Saturday, May 31, 2014


Lila Patricia Kimball
2010 ~ 2014
Salt Lake City, UT-On April 26th 2014 Lila Patricia Kimball was welcomed back into her Heavenly Father's loving arms. Baby Lila was born July 27th 2010 in Salt Lake City Utah to a family that could not have loved her more.
Her rare syndrome made most basic activities impossible. Eventually her fragile body lost the fight. Our little girl passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in her spot.
Lila's angelic smiles and heavenly nature are recognized throughout the country and across oceans. Her perfect example of love, patience, and gratitude will be a constant by those who know and love her. She can now sing and dance, run and laugh.
Lila is survived by her most honored parents Quinn and Kristi and baby sister Ruby as well, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends whose lives will be forever better for having loved her.
We extend a special thanks to Lila's pediatrician. All the doctors, nurses and staff who treated our little girl as they would their own.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Hillcrest Ward, 5600 South Fashion Boulevard (435 East) at 12:00 noon. A viewing will be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn, 3401 South Highland Drive.
Funeral Directors are Russon Brothers Mortuary, Salt Lake. 
Online quest book is available at

Thursday, May 29, 2014

just a glimpse

My friend Heather gave me the pictures she took of Quinn and I dressing Lila. They are so incredible. How can you ever really thank someone for such a treasure?  I have debated whether I could ever share them. They are so sacred and precious to me. In the end I thought I would share just a few, this is for the people who loved Lila and I know that there are a lot of you out there.

 The extra butterfly necklace is for Ruby someday. Hopefully she will be happy knowing she is matching her guardian angel.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Picking Lila's new spot and dressing an angel

Quinn and I faced the unimaginable for any parent, planning a funeral for a beloved child. We were in such shock that every meeting or discussion felt out of nightmare. Horrible and yet thankfully not real. I guess that moment of devastating realization was when I saw Lila for the first time since her death. At the mortuary after we had picked out a sweet silver coffin with pink lining and a simple bouquet of tulips we went to see our baby. She was laying on a stretcher, her pajamas from that morning neatly folded at her feet. Dressed in a white robe she still looked peacefully asleep. It wasn't until I touched her that I knew that the Lila that I had spent every moment with for almost four years was gone. She was cold and slightly stiff. Gone was the light that seemed to constantly be  glowing in her face. A bandage was on her chest where they had cut her to prepare her body for the embalming process and a part of me was furious that even in death she still was being poked and prodded. She seemed heavier for some reason, like a statue of angel. I had to control the overwhelming urge to shake her, to plead with her to return. I think that was the moment that the guilt started to creep into my heart. I worried that maybe I should have been a better mother. Not worried so much about the future that will now never be. Maybe  I should have tried CPR or called an ambulance. Tried my best to keep her from heaven. Feeling the guilt was somehow easier than facing the fact that I was standing next to the body of Lila and not Lila herself.
The next day we had to go pick out the final resting spot for our girl. We had long ago thrown around the idea that she would be buried at Wasatch memorial lawn. It's the closest to us and the most central to our families. Quinn told me he didn't want me to go for the business aspect. Talking about the price of a plot and vault was sure to throw me over the edge. And so I met up with him after as he showed me two places Lila could be. The first was nice, a newer part of the cemetery with new little saplings that would eventually become large trees. The next plot was in the south east corner, a little more secluded and quiet. As we talked and walked around I tried to imagine all the time that I would be spending there talking to a girl I could no longer see or touch. When I asked Quinn for his opinion his voice faltered. With tears in his eyes he pointed to the mountains and said, here she has the same view of mount olympus that we have from our front porch. Done. That was the spot that my little lady would wait for me. In view of the same mountain that I could see from my window.
That Thursday before the funeral we had scheduled a time to go and dress Lila. I don't think I have ever been so nervous. I was so focused on the fact that she had to look perfect. It became an obsession and I realize now that it was because this was my last duty as Lila's mother. This was the last thing I could do for her and I was channeling all my grief into making sure that it was done as perfectly as possible. I walked into the mortuary and it took every ounce of my energy not to run away. If she didn't look like the angel that she was I didn't know how to fix that for her. We walked into the room where she was and the moment I saw her I was overcome with relief. She was stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. The mortician had somehow managed to close her little mouth, something that I wasn't even sure was possible, and the subtle make up just made her look like her. A gorgeous little doll. She looked like she was sleeping, that at any moment she would open her eyes and smile. Ruby was able to say hello to her sister and then we handed her off to my mom and sister so that Quinn and I could dress her by ourselves. Our photographer friend Heather stayed in the background quietly capturing the final duties of our parenthood journey with Lila. We put on her undergarments that had a cute little ruffle bum.  Then we slipped on the white dress that her Aunt Kelli had bought her for her fourth birthday. A satin dress with a peter pan collar and a tool skirt. We painted her toe and fingernails, OPI pompeii purple. We  slipped on her ever present bracelets. The ones that I had made her as an infant still somehow fit her tiny wrists. When her toes dried we slipped on her sparkle gold tom shoes, a gift from her grandmother two Christmas's ago that just now fit her slender feet.
Then I got to do something just between Lila and I.  I had found a mother and daughter necklace. A silver disc with a small butterfly cut from the middle. I would wear the disc and Lila's necklace was the tiny butterfly cut from the disc.  I placed that around my neck and then fastened the delicate butterfly around Lila's neck. Butterfly's are significant for me since I think they represent Lila so well.  There was a song that we played for Lila when she was young one of the lyrics was, "You're a butterfly held captive small and safe in your cocoon." Lila was trapped in her small and broken body. Finally she is free. Beautiful and free.
 The last thing to do was her hair in her trademark braids. We decided to do the "heidi" braids that twisted across the top of her head. When we were done I stood back and admired my girl. She looked like Lila. So beautiful and perfect. I realized that in that moment I felt peaceful, I felt very comforted and I felt like I was standing on holy ground.
We had Ruby come back in one last time to see her sister before we placed her in her tiny coffin. Ruby touched her and babbled quietly somehow sensing that this was a tender and dear moment. My sister commented that she didn't see baby Lila anymore but that she had somehow grown up, she was now a little girl. Lila's disabilities were no more. She was no longer our "baby" but a girl now perfect and awaiting her parents. Quinn carefully and tenderly picked up our daughter for the final time. With all the love that a father could have he gently placed her in her petite coffin. I situated her and in my mind I was thinking how best to make her comfortable. I tucked my baby blanket around her and gave her a kiss. She looked so amazing. I felt comfort by that for some reason.
In the weeks since this moment I have imagined her frequently, how she looks now in heaven, she always looks stunning, just like the last moment I saw her. She is a little angel, bent over a flower bed of tulips. Her  blonde hair glowing from the sun. I imagine watching her before she sees me. Smelling the flowers and watching a ladybug walk on a leaf, her perfect eyes now able to take in all the colors and beauty. I want to yell her name but at the same time I don't want to break this beautiful moment. I can now see a working body, legs carrying her and arms reaching. Suddenly she notices me and she breaks into a huge grin, she jumps from where she is and starts to run, her gold toms finally being put to use. She jumps into my arms and is so warm, soft and smells just like Lila, sweet french toast Quinn always says. We just hold each other because its been too long and because now I will never have to let her go.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

