In Loving memory of
Kimberly Lee Miles Davidson
November 23rd 1970 – May 27th 2013
My best friend,
and Absolute Love of my Life
Kimmie was everything to me. She was my world. Every thought I had or decision I made was based around her. How could I have been so fortunate to meet and share my life with such a wonderful woman? Why had God chosen me to Love and care for this Angel from above? I was truly a lucky man to have had this honor bestowed upon me in my otherwise meager life.
She had not seen or reached out to her family for many years. After a rough childhood and abusive lifestyle I found her. Or did she find me? Only God can answer that question.
Kimmie passed on May 27th of 2013. I reached out to her family. The family she hadn’t seen in years. I lived with her for nearly 6 years. I wanted them to know who she was… not who she was back then but who she had become. So smart and so caring and, despite her tough hardened exterior, such a warm and Loving soul.
These are my memories of Kimmie. These are some of the things I had come to know of her and who she was before she passed on.
Today, I want the world to know of her. Through these tales of Kimmie I hope others can come to understand what a blessed gift I was honored with these past few years.
I still Love her to this day. That will never die. I miss her so badly but will always remember who she was and what she stood for.
I Love you Kimmie and I hope you don’t mind me sharing your stories.
My name is Woody.
Our Nights Out
Every once in a while Kimmie and I would go out for dinner and drinks. She was always careful to make sure we had the money to do so and we’d always go somewhere she knew we could afford.
Once there, we’d order our drinks. Her with her margarita and I, of course, with my beer. She would then look over the menu. She always knew what I would or should eat. I couldn’t see a damn thing so she always ordered for me. “You had chicken last night so you’re not getting that again.” Perhaps it would be a burger that night. Whatever she decided. She knew what was best after all.
We would sit there. Eat our dinner (or snacks if that’s what she decided we could afford) and enjoying our drinks. When it was “time to go” it was definitely time to go. We’d had enough and it was time to head for home. If we wanted more to drink, we could do that there. She never wanted to spend more than we had. She would ask for the bill. After carefully scrutinizing the tab, she would always argue with the bartender. “What’s this charge? We didn’t have this! I thought this was happy hour!”
She knew this business better than anyone and she hated being “ripped-off.” 9 times out of 10 we would wind up getting a reduced tab because Kimmie called them out on their charges. She made me realize I had probably been over-paying most of my life. She was so smart. She liked her “out-of-the-house” time but knew how to control our spending. Once a week, if we could afford it, was fine with her. If we had not accomplished anything in the house or yard… it wasn’t going to happen. We had to “earn” our nights out. With Kimmie, that wasn’t a hard thing to do. I will never, as long as I live, forget those days. I will always remember what I have earned and what I haven’t.
I will forever honor her memory and only allow myself to do what Kimmie would have allowed. She was always right and I will never forget that. I miss her so bad.
Our Alarm System
We had an alarm system in the house but it hadn’t worked in years. One afternoon, after hearing about a break-in about a mile or so away, Kimmie decided it was time to fix it. Were we going to call the alarm company? Heck no… this was another “Kimmie Task!”
The alarm had constantly been going off on it’s own for no apparent reason. I decided it was time to just turn it off and be done with the false alarms. Well, Kimmie decided I was a “dumb-ass” and was simply being lazy. She turned it back on. In about an hour or two, there it goes… siren blaring and lights blinking for no reason. “Damn,” she said, “I wonder what it is.” Okay, back to the Internet.
I went out with some friends that morning on a motorcycle ride. I came home in the afternoon and found an empty box on the counter. The alarm was on, not armed but not going off. “What did you do?” I asked. “I got us a new battery and just replaced it. The dang thing comes on but I can’t set it!” Well, at this point, I knew she wasn’t done.
I was tired from a hot morning of riding with the guys and laid back on the couch to watch some TV. Not Kimmie! I heard her… “What the hell is she doing?” I asked myself. She was in the attic stomping around the ceiling in the 100+ degree heat.
After about two hours she walked in the family room. She was sweaty and dirty and had cob-webs dangling from her hair but smiling from ear-to-ear. “Damn!” I said, “You’re a mess!” “Yeah,” she responded, “I found a couple of places in the ceiling where something chewed away at the wiring. I spliced it all together and we should be good to go!”
