In Memory of Kay

65 Red Roses. The Blog That Broke Me Open


–I think we ought to read words that stab us…words that teach us… words that wake us…. words that ax the  frozen sea inside us—Franz Kafka

File:65 redroses.jpg

—-Can you name some significant moments in your life? 

You know, those sort of moments where you were awakened, or love seeped so deeply inside you that you could feel it flowing thru your veins? 

I’ve had those moments.

When I married Mr. Liverpool.   When my children were born.   When I found God. 

When my big fat Italian family  are together snorting, laughing, reminiscing.

…..I also had that moment when I clicked  65 Red Roses

( Eva Markvoort)  65 Red Roses

  I had no idea what a blog was. 

I had assumed it was one journaling  & documenting insignificant shit about one’s insignificant  life.

But  here I was reading page after page, sentence after sentence, word after word about   Eva Markvoort 

And her story broke the frozen sea inside me.

…. cracked me wide open.

I fell in love.

And when I fall in love, I write about it,  and then….

I call my sister, Kay.

“You must read about this girl, Eva Markvoort!”  I screeched.  “She’s amaaaazing!  She has cystic fibrosos  and she writes about it in her blog.  She had a lung transplant, but  the lungs are failing, and she’s a  a loud advocate for the awareness of Cystic Fibrosis & Organ Donation. ”   

 I went on and on and on as I often do.

On Mar. 11th, 2010 at 12:59 AM- Eva wrote this:

i need to dwell there awhile tonight

i need hope

it is the only thing i live on and i am dancing in it tonight
i am rejoicing in hope

running skipping hopping tralala trippingly toppling in hope tonight
every day is one day closer
to breathing
to living
to starting my life anew
to waking up
breathing in ease

i am happy tonight
knowing i am hopeful

i have spoken my word earlier
poetry played pattering across my keyboard
but now
too much energy
simpler words
so much meaning

full of love and hope and the colour red.


Toward the  end of her life, Eva connected to others through her blog.  

Thousands of people were drawn to this “Life Force,”  this “Mighty Voice.”

I realized then what a blog could be.   How influential we are as bloggers.  How we can offer

Awareness.   Laughter.    Insight.   Distraction.   Connection.    Hope.     Communion. 

Below is Eva saying goodbye to her readers.  She had just found out from her doctors that her  life was ending;  her transplanted lungs had stopped functioning…. But Eva’s legacy will Never die. 

Are you an organ donor? If not, click here to learn more!  

Eva Markvoort died on March 27, 2010
Photo: Eva (from her blog “65 Red Roses”)


My sister, Kay was murdered two months after Eva’s death on May 26, 2010….. All of Kay’s organs

