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Her Life
May 17, 2021
Towards the end last summer Kim said to her husband Mike, "We had a good run, didn't we? I'm glad we lived the way we lived when we were still young enough to enjoy it." 
She looked at Mike and said, "I have no regrets, but one..."
Mike braced himself, then replied, "Yes, we had a good life, but what was your one regret?" 
She said, "I don't want my grandchildren to forget me, they're so young. I wanted more time in their lives." 

Mike's promise was to help them remember. Please take the time to share your stories, videos, photos, audio here with family and friends so we all have a place to come back to and remember Kim.  

Order Kim's memorial book here.
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As friends and family upload stories, videos and photos we plan to put together more memory books of Kim.

Kim's "Blessed" Video

May 17, 2021

Kimberly Anne Stickler Memorial Service

June 29, 2021
In Memory of Kim Stickler December 14, 1954- January 13, 2021 , memorial service March 13, 2021. Thank you to all friends and family who reached out, supported and attended. Kimberly Anne Stickler will forever be missed.

Kim's fight for life

May 20, 2021
For many of us 2020 has been a very hard year, but for my wife Kim, it has been overwhelming. In March one day after our Anniversary, and at the height of Covid 2020, I found Kim sitting at her computer staring at the screen saver. She had been there about an hour. I tried to talk to her but all she could give me was one-word answers. She did not know her name or where she was. Living in a rural area, I walked her to the car and rushed her to the nearest hospital. The next day she was fine, oriented, and ready to come home. They treated her for a stroke and after a couple of days sent her home with a referral. The referral was for six weeks later because the Neurology Department was closed due to the pandemic. Two weeks later she has another episode similar to the previous, and we found ourselves back in the emergency room but this time the Neurology Department (I wasn’t allowed to visit the hospital) diagnosed Kim with two large and growing masses in her frontal cortex and told her she needed immediate surgery. Three Days later Kim had her first craniotomy. The neurosurgeon originally dingoes that was lymphoma and felt it best to leave the second mass in and to treat it with standard radiation and chemo. About a week after Kim being home her face swelled up like a baseball from an infection. We went back to the hospital emergency room. At the same time, the pathology from the surgery came back and Stanford reported it as glioma multiform, a terminal diagnosis. Again, another craniotomy was performed to remove the second tumor which was still growing and they planned to send her to a nursing home in the middle of the pandemic for six weeks of treatment for the infection from the first surgery. Ultimately after much deliberation with the doctors, we came up with another plan and she came home to heal.

Eventually, Kim got through the infection, radiation, and chemo treatments of fighting this devastating disease. On July 31st, her standard MRI showed that cancer had returned in a third location. The surgeon was ready to perform yet another craniotomy. This time our Radiation Oncologist recommended that we seek a specialist, which we did. Ultimately, we landed at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California under the care of Dr. Orin Bloch. He and the Tumor Board (a multidiscipline panel) at the hospital determined the third mass was not cancer but nears from the earlier radiation. He was recommending NO SURGERY. We were thrilled!

Two days later, Kim had a seizure and I found her on the floor of our bedroom. She was rushed to our original hospital where they could not seem to get ahead of the seizures from Sunday to Thursday. During that time, she was placed into a coma to minimize damage to her brain. After raising my concerns with the hospital they agreed to medic Kim to UC Davis and into the care of Dr. Bloch. When she arrived in California, he was surprised to find her in such bad condition and not reacting to any seizure treatments. After some time on an EEG, they agreed that the new mass was causing these seizures and we agreed that another craniotomy was required, her third. On that Friday, Kim had another six-hour surgery. She has been in the ICU through the weekend and has made some significant recovery. At the time of this writing, she is awake, oriented, and getting stronger by the hour. The seizures have stopped, and the immediate danger is over. She is paralyzed on the left side; her arm and leg doesn't move so she has a long way to go to full recovery. Dr. Bloch still believes this was a neurotic mass and not cancer. The UC Davis Tumor Board will review her case again this Friday. Hopefully, her pathology will be back by then as well, so we will know fur sure.

If this is not cancer she will have many more months/years ahead.

For now, Kim will spend a few more days at UC Davis then, they will transfer her back to Nevada to a rehab center near our home to work on the paralysis. They do believe that her recovery will be a long road.