She then wandered over to the keypad dragging me along with her. “Okay Woody… what was the programming code? We need to reset everything.” Uh-oh, “I don’t remember. It’s been a long time” was my response. Giving me that ‘dumb-ass’ look she, again, got back on her computer.
After about an hour it was back to the keypad. I watched intently as she proceeded to punch in a series of numbers, the number sign and the asterisk. “What is she doing?” I thought. Within a minute or two she asked “Okay, what do we want the new code to be?” We agreed on the code and she punched it into the keypad. Beep-beep-beep… the alarm was now armed!
What had she done? She not only replaced the dead battery in the alarm box, spliced the ‘eaten’ cables in the ceiling but also completely re-programmed’ the keypad. Everything was working and we were now safer than before when leaving our house unattended.
Another task never before done yet excellently accomplished!
The Swimming Pool
This one is quite long… you may want to grab a pot of coffee…
Our pool pump had broken several months ago. The pool itself had become greenish-brown with algae and just plain slime. The spiders and bugs were abounding and “annoying the hell” out of Kimmie. We had a repairman come and provide us with an estimate. $900.00!!! “No way… uh-uh… ain’t gonna happen! We don’t have that kind of money!” Now, it was Kimmie’s turn.
She spent a few days on the Internet researching possible causes, solutions and replacements. I came home from work one Friday to find her sitting in the kitchen sorting out a slew of motor parts. O-rings, gaskets and various other components, none of which I was familiar with. Well, come to find out, neither was she. She just said “we’ll figure it out Woody… don’t you worry about it!” Worried that she may have just broken our bank account I had to ask “How much was all this stuff?” To my surprise, she had just spent a whopping $27. Okay let’s see how this goes.
The next morning, I awoke and headed for the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. “Where was Kimmie?” I thought to myself. I found her out on the patio, removing the pool pump from it’s slab of concrete. Sockets, screwdrivers, hammers and other hardware strewn around her. Oh boy, gonna be a busy day! After she had disconnected the wiring and had freed everything up, it was my turn. “Okay now Woody…. you pick this thing up and put it on the picnic table so I have more room to work on it.” I did, just as I always do, exactly what she asked. I now just sat there, sipping on my coffee and watching Kimmie go to work. Aside from a couple of bolts she wasn’t strong enough to remove herself requiring my petty assistance, she had the motor apart and in about a thousand pieces spread across the table. Okay, now the replacements.
Again, I watched. “Put new o-rings in here, new brushes on the motor and replace these here gaskets” I heard her say as she feverishly worked to replace the broken parts. After she had put everything back together, it was my turn again. “Alright Woody… git her back over there for me so I can hook-up the electric and give her a whirl!” I, of course, obliged.
After about 30 minutes, it was time. As she reached for the switch, I shivered. What if she hadn’t wired something correctly? What if she didn’t ground it properly? “Be careful” I told her. “Never you mind” she said as she flipped the switch. I was in total awe as I heard the motor start-up, purring like a kitten!
This wasn’t over yet…
After an hour or two had past, the pool just didn’t seem to be circulating right. We couldn’t get it to drain and the jets were just blowing mere bubbles. Okay, we thought, this must be due to all the “crap” in the water. Kimmie had another idea.
She cooked us up some eggs and it was off to Lowe’s. “What are we going there for?” I said. Again, “Never you mind Woody! Just git your shoes on and let’s go!” When we got to the store she quickly walked over to the rental section. She then said to the store clerk “We’d like to rent a sump pump please.” Okay, now I get it. I know what she’s up to.
We got back home and lowered the pump into the muddy, slimy water. Clicked it on and watched it do it’s thing. Several hours later it was nearly empty. “C’mon” she said, “we gotta jump in there and make sure it sucks out all that slime!” I thought she meant just me. Nope! She rolled up her sweat pants and walked down the pool steps. Of course I followed. She then kneeled down in the murky water and began whirling her hands around the pump. “We gotta help this pump git all this gunk out.” We did… and it did too.
“Your turn Woody. Grab the pressure cleaner and git in there and wash down them walls.” I did as she asked and soon the inside was once again clean. Now it was time to fill it back up. We turned on the garden house and just had to wait. At this point, she decided we were allowed to go out for some food and drink. Something she only permitted if we had accomplished something. We left for Duffy’s, water still flowing into the pool. When we got home, it was late and the pool was just about full. She decided to wait ‘til tomorrow to finish things up.
