In loving memory of Alex
Kim Reeves had a dream. She wanted to become a teacher.
She worked as an administrative assistant for more than 10 years before finally deciding in January of 1997 to go back to school. She took courses at Meridian Community College and then finished her degree in education at the Mississippi State University Meridian Campus.
Kim graduated from Mississippi State in May 2000, and accepted a teaching job with the Quitman schools. She was preparing to teach first grade at the Quitman Lower Elementary School. To her, it was a dream that was finally coming true.
On Thursday, June 14, 2000, Reeves and her children had to go to Meridian to buy a birthday present for a cousin.
At that time the intersection of Highways 45 and 145 near Clarkdale had become a dangerous crossing. Several wrecks had recently occurred there.
As Reeves approached the intersection in the north bound lane, Alex apparently had slipped out of the car seat.
Reeves had the right-of-way. She was telling Alex to get back into the seat and buckle the seat belt when another car crossed in front of her car.
Ramona Smith knew something was wrong when she pulled into her driveway and saw her brother, Eric Robinson, standing there, waiting on her.
Kim and Alex were critically injured. Both had suffered brain injuries. Both had been thrown from the car. Kim's back and knee were broken, and a lung was punctured. Her hand was broken and a finger had to be pinned together. Fortunately, another daughter, Morgan, had not been seriously injured in the wreck.
When they arrived, they found that the doctors wanted to send both Kim and Alex to the University Hospital in Jackson by helicopter. However, a storm prevented the helicopter from coming in for a landing so they went over in two ambulances.
It was a terrible time for Ramona's family. Her husband's mother became ill after hearing the news about the wreck, and died a couple of days later. She was buried on a Sunday. Tuesday, a week later, they buried Alex.
Still wanted to teach
Not only did Kim Reeves lose her daughter, she lost a year of teaching.
As she recovered from the accident, she kept saying she was going to teach. But classes were to begin within weeks and she was too badly hurt for that to even be a remote possibility.
Her body healed and her memory returned. She went through a sad time when she had a lot of time on her hands, and not much to do. Last spring, she tried working a as a substitute teacher.
Friends in time of need
Church, family and friends rallied.
Kim talks about the support of her husband, Jerry.
Blessing in disguise
It was Kim's dream to teach kindergarten or first grade, but no jobs were available in those grades so she is teaching reading at Quitman Upper Elementary.
School started last Monday and she reached her goal of becoming a teacher.
She shared with a fellow teacher about the wreck she had been in 10 years before.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.