Posted by: donrhymer | October 26, 2014

The Flower Box

Our house at the beach has been a place of respite, of calm, for almost ten years now. It was one of the few places (Dodger stadium being another one), where Don felt he could really relax and breathe. As hard as it is to go to the beach by myself now, it continues to be a place that is good for my soul.

I’ve tried to keep up with projects around the beach house. Last spring I was there for a week and had seven repairmen come through in four days. Lots of things needed tending to, needed repair.

Especially the flower box in the front yard. The red geraniums that spilled over the front of it hid that fact that the box had probably been there for 20 years and was simply rotting away. I tried nailing it back together. I tried wood glue. It just kept falling apart.

Don’s good friend Chris generously offered to build me a new flower box. He said it would be a good project for him and his son to do together. Of course I said yes. Of course I’d like a new flower box.

Little did I know what this project, this “triumph of Irish engineering” would mean to him.

I want to share this lovely tribute to Don in yesterday’s LA Times, written by our wonderful friend, Chris Erskine. Thanks Chris, for the flower box.

And thanks for loving my husband so well.

– Kate



  1. What a bittersweet story. I too, wonder why God took Don when clearly, Don had so much more to do here. I never met this man, although wish I had. I met him thru some free Cancer magazine I read while waiting my turn for radiation treatment. Each week when I returned to the treatment place, I would scour the magazines for any updates on Don. My treatments are finished and I still think of Don. A man I never met, whose funny stories on this blog cheered me up many times. I really naively thought Don would pull thru and survive this beast called Cancer. I wonder how since this man left an indelible impression on me, a man I never met, how does his wife get thru each day?

    • Hey, Kate. Had seen this and e-mailed Chris to thank him. A really wonderful piece. Also, did you see the Stand Up 2 Cancer tribute during the world Series? Beautiful moment that made me think of Don. But I sure won’t be e-mailing the Giants to say “well done.” Not ever!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Kate! Beautiful story!

  3. Dear Kate, This is so beautiful. Both your writing and Chris Erskine’s are moving tributes to Don. Thank you for sharing this with me.

    I think of you often. I would love to get together with you if you would also like to do that.

    Love, Sally

  4. Dear Kate, How beautiful!! And what a gift to Don that his good friend is still looking out for you. 🙂
    Love, Joy

  5. What a great story! What an amazing friend this person is. Thank you for continuing to share with us. It always lifts me up and keeps me focused on all all that’s good in life!!!

    Take care,

  6. Kate – we really appreciate your words and thoughts from the heart that you post from time to time on Don’s old blog. You have a similar gift to Don’s along the lines of the written word. And in this particular posting, it brings back memories of how generous and kind Don and you were to let us stay at your Newport Beach home many years ago. We have fond memories of riding bikes, hitting the beach and just having a laid back refreshing time. So thanks again for putting your thoughts down in writing from time to time and to sharing them with those who love Don and you.

    Steve and Cheryl

  7. That was both hysterical and the ultimate in heart-warming. I don’t know Cris, but what a wonderful, oh so human tribute to you, Don and friendship.

    lov you so very much, Deb

  8. This is really belated, but I just found out Don had passed away. I came across this news after reading that Coach was being revived and google his name to see if he was involved. Don and i worked together at National Media many moons ago and he was an incredibly sweet guy, this news saddens me deeply. Best to you and your family.

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