Tomorrow came. It was early morning and time to “git back at it.” We again went to the pump, flipped it on and still… no circulation. “Damn, what’s wrong?” she said. After about 2 hours I decided to call a friend. He had been in the pool business and would surely know what to do. He came over, assessed the situation, and proceeded to inform us that our lines were full of air leaks and needed to be completely ‘re-plumbed.’ “Huh?” was my response. Hers… very nicely, “Thank you James. We got it now.”
Trying to shorten this story a bit I’ll jump ahead. Kimmie had spent the entire week on the Internet investigating what our next task was going to be. The next Saturday morning I, again, woke up and headed for my coffee. “Git dressed Woody. We’re going to Lowe’s.” Oh boy, here we go again.
Upon our arrival at the store she made her way to the plumbing section. Here she carefully selected, in very specific quantities, 1-1/2” and 2” couplings along with 6’ length pipes of both sizes. Along with this, she picked-up some PVC primer and glue. Now, back home.
I had wrenched my back that week and was in considerable pain. “Don’t you worry about it Woody. I just need your ‘man-hands’ to glue the fittings on for me.” I again watched her as she worked. Measuring and sawing the PVC and then handing them to me to glue them together. Honestly, and not surprisingly, she was doing all the work.
Six hours had passed and she had finally gotten everything back together. She had removed all the old plumbing, replacing it with her new creations. It was time for the test! She flipped on the switch to the motor and, after toying around with the various handles and settings, water began freely flowing into the pool. The jets in the spa were spewing out a rigorous stream of water. So much I had never seen before. She bent down and made more ‘adjustments.’ Now the jets in the pool were doing the same. She had done it again! Completely and, very professionally, re-plumbed the pool.
This goes on…
The next weekend my back was in shape again. Kimmie had a new task for us. “We’re gonna git rid of that ugly, rusty pool heater. It don’t even work no more anyway.” Here we go… back to Lowe’s for more plumbing.
After several hours of grunting, sawing, gluing and lugging pieces to the side of the road (both of us)… this too, had been accomplished. There was no longer an old, non-functioning “piece of crap” pool heater blocking our view of the lake. She had removed it and re-routed all the plumbing.
Despite the length of this note I have left out many details. She did so much work on this… researched and study things for a long time. Just another task she had never in her life accomplished was completed and done so in the most professional manner.
I had waited. I just opened the present Kimmie had purchased for me specifically for this day. As expected, a brand new shiny pair of Bostonian shoes for work. She said we couldn’t afford them but got them anyway. This is just another example of how caring and loving she truly was. Always thinking and doing for me but never anything for herself.
Her practical side, of course, can be seen in these shoes as well. They have no laces… slip-ons, loafers or whatever else you might call them. I know she chose these because of the motorcycle and am reminded of the lecturing I got when I rode with sneakers one day. “You know those laces can get wrapped around your gear shifter, brake or even foot pedals! You could have an accident that way!” That was over a year ago. I have never since ridden, even around the block, with shoes having laces.
I miss her!
Oh the Games!
Aside from her Sunday crossword puzzles, Kimmie liked to play a few games on a regular basis. So regular in fact it used to get on my nerves. I’d be sitting there quietly on the couch after dinner just trying to watch TV. All of a sudden, Kimmie would jump up, walk into the kitchen and walk back in carrying one of the few games we played. I’d always try to find a way out of playing but you know Kimmie… wasn’t gonna happen!
Scrabble – This was one she excelled at. She would always sit there, contemplating her tiles, and after a few short moments come up with words I not only didn’t know the meaning of but certainly could not spell. I would argue but she kept a little dictionary right by her side and would open it up and prove me wrong… her right. At my turn, I would stare at my letters completely stumped. Trying to give up and simply forfeit the game to her she’d say “lemme see” where she would proceed to look at my tiles, help me out and ultimately find me a word. I never beat her. Not once. I came close a few times but at the end of every game it was always the same result. “Poor Woody” she’d say.