At this point, our bills are approaching $800k. We do have good health insurance and much of this will be paid by them, but there are many unforeseen and uncovered expenses now and in our future. We have this GoFundMe page to keep her in the medical care she needs, cover travel expenses, co-payments, chemo, and home healthcare.

If you can support us with any amount, we would be very grateful. Please click here for more information and thank you in advance for your help and sharing this page.

Kim's fight for life October 18, 2020

May 20, 2021
It is hard to believe that Kim has now been in the hospital three weeks as of today. She is slowly and I mean slowly making improvements each day. This week she was able to lift her left leg and wiggle her toes for the first time, meaning that slowly her brain is regaining control of her limbs. I have discovered that what she has experienced is what a layman would call a traumatic brain injury. So much is lost … memories, function, and basic skills. As an example, sometimes she remembers my name, other times she does not, or at least she cannot verbalize it. Kim does not have much of an idea how long she has been in the hospital and we need to remind her that she is in Sacramento at UC Davis. And that will change soon.

I just found out yesterday that she will be moving and was approved for a Rehab Hospital in Reno. They are just waiting on a bed to open and there is a bit of confusion on costs of moving her or if our insurance will pay for it. However, this is good news. She will be there for about 20 days working with a speech, occupational and physical therapist, working to regain as much function as possible. It is a daily three-hour regiment which should be good for us both. Yes, I need to be there too, to learn what she needs. Plus, I can travel from home into Reno each day. This will relieve the living out of the suitcase thing and hopefully my next update will be from Reno Rehab. ☺

There is a couple of things we need to do before she can move back to Reno. 1.) She needs to have her feeding tube removed. 2.) She needs to be able to sit-up and hold her head up and balance. Please pray for these goals.

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the support, love, and prayers. They have been so encouraging. Especially from those I do not even know! I am humbled. And, to my friends who have called and texted, those who came to Sacramento to visit me. THANK YOU. The diversion is more meaningful than you can know. It is just nice to laugh for a few minutes. I will post more updates as I have them.

Well, we are still in Sacramento at UC Davis October 25, 2020

May 27, 2021
It has been a long week of false starts. We were thinking that we might be transferring to Reno last week, then it was determined that Kim still couldn’t property swallow and that the best thing to do is what is called a Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Exam, which looks at her ability to swallow safely and effectively. This noninvasive exam uses fluoroscopy to help identify the thicknesses of liquid and food that you can most safely eat. She failed altogether. The end result is that she is not ready for rehab. After this exam we had the feeding tube that went through her nose directly inserted into her belly. Once that was inserted, she immediately began to feel better. Her speech immediately started to improve. Kim can say a few words at a time and her voice is much stronger. It is just really hard for her to find words to speak.

Today she had a mini spa day. At the request of the charge nurse, I trimmed her nails, filing them nice and smooth with an emery board. Earlier I had picked up a set of hair clippers from Target and today I shaved her head. She and I both agreed the Mullet she had (shaved in the front and party in the back) was just not the look for her. As a result, I shaved it all to match the new hair growing in the front she feels like it is much more comfortable. Then after a little bath, she received a massage and an aloe cream rub down. She has so many little scabs and bruises all over her limbs and I felt this has got to help the healing.

Her left leg has restored almost all of its movement. It is still week, but she can now move it at will. We are doing daily exercises together to build her strength. She also had her suture removed, which made her happy. They were very itchy.
The biggest news of the week is she began to move her left arm today!
They were small moves at the elbow, but now she definitely moves at will. This is a great sign that her paralysis is not fully permeant on her left and an increased positive outlook to her eventual rehab.

Tomorrow, we will be meet with her Neurosurgeon we are hoping for an update on the pathology and rehab plan.

Thank you again for your prayers and support.

Normally I try to post these reports on Sundays, but this one was held up... November 5, 2020

May 27, 2021
Normally I try to post these reports on Sundays, but this one was held up, as you can see why below.

