Posts Tagged ‘Kirk’

Posts Tagged ‘Kirk’

Kindness of Strangers

7.30.2010 | 0 Comments

All it took was a small moment in time. One short minute-burst of thought, sent my way over the waves of the digital sky.  From the keyboard straight to my heart.

Here are just a few of the emails that I have received from kind strangers, who took the time to send their wishes my way…


In poking around the net (and) I came across you, Robyn. Wow, you’re a Goddess! I want to congratulate you on your gumption and generosity with your Kilimanjaro climb. I know from the determination in your writing that you are certain to triumph. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us butt-sitters. Good on ya.

great work Robyn.  In life its the things we worked hardest for that are worth the most……….. and what you are doing, you will remember for a lifetime

Thank you for sharing your amazing stories, wit and charm . . . I love, love love your positive energy!!!  I can tell that you are a gem of a gal! …I would love to support your most awesome cause for one awesome guy.

Great thing you’re doing!  I’m proud to support you.

I  am totally impressed with what you are doing. Can we get scientists to clone you? There are too many rude, unkind, ungracious people in the world. Not enough to go the extra mile(s) like you. A toast to you!

In a perfect world, I am able to climb mountains and share experiences for the most noble of causes….and may even look like you..or even be able to walk the walk…and spread the word from the highest peaks…however, aahhhh…not my reality….   BUT … I will support you and have already in so many ways….even though we do not know each other..I have posted your link to everyone I know and will get something going on my end.  Please take good care of yourself and let me know what I can do to help…

I knew Kirk very well since he was a kid… I am so proud of you Robyn for turning a tragedy for Kirk’s family into a positive journey by undertaking this massive climb. Do me a favor please. When you get to the top of the mountain blow Kirk a kiss from all of us back home.

…But you girl, well you rock and with your humor well…let me just say, even when it’s tough Robyn think of us back here rooting you on. It’s not whether you get to the top that’s important, it’s the commitment you made to start a journey to help others. Whatta girl! You have courage, spit and vinegar girlie girl.


Thank you.

Thank you all so very much for taking the time to write. It means a great deal to me to hear what you have to say. You honour me, and I thank you.



This Title is Irrelevant to this Post

7.29.2010 | 4 Comments

Last night I went to the Delta Chamber of Commerce to have a brief interview with the panel who will be choosing the Volunteer of the Year for the Hats Off to Excellence Awards. It was a nice little sit-down, we had a chat about various things, and it was all very comfortable.

We spoke about my being on the Delta Hospice Vigil Team, and what it’s like to sit with someone as their body prepares itself to leave this current world.

We talked about my Kilimanjaro climb, and why I’m doing it.

We talked about some of the risks involved in my doing this climb.

We talked about how much I really, really enjoy camping.

All in all it was a nice interview, and I hope I got across to them what my real goals and intentions are around this most amazing of adventures. They interviewed a whole boatload of people, and will now narrow the field down to three nominees.  Those three nominees will then be invited to attend a gala dinner in November – what an EXCELLENT excuse to buy new shoes!

However, they will be contacting those nominees in three weeks’ time. Right when I’ll be standing atop the World’s Highest Free-Standing, Snow-Covered, Equatorial Mountain.

And I’ll be singing.

Good luck to all the nominees! I’m thrilled to be in such fine, fine company.  xo


Jan 11, 2007. Why I’m Doing This.

1.11.2010 | 2 Comments

*Warning: this post may be graphic and disturbing to some. Please read at your discretion*

Three years ago today, Kirk Holifield was murdered in a drive-by shooting. In a sickening case of mistaken identity, Kirk was killed simply because the truck he was driving looked similar to the truck owned by a known gang member. Kirk had done nothing wrong, he had committed no crime, he was only driving home.

Early in the morning of January 11th, 2007, my best friend got a knock on her front door. Stumbling half-asleep through the darkness, she opened the door to what every person fears will be on their doorstep at that time of the morning: a somber looking policeman, and a Victim’s Assistance volunteer.

They entered her home and told her that a man fitting the description of her husband, Kirk Holifield, had been found slumped over the wheel of his pick-up truck, shot multiple times. As my friend tried to understand what she had just been told, and began rushing about making plans to get to the hospital, the policeman received a phone call: Kirk had died in the hospital when attempts to revive him were not successful.

When the police officer hung up the phone and looked at my friend, she knew what his next words would be, and she didn’t want to hear them. The officer compassionately relayed the message from the hospital, and with his words, my friend’s world was changed forever. Lost, and in total disbelief, she ran out the front door, and dropped to her knees in the snow in the front yard, as endless questions and emotions collided within her. She didn’t feel the cold. She didn’t feel it when caring hands lifted her up to bring her back inside. She felt nothing, because all she could think about was how her ten- month-old daughter would now be forced to go through life without a father. But the worst of the night was yet to come: Kirk’s parents needed to be told this news.

In no way could I ever describe that destroying, incapacitating, dark, empty moment when someone is told that their son, their only child, has been killed. To witness that instantaneous anguish, and watch as a husband tries in vain to keep his wife from this immeasurable pain, is something that will haunt a heart forever. In an instant, nothing was ever going to be the same again. An insurmountable journey to heal was before them now, one they didn’t ask for but were forced to take.

Thankfully, Delta Hospice stepped in to act as a compassionate, gentle guide. They showed patience and kindness, and let us all know that they were there when we were ready. They waited, never pushing us to “get help” or to “go talk to someone”. They didn’t rush us out of “denial”, or tell us to “just not think about it”. They allowed us to “dwell”, to question, to rage, and to cry. And when we were finally ready for them, they were still there.

My personal story is mine to tell, and today I share it with you. I went in to Delta Hospice and sat with Marg Fletcher, one of the counselors on staff there. I had experienced my own losses prior to Kirk’s death, and so I was completely torn up inside. Marg taught me that whatever I was feeling was completely normal, and to allow myself to feel all of that anger, sadness, guilt, fear, and hatred because it was all important. However, she also reminded me that feeling happiness was important, too. It was ok to experience joy in the little things in life again. But how could I be happy again when I knew that Kirk was dead? How could I ever laugh again when I knew that a little girl had lost her father? How could I ever smile again when I knew that my best friend’s husband had been taken from her? Am I allowed to have happiness when I know that loving parents have had their son stolen from their lives so ruthlessly? I had watched my best friend grieve, and I would never, ever be able to get those images out of my mind. Marg told me that it was ok, that I didn’t have to get those images out of my mind. She taught me how to sit with them and understand them.

And so, I sat with Marg for many weeks, and I watched as Kirk’s loved ones found their own supports in the Delta Hospice, too. The Hospice was working hard on making us all whole again. The Hospice is going to be with us for every step of this journey, no matter what, no matter when. And that support and compassion is nothing less than priceless.

I am climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because I want to take on a new journey now. I want each step I take to show my appreciation, my gratitude and my respect for the Delta Hospice. I will climb this mountain, because I want to let my friend, and Kirk’s parents, know that this is how I feel I can support them best – by giving back to those that gave to them. I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.