Yahtzee – This was our “fun game!” This one we played as we drank our beer and celebrated the day’s accomplishments. Somehow or another she would always get a Yahtzee (all five dice matching). As I would try, she’d say “c’mon Yahtzee.” If I did manage to get one, she’d clap her little hands and say “yea Woody!” Even though this was pretty much a game of chance, it was another one I just couldn’t seem to beat her at. Sure, once or twice I think I may have gotten 10 or 20 more points than her but her wins were always total romps!
Backgammon – I had her here… or at least I thought I did. One day after she had been cleaning out the kitchen pantry she found an old Backgammon board that I had from about 30 years ago. She asked me if I knew how to play and if I would teach her. I thought to myself “oh goodie! Finally something I can beat Kimmie at!” I was rather excited about that. We kept playing, over and over and over again. Almost every night of the week and weekends too. I also kept winning but, noticed she was examining my every move. Taking it all in… learning the strategies. Analyzing. At some point, in a matter of a week or two, I started to lose. Hey! What’s going on here? Okay, then it started getting truly ridiculous. This too was simply a game surrounding the luck of the roll. I never figured it out but somehow ‘Poor Woody’ was never to win at Backgammon again.
So competitive. So smart.
The Kitchen Chairs
When Kimmie first moved in I was still in the process of nasty divorce and had all the “leftover” furniture. Old couches, old silverware from multiple sets and a ratty old wicker table with chairs that were torn-up and stained. We dealt with that for quite some time as we would typically sit on the couch and watch TV while we ate our meals.
One day, out of the blue, Kimmie said “c’mon, we’re going to do a little shopping.” I hated “surprise shopping” and tried to talk her out of it. After being told to “shut-up and get a move on,” I reluctantly agreed (as I always had to) and found myself pulling up to a fabric store. I asked her if she was making drapes or something to which her response was “nope, I’m gonna fix those damn chairs!” I told her she was just wasting time because neither she nor I had ever done that kind of repair and we could easily just pick-up new cushions at some home improvement store. She then said “Woody! Do you have any idea how much those things cost? They’re like $30 a piece! We ain’t got that kind of money!” Once again, I was trying to argue with Kimmie. Who was I fooling here… I knew better than that.
Well, we spent somewhere around $27 I believe and had a little roll of greenish-blue fabric rolling around the back of the truck along with some foam padding. After all, this was Kimmie… she wasn’t just going to throw new covers on “tore-up” cushions… “we ain’t doing nothing half-ass around here!” We also had to stop at Lowe’s and pick-up some kind of cleaning liquid she had found on the Internet to take the stains out of the wood. When we arrived at home, she immediately took to her task. Unscrewing the seats from the chairs and lugging everything out to the patio because she had read the fumes from the cleaning fluid might be toxic.
At this point I had to address my own chores. I went out to the garage, started up the mower and began cutting the grass. When I reached the back yard I could see her… still out on the patio in her little work outfit down on her hands and knees scrubbing away. Once I was through, about 2 hours later, I came back inside and walked out on the patio. Amazing! My ratty old kitchen table looked as though it had just been delivered. Kimmie was all stinky and sweaty from the grueling afternoon heat but smiling from ear-to-ear. “See Woody… I told ya… easy-peezy!” When I asked how she was going to do the seat covers her replay was “don’t know, haven’t research that one yet.” She spent the rest of the afternoon struggling with “those damn seats!” Stretching the material, trying to keep the foam in place and wielding a staple gun. Not working out too well. Frustrated and tired, it was time for dinner and off to bed.
I arose the next day and heard Kimmie again toiling with the seats. “Damn-it! Stupid material! Ghetto-ass staple gun!” was all I could hear. “You know, you really would do better with a sewing machine” I said. “We can’t afford no dang $90-$120 sewin’ machine Woody” was her response. “I’ll figure it out!” I drank my coffee, did my crosswords and it was now time to go to work. “Peace out” she said as I left for the office.
All day long, I wondered what she was up to. She wasn’t answering my email nor picking up the phone at the house. Hmmm… I thought, what is Kimmie doing. Finally, at about 4:30, I received a text message. “You coming home right after work?” I replied “yes, I’ll be home around 5:30-6:00 to which her response was “good! I’ll have dinner on the table!” Again, hmmmm… what did she mean by that? We don’t eat ‘at the table!’ We always eat on the couch. Oh well, let’s just see what surprises Woody has in store when he gets home today.