that week

The week in between Lila's passing and the funeral was extremely special. Looking back now I can tell that we had a lot of help from above. Somehow we still managed to get out of bed everyday, breathe in and out and even be there for Ruby. Somehow.
I also was touched by the acts of kindness that we received. Hundreds of flowers filled our home, sweet notes about lila warmed our hearts. Friends and family showed up at all hours of the day. The ones from out of town  dropped everything and drove or flew to be by our sides. Quinn's friends showed up to mow our lawn and mine showed up to weed and plant flowers. Meals were delivered and hugs were given. Even our new neighborhood whom we have not had the chance to get to know were quick to give meals, books and gifts.
I guess thats the beauty of grief. It brings out the best in those around you.

Nine months

It's hard to comprehend that life is still moving forward. Thank goodness for this little lady she is my Saving grace. 

At nine months ruby is a delight. We definitely need her light around here. She crawls all over the house.  She learned to crawl the week Lila passed.  We say that she learned to crawl the same week Lila learned to walk. She says mama and Lila, still working on dada. She gives nice sloppy open mouth kisses. She loves cubbie. She loves to be thrown in the air by her daddy. She makes the funniest scrunched up face whenever you call her name. She loves to eat.  She still likes to curtesy and of course chew on everything. And hopefully she is playing with her sister everyday. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014


After everyone left our home Quinn and I didn't know what to do with ourselves. How are you suppose to go about the day to day? We put Ruby in the car and just started to drive. Friends began to call and text but talking to them meant that it was actually happening and I wasn't ready to face that reality. From the back of the car we started to hear Ruby's laughter. I turned to watch as my daughter started to play peek a boo with an unseen friend. She was very engaged and hysterically laughing. Something that she never really does on her own. Then she started to talk. Lalalalalala  lililililililil lila  lila. LILA!! Ruby started to say Lila on the very day lila left us.  She continues to say Lila frequently and when I show her pictures of her she will whisper it and smile. I felt like Lila was in the car with us. Trying so hard to make her sister laugh, finally being able to really play with her. I felt like she was trying to hold my chest together as the fire from the hole in it was painfully burning.  I kept looking at Quinn hoping at any moment he would tell me somehow we had all gotten it so terribly wrong and that we were going to go pick up our baby. 
At night we held each other and tried to wrap our minds around the fact that the most amazing little girl in the entire world is no longer residing in our home. Lila made me special. She made me the caretaker of an angel. I don't know who I am anymore. I slept and continue to sleep with her soft minkie blanket. It somehow comforts me. I imagine she is in the perfect little room next to me sleeping in her miniature white rod iron bed, with her fluffy pink comforter. Sometimes this is all I can do to help me get through the day. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

