In Loving Memory of
Laura Ann Kimble
November 5, 1968 - October 19, 2002
THE STAIRWAY OF TEARS
I've loved you so much and I claimed you as mine.
I gave you this child for just a short time
This beautiful angel that has now returned home
And is always before my heavenly throne
Don't weep for the things that you cannot see
Your joy is in heaven, and is still yet to be
You're climbing a stairway built with your tears
and with each mournful prayer I draw ever so near
Climbing those stairs of your tears and your pain
Please know that your journey will not be in vain
Although you can't see my reasons right now
I made a plan for your life and I've given my vow
As you keep on climbing those stairs built with tears,
I give you this cross oh so heavy to bear
but I'm walking behind you carrying most of the weight
And all I ask is your trust, and to be not afraid
Come my dear servant, please see who I Am
If only you knew of my wondrous plan
Keep climbing on up all the way to the top
Don't keep looking back and please do not stop
I know you're a mother that cries with such grief
How can you not know your loved one's with me
This child that I gave, though her years were so few
Remember my promise that I'd return her to you
In Memory of My Sweet Lily
The Lord gathers me close to his heart
Saying be not afraid
My child, fear not
You are my lamb and I've set you free
Just let me lead and come follow me
Written by Ann....Laura's Mom
Swimming in the River of Tears
I am one of the many people that others look at and wonder what is wrong with this person. I somehow do not fit into the world I once knew and I've wandered aimlessly since, trying to find where I belong. I guess you could call me a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. My heart, my soul and my life ended on October 19, 2002 on a sunny and beautiful Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. My precious Lily died. My vivacious, beautiful and loving daughter Laura, who I called Lily since she was a little girl. I held her hand and stood by, with no power to bring her back to me, no power to stop the angel of death taking her, no power to heal the illness that took her life. The day my heart stopped beating.
Laura and I were a pair. No mother and daughter could be this close, like one person, that's how close we were. She was the flesh of my flesh and heart of my heart. We both had such a fantastic sense of humor that we could find almost anything in life to make a joke out of. Those were happy times in my life. Having my Laura and my son Steve
were my life.
She first had one little girl in 1997 that I absolutely fell in love with. Julianne was another beautiful blessing added to my life. Four years later came our little boy Michael, another sweet joy. Unfortunately my Lily did not stay long enough for him to see what a loving mother he had and my poor little boy missed out on the most important blessing
that every child should receive.
Shortly after Michael was born, Laura started complaining of headaches and occasional blurred vision that she could not adequately describe. She kept insisting it was a sinus problem. She was examined and the doctors agreed it was her sinuses that were inflamed. Time went on and she was still keeping busy raising her children with so much love and devotion. More then anyone can imagine. Her entire being revolved around her two little gifts from heaven and her husband. We all shared the love of family and the sweetness of life, I had it all. My son, Steve, lived so far from us in a different state, and you can imagine when we all got together. Laura and I, along with little Julianne, used to go visit every few months and we'd stay for days at a time and all the cousins would be together and they all had such a close bond with one another. Her husband was so good to her and he mainly liked staying home and tinkering around with his hobbies and other things that he seldom had time to enjoy. What beautiful lives we had, so filled with everything,
happy holidays and fun and lots of family gatherings.
By the time our little Michael was several months old, Laura was complaining more and more about this blurred vision, still maintaining it was being caused by sinus problems. Finally her doctor decided to send her to an Ophthalmologist. He found nothing wrong by looking into her eyes, but he was wise enough to refer her to a Neuro Ophthalmologist, who would do further examination into the cause of this problem. The Neuro Ophthalmologist was not pleased and decided to send her to a Neurosurgeon for yet further testing. Finally they did an MRI. We were so sure that all would be well. After all, she was raising her children, although so very tired, but we attributed this to her exhaustion from lack of sleep.
Plus the doctors all told us that whatever was wrong was certainly nothing to be unduly concerned about.
She finally went for the MRI. The results came the same day and they found a cyst on her Pituitary Gland, located in the brain and this is what controls every other gland in the body. Still the doctors told us not to worry, this was a simple matter and nothing to fear. She would dance at her grandchildren's weddings. She was so very trusting, my girl. We all placed great faith in the doctors. A great mistake. We should have known then
that the only place where faith belongs is in God.