I walked in the door around 5:45 that night and, yep… there it was! Dinner, served on the table! My “new” table with beautifully “form-fit” seat covers! Truly a professional looking job indeed. Better than they looked when I bought it over 15 years ago. “Okay, how did you do it? You were totally perplexed when I left this morning” I said. “Welp! I went to Target, bought a sewing machine, sewed-up the covers and returned the machine telling them it wasn’t gonna do for what I needed it for!” I, being a little too honest at times, said “isn’t there something illegal or wrong about that?” Kimmie’s response… “get a grip on reality Woody, people do that all the time. Besides, it was a floor model and looked a little beat-up anyway!”
Once again, my industrious little roommate had accomplished, nearly perfectly, something she had never before done in her lifetime! She spoke like a red-neck, used improper “English,” yet was still smarter than any woman I have ever known!
Here are just a couple of the “pet peeves” Kimmie had that I’ve already violated 🙁
1) I had stacked the black skillet in the gray pan pile. Didn’t like that at all. She had worked all afternoon organizing that cabinet one day. (I corrected this)
2) I just started the dishwasher knowing it’s not “off-peak” hours. She never wanted to use electricity or water unless it was off-peak. Always trying to save a dollar.
3) I cleaned the cat box today and hung the little bag on the garage door. She hated that too. Every time I did that and left for work, I’d come home to a little bag of poo siting on my bed.
4) Rented a movie today. It was the $6.99 type as opposed to the $4.99 movies we would watch every weekend. She simply refused to spend that much more!
5) I pulled in the driveway last night and put the emergency brake on in our truck “after” I took my foot off the brake. This was also a no-no.
6) I thought about calling a lawn service today as the grass has gotten pretty long. Hung-up the phone when they answered because she knew they wouldn’t take good care of our new landscaping. Trying to get through that now. That’s all for now. A lot more to come. All so simple and stupid. Ate at me all the time but miss them so much now.
Family Room Light
Kimmie loved her Sunday paper crossword puzzles. She used to sit in the family room with her coffee, detective series playing on the TV just for “background noise.” She was always complaining about how dark it was in there in the mornings so one day she decided she was going to do something about it. We had a ceiling fan but no light attached.
A week had gone by and I came home from work that Friday night and there she was… assembling a new light fixture that she found a sale on at Lowe’s. Oh boy, I guess it didn’t matter that I had a long day, “we had work to do!”
The installation seemed to go fairly easy. I had to do the step-ladder work as she hated climbing up that thing but that didn’t stop her from trying to help… steadying the ladder and handing me each screw one at a time.
When I finished, she flipped the circuit breaker back on and, alas, the fan worked but no light 🙁 At that point, she made me take the whole fan down completely off the ceiling. I argued that she was just wasting time but, stupid me, that was Kimmie! I had to do it. Well, she was right. The little blue wire that was supposed to be for the light didn’t connect to anything! We tried every wire in the ceiling, her flipping the circuit breaker on and off and me constantly yelling “nope, nope, nope.” Nothing seemed to be working.
We fiddled with that damn thing until around 11:30 pm when we both decided to give up and go to bed. I wandered off to my room and Kimmie, of course, got on her computer. “I’m going to bed Kimmie. See you in the morning.” “Peace out Woody!”
I slept in just a little as I liked to do on Saturdays. We both typically got up around 5 AM but took a break on Saturdays. I got up around 6:30 and found Kimmie in the kitchen and family room with all the light switch covers off the wall and wires dangling everywhere! “Damn,” I said, “you’re gonna catch the house on fire! You’re not an electrician!” Her response… “hush-up and git your coffee. We’re gonna fix this thing today!”
Well sometime around noon that day, after ripping wires out of the wall and re-splicing them all together, she said “okay, I’m going to flip the breaker on and you tell me if the light comes on.” She did and it did! There it was shining down on the coffee table with about 200 watts of energy-saving light bulb power behind it! Of course, they had to be energy-savers. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Hold on, I ain’t done yet.” She replaced all the wall covers after making me make sure all the wiring had an adequate amount of electrical tape wrapped around them so there wasn’t going to be a fire hazard. Once we were both through, she said “watch this now” as she proceeded to flip a switch in the family room turning the light on and off while the fan control worked perfectly on it’s own. That switch had controlled the kitchen lights before her work so asked her what happened to that? She said “hold on” (Southern drawl again) and flipped two other switches on and off illuminating the kitchen, each on opposite sides of the room. She had completely re-wired the entire kitchen and family room lighting claiming “whoever did this to begin with did a real ghetto job!” She did it right!