were donated, except the pink lips  Greatest one of all… Her beautiful Heart.
I used this quote from Eva  in Kay’s obituary:   “This is the end of my life, but it’s not the end of my love.”
~~~~~~DEAR READERS:  What are some significant-Life-Changing events that have happened in your life?  Why do you blog?  Do you have Blog–Heros? 

Subscribe To My Inner Chick

Never miss an update!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    The tears will not stop falling!!! What an AMAZING brave woman!!! This totally takes my breath away!! Her strength is something I will take with me forever and inspire me always. Thank you for sharing my Beautiful FRIEND!!
    KraZy Kelly

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      —I fell in love with Eva.
      I remember telling Kay on our walk together & I was so excited about this
      new writer I found.
      She influenced me greatly. xxx Luv You 2, KraZY Kel.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    The tears streaming down my face are plenty enough to tell you how I feel. It is not often I will cry about many things, however, I have a deep streak of compassion that flows through me…

    I was not always this way…I had my own awakening… I was shook to my foundations by several events…made the boy-pirate wake up to count his amazing blessings… I have everything I have ever desired… I only talk to God in terms of thanks… I never ask Him to deliver anything more than I am willing to work for…

    Love is amazing and it motivates us in so many ways…

    the tears down my face belong to not only to Eva, but also to Kay… I am so sorry to hear of their loss…and yet am inspired by their gain…the gain of knowing there is a section of life which is good… a wall of love…people who love us whenever we are not at our best…

    Unconditional love is so hard to find….we are all out for something extraordinary…it should not take facing our own demise to find it like these amazing women….

    I fall asleep tonight with their names on my lips but more importantly with their memories in the tears that will soak into my pillow….


    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Dear, Thomas,
      “I fall asleep tonight with their names on my lips”
      So beautiful. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    There are so many beautiful things people bring forth into the world beyond their physical presence and time on earth. Eva and Kay’s enormous hearts live on and so does their love.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      yes on and on and on…
      love NEVER dies. xx

  • Reply
    Theresa Sonoda
    August 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    So breathtakingly sad and beautiful. I can’t say much more than the previous comments. Just wanted you to know this moved me deeply and is something I will think about for a very long time.
    Thank you friend.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Reading Eva’s blog was life-changing for me.
      I sent Kay the site of 65 Red Roses Immediately.
      How ironic how things turned out.
      Hugzzz. Kiss. Love. xx

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Wow – Kim…I haven’t the words. Thank you for sharing that with us. I have many moments in my life that are “markers in time”. Some are known by people – some are known only to me…but they are there.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      those moments we keep inside our hearts for ALL Eternity. xx

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing this wonderful and powerful video. I am crying out loud! Eva was brave and loving and faced death with such courage. Her story is a lesson for life and loving.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      my beautiful friend.
      Everytime I watch Eva, I cry, too.

  • Reply
    The Bipolar Diva
    August 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    You asked if there was a life changing event in our lives. I’ve had many, but I think the most felt was the death of my grand son, Isaiah, here at my home. He was passed from waiting arms to waiting arms his entire life. He was never put down. We had a life time of love to give him in three short months. I look at everything differently now.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      Dear, Diva,
      I am so sorry for your loss.
      Once something like this happens, We Are Never The Same. Never.
      I love that you never put Isaiah down. You will carry him with you Forever. xx

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    August 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    What a wonderful blog and that’s so brave and determined of her to do that despite her illness. RIP Eva.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      Dear, Lorraine,
      What a hero Eva was and is.
      She is laughing with Kay in Paradise. xx

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Oh God, oh God… This is why I stick with watching only happy-ending movies… How I wish there were happy endings for Eva and your sister Kay. How I hated that their lives had to end this way.

    But then again, I know that God has a plan for all of us, and that His timing is always perfect. I believe that, and I have to, because there’s no other reason for why amazing people like Eva and Kay had to leave us so soon.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I think my life’s been touched forever.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      Dear, Sweaty,
      I am trying to see God’s plan, but I cannot at this time.
      What I do know is that Kay & Eva are with Him.
      Thanks for visiting. xx

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh, such terrible loss. You stopped me in my tracks with this one.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      I know.
      everytime I read Eva’s words & watch the video, I still feel that
      strong emotion as if it ‘s the first time.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    It’s amazing how finding one blog can change your life and open your eyes to a whole new world.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      The power of words & another’s experience can be an awakening.
      I know Eva’s life & death changed me.
      And of course, when Kay was murdered, part of me went with her. x

  • Reply
    Alison@Mama Wants This