Our prayers were answered miraculously as Kim is now out of hospital and in rehabilitation!
Where you might wonder? Kim was able to get into a rehab facility in Reno! Just a few miles down the road from home. It was not easy, I must tell you. The discharge planner at UC Davis tried one rehab center after another, even though she kept getting turned down. Then in a bit of a desperation she decided to send a medical request for admission to literally every rehab in northern Nevada. Only one responded. Providentially, it was the very best one we could have hoped for!
Only God could have planned this, because this facility specializes in nothing but working with patients who are recovering from neurological issues, just like Kim. That means she will get the best rehab care possible, with up to three hours a day of Occupational, Physical and Speech therapy for five full days a week. WOW!
Once she was accepted, we were hurled into a whirlwind of activities to get her transported by medical van to the rehab center in Reno, which will become Kim’s new home for the next few weeks. This rehab is a brand new facility, with a staff to patient ratio that is very small because there are only 8 adult patients in Kim’s wing, and just a few children in a different wing. Kim even has her own room! which was her request but I never dreamed it would be possible.

On Monday we started by meeting her care team and developed a plan for her recovery. Then, she started in on PT, and in just a few short days she has made real promising progress.
They get Kim up every morning, she then has breakfast, gets dressed and starts her day. Yes, you read that right, she has been cleared to eat real food! They are standing by her, transferring her from bed to chairs, bath and potty. My first visit with her was in an outside courtyard as she sat across from me in a wheelchair.
Those are major changes from where we were even a week ago. Her speech has improved dramatically and she is becoming more focused and clearer oriented each day. This has been a great week!
She still needs to make a full transition to eating food orally. Only then can we have her feeding tube removed. The Pathology report came back. The mass they removed was necrosis as expected and the UC Davis tumor board is recommending she goes back on her maintenance chemo and takes an MRI every six weeks.
Kim still gets confused and tires easily, which makes her very emotional. She is now recognizing her defects and that makes her sad. I try to remind her that this is all temporary and relatively minor in comparison to the fact that she is healing and her bodily functions and systems are coming back online. It’s still so hard.

As I looked at her room (from the window) when saying goodbye, it occurred to me that some nice bright colorful greeting cards would be good for her in her room, to cheer her up. If you can, Please send one to her:
Kim Stickler
PO Box 18774
Reno, NV 89511

Thank you all for your emotional, financial and prayer support. Without you this would be even more difficult than it already is.

This last Friday Kim will have been at the rehab in Reno for two full weeks. November 15, 2020

June 3, 2021
This last Friday Kim will have been at the rehab in Reno for two full weeks. How quickly time passes for most of us!
But for Kim, this healing and rehabilitation time is painfully slow and difficult. She has a real struggle coming to grips with time span and memory issues. For instance, she doesn't remember much about her 6 weeks in the Hospital in Reno and UC Davis. All she really wants is to come home. She gets tired easily and has struggled with emotional regulation. Her tiredness stems from the level of activity she is required to do for rehab therapy and her emotional struggles are from the surgical operations invading her frontal lobe. With each conversation, I need to continually remind her that she's not ready yet to come home and that she needs to focus on taking full advantage of this opportunity, but an hour later, she becomes frustrated again. 
Nevertheless, in only two weeks time, I am amazed how far along she has progressed. In therapy, not only is she standing, but now she is walking in a walker! Yesterday they started her on stairs and earlier this week they moved her up a level in her diet. She was thrilled to eat eggs and pancakes for the first time in seven weeks! Her speech is almost back to normal now and her left hand and arm is at about 50%. It's just amazing. 
I figure if we keep her there for a couple more weeks, she'll be able to enter the Olympics! (Just kidding). Her muscle tone is returning in her extremities and she looks better and better each day. They have her painting to on fine motor skills and Karaoke (you read that right) to work on speech. I told her it sounds like a stinking resort in the Hamptons... she didn't think that was funny! She is becoming so self-confident now, she has crawled out of bed four times unassisted, only to end up in a heap on the floor. She promised me not to try that again. Then she did it again the next day (the fourth time). We will see if she remembers her promise to me going forward. 
She has been receiving greeting cards and letters this week form all of you. Thank you so much! She told me she reads every one...and they made her cry. She only "told me" about reading them because on Wednesday this week the Governor closed all rehabs to outside visitors due to COVID, so while I am not allowed to visit Kim, we now talk on facetime often throughout the day. Meanwhile, please don't let her crying dissuade you from sending greeting cards, because these days she cries at the ice in her tea. It's really not your writing. So please keep the mail coming in. It is a blessing and encouragement to her. 
Our oldest son, Micha was able to come down for a few days to visit with her just before the COVID closure. It was perfect timing and they were able to spend time together. He told me that "Other than the crying, she is pretty normal, even with her sarcastic wit and all." That should encourage you all about how far she has come in just a short amount of time. 
My spirits are up, seeing a light at the end of a very dark tunnel and being VERY sure it's not another train. I hate being home alone, but I have used the aloneness to winterize the property and prepare for the snow. Jus as I got the job done, I woke up to a foot of snow. I am keeping busy. And, for my sister Sue - yes, I am getting plenty of exercise, rest and eating right. I really am. 
I am trying to get back to work and unbury myself from all the medical bills coming in. As expected the surprises are beginning to come in too. The medical transport bill (mentioned earlier) came in the mail today. They had quoted me $2,800 for the ride up here from Sacramento, which I approved knowing it was not covered by her insurance. They didn't say anything about the $71/mile each direction brining the invoice to almost $14k! 
Thank you all for all your love and support. Your prayers are also coveted deeply. If you can help financially, we really would appreciate your support in any amount. As I have said, our insurance is covering most of the medical expenses. There just continues to be "surprises" that are not covered.

