The Marks Kim Left

The Marks Kim Left

Kim left marks in her last moments that are difficult for me. As I write in my personal journal, it’s been nine months since we lost her (as of publish date of this entry, it’s been thirty months). You’d think I would remove these visible marks, these reminders, from my line-of-sight. But I haven’t done so.

When Kim was overcome that tragic morning, she gripped the shower curtain before she fell. One shower ring broke. Leigh Ann explained to me how she found Kim. As she did, Leigh Ann placed the broken ring she found in my hand. I kept it.

It was several weeks later that I noticed something else. I looked up at the shower curtain, and there were stretch marks and even a few slight rips. Kim’s small stature slightly tore the curtain as she collapsed.

Over the months, I glanced at the shower curtain to remind myself this journey is real. You need reminders—believe it or not—to keep focusing yourself on your circumstances. Your new normal. It reminds me that her demise is real. I am facing loss on a long and unwanted journey. Those marks Kim left that morning are still visible. [Note: Don’t worry, I replaced the shower curtain a long time ago. And I’ve even vacuumed, swept, and cooked.]

One morning, a thought crossed my mind: “Those are the last marks Kim left.”

The shower curtain almost stood as a memorial. A reminder. An initiator of pain. Sometimes I cringe. Sometimes my eyes tear up. From the shower curtain I glance at the floor where she was found. I rehearse in my mind what seemed to have happened. I don’t even try, but I can’t stop it from replaying in my mind.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

On this particular morning, the reminder of pain is also a challenge for the future. Remembering the past can inspire future faithfulness. The marks she left that morning gave rise to thoughts of the many, many marks Kim left everywhere she went—from Georgia to Southern Africa to Virginia. She served. She impacted people. She mentored. She challenged others. She inspired her readers. She baked and cooked to serve people in need.

She left marks.

What marks will I leave behind? What marks will you leave behind? We still have today. Will we point people to his good name?

I’ve heard many people, including my own children, say they feel like they’ve not impacted or left marks like Kim has left. I understand that sentiment. But we all impact others. We all play our part. This is a reminder to be more intentional and responsive to needs and opportunities. We have today.

So, let’s all humble ourselves and recognize that those who go before us leave marks for us. Kim left an example for us. She would not point to herself, but she would point to the Christ she served. She would point to the worthwhile investment in the lives of people. Her husband. Her children. Her grandchildren. Her parents and family. Her friends. And the many people who have read her written works who never even had the privilege to meet her.

Today, I’m challenged to leave marks on this world.

“I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.” Revelation 2:19


  1. Jill O’Brien

    D. Ray, thank you so much for your encouraging words in your pain. I remember having dinner at your house and how proud you were of Kim and her book (which I have so enjoyed) and I can’t help but think how proud of you she would be.

    • D. Ray Davis

      I’m sure she would be proud, Jill…but she would definitely be surprised. Thanks for sharing one of those great memories.

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