Statements from Kris Hauschildt and her brother, Doug Jenkins, whose parents, Daryl and Shirley Jenkins, died at the Best Western in Boone in April 2013.
My name is Doug Jenkins I am the son of Daryl and Shirley Jenkins.
For the remainder of this document, I will refer to Daryl Jenkins as Dad and Shirley Jenkins as Mom.
This is the hardest document I have ever had to write. The sadness I feel every day has not subsided since their deaths three years ago.
Where do I begin?... Since the first moment I received word that both my parents had died, I have not been the same. I was unable to sleep an entire night for the first year and a half. I was having a recurring dream where Mom and Dad would come into my house and sit down next to me on the couch. I remember being overjoyed they were there. Dad would start off by telling me how they were okay and not to worry about them.
Mom then stated they were heading to Lake Louise Canada to live and they would not have any cell service so I couldn’t contact them by phone. Lake Louise was one of their favorite spots they had been to. They would both get up, give me a hug, tell me they loved me and I would wake up sobbing and couldn’t go back to sleep. I still have this dream from time to time.
Both of them were very engaged in my life as well as my family’s life. They would share with me the things that were happening in their lives, along with my sister and her daughter’s life. Then, they would always ask me how things were going with me and my family, and they always enjoyed listing to our stories. Most importantly just to hear their voices was a comfort. Each year that passes, their voices seem harder and harder to remember what they sounded like. I really miss hearing their voices!
Our family was raised on family vacations and continued well after my sister Kris and I had our own families. It was one of the many ways we were a close knit family. Different states and cities, camping, boating, hiking… Mom and Dad always enjoyed inviting others outside of our families to join them as well. In fact, they were scheduled to join up with us in Las Vegas to celebrate my girlfriend’s daughters 21st birthday at the end of their vacation that started in Boone N.C.
Only they had never been given the opportunity to enjoy. Although extremely painful, we all still went as a tribute to them. It was a sad time for all of us as we kept waiting for them to show up. Since their deaths, planning vacations are with a saddened heart for they are unable to join us. No longer will the family vacation photos include their beautiful faces.
Their lives were so interesting from the time they were born to the end of their lives.
Our dad enjoyed sharing his stories on his upbringing. Many of those stories which brought him to becoming a psychologist. Helping others was his life!
At his memorial service, a woman stood up and spoke of Dad as someone who had helped her through a very difficult time in her life. She had lost her son to suicide and needed Dad’s help in getting through it. She advised that she was struggling financially and wasn’t able to pay him. He told her that she could pay by bringing him cookies as a few of his other clients had done before. She was so thankful for his kindness during the most difficult time of her life.
Just one of many, many ways Dad contributed to his community and his family. You could always count on his hugs and his smile to get you through anything. Hugs and smiles we can no longer feel or see.
Our mom also enjoyed sharing her stories on her upbringing. She grew up on a farm, so her stories were always quite different from dads. She too enjoyed family time and was the one we counted on to keep the entire family informed of what was happening with one another. Never missing a birthday, anniversary, or other family or holiday function. If there was something she felt we needed to know, she would text, email, or call us. Both of our parents loved each other and all of us very much. It showed in all they did for their family. Mom also worked outside the home and retired after 30 years as an office manager for the Natural Gas company. They always talked about how they looked forward to finally retiring some day.
Then finally the announcement came from our dad; he was ready to retire. Mom was so excited! Their travels could now even be more adventurous given our dad no longer needed to stay close to home for work. They would also have enough time to include even more friends and family to join based on their availability.
So their retirement journey had begun… traveling to other states, spending more time with friends and family, trying out snowboarding for the first time. Just endless adventures. We were so happy for them! Then, tragedy struck.
Their life dreams of enjoying their retirement, visiting friends and family for many more years to come, suddenly taken away from them. Grandchildren who will not have their grandparents at their graduations, weddings, or other celebrations.
Kris and I, and our families are no longer able to join in on camping, hiking, and other great adventures. Our lives will go on, but not with heavy saddened hearts for our parents whose lives never got to fulfill their lifelong dream of years to come enjoying retirement with each other and their family.
In closing, I would like everyone to know how very much their deaths have put a huge void in my life, my sister’s life, and everyone else whose lives were touched that had the great fortune to meet these two amazing individuals.
Thank you for your time.
Statement from Kris Hauschildt
My name is Kris Hauschildt, and my parents were Daryl and Shirley Jenkins.
My parents were a testament to the saying “it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” The life they lived was full. They were responsible and worked hard. They lived honestly and with integrity. They were strong – both independently and together. They loved each other, completely and immensely. They were devoted and loving parents and grandparents, beyond compare. But most of all – they laughed a lot and enjoyed life.
My mom was the caretaker of our family. She loved having us all together, making family dinners, and taking care of all of the practical details of life. She was the most efficient person I have ever met – she had the art of multi-tasking down to a science. She was a master of lists with a remarkable memory for details, especially details about people and events. She was incredibly organized and loved to plan. I miss our conversations, her smile, hearing her laugh, and the taste of her homemade rhubarb sauce.
My dad’s motto was to relax and enjoy whatever it is you do. He was a true renaissance man – he was enamored with so many subjects, hobbies and objects, we have lost count. Over the course of his life, he loved to camp, fish, boat, golf and cross country ski. He carved wood, made glass beads and jewelry. He gardened and could fix virtually anything. My whole life he has been my hero – I always wanted to be like my dad. He was loving, patient and kind – and smart, a master of common sense and logic. He could figure out how to solve any problem. When there was something I couldn’t figure out, he always helped me brainstorm a solution. And there is no one who made a better biscuit and gravy breakfast than my dad.
I miss them both so much. There is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded in some way of the things we will never get to enjoy with them again: family vacations and camping trips, holidays and birthdays…the laughter, banter and reminiscing around the family dinner table.
It has been incredibly difficult to come to terms with how my parents died. They were robbed of an entire phase of their lives. The retirement they worked and saved for all their lives that they will never get to enjoy; the pleasure of watching their grandchildren grow, graduate from high school and college, and start families of their own. And we all have been robbed of the honor of caring for them as they grow old, just as they cared for us when we were young.
What we have lost is immeasurable.
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