Prov. 13:12- November 22, 2020

June 29, 2021
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Prov. 13:12)

It’s just truly miraculous how far Kim has come in three short weeks! It has given me wonderful hope for our future. Her therapy team has designed a set of session work-outs that transforms every one of her weakness into a strength (please see the short video below). When Kim was discharged from UC Davis, Kim could not even walk or stand, and she could barely sit-up. She had just begun to eat again and her sentences were small and strictly responsive.

Now, she is walking with a cane or walker, interacting verbally with all her faculties. Dr. Bloch, her Neurosurgeon, said her progress has been truly amazing, and that he had not expected her to progress this far for months! Then, to add more delight to my heart, this last Friday she came home for a home visit with her therapists to help her transition to our house environment. It was such a joy to see her pull to the front of our house in a big transport van. The last time she was here was when she pulled away in the ambulance with the Fire Trucks following behind.
Her two therapists wheeled her out in a wheelchair and then asked her to stand and walk into the house. We all cried and wept for joy!

The therapist evaluated our house and helped Kim navigate the shower, bathroom and bedroom. Kim laid down on our bed and threw her head on the pillow and proclaimed, “I am never leaving!” Well, of course she needed to go back to the Rehab, but hopefully in the next few days before Thanksgiving, she will be discharged from the Rehab to home. When she comes home, she’ll still have in-home nursing and more rehab to do, because she is still pretty weak, but at home here she’ll gain her strength back. In a few weeks the feeding tube will come out of her tummy and then she’ll commence her chemo treatments.

This weekend I have been scrambling to get things ready and situated for her arrival, purchasing a new box springs set for the bed to elevate it to the right height for her, with Grab bars and toilet seat elevators installed in the bathrooms and shower. I also purchased a cane, wheelchair and walker (the insurance only pays for the walker) and a bunch of other stuff. Needless to say Amazon was excited to hear from me as I placed the largest order of my life. I needed to stock up some special meals and even made a Thanksgiving Dinner order from Mimi’s Restaurant, just in case she comes home before Thursday.

If you still want to send cards you can send them to:
Kim Stickler PO Box 18774 Reno, NV 89511
Watch for another update on Thursday, God willing.

Thanksgiving 26, 2020

June 29, 2021
We have a lot to be Thankful for…

My bride has come home!

Monday the Rebab called me and said, “come get her.” In two seconds I was in the car and flying down the highway into Reno, to pick Kim up. Like a prisoner who was released for the first time, Kim said, so simply with pure enthusiasm, “I am hungry”
“Where would you like to go?” I asked.
“Let’s go to In-n-Out Burger”
“It’s too early in the morning, how about Mimi’s? They’re open for breakfast. Besides I can pick up the Thanksgiving Dinner I ordered.”
“Okay” Kim responds.

This is how we began this new phase of Kim’s recovery, now that our first objective had been achieved, and right on time too! Because objective #2 is to be all together with the family for Christmas! Which is what Kim will be working towards from home.

Monday, Day One: Kim was getting acclimated and becoming used to navigating her way throughout the house. She has been walking with a cane, and with me close at hand to aid her balance. She slept some and just tried to relax.

