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Becoming Lifetime Buddies

with Kim and Krickitt Carpenter | August 6, 2012

A chance meeting can sometimes lead you to the love of your life. That certainly was the case for Kim and Krickitt Carpenter as they got to know each other over the phone when Kim called to order uniforms for his baseball team. More calls followed, and soon they were meeting in person. It wasn't long after that wedding bells were ringing. But wedded bliss was shattered when a tragic car wreck changed their lives, but not their love, forever.

A chance meeting can sometimes lead you to the love of your life. That certainly was the case for Kim and Krickitt Carpenter as they got to know each other over the phone when Kim called to order uniforms for his baseball team. More calls followed, and soon they were meeting in person. It wasn't long after that wedding bells were ringing. But wedded bliss was shattered when a tragic car wreck changed their lives, but not their love, forever.

Becoming Lifetime Buddies

With Kim and Krickitt Carpenter
|
August 06, 2012
| Download Transcript PDF

Bob:  What would you do if you had no memory of having made a marriage vow and the man you were married to was somebody you didn’t recognize?  That’s exactly what happened to Krickitt Carpenter after she experienced head trauma in a car accident.  When she recovered, she had lost her memory and her husband Kim—she didn’t know him; but Krickitt Carpenter decided that she would continue to live as Kim Carpenter’s wife.  She made that decision, primarily for one reason.

Krickitt:  I haven’t read in God’s Word where I could leave him because of that.  No, I made a vow before God “in good times and bad, sickness, in health”.  I needed to be a person of my word and do what I said I would do and keep my word.  I mean, I made a promise before the living God that I would stay with him “until death do us part”.  That—I mean, that’s a promise to keep.

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, August 6th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  Kim and Krickitt Carpenter join us today to tell us a real-life love story—the kind that Hollywood just doesn’t know how to make.  Stay tuned. 

Bob:  And welcome to FamilyLife Today.  Thanks for joining us.  Next time you and Barbara write a book, you should get the people from the front of this book to be on your book, as well,  [Laughter]  because they’ve got some good-looking people on this book!

Dennis:  It’s kind of interesting.  Is this you two?

Kim:  Sure!  [Laughter]  Absolutely!  I’m actually the “chunkendale” version of his Chippendale body. 

Dennis:  Yes!  Well, there’s a book called The Vow written by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.  They join us on FamilyLife Today.  Krickitt, Kim, welcome to the broadcast.

Kim:  Thanks for having us.

Krickitt:  Thank you; it’s great to be here.

Dennis:  I’m going to ask Bob a question on this.  Bob, have you ever been to Four Corners?

Bob:  I’ve never been—where you can stand in four states at the same time?

Dennis:  Yes, that’s right!  The Carpenters live—how far away from Four Corners?

Kim:  We’re about 35-40 minutes away.

Dennis:  Explain to our listeners what Four Corners is.

Kim:  Four Corners is the only place in the United States that four states adjoin together in one border, where you can stand on a landmark, if you will—that you are officially standing on Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, simultaneously.

Bob:  Is it like a disk?

Kim:  Kind of, yes.

Dennis:  And two thousand people a day—

Bob:  Go to stand there?

Dennis:  Well, it’s in the middle of a giant metropolis; right?  [Laughter]

Kim:  Absolutely!  It’s a metropolis of tumbleweed.  [Laughter]

Krickitt:  There we go.

Dennis:  That’s just like Americans—wanting to be somewhere where they could be in four places at one time.

Kim:  That’s right.  And officially, you can.

Bob:  We should explain the book comment here because the book we’re talking about, which is a book called The Vow

Dennis:  Why don’t you go ahead and explain it, Bob.

Bob:  It’s written by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.  It was first published—when?  About 19—

Kim:  2000.

Bob:  Okay; 2000.  It was just recently the book that inspired the movie—I was about to say it was made into a movie; but we can’t really say that it was made into a movie, can we?

Krickitt:  No. 

Kim:  No.  No, and the subtitle of the book is The True Events that Inspired the Movie.

Dennis:  Right.

Kim:  Obviously, it was the true events; but there was a lot of artistic licensure that was taken up by the studio—rightfully so in some of it.  It’s hard to tell a 19-year-old story in 144 minutes.