They scheduled her surgery and said there was no real hurry because it was going to be a very simple thing and she would be just fine within a matter of weeks, up and about and taking care of her children. I still remember that July of 2002, we were already making plans for our pumpkin picking in October, thinking that she would be totally well by then. We were so positive of this. In fact, we were so sure about everything that on July 13, 2002, Laura, her husband, the children and myself all took a week long vacation at Wildwood, New Jersey, and we had the best time we've ever had in our lives. As the week progressed I could see something was just not right. Laura was falling asleep in the middle of a sentence while speaking to us, she was almost totally blind by now, she was just so tired, beyond the normal. Part of me worried, but to think of anything bad was unthinkable, so we went our merry way still with hopes and dreams in our lives and looking forward to the days following her surgery, when she was promised to have her vision restored and back with her family to recuperate for a short time. Oh she just couldn't wait. She had just about forgotten what it was like to see clearly without looking through a haze of blurriness. Why did I not notice. Why? Why didn't I know she was that sick. Did my mind shut down somehow and was I in some sort of denial where I could not see? I often think about this, not as much with guilt, although that is part of it, but more with bewilderment. How could I, her own mother,
her own flesh and blood, not have known?
The morning of July 23, 2002 at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, I had slept over the night before to take care of the two children, Julianne who was 5 and Michael who was 15 months. The last thing I saw that morning, while sleeping on the pull-out couch with her little Julianne in my arms, was the back of my Laura's head going down the steps of her house with her husband and I recall saying, "good luck sweetheart and don't worry, all will be well." Just like that, like she was going to have a tooth pulled out. I must have already been half insane from shock and didn't t know it. Maybe my mind shut down as a protective measure to keep me alive. Whatever it was, I sure did not act in a normal manner as a mother whose beloved and most precious child was going to have brain surgery. All that day I took care of the children and thought about her being in surgery, but still in a state in which the only way I can describe it, is a numbness of some sort. The Lord was already preparing me. This just was not happening. Laura's nana came to the house, along with her cousin and her children, and all the children played that day, not realizing anything serious was happening,
since they were so very young.
Late in the afternoon around 4:00 p.m., Laura's husband called with news from the hospital. Instead of the small benign cyst that they had originally diagnosed, it turned out to be a large tumor wrapped around her Pituitary Gland which did not show up in her tests. They had to remove the entire Pituitary Gland, which is the major gland in the body that controls just about every other gland. Once they did that, we never had our Laura back again. That was the last I spoke with the child of my heart that I once knew so well, that I loved from the moment she was born. Now she didn't t know anyone anymore, she did not even know me. She hallucinated, she had to have a stomach tube inserted because she lost her swallowing reflex. Then the bigger problems began. She got blood clots in every organ of her body, her liver, her lungs, her kidneys, her legs, just about everywhere. She suffered stroke after stroke. The doctors still maintained that she would be perfectly fine and would be back to herself almost 100% after a short recuperation time. She vomited continuously and then started having terrible seizures. More surgeries followed, a shunt was inserted in her brain to drain out the fluid, surgery to dissolve the clots in her lungs, every opening of her body had a tube going into it. She was 33 years old.
Laura stayed for two whole months in the ICU of a major University Hospital. They gave her excellent care and did all they could to make her comfortable and to reassure us that she would be well with time. Although I was upset, I still had such hope. After two months she showed a very slight improvement, but to my eyes, I did not see much. She still barely knew us. She didn't know me, her most beloved person on this earth, her mommy. Finally she was transferred to a rehabilitation center and they began rehabilitating her. She still did not look improved to me. She was like a young child again, holding a teddy bear, and she was so incoherent. Deep inside I knew all was not well. Maybe because we were one heart and one soul, connected by that invisible cord that connects mother and daughter that cannot be seen by the human eye, but that keeps us bound to each other. I knew. I knew this was not good. I was the only one who knew.
My child, my Lily, my baby.
While in the rehabilitation center, Laura's dad who had stayed by her side from the first day of surgery, right up until her stay at the rehabilitation center, was to a point of exhaustion from lack of sleep and complete weariness. He had to get some rest and sleep in a bed. The nurses promised to have round the clock watch on her since she was a very difficult patient that had learned to remove her restraints and pull all her tubes out. They promised him and he trusted them. When he left, we later learned that the nurses left her alone and unattended. While she was alone in her room, she managed, with super human strength, to untie her restraints, and as far as we know, she climbed out of the bed and as was told to us, she fell on her head three times. That was her end. She slipped into a coma, had two more brain surgeries after this, one to remove the top portion of her skull, and also another to remove the hematoma that formed there. It was too late. The panel of doctors brought us all together and told us we had to make the decision to remove her from all her life support because there was no hope. I was in shock and numbness, just no way to describe what I felt. This was not happening. This could not be. I felt something inside of me die. Her dad and I refused to allow the tubes to be disconnected, we fought them and started praying over her, putting holy water from Lourdes and Fatima all over her body, putting relics of Padre Pio and pleading with God to bring her back to us. We wanted a great miracle. We had to have her back. This was absolutely not acceptable. There was just no way we were letting her go. She had to return to us. Her husband had the power of attorney and made the decision to remove the tubes keeping her alive. We had no say and it was of no use anyway because there was no hope, but we refused to face this. They finally removed all her tubes and transferred her to Hospice care.
