In Memory of Kay Kim's Blogs

Broken bird


~We are all broken birds, but we can be put back together again—Kim Sisto-Robinson

~~Since my sister’s murder, my family has dealt with her loss in various ways.

For example,

I wailed, screamed, lamented, and moaned like a wounded animal, a broken bird. I walked around the house yelling son-of-a-bitch, motherf*cker, bastard, c*ck-sucker; words I never uttered in my past life, but somehow fit my new one.

My daddy sat on the swing we bought him for his 25th wedding anniversary. I observed him sitting on that oak swing numerous days alone staring into space. I imagine he thought about how he could’ve saved his daughter, what he could’ve done to change the tragic events that took place on May 26th. If I asked him now, I’m sure that’s what he’d say. “Why couldn’t I save my daughter?”

My mother washed clothes, sorting the darks and whites as if it were absolutely critical not to combine the two, as if the dye would bleed into where it shouldn’t be, as if she had to do something with her hands to breathe, to move, to live.

But mostly, she baked cakes.

After the funeral, she baked a rhubarb cake and served it warm with homemade whip cream to visitors. She cracked eggs, measured flour, poured sugar, and cut up ripe rhubarb from the back yard. She mixed buttermilk into her batter, and somehow the scent lingered like a normal day. Whatever that means.

“Sweetheart,” she’d say, “did you know I can bake four cakes from a half gallon of buttermilk?”

I almost expected my sister to be sitting at the kitchen table eating my mother’s cakes. I almost expected her to giggle and say, “Kimmy, I have secrets to tell you that you’re not going to believe.”

But she is gone, gone, gone.

Three gun shots. Then gone. That’s that. A blink of an eyelash, a tick of the clock, a phone call…. and lives can shatter into unimaginable destruction.

I still find the thought of my sister’s absence inconceivable, the massive void of it, the loneliness of that broken bird kills me, too.

But then I dream of her flying, her long, auburn hair streaming through air like a kind of liberation, freedom, finished poem.

And I know. I know. I know…

That broken birds can be put back together again, soar again, fly again. That wings can be restored again even if they are not as whole as they once were.

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  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Love you 💋

  • Reply
    Susan Casey
    February 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    I love you… this post is so short and so powerful. The loss never goes away, does it? Somehow we weave it into the fabric of who we are and carry their essence with us every breath at a time.

    Love you❤️

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    February 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Very inspiring! And Kay looked like a super star, Kim 🙂

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Sunshine filled hugs from sunny SA dearest Kim.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • Reply
    Kim Gagnon
    February 19, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Love you Kimmy and family🙏🏻❤️💙💜💚😥😘

  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    February 19, 2018 at 7:44 am

    That “why couldn’t I save” is the one that haunts…

    I am so sorry, Kim, for the loss of your sister, your daddy’s daughter, your mama’s girl. No family should have to endure this. Ever.

  • Reply
    Carrie Rubin
    February 19, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I imagine no matter how much time has passed, the memories are still vivid and painful. Your closing paragraph is lovely.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I love how hopeful this sounds, my friend. After such a shattering loss, it’s a blessing to feel the power of life after death. Hugs to you from rainy Central Illinois (at least our snow has melted!!)

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

    So well said – Kaye must be incredibly proud of you.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I have no words, Kim. I’m sure the pain will never go away.

  • Reply
    lisa thomson
    February 19, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I can smell those cakes as I read this, Kim. Everyone copes in their own way. Cake. What a good antidote to grief. I hope you have that dream of Kay often, for it’s beautiful and reassuring. HUGS xoxo

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Love you so much Kim, I miss Kay so much it hurts, but I have you and I feel blessed.
    Love you

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      February 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm


  • Reply
    Lisa Gordon
    February 19, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    This is such a thoughtful and powerful post, Kim.
    Everyone definitely copes in their own way.
    I call it survival.
    Sending you hugs, my friend.

  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    February 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    So lovely, and I completely relate to feeling the absence of your best friend—-your sister. Love you <3

  • Reply
    Kristi Campbell
    February 19, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    *SOB* Powerful words of love and hope, as always. <3

  • Reply
    Sandra L Garth
    February 19, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Oh my gosh, Kay is beautiful and she is thrilled that you are speaking up for and encouraging others to do the same.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Very very powerfully said. Not from the heart – from the gut, so deep inside you it had to come up and out. i feel new life, new vision in this. This is a strong person and strong family who have survived something powerfully awful and unspeakable, and not allowed it to destroy. I loved this post.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    This is so poignant and eloquent too. Yes you are survivors. The pain and sadness never goes away. How beautiful that your sister visits you in your dreams. The dreams I have had of my brother are so clear and memorable … that I wake up surprised to remember he is no longer alive. Blessings and love to you and your family Kim xoxo


  • Reply
    Lady Fi
    February 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    So beautifully written. You make me cry, yet give me hope.

  • Reply
    marie kléber
    February 20, 2018 at 7:03 am

    So powerful. Each word. Each memory.
    I could smell the sweet taste of baking. Your mum, your dad, you Kim are super-heroes.
    Kay is free ans I am sure she is so proud of you.
    Much love from accross the ocean

  • Reply
    Sheila D
    February 20, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Kim, I love how you express yourself. You have a gift. I appreciate seeing the pictures of Kay. Although stunning her looks are nothing compared to her heart. She was amazing. Your words bring so many emotions. I have been trying to help my sister for 30 years. She bounces from abuse to abuse. Each one worse then the one before. I can’t save her. I try and try. I’ve walked away for periods because I can’t stand watching it happen. Then I feel shame for giving up on her because it’s too hard for me. I fear her life will end soon and horrifically.
    Keep writing Kim. It matters. It makes a difference. Sending you love and a thank you hug.

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      February 20, 2018 at 10:18 am

      did you know Kay?
      I wish I knew then what I know now…I didn’t know about DV…I didn’t know that verbal abuse was just as bad…I didn’t know anything about anything…
      But now that I do…
      I hope you can pass on what we’ve learned about Kay’s tragedy to your sister….
      For example, abusers do not change.
      Thank you for commenting. x

  • Reply
    February 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    There’s a quote your post reminds me of about cracks being stronger at the place they are put back together. Being broken and full of loss changes us in so many ways.

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    February 21, 2018 at 3:58 am

    I can imagine that you can never be the same after something like this happens. And how we cope is so different isn’t it. Much love to you from Australia Kim xxx

  • Reply
    February 21, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I love this beautiful post.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Your writing about Kay is always so layered, Kim. Pain, hope, love, loss, grief – and it always touches my soul.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Broken birds can fly again… thinking of you.

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