Bob:  Right, but they took the actors who had portrayed the two of you in the movie—so Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are there on the cover.  Then, it’s got your names, underneath, down at the bottom.  You said, “Well, okay!”

Krickitt:  You’ve got to love that!  [Laughter]

Bob:  It’s appropriate that we’re hearing a great love story this week on FamilyLife Today because this week we’re also encouraging our listeners to write a love story of their own—to spend a weekend with us at one of our Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways this fall.  We’re going to be hosting those in cities all across the country.

We talk about that from time to time on FamilyLife Today; but this week and next week, we have a special offer for our FamilyLife Today listeners.  If you register for one of the upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaways—go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com.  Find out when there’s going to be an event in a city near where you live or a city that you’d like to travel to—and you register, either by phone or online, and you identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener—you do that this week, you will save 35 percent off the regular registration.

Here, you get an opportunity to sign up for a fun, romantic getaway as a couple, where you’re going to learn, together, the biblical blueprints for how to build a stronger marriage relationship.  If you sign up this week or next week and identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener, we’re offering the lowest rate that is available throughout the year.  It’s good for a limited time. 

We need to hear from you.  Go online at FamilyLifeToday.com and click for the Weekend to Remember.  As you fill out the online registration, there’s a promo code box.  Just type my name in there—just type, “BOB”, and you’ll automatically qualify for the special rate; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Mention that you listen to FamilyLife Today or just say, “Bob sent me.”  We can answer any questions you have, get you registered over the phone, and then the two of you can plan to be at one of these Weekend to Remember marriage getaways this fall.  We’ll be in dozens of cities.  Once again, this is the lowest rate available throughout the year.  So, get in touch with us right now.  Go to FamilyLifeToday.com to register, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and plan to join us and write your own love story at one of our Weekend to Remember marriage getaways this fall.

But let’s get back to the book, and the movie, and the Carpenters’ love story.  Tell our listeners how you and Krickitt first met, Kim.

Kim:  Well, contrary to the movie, I was a college baseball coach—a head baseball coach at a university.  I called to order sports apparel.  Krickitt answered the phone.  She lit up a room full of terminally-ill people.  I mean, she was as bubbly as bubbly can get and as personable as a salesperson that you would want to have.

Bob:  This was over the phone?

Kim:  This was on the phone, yes.

Bob:  Okay.

Kim:  We met on the phone.  We progressed through hundreds of hours on the phone before we ever laid eyes on each other personally. 

Dennis:  Did you order a lot of sportswear—more than her?

Kim:  More than one man could wear in a lifetime.  [Laughter]  Through the profits of an airline and the phone company, we established a relationship.

Dennis:  Where was she located?

Kim:  She was in Anaheim, California.  I was in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  It was magnetic.

Dennis:  Wait—hundreds of hours? 

Kim:  Yes.  Hundreds of hours!

Dennis:  Hundreds of hours—over what kind of time period?

Kim:  Over a span of time from September until—what was it? 

Krickitt:  April.

Kim:  April 12th, I believe.

Dennis:  Krickitt, your sales had to drop.

Kim:  No, they didn’t because I ordered more than one guy could wear in a lifetime!

Krickitt:  No, I’m a good saleswoman!  [Laughter]

Kim:  But, you know what, the minute I saw her, I felt as if I was embracing my best friend.  It was really unique—a lot of anxiety!  In fact, I even held up a little poster board that said, “Welcome Krickitt Pappas, LA Laker Girl of the Year”. 

Krickitt:  Good one!

Kim:  She got off of the plane, and came over, and hugged me.  She was like, “Oh no!”  These people were all checking her out, but it was a lot of fun—we hit it off from the very get-go.

Bob:  How old were you when this happened, Kim?

Kim:  Twenty-six.

Bob:  So you’re a baseball coach—26 years old.

Kim:  I was.

Bob:  Had you had dating relationships before?

Kim:  Oh, yes.  Krickitt came along at a time when I was really starting to search, “What did the Lord have planned for me?  What’s happening here?”  I was single, at the time, and really not looking.  I had just come out of a relationship, the year prior.  There was a lot of hype around my coaching because I was the youngest coach in NCAA history—as a head coach.  We got a lot of attention, over that, with the NCAA—

Bob:  You were a Christian at this point?