I slept there for a week, never leaving. I had a bed there and sat by her side the entire time singing the beautiful Christian hymn "Be Not Afraid" into her ear in the hopes that she could hear me. I told her to take the hand of Jesus and go with him. My heart was like a bleeding wound, but little did I know that this was only the tip of the iceberg.
The worst was yet to come.
On Saturday Morning, October 19, 2002, on the morning of Laura's husband's 35th birthday, a husband she loved so much, I sat there holding her hand, watching her breathe her final breaths and breathing them with her, feeling her death within me as I died along with her. Her face took on a translucent quality with a heart shape to it, her skin was like porcelain, her face had a sweetness to it such as I had never seen in life. She was so completely angelic looking and everyone that saw her also noticed this. I knew the exact moment when her last breath came. I stood there and saw with my very eyes that last and final breath as she crossed over from this earth beyond the veil into God's kingdom. A sweet soul that departed with angels carrying her right up to the loving presence of the Father in Heaven. She was a doll and an angel. A daughter among daughters. The very breath and life of me. I am an empty shell. A mother that has lost her own life. Our whole entire family was shattered and torn to pieces. All joy and happiness was taken from us. No more holiday celebrations, no more parties, no more laughter but only tears now, sometimes silent and sometimes not.
Fifteen years have passed now and rather than recover, I'm only worse with time. My emptiness remains and I'm a shadow of who I used to be. All of our lives were taken from us, so my baby did not die alone because I, her mommy, went with her. Her daddy and her nanas went with her as well. We are a family no more. We are all relatives merely existing together and trying so hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other. A mother's heart cannot heal. They say it does but I just cannot even imagine such a thing. I don't even like the word 'heal' when it comes to a mother that has lost a child. This word makes no sense to my mind. Yes, I will go on, but in what way? I will exist. I will continue to breathe as long as God wants me to, and I see the birds and the sunshine and the lovely flowers. What do they mean to me? Not very much. My child is gone. Most of my being is gone. I'm in a huge bubble watching the world move around me and it seems to be a world of unreality. When will I open my eyes one morning and discover that this was only a really bad dream. Every day when I wake up this is what my first thought is. It's not true,
it was only a terrible dream I had.
Now my days are filled with helping as many people as I can. I write poetry and short stories and minister to all of my beautiful friends that I've been blessed with through my support groups and I email friends that also lost children. I've been given special gifts from God that I would never have imagined. I was suddenly given this wonderful gift of graphic designing, self taught, and my own unique style of work. I never had one bit of talent in my life, other then writing poetry. I received this as an additional gift. The friends I once had, I still try to maintain a certain level of friendship, but in a new and different way. It cannot be as before. I've had to try to find new friends, ones that I am on common ground with, mainly other mothers like myself. We become an exclusive club. This club is one that horrifies anyone that hears of it
and it is unimaginable to even consider ever becoming a member of it.
I have found our Lord. He draws near to those who are in sorrow and grieve. He is there to hold us up, he has searched for a lost sheep and He found me. I walk with the Good Shepard and I fear no evil for he is always with me. My spirit feels his gentle touch and the warmth of his love within me. He carries me when I cannot carry myself. He reassures me of his love and devotion to me and he promises me a hope for a new day in a new kingdom one day. This is what we must carry with us. The hope that the Lord has given us. I cannot even imagine how any mother or father can possibly get through losing their child in any other way. This has been my sorrowful walk. I go where my Savior leads me
and I hear the sound of my Master's voice that forever calls me.
I will cry until the day I leave this earth. My heart is broken and shattered forever. I'm holding on tight to the Hand of the Lord as I climb that stairway up to heaven and find that which my heart seeks. When I take my final bow as I stand before the throne of the Lord, through His mercy, I will receive my crown of gold and there I'll find my Lily.
Written by Ann Sorbara
Laura's mother forever
11/5/68 - 10/19/02
SAY MY CHILDS NAME
The mention of my child's name
may bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring music to my ears.
If you are really my friend,
let me hear the music of her name!
It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul!
~Author Unknown ~
This web page is a loving gift to Laura's mom, Ann, from Christopher's Mom, Maria, Tina's Mom, Linda, and Rob's Mom, Marie.
We hope that it brings you some comfort during this sad time.
A friend can hear a tear drop.
This webpage is created In Loving Memory of Laura Ann Kimbleon October 14, 2005
Last updated: October 18, 2017
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Maria's Tribute to Christopher