The blog feature on our website will serve as a platform for a lot of different topics such as Epilepsy & SUDEP research and news, grief and loss, personal stories related to epilepsy and/or SUDEP and fun posts on how YOU are Living For Kimberly every day. For those of you who know Kimberly, you are aware of how she lived her life as a happy, fun and caring person. She loved being around her family and friends and would do anything for anyone she loved. For those of you who didn’t know Kimberly, I hope that this post helps you to get a better understanding of how awesome she is and she how had a pretty good handle on how to live life.  Note: I always talk about Kimberly in the present tense because I believe she is as present now as she ever was. She isn’t gone, she is just different. She was awesome, she still is awesome and she proves that every single day.

What does it mean to “Live For Kimberly”?

first-blog-post-1In 25 short years, Kimberly accomplished a lot. She always excelled in school and participated in many activities from the basketball team to student council. In college, she studied abroad in Hawaii and Ireland. Aside from school and working, Kimberly was always working on continuous projects from planning a friend’s wedding shower to repainting her kitchen cabinets for the 5th time. She was never bored and always onto the next thing!

Living For Kimberly isn’t about redoing your cabinets or joining the basketball team at school, it is about how Kimberly lived everyday through leadership. She didn’t wait for permission to do something or follow a rule book, Kimberly went after what she wanted in the way that she wanted. She also didn’t care if she failed, fell or made a fool out of herself. In fact, she was a terrible basketball player. No matter what Kimberly did and the outcome, she would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

How can YOU live for Kimberly?

It is simple, really. Have fun, make mistakes, don’t worry about who’s watching, laugh every day until you start snorting (then laugh even harder because you’re snorting), take the lead, live in the moment, drink wine, be grateful, don’t hold grudges, rescue a puppy, go on vacation, listen, appreciate what you have, take risks, be adventurous, eat salami and cheese sandwiches, give advice, don’t hold back, drink a lot of iced coffee regardless of the sub-zero temperatures outside, laugh at yourself, wear jean skirts even if it is no longer 2003, don’t worry about tomorrow, listen to country music, go to the beach, enjoy your family, buy the shoes (I am really good at this one), work hard, go to the mountains, cook for the people you love, give back, be passionate, be YOU.

Why is it important to Live for Kimberly?

Living for Kimberly is important because it gives you a reason to wake up every day and do your best. When there is a tragedy and you lose someone you love overnight (literally), you want to give up. I Live For Kimberly because I have to. Being Kimberly’s big sister and setting examples didn’t change the day she passed away. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is that I am still her big sister and I know that she is watching me.

More specifically, here is a list of how I live for Kimberly. Most of the sentences start out the same … Sorry for the repetition, it’s really early…

first-blog-post-4I Live For Kimberly everyday by putting everything into my work because Kimberly and I share the same work-ethic. I live for Kimberly by forcing myself to go to the gym even though I’ve come up with 50 excuses to not go – because, that’s what we would do together (the making up excuses part, not so much going to the gym). I live for Kimberly by being with my family more, enjoying my two beautiful nieces and by being present with them. I live for Kimberly by taking a lot of vacations because … YOLO. I live for Kimberly by finishing my Master’s Degree this year even if I didn’t have the energy most days. I live for Kimberly by establishing this foundation with my family in her memory. I live for Kimberly by sharing Instagram and Facebook posts on how other people are Living For Kimberly. I live for Kimberly by listening to my family and friends and trying to help them the best way I can. I live for Kimberly by drinking wine and wishing someone would learn how to make her chocolate chip cookies. I live for Kimberly by not trying to make her chocolate chip cookies because she wouldn’t want me to do something I really hate doing like, baking. I live for Kimberly by being a good person even when I don’t feel like it because life can really make you not feel like it sometimes. I live for Kimberly every time I order an iced coffee (all day, every day). I live for Kimberly by listening to Zac Brown Band on the reg. and by making it a tradition to see them live every year (two years in a row … so, I’ve decided that it is now a tradition). I live for Kimberly by randomly buying a coffee for the person behind me (then I drive away really fast because I get embarrassed. Why? I don’t know.). I live for Kimberly by staying away from cats because I am allergic and she was also very allergic. I live for Kimberly by reading a lot and taking advantage of summer beach days and time with my sisters. I just live for Kimberly … every single day … because she’s my sister.

But …most importantly, when there are days that I find it extremely difficult to live for Kimberly, I live for Kimberly by focusing on my gratefulness and working towards a brighter day.

first-blog-post-3How are YOU Living For Kimberly?

If you are living for Kimberly today, we want to know! Here’s how you can share:

  1. Upload a picture or video to Instagram and/or Facebook with the #LivingForKimberly
  2. Create a blog post for us to share here.
  3. Spread the word! The best way to share how you are #LFK is to set examples and tell your story.