Tuesday, Day two: We went for a walk for about a quarter of a mile. I would push her while she sat in the wheelchair. Then she would push the chair for the balance of the 100 feet or so, then ride for a while. Then again, she’d push the chair, then ride for a while, getting needed rest while continuing practicing getting up and around. She also tried the new shower set-up I had built. She said it worked really well. I asked her if it was as good as the Rehab, and she said it was better. The only difference was that her nurse didn’t actually get in the shower like I did. “Glad to hear that!” I replied.

Wednesday, Day Three: Kim and I both felt more confident with her abilities and progress as she now moves around the house by herself. She even stood and helped make toast in the kitchen while I made breakfast. Also, the evaluator from her in-home care team came to assess her improvement. She helped arrange Kim’s further home PT, OT and nursing care. She also, pointed us in the right direction to a wound care specialist for the slow healing area on her head.

Thursday, Thanksgiving: Today was very special. We woke early, sipped coffee and shared with each other what we’re thankful for. For the first time, I filled in the blanks of all the happenings for the past eight weeks. Most of which she had no memory. We cried, laughed and prayed together. It was very healing for us both. We then spoke to the Kids and Grandkids. Later we went for another walk and watched Movies together. Of course, I cooked (actually reheated) our Thanksgiving meal and we had a quite meal together… and took a nap.

We are truly thankful.

"Sing Hallelujah to the Lord!"- December 8, 2020

June 29, 2021
Yesterday, Kim was much quieter than she has been in the last couple of days. I thought it might be a good time to get her outside to enjoy the Indian Summer weather we are having in Nevada. So, I bundled her up, put her in the wheelchair and we went for a walk.

For years we have walked the same route we have enjoyed so much. Before March and cancer, we would walk 5 miles a day, then Kim got back up to 1.5 miles after her second surgery. We love it here. To our west are the Sierra’s which are covered with a lite snow. To the east is a beautiful lake and open land for 100’s of miles. To the South we see the most beautiful eastern Sierra Valley ranches. We have lived here nearly 20 years and no other place feels like home to us.

As we started out for our walk, rumbling along the rough country road in our vehicle, she got eerily still, just staring off into the countryside. She was so very quiet. I must admit I checked her a couple of times to see if she was asleep or worse. There wasn’t much to say. I would point out birds and the mountains, but she just stared out across the landscape non-responsive. So, I sang to her my favorite worship song (See below)

We walked and rode a full mile, then stopped by her bird feeders and refilled them, hoping the birds would return soon. I haven’t been able to stay on top of this since September, although I have tried, because Kim has always loved making sure God’s littlest creatures were well fed.

Later in the day we met via Zoom with Dr. Bloch in Sacramento. He was concerned with the rapid regression Kim was experiencing and told me to take her to the Emergency Room for a CT Scan and MRI. So, we went immediately.

After 5 hours in ER our greatest fears were realized. The cancer was back with a vengeance, actually doubling to about the size of two apples. It was worse than when we started. Kim and I discussed what we would do if this happened again. In consultation with the Doctors, we agreed to stop any further heroic efforts and allow her to pass, which just broke my heart into pieces.

As I write this update, I am arranging for Kim to come home to be with me under the care of a hospice nurse.

Happy Birthday Kim!!- December 14, 2020

June 29, 2021

Happy Birthday girl

Last week Micah and Sean came to say their goodbyes to their mom. It was a beautiful few days together as we laughed and told stories. Kim sat on the couch and listened, sort of. Both our them spent some time alone with their mom just loving on her, hours full of emotion and sadness as they expressed their love for her.

Saturday morning as Micah walked into the den, he greeted his mom with a “GOOD MORNING!” and Kim acknowledged the greeting, by grunting out an unintelligible “HI” back. That is the first and last words I have heard speak in days. After both boys were gone, she was inconsolable, so I just held her and sang until she fell asleep in my arms. She really hasn’t woken up since…

Today is Kim’s birthday, and she slept through the day. Our friend Dede came over and we decorated her bed with flowers and balloons. It’s hard to know if Kim noticed. The grandkids and our daughter in-law made a video of them all singing Happy Birthday to her. Kim’s best friend, Wendy and Cousin Debby called to wish her a Happy Birthday. She’s just not “there” enough to acknowledge, anyone.

I am asked over and over again ‘How are you doing?’ I am doing fine until someone asks: ‘How are you doing?’ Then I breakdown in tears and respond:

“I am sad. Sometimes tired, mostly sad.”