    August 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I’ve had to compose myself before writing this comment. And I had to stop the video several times, it was too emotional. Her message of love is powerful. Her courage is inspiring. Thank you for sharing this Kim. May your life and heart always be full of love.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      powerful. beautiful. sad.
      An abundance of emotions all wrapped up together. It takes one’s breath away.xx

  • Reply
    August 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    This is amazing. I don’t know why I blog. I just wanted to make people laugh. Sometimes I don’t, but I guess that’s the goal. Thanks for making me think about it.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      —Dear, Bridget.
      To make one laugh is a great gift.
      It is medicine for the soul xxx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 3:06 am

    What a courageous young woman. What’s amazing to me is how fate works, you meeting her online and getting Kay to read her blog. Who knew how she would affect you and Kay initially, only God did.And now, you carry on the mission of 65 Roses and Kay through your blog. Such power in that. It encourages me that there are some good and even great people out there, like yourself.

    You know, I pretty much blog to understand what’s going on around me and how I fit into this thing called life. I also wanna get things off my chest and if I can brighten somebody smile, laugh or think a little with my words, that’s what I’m blogging for.

    So glad to know you, Kim.

    Hugs and kisses to U.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

      Dear, Tots.
      I’ve thought about the encounter with Eva often in the past year, but
      could not blog about it. What a gift she was.
      What a gift my sweet sister was (IS)
      I remember saying to Kay, What do you think of her? And she said, I LOVE HER!
      hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . Kiss. Peace.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 4:22 am


    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

      yes, you stated it perfectly. xx

  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Cook Book
    August 25, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Oh how I wish the world could see this video Kim – I believe LOVE can fix everything, absolutely everything! SUCH a powerful message – so sad but so motivational at the same time!
    Have a beautiful day!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 7:17 am

      LIfe-Changing. Powerful. & Beautiful at the same time.
      xxx Kiss for you in S. Africa.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 6:03 am

    It takes a special person to pour their heart and soul onto a computer screen and allow the world to feel their most inner emotions. And to do it so eloquently.

    Hmmm, I know of a blogger that does that……what’s her name…..

    OH YEAH…..


    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

      as i was crying yesterday as i do most days cuz i’m so saaaaad without Kay.

      I go to your site and laughed my ass off.

      Thank you . thank you. thank you.

      PS. do you have some packets of sugar, please. I am low. xxx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Wow. I started by watching the video of her saying goodbye. I’m going to grab a cup of coffee and read through her life now.

    I guess there is something to be said for knowing that you will be passing. Being able to say goodbye. Being able to understand what the gift of life had been about and be able to express it to others, hoping they listen and live their lives according to what matters.

    Thanks for sharing her blog.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

      the video of Eva continually moves me, makes me soooooemotional.
      I wish my sister would have been able to say goodbye. x

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 7:55 am

    What a lovely post…perfect for today as I head down to the hospital to visit my dad who is there with a mysterious ailment. This after my mom just finished up chemo for breast cancer. It’s been a life-changing year…the realization that my parents are not going to live forever is hard to handle. Your post today really struck a chord so thank you for that.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

      —Dear, Ameena,
      Life Changing. Transformation.
      Yes. After my sister’s murder, my entire life changed. FOREVER. I will never be who I was or see things in the same way.
      Savor the time with your parents. xxx hope your dad is better.

  • Reply
    Goodness and Grit
    August 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Wow. That left a mark on my heart, that will remain with me forever. Thanks Kim for this beautiful post.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Yes. Everytime I watch, I feel the same way. xx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Kimmy, What A amazing girl, I usually don’t cry, but it is impossible to watch that video without crying.
    You talk about love,(WOW) She knows what love is all about’
    Love You

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Love Love Love.
      This is what remains.
      looooooooooooove you.

  • Reply
    ed pilolla
    August 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    kim, thanks for this video. it’s a radical message of hope when those on their way out have no fear. i think we instinctively know this is the good news we are searching for in this fallen world. thanks for sharing about your life and your friendship with eva. i will not soon forget her.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      —Dear, ed,
      Great Love has that kind of impact.
      Love Love Love
      It never dies. NEVER.
      thanks for visiting x

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Kim, I wanted you to know that I’ve blooged this to my own audience in hopes they will take some of the incredible messages yo give out about violence and the power of life can affect all of us… I hope you take the time to read it to make sure I did a good job!


    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Dear Thomas,
      how incredibly generous of you.
      Awarenss is Power.
