The Intruder in the Night (Magic Memory)

I have fibromyalgia and some coexisting conditions. I experience a cognitive dysfunction known as fibro fog. I need to do mind work every day. When a memory strikes, I write about it! It’s ‘magic’ in my mind, simply because I remember it!

I had to be 13, maybe 14 years old. My parents were out of town at a state school board conference. I was left at home to care for my two younger siblings. A boy we’ll call ‘Jon,’ was one year younger than me, and my sister, who I’ll refer to as ‘Leah’ was six years my junior. (The eldest three siblings, graduated and had moved out.)

It was warm, I really remember the heat. We had lightning storms with blinding sheets of pouring rain. It was about two in the morning, and I heard rustling around in my little sister’s room. I got up and went to check on her. She was going through her dresser drawers in the dark. [OK, this is weird, I wonder if she’s been turned into a child zombie.] 

“Hey Leah, what are you doing?”

“I need to find my long johns.”

“Are you cold?”

“I need to find my long johns.”

I began searching through her drawers with her. I was sweating! Why did she need her long johns? Then I hear the wood crack on a step leading to the upstairs where my sister and I were. I knew my brother was asleep in his room in the basement, so hollering for his help wouldn’t work.

“Can we look for your long johns in the morning?”


“Back into bed, quickly.”

The next crack of the wood stair was closer. I figured the nighttime invader had to be close to arriving upstairs where we were. I shut the door to my little sister’s room behind me. [I’m sure we will be murdered at this point, but I wasn’t going to let this intruder past me.] I walked to the end of the hall towards the stairs picking up a baseball bat on my way. I positioned myself and got ready to take the perfect swing and knock the intruder down the stairs.

There was the intruder! He was rising up from the last step. I stepped into my swing, stopping just short of his head.

“Jesus Kim, what are you doing!?!?”

“Jon! What the hell are you doing out of bed!?!?”

“What are you doing with a bat?”

“What… good lord I could’ve killed you.”

“I was hungry, then I heard you and Leah, and I wanted to see what you were doing.”

“Go to bed, Jon! NOW!”

I slept fitfully that night, and when I woke in the morning, I went into my sister’s room and said, “Let’s look for those long johns then…”

She had no idea what I was talking about…


Surprise! (Magic Memory)

I have fibromyalgia and some coexisting conditions. I experience a cognitive dysfunction known as fibro fog. I need to do mind work every day.  When a memory strikes, I write about it! It’s ‘magic’ in my mind, simply because I remember it!

It was 1997, and we were on our way to my sister’s house. I had flown in from Seattle for a summer visit and stayed the night at my brother’s house to spend time with his family. I think this was the first time I was going to visit my sister and her husband’s new home.  I had no idea which house I was looking for… thankfully my brother, his wife and their three kids were bringing me to my sister’s. I didn’t know why all five of them needed to come to drop me off but whatever…

Then, to my horror, I saw a big sign and a lot of people around it. The sign was hanging from a house and said, “Surprise! This is what thirty looks like!” [I had to stand under that sign later that day and get my picture taken.]


I asked my brother whose birthday it was? I horrified I didn’t have a gift. They both yelled, “It’s yours!” I was confused. This was July, my birthday wasn’t until September. They were both yelling, “surprise!” and their three children were laughing in delight at my shocked and completely surprised face.

I saw the culprit who had thrown this little shindig together, Melanie! Standing by her side was my younger sister. I could see my older sister back in the crowd smirking, her hand was definitely in this too! These three had put this surprise birthday party together for me. I walked up to them. We were all laughing, but Melanie could tell I wanted to strangle them. (I am so uncomfortable being the center of attention!)

I shared my cake with my adorable little nieces and nephews! They couldn’t believe we could eat the frosting with our fingers!


Here’s the kicker. Melanie was one of my best friends since middle school, she also is Jeff’s (the hubby) younger sister. There was food and cake, presents, and so many people! Even my ‘friend’ Jeff showed up, with his then-girlfriend, to wish me a Happy 30th!

I laugh about this day now. It was so fun. I’d never had a surprise party thrown for me. It was the first and last, and the best birthday memory ever… even then, all of Jeff’s family, now my in-laws, were at the party to help me celebrate. (Our families were then,  and still remain terrific friends.) I never guessed that eight years later I’d be marrying the man, who brought his girlfriend, to my Surprise 30th Birthday Party.


My 31st Birthday was very different, I was just in a car accident that would change my entire life… and wearing that horrible neck brace! What a difference a year makes.