Once again, another amazing accomplishment for my Little Kimmie! First time ever… perfectly done!
My Television Set
It was the heart of football season and I was watching a Sunday afternoon game in my room on the bed. Soon after the 1st quarter ended, I heard a “snap” and my screen suddenly had a horizontal line cutting the display in half and totally distorting the picture. I walked out into the living room where Kimmie was watching her detective show or some other mystery channel as she always did. I said, “wouldn’t you know it. My TV just crapped out and the Giants are playing tomorrow on Monday Night Football.”
Kimmie hoped on the computer and find a local repair service offering weekend, in-home repair. An hour or so passed and the repairman arrived. Kimmie stood over his shoulder as he assessed the damage. When he was through, he told her it would be $275 for the repair or $25 for the service call if we chose not to do so. She then calmly took my wallet off my dresser, snatched out 2 tens and a five and handed it to him and said “thank you, we’ll take care of it” and escorted him out the door. My thoughts… “oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go out for the game tomorrow.” Kimmie’s thoughts… “you know we can’t afford for you to be going out watchin’ football every Sunday!” At this point, I just moped around the house until bedtime while Kimmie, once again, navigated through site after site about TV repairs on the Internet. I then bid my good night to which her response was, as always,”peace out!”
I got up the next morning thinking I should’ve ‘bit the bullet’ and had that guy fix my TV. What was I going to do without my Giant’s game? I went to work as usual. Throughout the day, I received numerous text messages from her asking such questions as “do we have a soldering gun?” “Do we have solder?” “Do you know how to solder?” Not knowing exactly what she was up to, I simply responded with “no” to all her questions.
Time to go home. I was tired, hungry and looking forward to whatever creation Kimmie would be making for dinner that night. When I arrived at home I found a little soldering gun on the kitchen table with a spool of solder. The soldering gun was still warm. Okay “what did you do” I asked. She responded with “go’on, go look” again with that little Southern drawl I loved so much. I walked into my bedroom and found my TV displaying the evening news with a crystal clear picture and no horizontal lines.
Amazing! She fixed my TV! When I asked how she did it she proceeded to tear the back off the TV again exposing an array of circuit boards and complicated electronics. She then made me get down on my hands and knees so she could show me her work. “See all those little soldering points in there? I had to re-solder them. There were cracks everywhere Woody! Must’ve been 10 or 20 at least so I just did ’em all!” She was so proud of herself as she smiled from ear-to-ear claiming “and it only cost us $9 Woody… $9.00!!!”
I eagerly ate my dinner that night and then went into my room to watch my beloved Giants. The entire game, all I could think about was how amazing my Little Kimmie was and how, once again, she had completely and perfectly repaired something she had never worked on before!
One Saturday afternoon while I was out mowing the grass, the heat became a little much so I decided to take a quick break and grab some water. She always made sure we had plenty of that in the house.
When I returned to my mower and started it, I immediately noticed gas spewing out from under it’s top. I searched and searched and found no broken hoses or cracks. Frustrated, I walked back in the house and Kimmie asked “you done already?” After I had explained what had happened she then told me to grab another water and let her have a look.
She hoped on her computer, as she always did, and within 10 minutes grabbed my sleeve and said “c’mon” with that little Southern drawl. She walked me into the garage to the tool area where she took out the socket set, a screwdriver and a hammer. She then removed the top of the mower as if she had been working on equipment such as this her whole life. After inspecting the motor, she grabbed the hammer and whacked the top of the engine 2 or 3 times. I yelled… “what the hell are you doing?” She told me to “hush-up” and proceeded to confidently replace the cover. When she was through, she said “start her up!”
To my surprise, the mower started right up and no gasoline leakage anywhere. I asked her what she did and she nonchalantly stated “yer plunger was stuck in the carb. I un-stuck it.. now git back to work!”