Posted by: donrhymer | December 16, 2016

Christmas Wishes from Kate

I woke up this morning to a notification that I had a new blog post!  What a surprise – since I haven’t posted in over a year.  Clearly, it was not me, my account had been hacked, but I made me think about the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  I check the site from time to time and see that there is still traffic on it – people are still checking in every once in awhile. It made me wonder – why haven’t I been posting? Why haven’t I been writing?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I can say that times that I feel the raw, unleashed pain – the kind that takes my feet out from under me – those times are becoming a little farther apart.  Believe me, they still happen, and will always happen.  I’ve learned not to steer away from the pain, but to just sit with it and let myself feel whatever it is I need to feel.  Those are the times that have often fueled my blog posts – when I feel a need to share the ache and the memories, write them down, invite people in to the experience, and then be able to hear back from you.  Your memories of Don have been nourishment and a gift to me over the past 4 years.

This is the tender and sacred time of the year for the kids and me – our fifth Christmas without Don. I always enter this season feeling already a bit bruised and wobbly.  Time to get the tree, put up the lights, wrap the gifts, bake the cookies.  All the things we’ve done over the years, and things we took for granted that we would always be able to do together.  My kids are more than I could ever ask for – they are present and they show up. They surround me and keep me steady.  But the hole in our lives that Don left is more apparent this time of year.  We see him all the time – on Thanksgiving Day two of his movies were on TV!  He lets us know he’s with us.

The kids and I are doing pretty well – life is definitely moving forward.  Andrew is writing and producing, and he and Scarlett have been writing together as well.  I can’t wait to see what they create.  Molly and Daniel are working hard to get Pop Up Greens on it’s feet – their small business of painting and selling pots and plants. (Follow them on Instagram at @popupgreeens, or check out their website at  Carrie continues to work at The Voice (one of my favorite shows!), and the kids and I all got to go to the stage last weekend to hear Kelly Clarkson sing “It’s Quiet Uptown” from “Hamilton” (our new family favorite).  I’m busy with Elizabeth House and Mops, and have been helping Molly some with her business.  I also put my little beach house on VRBO, so it’s been fun to rent it occasionally and connect with the guests.

It’s a grey, rainy morning here in Southern California.  I got up today with a list a mile long of what I need to take care of.  When I saw that this site had been hacked, I decided that what I needed to take care of first was me.  I’ve been meaning to write, and update you on how we have been living life.  That we are living life. I’ve loved seeing some of your families on the Christmas cards that I’ve gotten. Kids getting married, babies added to the photos. Lives that are full, but like us, lives that have broken edges. The beauty is what we choose do with those edges – how we sand them down, soften them, invite people in to our lives in a way that we help heal each other’s broken pieces.

I’m grateful for another Christmas with my family, my community. Don used to say “Life is short, walk freely”. We know all too well how true that is. To quote “Hamilton”, our new family obsession, “How lucky we are to be alive right now”. I wish for each of you and your family a sense of the joy and wonder, but also the vulnerability of this holiday season. Take hold of it and feel it. Look for where God is showing up in your world. Be kind to one another. And most of all, focus on the good.

Merry Christmas.





  1. You are a gifted writer.

    Truly. You said this all so well–important messages delivered here.

    We love you!


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Thank you Kate for sharing. It means a lot to me. You are an inspiration and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and happy new year. I miss Don too..

  3. Thank you so much for this post. Just got back from celebrating the life of my cousin who died in the Oakland fire earlier this month. Timing of your post has been a godsend and I’m so grateful that Mr. Don is still so present everywhere. I am so sorry he is no longer with you all here on Earth. Thank you for sharing with us about ways you have felt him.

    I hope to one day share with you and Andrew and rest of family of how Don’s blog has sustained me at my lowest points. And all how I randomly came across the blog is just purely magical. ❤❤❤

    Happy holidays to you and your family.
    Wishing everyone a kinder 2017.

    *I have yet to go through all his posts. I’m still stuck at the way beginning and keep going back to the one of his mother.
    Thank you for the endless laughs, Mr. Don
    And for you all keeping this blog alive.

  4. I love you, my friend!!

  5. I love every word of this Kate. Thanks for sharing. Miss you and love you dear sister
    Did I tell you I love every word of this post??

  6. I wondered when I saw the other blog piece – makes sense now that I know you were hacked. Stupid hackers!! As you know, I am going thru my ‘First’ Christmas without John and it is hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this holiday season. Thanks for the updates.

  7. I read that hacked message and it was a sign for you to give us your holiday message. Hacked message made no sense but at least it sounded harmless and quite boring – not at all Don’s style of writing!

    Happy holidays to you and your wonderful kids plus Echo the dog. Cheers- Eileen

  8. You continue to be my hero! Sending love and laughter to you and your family from your WV home. Merry Christmas, Kathy-Kate!