Kim:  I was.  I was saved when I was 14, but never really followed up.  I prayed but wasn’t strong in the faith.  I was very young.  She was rock-solid in her faith, and that’s what inspired me about her.

Dennis:  In fact, she tipped off her faith in the phone calls.

Kim:  Oh, without question!

Dennis:  What had she said that impressed you?

Kim:  The biggest thing that really tipped me off was just her sense of goodness that even emulated over the phone—just the things she had to say, the way in which she described things—was not, at all, afraid to mention that the Lord is the center point of her life.  Krickitt had devoted her life to save herself for her husband—was pure in that area.  It was just really gratifying to see.

Bob:  Kim, I have to tell you when my wife Mary Ann and I had our very first extended conversation—before a date—sitting down, just getting to know one another, I asked her about guys she had dated.  She told me about a couple and I said, “What about that guy?  What happened?”

She said, “Well, he just didn’t lead the relationship spiritually.”  I nodded like, “Boy, that’s just a tragedy that he didn’t.”  I was thinking, “I have no idea what that means, but I had better figure it out pretty quick if I want this thing to go anywhere!”

Krickitt:  That’s great!

Kim:  Absolutely!

Bob:  You had to feel a little bit like that—like here’s a young woman who you admire, and respect, and are drawn to—and she’s ahead of where you are on the spiritual playing field.

Kim:  No question.  It was a real blessing to spend time with her.  Even going back to where we had met—the very first night she had come in.  It was as if we had known each other for a long time.

Dennis:  Well, for goodness’ sake, you’d spent hundreds of hours together on the phone.

Krickitt:  Yes!

Kim:  You know, let me tell you something, Dennis—that is the best way, in my opinion, to date because there is no infatuation blindness.  There’s no best behavior—that you’ve got to impress.  I look back on that relationship of ours and felt like we laid it all down, and we laid it all out.  That’s what really grounded us in the strength we had for our love for one another.

Dennis:  After that date, Krickitt wrote you a letter.  Do you still have the letter?

Kim:  Yes, I do.

Dennis:  Krickitt, what’s it like to read that letter that you wrote him?

Krickitt:  To be quite honest with you, I haven’t really gone back to look at the time that I don’t have in my memory.  My coping skills are just different.  Instead of looking back on everything that I’ve lost and dwelling on that—once we realized memory was gone—I just took it from here forward.  I fixed my eyes above and I just walked one day at a time, looking forward instead of looking back on what I lost because that wasn’t going to get me anywhere.  So, I’ve never really chosen to go back and see what I left behind.

Bob:  Again, just in case folks haven’t seen the movie, or haven’t read the book, or read the article that was in People magazine, or heard your story, all of this leads up to a car wreck that took away 22 months of your life.  This was after the two of you were married.  It wiped out, essentially, any memory of your relationship in that wreck; right?

Krickitt:  Right.  It wiped out all the memory of meeting, dating, and marrying my husband.  That’s the memory that’s gone for good.

Dennis:  Which is fascinating—in and of itself—that that selectively—what occurred there.

Krickitt:  Yes.

Dennis:  I was thinking about you saying you had forgotten what lies behind.  I’m thinking, the apostle Paul said something about that—you know, about forgetting what lies behind—

Krickitt:  Yes.

Dennis:  —you press forward to, “What God’s got for us ahead.”  There are a lot of listeners today who have memories that they do have that haunt them and accuse them.  It would do them well to take your advice and your discipline of what you’ve done there. 

When you got the letter, though, from Krickitt, were you a bit stunned?

Kim:  Not really.  We had gotten to the point, after that first weekend, I thought, “Maybe there is something here.”  When she expressed her feelings to me, I really thought there would be an opportunity for us to go forward and see how this would work; but there were still a lot of unanswered questions, “Who’s going to do what?  Who’s going to move?  What’s going to happen?”  That progressed.  It wasn’t those thoughts early on; but it was, “This is a special individual.”  I was magnetized towards her. 