Christmas 2020- 2nd Goal Achieved! December 28, 2020

June 29, 2021
During Kim’s recovery at UC Davis Medical Center, we had two goals. Everyone knew what those were. The nurses from every shift, all the therapists and even the myriad of CNA’s would use our two goals when encouraging Kim to push for recovery.
The goals were:
1. Get her home to her own bed and surroundings.
2. Be with our sons and grandchildren for Christmas.
As you know, she was recovered and home for Thanksgiving and getting stronger. But the second goal became more problematic as the cancer started taking her life from her. Getting her to our planned Christmas in Las Vegas, to also celebrate Sean’s, our youngest son’s, new home, just became too difficult to arrange, because Kim comes with too many accoutrements, i.e., beds, medicines, nursing care and much more. By the Tuesday before Christmas, it became clear that the logistics just weren’t going to work. Truth be told, I had prepared myself for a quiet Christmas alone with Kim.
But our boys made an ‘audible’, “If mom can’t join us, we’ll join her.” In 24 hours, plane tickets and car rentals were changed. Sean, needed to rent a car to bring all of the Christmas gifts that had been shipped to Las Vegas up to Washoe Valley.
Concerns were discussed, like how will the grandchildren handle seeing their Nanna in such a diminished state? Do we want this to be their last memory of her? -- seeing her in bed like this? Will all the noise and clatter of three little ones in the house allow Kim to rest? Or make her upset? And, what if she gets worse… even passes while they are all there?
Setting concerns and obstacles aside and with encouragement of her nurse, Christmas was set into motion. Micah, our oldest son and his family, arrived on Wednesday. Across the front yard came a troupe of little ones, all wrapped up in jackets and weighted down with their little backpacks. Bursting through the door came hugs and announcements “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” from their little voices while plopping all of their toys, shoes and belongings on the floor in the foyer. Each trotted into the den to see Nanna on the couch stretched out sleeping in her favorite PJ’s. “Hi Nanna, Merry Christmas” – in their now hushed voices. And so, it began…
Five days of proud parent (and grandparent) bliss. Laughing and crying, food and wrestling with the Kids. My daughter in-law, Molly and granddaughter Emma had a manicure session with Kim, decorating each of their fingernails in snowman glory.
Sean arrived Christmas Eve with an rented SUV filled with Christmas Gifts, which was a great relief to the children. They were happy to see their Uncle too . Micah BBQ’d Tri-Tip for dinner (a Stickler favorite) and we sat around the table with Kim laying in the bed next to us. It was a bit boisterous at times, even loud and with unruly manners. As we laughed and told family stories, the kids bickered as they do, all the while negotiating with their parents how many vegies must they actually eat in order to get dessert.
It was FAMILY… Just how Kim likes it. Kim endured the entire time with great resilience. She slept and rested peacefully with all the familiar voices and laughter in the house. And she was in the middle of it all, in the den, her favorite room in our house. The one she designed, so we could see the mountains, the animals and the birds that she loved so much. A place to create memories together, watch television, and break bread together. This is her “spot.”
Christmas morning came early as the children got their parents and up to our house expecting a room full of gifts. They explored everything under the tree and made mental notes of how many gifts there were for each. After a hesitant romp on their uncle Sean’s bed to wake him up, we all came together for a morning of laughter and gift exchange. I had gotten Kim up early and in her wheelchair for the festivities. She only stayed through the stockings, as it was too much stimulation before returning to bed.
The weekend continued in a similar fashion, gingerbread houses decorated, toys played with, wrestling, Christmas movies and our semi-yearly organizing of family photos. I must admit, this last activity was emotionally the hardest for me, with each photo bringing a memory of our lives together, and all but a few chronicled by Kim herself. It was just too emotionally overwhelming for me. Thankfully Micah and Molly finished the task for this year.
Sean being the ‘Foodie’ of us all, prepared a belated (due to the change in plans) Family Christmas Dinner of prime rib with all the fixings on Saturday. We sat for the last time together, with Kim right there with us and enjoyed ourselves in a uniquely Stickler family fashion. I dared to lead us in prayer, the first time without delegating it the entire weekend. I was only able to grunt out a few words of thankfulness before breaking down in tears. This seems to be the condition of my heart these days. I am broken and thankful, sad, tired and joyful. I am proud of our life together and what it has produced.
My heart condition reminds me of the Christmas present I gave Kim this year. I refinished her grandmother’s breakfast bench, not realizing that she would never see it. It became a metaphor to me of our 40 years of living together.
A meaningful life together is like fine furniture. It is something that lasts. If you make it out of real wood that is strong, beautiful and holds up under time and pressure. From time to time, you can refinish it and bring her beauty back for generations to enjoy. Or, you can make life out of veneer that has the look of fine furniture but inside it’s cheap fiberboard that will not stand-up over time and under pressure. It will never be refinished, but only tossed away when it’s of no more use. I am so thankful Kim and I put the time in together. We let the pressures of hard times make us stronger and yes, from time to time, we needed a little refinishing. But we made it as strong and as durable as we could, by God’s grace.

