Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | May 28, 2010

“You’re Still You, and I love You”; Memorial Day Thoughts

This morning I went to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation site for some inspiration.  You see, my own inspiration is at an ebb at the moment… not my drive nor my motivation, those are still going great guns.  But my SPIRIT is down just a little.  I can’t walk much this weekend, because I’ve got some tendonitis in my knee that requires rest.  Darn.  Those who know me well, and know how lazy I can be, would be surprised at how disappointed I am that I can’t do my scheduled long walk this weekend.  Supposed to do 16 miles.  Could I risk it?  Better not.  So my spirit is sad.  Fitting, I suppose, for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day has always been, not a holiday weekend for me, but a solemn one.  It has been my custom for many years to visit the graves of all the people I know who have gone before me.  Jim and I take buckets and buckets of lilacs, when we can. The fragrance of lilacs is an almost holy reminder of how blessed we are to still be able to walk, share memories, and look up to the beautiful mountains surrounding the Missoula valley.  A river runs through this valley, and it was into this river, many years ago, that my first father-in-law and I spread some dust that sparkled like gold in the autumn sun – the ashes of my young first husband.  So many memories.

Today I visited the Reeve Foundation for inspiration for this post, and as always, I did indeed find my inspiration.  You see, it was on a Memorial Day weekend that Christopher Reeve suffered the injury which paralyzed him.  If you can, do take time to visit the site linked at the upper right on this blog.  You’ll be amazed at what you find there.  But allow me to copy a section from that site’s Daily Dose.  These words are Christopher’s own, taken from his book Still Me.
The doctors had explained my condition, and now I understood how serious it was. This was not a C5-C6, which means you’re in a wheelchair but you can use your arms and breathe on your own. C1-C2 is about as bad as it gets. Why not die and save everyone a lot of trouble?

Dana came into the room. She stood beside me, and we made eye contact. I mouthed my first lucid words to her: “Maybe we should let me go.” Dana started crying. She said, ” I am only going to say this once: I will support whatever you want to do, because this is your life, and your decision. But I want you to know that I’ll be with you for the long haul, no matter what.” Then she added the words that saved my life: “You’re still you. And I love you.” Christopher Reeve, Still Me.

You’re still you, and I love you.  What beautiful words.  How truly blessed we are to be able to say those words, right now, to our husbands, wives, children, families, friends.  And I say them in my heart to those cherished people who still wait patiently for me on the other side.  You’re still you, and I love you.

5/26 – 4 miles including interval training with Walking class
5/27 – Pilates class and resting the darned knee
5/28 – 1 hour on the Airdyne working the arms and left leg, resting the right
Weight 182.4 pounds 




  1. Beautiful comments Kimberly – and thank you for the thoughts from the book. I read it when it first came out, as I always admired him and I was trained as a rehabilitation counselor and have had several close friends with similar injuries through my work.
    I hope the weekend brings some sunshine so the lilacs finish their bloom (they are trying!) and you can take some to the graves.
    My memories of Memorial Day include parades and flag waving, so I plan to do a bit of that, even if in my own back yard!

  2. My Darling Sister

    I’m going to have to quit reading you blog. Every time I read it I end up with tears running down my face. You and I are absolutely surrounded by love.

    When I read the paper in the morning I get so unhappy with all the bad things that go on in the world. Maybe I should be like Uncle Clyde and just not read the paper, but I would miss the comics and Dear Abby so what’s an old jarhead to do. I know, I’ll just love the people around me and let everyone else do as they will.

    Your Lovin Brother Bill

    • you know bill, your son & i don’t read the paper (or watch the news) because neither of us can stand all of the negativity and bad things that it seems that everyone wants to report on, yet no one wants to talk about the fun, the beautiful, the memorable.

      speaking of memorable, kimberly, i love reading your blog. you have such a stunning way with words and i always come away from your blog feeling lucky that i got the chance to get to know you a little bit more. i know i don’t always post, but i always pass along what i read to your nephew. we both want you to know how proud we are of you & how much we support what you are doing. every time i pass along a tidbit or piece of something i read on your blog, josh says “way to go kimberly” or “that’s awesome” or how proud of you he is or (my favourite) “wow. i’m impressed. i don’t think i could do that.”

      we’re rooting for you from the sidelines. this cheering section is the one with the big signs and screaming out “go kimberly go!!”

  3. Thanks Kimberly,
    Your thoughts are always there…makes me
    think…will be supporting on the race…

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