Bob:  So, from that letter, in the spring of—?

Kim:  1993.

Bob:  1993—until you got down on one knee.  How long was that period of time?

Kim:  Right; well, I will tell you this.  The day we talked the very first time on the phone was a little more than a year to the date that we got married. 

Bob:  Wow!

Kim:  The very first time we met in person was in April.  We were married that following September. 

Dennis:  So you didn’t have a problem making a decision!  [Laughter]

Kim:  You know, what was real special about it was that if there was any uncertainty at all, then, it probably never would have happened.  Obviously, looking back today, it was meant to be.

Dennis:  So how did you propose?

Kim:  Well—

Dennis:  On a baseball diamond?

Kim:  You know what?  There is baseball involved, being that we met via baseball; but the first thing I had to do was talk to her dad.  I tracked him down, at the college world series, and asked him if he would allow me to marry his daughter.  He said they would be honored for me to be their son-in-law.  I went into action and called her girlfriends and said, “I’m coming out there.  Don’t let her know I’m coming.”

I decided what I was going to do was to reenact the scene from Pretty Woman,where you stand up through the moon roof and start calling her name on a second-floor balcony.  That’s what I did.  I rented a car that had a moon roof, grabbed a teddy bear, and tied an engagement ring to it.  I called out her name, and she looked at me.  She came out and said, “What are you doing here?” 

I held up my arms and said, “Well, will you?!”  She came running down the stairs.  I got out of the car, and walked up to her, and I hugged her.  I got down on one knee.  I said, “Will you marry me?”  She said, “Yes.”  Then we got up, and hugged, and kissed, and looked at each other and said, “Okay, now what?”  We didn’t know what to do after the engagement part, but we went out to dinner that night.  It was definitely a moment that I will forever cherish—very blessed to be married to this woman today.

Dennis:  The wedding had some twists to it.

Kim:  The wedding did.  You know, it was a huge production.  We had agreed—Krickitt’s dad was a retired teacher—high school teacher—but he was also a retired coach.  He coached baseball, basketball, and track and field.  We decided it would be appropriate for me to get the ring, to confirm our unity, in the core of a baseball.  When they asked, “May I have this ring?” —I turned around.  He handed me a brand-new-looking fresh black baseball glove.  I put it on and punched my hands.  Her dad got up and pulled it out of his pocket, from about 30 feet away, and launched it up onto the stage.  I caught the ball and flipped the glove behind me.  My best man caught it and put it back in his waistband.  I opened up this little tab off of the baseball and there, drilled out in the core, was her wedding ring—her wedding band.  I pulled it out and the rest was history.

Dennis:  You made a promise.

Kim:  I did.  I made a vow.

Dennis:  And, Krickitt, looking back—even though you do not remember making that vow—how do you feel about that vow today?

Krickitt:  You know—I made a vow before God “in good times and bad, sickness, in health”.  I needed to be a person of my word and do what I said I would do and keep my word.  I mean, I made a promise before the living God that I would stay with him “until death do us part”.

Bob:  Even if you don’t remember making the promise?

Krickitt:  Well, I haven’t read in the Word of God where I could leave him because of that.  No!  I made a promise.  It was a difficult time, recovering from a head injury; but we did what we did to try to make it work.  It was like one day at a time.  It was challenging, but I was going to be a person of my word.

Bob:  Was that a process—I mean—to be aware that you made the promise —because somebody had to tell you [that] you made the promise.  You didn’t remember making it; right?

Krickitt:  Right, right.

Bob:  So, once you realized, “Okay, I guess I did make that promise, even if I can’t remember it.”  Then, did you think, “Well now, do I have to keep it?” or was it just kind of an instant of, “I guess if I did, I do”?

Krickitt:  It was pretty much in an instant.  I was like—you know, I told him I would stay with him for life.  I could not go back on my word!  I was raised differently than that.  You do what you say you’re going to do.  My parents have been married 52 years.  They have set a great example for me—even just thinking of what I would look like by not keeping my word.  You know, I had stood before this man, up on the altar, and said those words.  I meant what I said, so I needed to back my words with action.  Nobody says it’s going to be easy, but you have to do what you say you’re going to do.

