. I am very happy he found someone like you and that you love him as much as you do. I hate to know he is going through what he is and the pic of him in the hospital bed was not the guy I remembered from my youth. I am praying for him and you and all of his family.

  32. Kit on August 1, 2014 at 7:10 am

    That is a great story! I recently took my son to feed the cows in Atlanta, its a special town and we are lucky to be here in Texas to visit this summer. We are thinking about and praying for Simon constantly and sending you all love and strength. You are setting an amazing example for your children, family, friends and all those who’s lives you’ve touched during this heartbreaking journey.

  33. Sarah Stewart Feimster on August 1, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I have read every blog and have cried many tears for y’all. I have no profound words of wisdom or insight to how hard your struggles are. I can tell you that as a family we have prayed daily. Y’all are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending love from Texas.

  34. Nancy Morris on August 1, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Simon…I received a update via your granddaddy a couple of nights ago. Know that Dr. Dave and I are praying daily for you and your dear family.

    Nancy Morris

  35. Belinda Pettit on August 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for the smiles. I pray that the Lord of Light will open up opportunities for more smiles today. We are all offering prayer support from our little rural city……the one that gave you your Simon. Keeping you close to our hearts.

  36. Dore - willie kesterosn's wife on August 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Willie and Simon are friends through those amazing adventurous Boy Scouts of America. We are praying wig you and for you. Praying that Jesus will make himself known through all of this. Thanks for sharing such intimacies with us. Praying peace and comfort as only Jesus can give.
    Thankful that you are not alone and thankful for Jesus and all that comes with sharing our doubts fear and joys with Him.
    Praying this for you both : so do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for he is your God. He will help you. He will strengthen you and He will hold you up when you can not stand, with His righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

    • Dore - willie kesterson's wife on August 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Willie Kesterson – sorry. Can’t spell




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