If it takes a village, the only village I need is right here!

My name is Kimberly Pitts. I operate the little food truck BBQ PITTS STOP, located at One of a Kind Antiques.

Our family moved here in August of 2019. My husband’s parents have been in the area for years and we always thought of retiring here. We came early, to ensure our two youngest children could have the simpler life and wholesome education we no longer had confidence we could provide, in the Memphis Area.

We have been embraced by this community and have worked very hard to give back! Many fundraisers, special projects, feeding our firefighters and Police Officers, benefits for our veterans –  any opportunity I could find. I don’t say that for a pat on the back. I tell you about it, because nothing I have done, can measure up to the love and support this community has shown us during these challenging times. Many of you know, that my daddy had been battling stage 3/4 Stomach Cancer for most of 2021.

As some of you know, we were struck with an unfathomable tragedy on March 8th, when my sweet daddy accidentally ran over my momma, his “life” for 58 years, with his truck. She should have died from her massive injuries at 78. It was the worst day of my life. Immediately, I shut my food truck down and we have been back and forth to Memphis over 20 times. 

I am pretty sure I have some PTSD from all the recent trauma with my parents. I am not a squeamish person. Not many things gross me out or freak me out. I am more than neurotic about germs, but Clorox, Lysol, and common sense pretty much keep that from being a crippling issue. I have held my kids down for stitches, been pooped on, peed on, and swallowed my kids’ puke, accidentally of course, without flinching. Cleaned/skinned every animal hunted, ate live bugs, and drank unfathomable concoctions practicing for the Fear Factor. I have performed CPR on more than a couple of strangers, watched a few people take their final breaths, and so on. There isn’t much that can prepare you for the hell I have seen over the past three months. My breaking point wasn’t the fact that I was now cleaning up poop from both of my parents, although holy hell that was not pleasant, It was watching Mighty Oak Trees fall – The despair in their voices. My daddy’s legs uncontrollably writhing as they re-insert his j-tube, the light gone in their eyes, the constant apologies for the things happening to them they cannot help. The humiliation they felt 100 times a day having people do the simplest things for them. The fear, not of death, of trying to live. It is the hopelessness of it all. It is praying they pull through but wondering if there would be peace in their passing.

Now Momma is turning some corners and there is certainly light at the end of her tunnel. Daddy faced a far worse path. I have dreaded it all. On one of my trips to Memphis to visit my parents, I left my boys behind with trusted friends. Made it home and it felt so good to hug my boys tight and tell them goodnight in our little oasis. I was okay the next morning when I got them off to school and made the calls to check in on my parents.

I made a cup of coffee and my phone rang. I was frozen. I couldn’t breathe and I just sat down on the kitchen floor and wept for over an hour. When I finally could find the courage to look at my phone, it was only a bill collector. I really don’t know how people survive this nightmare. Not thrilled to be in this “club”. This was probably one of the lowest points during these hard months. 

Later, I checked in with some of my friends here in the Village. I learned One of a Kind, Melinda’s Coffee Corner, Your CBD Store, and Matthew Charles, had started some benefits, collecting donations to help me with expenses. I cried like a baby. We all know how expensive those trips back and forth are and those donations afforded me the greatest gift I have ever received, precious time with my daddy. It would have been impossible financially, to have as much time with him, without those generous donations. I was able to support my parents during their hardest times largely due to strangers, through the opportunities to give, by my “Village Framily”. I will expand on that in closing. 

My daddy made his final journey to Glory on May 10 and my sweet Momma couldn’t be with him when he departed. She is still in Sub Acute rehab and faces a long battle back to independence. 

When I tell you this Village has rallied behind me (us); I mean to express that, strangers have donated generously, checked on me, called and texted (my number is displayed, so easy to find me) sending love and kind words, cared for our pets, brought us food, offered to house my boys so they could attend school, and the list goes on. These kind strangers and neighbors lifted me up when I could no longer stand.

I live in one of the little cul de sacs in the Cortez Neighborhood. These neighbors of mine are like family. These people, watched our home, checked in daily and when I was having a bad day, they entertained my boys. 

So, I will finish this up. I watch all the negative chatter on the “Book of Faces”. Of course, there are always things to complain about and discuss. However, this Village not only is one of the most God-blessed beautiful places in the USA but it is also filled, smack to the brim, with wonderful giving people! People who don’t have to, but do! I hope this shines a light on all the greatness in this Village and helps people look around and see all the amazing things that happen here. There is too little time to spend on negative stuff when wonderful things feel so much better! 

From day one, Keith and Sandy McInroe have embraced me and our little food truck.  During this entire ordeal, they refused to accept payment and told me to use it to travel to see my parents. They collected donations for two months and provided Mathew Charles his platform for fundraising.

Daniel and Alanna Owen not only took in collections but had a spot for Mathew Charles and the emotional support these 2 folks provided was unparalleled.

Roger Crawford, Amy Wiltrout, Jan and Tomie Parker, David and Evelyn Guerzon, Brad and Elaine Beaumont, Missy Masterson, Mandy Dreyer, Johnathan Hunter, Becki, and Lacy McCreary, Dan and James Costello, Cindy Burroughs, Joseph and Jenn Stansel, Judi Peterson, Bob Corbett (I am going to keep the CD), Lynn Holberton, Ron Limbrock, Karen Cunningham are among my “Village Framily”. These family friends have become family. These folks were the wind beneath my broken wings. I only hope to be able to repay the kindness and love these people (and every single person who donated) showered us with the past few months. You are all cherished. 

If it takes a village, the only village I need is right here! What an amazing Village. Thank you from the depths of my soul. 

Special thanks to Cheryl Dowden for giving me this platform to say thank you, I am not worthy, but so very grateful.