This is Truly an Honor- January 10, 2021

June 29, 2021
Kim’s days are waning. She has no more strength in her body and no more response to outside stimulus. There has been a turn in her physical body that tells me it’s just a short time now. It’s as if God has sedated her for these last days, no pain, no disorientation, no delirium or fear. We are just waiting now for the Lord to take her home… or heal her.

It’s His choosing. He alone is the giver and taker of life. So, we wait on Him. I truly know that Kim is ready to be in the presence of the Lord and to be with Him in heaven. During these last eleven months, we have soberly talked about it. She has declared it to others and as it turns out, unbeknownst to me, quietly prepared our friends and family. Even asking them to help me when it comes time. So, here we are, it’s that time.

Yesterday, one of the many nurses and CNA’s that helps me take care of Kim stopped me in the kitchen and said:
“I want to commend you on how well you take care of Kim”
“Oh, why is that?” I responded.
“Not everyone does, but by your care I can tell you really love her”
Reflexively, I said; “It is an honor to give back to her, after all she has given to me, over these past forty years.”

After he left, his words hung on me like a heavy oversized coat. I can’t imagine not taking care of her, in these last days. She has cared for me with such diligence, respect and devotion… what kind of “man” would I be if I didn’t “show up, man up, and cowboy up” at this stage?

I admit to you, all this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Think about that statement for a moment, because those of you who know me, know that we have been through some awful times in our lives. The near death of our son Micah, marital problems, flirting with divorce, financial ruin, a heart attack, public disgrace and prison. Times that would and have made others retreat into isolation. But this season, hands down, is the hardest.

It’s not the labor involved, or the lack of sleep, but it’s the difficulty of seeing the vibrant life of my partner, love of my life, best friend, mother of my children and my lover – being slowly drained from her body. Her helplessness. I know she would distain seeing herself in this condition if she could observe it through my eyes. But if our roles were reversed and I was lying in that bed, she would not flinch in her care for me. So, I try with all my heart and passion to model her life’s witness in these difficult days.

Kim is my inspiration; to honor her as she has always honored me.

It's Time for Dancing- January 13, 2021

June 29, 2021
This morning at 12:05am Kimberly Stickler went home to be with the Lord.

She promised she would dance with Him until I join her. That was her commitment when I asked in our preparation of this day:

“Will it be Western Swing?” The type of dancing we did on our first date back in college. “No it will be a slow dance because a slow dance is intimate, personal, and that is what I want to do with Jesus.”

So last night as we said our final goodbye as she lay quietly in her bed with worship music in the background, I bid the bride of my youth farewell.

“Go dance with Jesus, I will join you in a moment.”

Within seconds she was gone and in the presence of the Lord. My Sister Susie and I prayed our final prayers and released her into the care of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Later Today:
As you can imagine we didn’t get much sleep last night. There was a lot of comings and goings and many well-wishers. Over the next couple of days, I just want to get my legs under me and get some rest. My sister and my Church family are here for me if I need anything. Please do not worry about me.

Micah, Molly, Sean, Pastor Pat and myself are planning a memorial here in Carson City in the near future. As soon as those plans are solidified, I will advise you all here on this page. I want you all to know everyone is welcome to join us as we celebrate the amazing life of my wife, who was also a mother, not just to our boys and grandchildren – but to so many in the faith.

Please begin to pass the word and share this page.
In the meanwhile, just continue to keep us in prayer. It is the only thing holding me together.

If you would like to contribute to her final arrangements, please support at
Kim and I love you…