Wednesday, July 13, 2011


March, 2007
I clearly remember that March day, four years ago, riding in the back seat of my best friend Jenny's minivan with her two kiddos, Maddie and Connor, and Jenny and her husband Rich in the front seats. We were all laughing like crazy as we drove from the Milwaukee airport where they had just picked me up, to their house in Cedarburg.  I was home for Jenny's "Celebration of Life" party which was designed to give Jenny a chance to publicly say thank you to the hundreds of people who had been supporting her and her family through her cancer treatment.  It was on this car ride that we came up with the "Honk If You Love Jenny" sign which was posted outside the community center where her celebration was held.  It was amazing that Jenny even allowed this grand party, let alone this incredibly public sign, as she was a fairly modest gal.  She had a way of surprising me and I loved that about her.

I now understand why Jenny gave her blessing to this party and to this great sign.  It was only four months later that Jenny's melanoma took her life at the age of 36, on July 13, 2007.  That makes today the four year anniversary of her death. Of all the shitty things that happened to me over the past year, losing Jenny is something I just can't get my head around.  My heart was truly broken in ways that cannot be mended and I feel it every day.  I just miss her so much.

There are very few people who know me who don't know of my life-long best-friendship with Jenny.  I've even had some ask "It's so strange that Jenny died of cancer and now you have cancer. Do you think there's a connection?"  Honestly?  No, I don't. It's a crazy, crappy coincidence. I've come to learn that cancer has very little rhyme or reason.  The lives it takes and the lives it spares seems to be random.  There is NO reason why young mothers should die. None.

So in an effort to curb my anguish of this difficult day, Jenny appeared to me in the guise of another important friendship.  Today I had a soul revealing two hours with my friend Pat, my sorority sister who was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer just months before me.  Pat is mother to four young kids, yes, four.  I am certain that the support and love Pat and I shared today was directed by Jenny.  She knew what I needed, like she always did, and put Pat's hand into mine to help me through this day.  

I send my love and memories of countless Jenny and Kristin mischief to the entire Reinhart/Schultz/Schleicher family.


  1. I remember the first time I met you... on Kristi Lee's front lawn, enjoying cocktails and meeting your kids. It was then that you told me about Jenny and her diagnosis was still uncertain. She had just had a lung biopsy I think. ? It was the only time in my life that I felt selfish to choose not have children, when a MOM was sick and I had my health. I have always thought about her and what she has meant to you. I remember you telling me about the wishes that she gave to you about what her children would wear for upcoming holidays... if she wasn't around. I can't even imagine what today must have been like for you. You are an amazing woman, Kristin. XOXO, Jenn Wild

  2. Praise God for our memories, with out them what would we do. Keep putting a pretty frame around each of your gives those that we have lost a permanent home in our hearts. It is ok to cry tears of love and memory. Keep love alive for her children. Blessing you Kristin, love Deborah McLean