the day my girl left

I didn't know when I would be able to talk about the day Lila left. I still can't believe she is gone. How is she gone? my partner in crime, my constant companion, how is she not with me?! I think I  am still in shock. Everyday I wake up is like awaking to a nightmare. For a brief moment, every morning I forget she is gone and I start to think about my day with her and Ruby then it all comes crashing back. Every day I long to hold her and breathe in her sweet smell, kiss her cheeks and try to make her laugh. This hole in my chest is excruciating. I am struggling to understand how I will ever continue to live like this.
Lila had a cold. That much we knew. While in the hospital every test and culture was coming back negative. The hospital said they weren't doing  much for her so if we wanted to we could take her home. I was nervous, her electrolytes were all over the place and her potassium especially was in flux. But the idea of all being home as a family was overwhelmingly appealing. We made the plan that Lila could go home with the idea that a nurse would come out through home health and draw blood to check her levels. That was Tuesday.
Lila seemed happy to be home but not well enough to think we were out of the woods. Although I really just thought she had a bad cold. She was still lethargic and throwing  up but I thought that we were controlling it rather well from home. On thursday we had scheduled family pictures at thanksgiving point to be among the tulips. I debated whether to cancel but i really wanted pictures of lila in the gorgeous tulips. That was where I got my last smile. We were done with pictures, of course and I was laying Lila down to change her diaper in the back of the car when she has a huge smile and small laugh. I started to laugh with her and told her what a stinker she was that she didn't smile for the camera.  That was the last time I remember my baby smiling.
Lila was sick enough that I kept her in my bed at night. I wanted to be sure that if she needed my help I would be able to hear her subtle cues. On Friday night we snuggled as I read to her the BFG she fell asleep before the chapter ended and I softly kissed her goodnight. I remember going out of the room to talk to Quinn and asked him if he ever thought that this might be it. Could Lila really be this sick? She didn't seem as bad off as she had in the past but at the same time she usually never threw up for days on end.  Quinn reassured me that he thought we had years to go yet with our angel.
Saturday morning. I awoke to my little girls breathing. She was awake before me and patiently waiting for me to wake. I rolled her to her side and rubbed her back. I kept telling her how much I loved her and how gorgeous she was. I got her meds and food ready and turned the pump on so that she would receive everything slowly. Quinn came in and kissed her and told her he would see her after work.  She threw up. I changed her out of her soiled clothes and took her into the family room on the couch. I thought I would give her tummy a second to calm down before I refilled her feeding pump and syringes of medication. Ruby woke up. I brought her out and we said good morning to sister as we do every morning. I fed Ruby and we played on the floor next to Lila so she could hear us. Then for some reason a thought came over me and I turned to Lila and started to cry. I kissed her and told her that I loved her so much and that I always would. I told her that I wanted her to know just how amazing she was and that if this life ever got too hard or too painful that she could go. I told her I would never be ready for her so go but that if she was in pain that it would be OK if she did. Lila and I have had these talks before, but they are usually followed with a plea from me to not go. This particular morning I didn't ask her to stay for some reason. Not that I was in any way alright with the idea of her leaving me, nor did I really think that she would, but for some reason this discussion was more peaceful more simple than the ones in the past. I kissed her one final time before Ruby became fussy and I told Lila I would be right back I was just going to go and put Ruby down to bed. While putting Ruby down I felt very sentimental and nostalgic. I was looking through pictures on my phone of Lila. Her sweet little smiles and how much she had grown just in the last year. There was a very calming presence with me. I didn't know it at the time but I am sure it was because my home was silently filling up with angels coming to get my little girl. I put Ruby down and walked back into the family room. As soon as I turned the corner and looked at my girl I knew. She was pale and silent. I went to her side and softly put my hand on her chest. Nothing. Panicked I started to say her name but I knew it. I knew to my core that my girl had just left me. I hystarically started to scream her name and that she needed to come back. Please. How could I ever live without her. She looked just like she does when she is sleeping and I kept hoping that I was somehow horribly wrong. I called Quinn at work and blurted out the words, She is gone! I'm so sorry, she is gone! It wasn't really real until he got home and I watched as this strong and faithful father scooped up his tiny daughter and crumbled into a heap of frantic sobs. We held each other and Lila and cried so hard that every inch of my body ached.
Our families came and one by one held her and cried. It was like a dream, so surreal and yet I thought at any moment she is going to open her eyes. The worst part was when the mortuary came.  They brought in the stretcher and we laid my little girl down. I tucked my baby blanket that my grandmother had crocheted for me around her small and tiny body. They zipped her up in a body bag and I thought, she doesn't belong in there. When they took her out it felt like the comfort of that morning, went with her. I felt so cold, confused and horribly empty. How could my little girl never be in this home again?! How could I never care for her within the walls of the new home we moved to for her! ? How could I ever even continue on without my perfect and sweet baby lila?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

To the best mom I know

My sweet Kristi. I would give anything to get our little girl back. So I will do everything to get back to her. Starting with honoring the mom who takes care of my girls. I love you. I hope to make everyday a joy to you as you have made it a joy to me