Bob:  But at the point that you were re-upping and reaffirming that vow—somebody said, “You made the promise.”  You said, “I guess I did.  I guess I have to stick with my word.”  At that point, you weren’t enamored, infatuated, not really particularly drawn to him emotionally; were you?”

Krickitt:  No.  He was a complete stranger to me; but—you know, I had a wedding ring and a wedding video.  I watched myself in the video.  The girl looks exactly like me.  I don’t know what she’s thinking or feeling, but she looks like me.  I’ve seen the pictures.  So, when we realized the memory was gone, I figured, “Well, I’ll just get to know him again.”  It was a choice.  It was a choice to love Kim, based on obedience to God, not on feelings, because I didn’t have any feelings for him.  He was a complete stranger to me; but we dated again, and I got to know him, and my love grew for him, and I chose to love him.

Dennis:  You know—just hearing you describe it—there’s a lot of safety in the choice.

Krickitt:  Yes.

Dennis:  A lot of folks base their relationship on the pitter-patter.

Krickitt:  Right—on the feelings.  Yes.

Dennis:  And when the pitter-patter goes flat, or goes away for a season or for a long time, people don’t know what to do.  What you guys are really modeling here, interestingly, is a commitment that really illustrates how two people are to make a promise and face the finish line and go do life together.

Krickitt:  That’s right.

Kim:  You know—without a question.  I look at it from the standpoint that, obviously, if married couples just hang on to what they fell in love with, they’re going to grow away from one another.  They’re not going to be watered.

Bob:  There are a lot of couples who didn’t see the movie that was based on your book.  Honestly, if they haven’t seen the movie, they ought to just read the book instead because it’s a more compelling story than Hollywood made the movie out to be.  Of course, we’ve got copies of Kim and Krickitt’s book called The Vow in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center.  You can go online at FamilyLifeToday.com for more information.  Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com; or call, toll-free, at 1-800-FL-TODAY. 

Then, keep in mind that—I mentioned this earlier—we’ve got a special offer, this week, for FamilyLife Today listeners.  If you’d like to attend one of our upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaways this fall and you listen to FamilyLife Today, this week and next week, there’s a special offer available, where you can save 35 percent off the regular registration fee.  All of the details about how to do that can be found online at FamilyLifeToday.com.  Just go there to get all of the details. 

Then, this month, during the month of August, we’re hoping that many of you, who are regular listeners to FamilyLife Today, but who have never connected with us—we’re hoping that you will consider making that connection.  We have a lot of folks who listen, but we’re just not in touch with one another.  We’d love to get to know you.  Here’s what we’re asking you to do.  Would you consider making a donation to FamilyLife Today during the month of August—just as a way of saying, “We’re here.  We’re listening.  We believe in what you’re doing.  We appreciate it.  We value it”?

If you will make a donation this month, we’d like to say, “Thank you for your support of the ministry,” by sending you a copy of the movie October Baby, which is not yet out on DVD.  We’ve got some advance copies that we can send out to you.  Make an online donation at FamilyLifeToday.com or call to make a donation at 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Again, if this is the first donation you’ve ever made to FamilyLife, we’d love to send you one of these DVDs of the movie October Baby. 

If you are able, this month, to make a donation of $100 or more, we’d like to send you a certificate to attend a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.  You can use it for yourself, you can pass it along to your kids, or to someone else you know.  Again, it’s our way of saying, “Thank you,” for making a first-time donation to FamilyLife Today.  We’re hoping, this month, that we might hear from 2,500 of you.  That’s about two families in each of the cities where FamilyLife Today is heard. 

Again, this is for those of you who’ve been listening to us for a while, but you’ve just never connected with us.  Go to FamilyLifeToday.com.  Make an online donation or call 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Make a donation over the phone.  If it’s a first-time donation, we’ll send you the movie October Baby.  If you can make a donation, this month, of $100 or more, we’ll send you a certificate for a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and we appreciate your support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today

We hope you’ll be back with us again, tomorrow, when we’re going to hear about the long road back for Kim and Krickitt Carpenter; and it was a long road.  They’ll be here to share their story tomorrow.  Hope you can join us back, as well.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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