  9. Oh Kate, so good to hear from you again. Your family is so beautiful and so very lucky to have you. You sure said it though, let’s remember to be kind. There seems to be such a lack of kindness in the world today. Be kind and appreciate one another and your holidays will be wonderful. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  10. Kate, I loved reading your heartfelt sentiments. Your willingness to share the rawness you feel touches everyone and makes us all feel united in our vulnerabilities. Christmas and the Rhymers are synonymous. I can picture Don perfectly concocting martinis or holiday cocktails this time of year. I’m so relieved to read that the last installment was a hack because I thought it was either something so esoteric I didn’t get it, or that I was simply too stupid to get the import. Merry Christmas to you and your cozy family.

  11. My heart and soul is ALWAYS with you and yours. Thank you for sanding my edges.
    You make my heart smile!
    May abundant blessings continue to find you at every turn.
    Merry Christmas my friend!
    “All is Well”….
    ❌⭕️💚 Lore Lis

  12. Well done Sweet Friend. You continue to be brave and faithful as you navigate these difficult spaces. Bless you!!

  13. Beautifully written, Kate. Thank you for being so brave and sharing such true emotion!

  14. Merry Christmas, Kate. I love the post and the picture of your family! Lisa E.

  15. I echo the word Brave that was used in the post above!!!I hate that you have gone before many of us with such intense pain but, you have shared it, been so real and I am sure you have helped many people in ways you don’t know. Truly I am honored to share life with you….

  16. Kate, I ‘m wishing you and the family a joy-full holiday season filled with God’s blessings, comfort and peace. So good to hear from you. Love to you! Georgia Moss ♥

  17. Thank you for this post and update of your family! Thursday, Dec. 15th was the first Anniversary of Todd’s Dad’s passing. We all were feeling lots of different emotions. We have decided that for Christmas Eve dinner we will have Big Ed’s favorite Sunday Family menu of BBQ Tri-tip, baked potatoes and Salad! Keeping it simple and honoring him during this season of celebrating the birth of our Messiah! I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas and a new year filled with new and exciting accomplishments! Peace, Love and Hope, Pam

  18. Oh Kate, thank you for sharing your heart with. Sanding the edges…so beautiful. You are a blessing to us all, as is your family and as Don always has been and always will be… so much love, markie

  19. Kate, I am so thankful to have found this blog….relatively late, but that’s okay. I was Don’s radiation nurse. I was and am so privileged to have been there with you and Don. You two were so brave and yet so down to earth, teaching me lessons beyond you nor I could have ever imagined. As I read blogs that you and your children have written I can imagine how the melding of the afterlife and the stuff we are going through now has a real connection. I have since retired. It wasn’t really planned. I am embarking on different, unknown paths. Your blog gives me courage, and fond remembrances. I thank both you and your children for providing this venue to experience the fullness of life which never ceases. Linda

  20. My goodness, Kate.  I am so moved by your letter.So open with your thoughts and feelings, yet encouraging others to “sand down broken edges”.You once told me you were not a writer, just a “Rhymer”…Your written words are beautiful. See you tonight. Noli

  21. Dear Kate,

    It was so nice to read your blog and hear about your amazing life and the warmth and love that you all share . . .. to also hear about your great successes and feel the vulnerability and sadness that is also part of everyone’s life, in one form or another.

    I hope that we get a chance to meet again one day, as I’ve missed all of your beautiful reunions with the Hanna and Walther girls, plus Kelly. What an amazing friendship that has been a part of your lives for ever. Please extend my love to all of your family.

    We too are bathing in the love of a beautiful and simple people here in Burma, where the rule of life is to bestow loving kindness on all who pass your way – whether it be man, creature or fowl . . . it is teaching us a great deal about the power of simple kindness and love towards life, which brings a great deal of peace all around. . .. So, may love, peace and growing closer to God guide all of us in this New Year to come,

    Deborah and Jeevan, Yangon, Burma

  22. Hi Kate,

    It was great to see the follow up to the spam I received about this blog. But it is strange how the world works and what a great reminder it was and how great it was to hear that all is well with you and your beautiful family.

    Beth and I will never forget the few brief conversations and time we had with you and Don on Lanai in January of 2010 (Our Honeymoon). It’s amazing it’s been 7 years and how so much has changed. And our lives changed so quickly right after stepping off the plane from that Honeymoon and finding out we were going to have our first child 9 months from that trip. And then all of sudden I read this blog and realize the two daughters (Sloane, 6 and Drew, 3) were just a dream sitting in the sun by the ocean with the Rhymers a mere 7 years ago.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post and found it extremely inspirational and easy to read. I would love to read more posts written by you as your time permits. This was a great reminder to keep everything in perspective and “walk freely.”

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year! Wishing nothing but health and happiness for you and your family in 2017!

    With Love,

    Greg, Beth, Sloane and Drew Levy

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