      thank you. xx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Eva touched a lot of lives. We even mentioned her in one of my nursing classes in Canada. Small world, right.

    • Reply
      kim sisto robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm


      The Power of Words.

      Eva’s voice was felt all over the world.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Kim, this is truly something else. I haven’t checked out her blog yet, but that excerpt really moved me. I imagine it had a similar effect on you. At the end of the day, all we have is hope. I like how Emily DIckinson put it:

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all.

    Thank you for sharing this extraordinary story with us. And yes, I’m sure you must be dying to tell Kay about her. I have a feeling they’ve already met, though. 😉

    Love you,

    • Reply
      kim sisto robinson
      August 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      —My Sweet Tara,

      I love that poem by Dickinson

      & as soon as I encountered Eva, I fell in love with her words, too….of course,
      thousands of her readers did.

      One person. One Voice. Love Love Love

      ……… Can Change the World.

      luv U, xx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I can’t answer right now. I am too… stunned.

  • Reply
    Lady Fi
    August 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    This beautiful post, that lovely woman and her poetry – it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

      —Lady, Fi,
      Yes, it brings tears to my eyes, too, everytime I watch.
      Such Power. Such Insight. Such Beauty.

  • Reply
    Heavenly Housewife
    August 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

    What a wonderful post, I’m going to have to check that blog out!
    Oh, and I know another great blog daaaahling… 😉
    *kisses* HH

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

      thank you, H.H.
      Check out Eva’s blog. Life-Changing. xx

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer & Blogger
    August 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I feel blessed on a daily basis when I visit you, Kim. Today, I just want to stand up and join my hands, close my eyes and feel what you wrote, what I saw. I am grateful for all the people in my life. And I am privileged to be connected with you. So lucky to have such wonderful people, so inspiring.


    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 10:07 am

      funny you would say that…
      i feel the same way about you.
      —– thank you for your kind words. Xxx big hug.

  • Reply
    Pure Complex
    August 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    This is just a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing this with us. Beautiful.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      –Dear, Pure,
      Yes. Beautiful. Soooo Beautiful.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Very Beautiful and moving post Inner Chica.

    I have had a few of those moments. When my son was hit by a car while saving the life of his brother (who is autistic). He lives but the next moment came with his challenges to recover.

    Thank you for sharing both your story and Eva’s. Blessings

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Those moments are what keep us Alive.
      thanks for sharing yours. xxx

  • Reply
    Sam @ Mom At The Barre
    August 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Kim-Thanks so much for commenting on my blog so that I could find yours. Your posts are so real and so compelling. Kay’s story really made me sad. This post about Eva was also very powerful.Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Yes, very sad…
      but bringing awareness lifts the sadness ( A little) just a little.
      I enjoyed visiting your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    (FL) Girl with a New Life
    August 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Wow. This really stopped me in my tracks today. Heartbreaking and inspirational. What she said about this being the end of her life but not the end of her love, that really moved something inside of me into a new place.

  • Reply
    Kim Sisto-Robinson
    August 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Yes, I loved that so much.
    We all die…but the LOVE lasts Forever.
    this is what is left. xx

  • Reply
    August 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Reading this makes you give pause and reconcile your life. We get caught up in pettiness and complain about the silliest things until … until we are forced outside of our own world to see how others are coping and living through their lives with more grace and compassion than we might be.. Thank you, Kim, for reminding and sharing.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      I never knew how difficult life could be….but after Kay, everything changed.
      I used Eva’s quote in Kay’s obit….” This is the end of my life. But not the end of my Love. ”

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 5:43 am


    I am always struck by the power, courage, and grace of inspirational people like Eva. I lost my brother in 1973 to leukemia when he was just shy of 11 years old and I was a teen. I was always amazed at how upbeat he and others around were, living and laughing each day, providing a powerful example to all those around them that life is fragile, without guarantees that we will live beyond the current moment, so enjoy it for what it is.

    “This is the end of my life. But not the end of my Love.” So very beautiful, so very moving, and so very true.

    A colleague of mine has a sister who suffers from CF, and he’s hosting a fundraiser for the CF Society in the hopes of finding and funding a cure at the end of next week. I’ll remember Eva when I attend, and will remember you and your sister Kay as well.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      August 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Dear, Phil,
      When I found Eva, something inside changed…And then Kay was murdered 2 months after & I used Eva’s quote: ““This is the end of my life. But not the end of my Love.” as part of her obituary.
      Ironic how things turn out.
      Love Love Love. This is what remains.
      so sorry about your brother. One NEVER forgets. Never.
      I’m pleased you’ll be part of the cure for CF…. BRAVA !

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge