Pilot - Photographer - Scuba Diver
Kimberly Rebekah Orozco
Our beautiful 20 year old daughter, Kimberly Rebekah Orozco, our only Baby girl, was killed in a head on collision with a drunk driver May 19, 2014. Following are the events of that day as I remember:
In the very early morning hours of May 19, 2014, Raul woke up with a very heavy heart of unbearable
sadness. He couldn’t stop crying. He felt that something terrible was going to happen to one of our
children that day. He held my hand as we laid in bed and he prayed for our children. We feel that God was trying to give us a warning to prepare us for the devastating car accident that would take the life of our beautiful daughter, Kimberly Rebekah Orozco. Kimmy was our Baby, our 4th and last child, and our only girl. She was 20 years old, a month away from being 21 on the 25th of June. She was so very beautiful, very talented as a concert level pianist, hard working, and held a 4.0 grade point average in all her college classes that she had taken up until then. She came to church each Sabbath and sat with us listening to the sermon with her head usually on my shoulder, sometimes on Raul’s shoulder. We always sat on the piano side so we could listen to and watch the piano player play the piano. Kimmy was planning to begin practicing the piano again so she could play for special music. The last 2 semesters of school had taken up to much of her time with studying, and of course what little extra time she had was spent with Darius, her boyfriend.
May 19, 2014 had already began as a sad day because scheduled at 3:00 pm was the Memorial Service for Rufus Abell. Rufus was very much loved by everyone in our church. He had fought a long hard battle with cancer for a least 5 or more years. Raul and I were planning on attending his services. Half an hour or so before Rufus’ Memorial Kimmy called me to ask if I was coming to the church and that she needed to get some gas money from me. She was already at the church waiting for me. I told her I would soon be going to the church and would meet her there. Before I left to go to the church she pulled up to our Eden Healthy Store where I was working, and came in to see me. She reminded me that she needed some money for gas and was wondering if she could get a few things in the store, too. She told me she had left a note on Dad’s (Raul’s) car asking him to call her so he could give her the gas money, but that she hadn’t heard from him. She wanted me to let him know that I had already given her the gas money so he wouldn’t have to worry about it. We talked about going to Rufus’ Memorial, but Kimmy decided she couldn’t handle it. She wanted to remember Rufus alive. She finished getting her things, and I gave her $30.00 for gas. She came behind the desk where I was sitting and gave me a nice big hug, and told me she loved me. She said she was going to see her boyfriend, Darius, at his house. I asked her a few more times as she was going out the door, to stay with me and go to the Memorial, but she smiled, told me she loved me and left. I remember Kimmy seemed to be so happy and not so stressed as she had been the previous week when she was preparing for all her finals for her classes at Butte College. She had already been to school that morning and turned in her assignments. That day was Monday and that week was her last week of school. Two more semesters at Butte then she would be transferring to Chico State to pursue her degree as a registered dietitian. She wanted to help people make better life style choices so they could be healthy.
When Kimmy left it was a little after 3:00 so I rushed to get to Rufus’ Memorial. I sat in the back of the church on a folding chair, because the church was packed. Raul came in and stood by me. He couldn’t stay for the whole service, but before he left he told me where he was going, but unfortunately I couldn’t understand him. I left too when the service was over, and returned to the store to work. Our son, Josh, and his 2 daughters, Natalie and Emma, were there at the store/office. Josh was busy doing some business work and talking with an employee. The weather was a little strange outside. It was hot, but it also looked like it was going to rain, and it did a little, but not much. Shortly after the rain I stepped outside and noticed a big huge rainbow which didn’t make a lot a sense, because it hadn’t rained very much at all. I came in the store and sat down at my desk using the computer to check on my emails. My granddaughter, Natalie, wanted to sit on my lap, so we got comfortable as I clicked on an attachment from one of the emails that a friend of mine sent me. The attachment was a You Tube Video showing a young Korean women not much older than Kimmy who was born with severely deformed hands and feet, but she was playing the piano. She was a concert pianist! As Natalie and I were watching this young amazing women playing the piano I made the comment to Natalie that I couldn’t wait to show that video program to Kimmy, since Kimmy is a concert level pianist. Then I got a call from Maria, who was with our son Daniel, and Sonia, his girlfriend, asking me if I knew where Kimmy was.
Daniel, Sonia, and Maria were at the Oroville Hospital visiting Maria’s nephew, and also a church friend of ours who had just had her baby. They were finished with their visiting, and on their way out the hospital doors to leave. As Daniel was just about to step out the door he noticed Daruis’ Aunt, who worked at the hospital, He could tell she was upset as she asked him if he knew where Kimmy was. He replied that he thought she was home. Then Darius’ Aunt told him that he needed to double check because Darius had been in a car accident, and they weren’t sure if Kimmy was with him or not. Maria called me to ask if I knew where Kimmy was. I told her Kimmy had gone to Darius’ a few hours earlier. She told me not to worry, but that Darius had been in an accident, and they didn’t know if Kimmy was with him or not. Daniel got on the phone and told me to stay at the office and to stay off the phone so I could answer it right away when he called back. He told me not worry, that they would let me know more when they found out more. Meanwhile, Josh was outside talking to his employee, so I told him about Kimmy. He could see I looked worried so he grabbed me and tried to hold me to calm me down. I wanted to jump in my car to go look for my girl, but I waited for Daniel’s call.
It seemed like a long time, but it really wasn’t long before Daniel called me back. He said Kimmy was in the car accident with Darius, and that she had been at the Oroville Hospital Emergency Room to be stabilized, but that now she was in transport by ambulance to Chico Enloe Hospital. There had been warnings of lightening and thunder showers, so there was no possibility of Kimmy being airlifted to Enloe from the scene of the accident. If she could have been airlifted it may have helped, we’ll never know. We wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible, but we also needed to locate Raul first. Josh, the girls, and I piled in Josh’s car to meet Daniel on the road by the turn-about at the end of Montgomery Street. On the way there Josh agreed to stay behind with his girls to look for Dad. So, I got into Daniel’s car and we stopped at our younger son, Joey’s house, where he and his wife Liz were waiting for us. They jumped into the car also. Daniel is a nurse, so he was very aware of the seriousness of Kimmy’s condition. He mentioned that it didn’t look good for Kimmy. That she was without oxygen to her brain for a while and was possibly brain dead, plus her legs were broken and possibly her arms and back. In my mind I was not wanting to admit that this was happening. I felt like I was in a dream just going through the motions, not able to do anything to change the situation. As we were driving we were all praying silently to ourselves for Kimmy and Darius. By this time it was probably around 7:30, so it was still light outside. As we looked up in the sky we all noticed a rainbow up in the sky which seemed to give us hope.
The accident took place on Highway 70 1/10th of a mile from the Ophir Road Intersection.Kimmy was in Darius’ car with Darius driving. They had turned right from the Ophir RoadIntersection onto the Highway heading north. After they had driven 1/10th of a mile a car driving south crossed the center dividing strip, crashing into Darius and Kimmy, with Kimmy’sside of the vehicle getting more of the impact. Darius didn’t have a chance to avoid the other car.The driver of the other car was drunk, and died at the scene of the accident. From what weunderstand he drove all the way from Berry Creek until he got to that point. I don’t know why he didn’t hit a tree instead, except the fact that Satan wants to destroy God’s people and our faith in God.
As we entered the hospital and spoke to the lady at the front desk she directed us to a private waiting room to wait to see the doctor. In a short time we were greeted by ladies who asked me several questions, and after what seemed like hours the doctor came out to talk with us. He tried to explain Kimmy’s condition to us, but I really wasn’t understanding much of it and couldn’t concentrate. I just wanted to be with my daughter. I wanted to hold her and let her know that I was there, that she’d be ok. I felt so alone. I wanted Raul to be by my side, and at the same time I was worried for Raul to find out and not have anyone to help him get to the hospital. I was so afraid he would not be able to handle it.
The doctor lead us to Kimmy’s room. She had a white towel on her forehead to cover a 2-3 inch long, deep wound to her skull, and she was breathing with the assistance of a breathing machine. Her heart was still beating, but the doctor didn’t give us much hope unless a miracle happened. Her face was bruised and very swollen. When I came to her bedside I rubbed her cheek and told her I was there. I was so afraid to touch her, that I might cause her more pain. The gentle touch that I had made to her cheek caused blood to come out of the corner of her mouth. I didn’t know what to do. Daniel and Joey came to the other side of Kimmy’s bedside and talked to her. Then Raul called me on my cell and I told him what was going on and that he needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Daniel took the phone and held it to Kimmy’s ear, and Raul told her he loved her. A few minutes later her heart stopped. Josh finally got to the hospital and came into the room after looking for Raul with no success. He was so disappointed to not be there sooner. I looked around the room and I saw many of our church friends and Pastor there to support our family. It was wonderful to feel all their love and support in the room. Then Raul came in out of breath. He held Kimmy’s hand and we both looked at her beautiful little feet as he rubbed them. He touch her cheek and wiped the blood with a towel as it flowed out the sides of her mouth. He took a little piece of paper out of his pocket and put some of Kimmy’s blood on it. That little paper was the note that Kimmy had left on his car windshield asking him to call her when he got off work, because she needed gas money. We all felt so helpless.
We were told that Kimmy was brain dead, because of the trauma she had suffered to her head, and being without oxygen to her brain too long. Her airway passagehad been obstructed probably due to swelling. The on-the-scene emergency crewwas unable to clear her air-way passages, so that was why she was first taken toOroville Hospital to have her breathing stabilized, but apparently she had been without oxygen too long. At Enloe Hospital the doctor preformed surgery to findout where she was bleeding from. They found out that her aorta had been partially severed.
HOW DID RAUL AND I DEAL WITH KIMMY’S LOSS INITIALLY:
We were devastated, but being with our 3 big boys, Josh and his girlfriend Gabby, Daniel and his girlfriend (now wife) Sonia, and Joey and his wife Liz, plus other relatives, and friends, was very encouraging to us. Because of our strong belief in God and what the Bible teaches about when a person dies, we were assured that our beautiful daughter, Kimmy, was not in any pain or suffering in any way, and that was very comforting. We felt convinced than and still do feel so today, that God is in control even though this terrible thing happened to our beautiful daughter. We live in a sin-sick world where bad things happen all the time, but we serve an awesome God.
We immediately had to plan for Kimmy’s Memorial. Photo albums were gotten out and family and friends helped put collages of Kimmy’s pictures together. Family came from the Bay Area, my brother from Colorado, and best friend from Sacramento. Our whole church family suffered along with us. Even people we didn’t know reached out to us. They all encouraged us in so many ways through cards, monetary donations, flowers, food, phone calls, and words of comfort. They were all amazing, being there for us in so many ways, when we needed them.
We were blessed in other ways, too. First of all, Daniel had looked in the desk next to Kimmy’s bed and found Kimmy’s Mission Statement that she had written for one of her college class assignment’s. Her Mission Statement is a full typewritten page in very small type. It looks like she probably had 2 typewritten pages that she reduced to make it fit on one page. There is so much packed into that Mission Statement. Several people commented on how much insight and wisdom Kimmy had. Then as Raul was going through Kimmy’s things he came across her Bible. She had so many verses marked and had written many encouraging words and texts on the inside covers. It was like we had found a treasure chest in her Bible. Kimmy loved to write stories, poems, and also in her diaries. She had lots of folders with her writings in them.
Five months before Kimmy’s accident Raul was in a thrift store and found a set of 4 DVD’s by Pastor Louie Gigleo. These DVD’s were entitled: #1 “Indescribable”; #2 “How Great is Our God”; #3 included 2 talks, the first one “Hope When Life Hurts Most”, and the second “Suffering-The Megaphone for God”; and lastly #4 “Fruitcake and Ice Cream”. All these talks were simply amazing, just the perfect talks people need to hear when they are experiencing pain, suffering, and loss. Raul had made several copies of these talks sharing them with so many of our church family members who had recently experienced the loss of a loved one. Little did we know that God was preparing us for the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter that we would be experiencing. After Kimmy’s accident we listened to these DVD’s over and over again. They were such a blessing. God knew what we needed.
Our oldest son, Josh, made the decision that he wanted Raul and I, (his Mom and Dad), to stay with him and his son Garrett at their home. That has been a blessing to us in many ways. Before Kimmy’s accident Josh had made plans to move to a bigger home. In fact, Kimmy who had been living with Josh, along with her brother Daniel, were looking forward to the move, too. So, the week following Kimmy’s Memorial found us all busy moving from a home Josh was renting to the bigger home where he would have more room for his kids and The Oak’s Bible Worker’s, too. We were also helping to move a young couple into the rental we were moving from. We were kept very busy, not having a lot of time to give in to our depression. Finally we were all done with the moving. Now that we could relax a little, Raul and I knew what we wanted to do. First, we decided to make our bedroom the bedroom that Kimmy was planning to stay in and surrounded ourselves with beautiful pictures of Kimmy and her things that were important to her. Then we immersed ourselves in Kimmy’s Bible and all her other writings day after day, and night after night, until we had read everything. It was all so beautiful.
Raul and I enjoyed visiting as much as possible with Kimmy’s boyfriend, Darius, and his family. They were a great encouragement to us. We shared Pastor Louie Gigleo’s series of DVD’s on suffering, along with other encouraging DVD’s, sharing Bible verses, and reading from the book The Great Controversy written by Ellen G. White. Darius had a long healing time ahead of him. When he was all physically healed he found work in the evenings and Raul was able to meet him at his work to continue to share and encourage him. This was a blessing for both Raul and Darius.
About a month after Kimmy’s accident, I was at Daniel’s computer upstairs going through anything that looked like it had something to do with Kimmy. I came across a file with her playing the piano and singing. It was so beautiful! I just sat there and cried. Daniel, was downstairs at the time and also heard Kimmy’s music, so he knew that it was on the computer. When I tried to go back to the file to hear Kimmy again, I couldn’t find it. I was so disappointed. I thought I had done something to erase it. Daniel tried to find it, but couldn’t find it either. About 5 months after Kimmy’s accident Daniel surprised me with a CD. It was Kimmy playing the piano and singing! That was what I had heard on the computer! I was so happy.
Raul had the great idea of getting all our home videos together and having them changed over to DVDs. As he was doing that he came across videos where Kimmy had recorded herself playing the piano and on some she was also singing. This was such a blessing to us and still is. At first it was very difficult for Raul and I to watch and listen to Kimmy’s recordings without becoming very emotional. We have come to love and appreciate these recordings so much. We’re so thankful Kimmy had recorded herself like this.
I felt impressed that Kimmy needed a special headstone. I definitely wanted her portrait picture of her face on it, and also a picture of her sitting at a grand piano playing. I checked with my friend that does beautiful graphic work and he got busy on it. It looks so beautiful with Kimmy’s two pictures on either side and a full backside picture of Kimmy with her hands raised up and looking up to the sky to the light that is shinning on her through the opening in the sky, giving the impression that Jesus is coming. To the side of her you see her open grave. It’s just beautiful, and it’s all engraved on black granite. Above the clouds is a rainbow representing God’s promise that Kimmy will live again when Jesus comes the Second time and resurrects His sleeping saints.
Raul made hundreds of copies of Kimmy’s videos onto DVD’s and it’s been very healing to share
the story of our beautiful daughter, how she loved the Lord, and how talented she was at playing
the piano and singing. We shared with friends, family, and strangers. Every time a new customer
would come into our store I would share Kimmy’s story with them, showing them a copy of
Kimmy’s headstone. Encouraging them that we believe Jesus is coming soon, and that our
daughter along with others that love the Lord will be raised up when Jesus comes. It was also
very healing to share Kimmy’s Mission Statement, and Louie Gigleo’s talks with as many people
as we could.
HOW ARE WE DEALING WITH OUR LOSS NOW:
Initially, Raul found so many verses in the Bible that encouraged him and he shared those with me, and he still does today. Then, I began reading my Bible to find my own encouraging verses starting with Psalms, and writing down every verse that I felt was speaking to my heart to encourage me. I’ve got all my encouraging verses on the computer and I’m adding more to it each day. Maybe I’ll comply it all together in book form when I’m done to help encourage other people. I’d also like to go through Kimmy’s writings again and try to publish some of them.
A few months after Kimmy’s passing, her piano teachers’ expressed their desire to me to have a Musical Tribute in Kimmy’s memory. They asked me when would be a good time and I told them Kimmy’s birthday, June the 25th. So, for several months I helped to organize Kimmy’s Musical Tribute. The Tribute was amazing and truly a blessing. It even included in it clips of Kimmy playing the piano, singing, and talking, taken from the videos and dvd’s. There were approximately 200 people that attended. Raul had made about 100 copies of Kimmy’s Senior Piano Recital and passed it out to all who wanted one.
It’s been two months since Kimmy’s Tribute on her birthday. We pray every day for Jesus to come soon. We miss Kimmy so much. We can’t wait to be reunited again, and be with Jesus. Never more to part. No more pain, suffering, or death.