I can’t remember when I first started interacting with #wpmom Kim Parsell. I’ve been looking and the earliest I can find was an email from April 26, 2012 saying that she was following me on Twitter.
Hundreds of tweets and many emails later and it sure seems like it was much longer than that. She had that effect on you and on October 25th, 2014 I finally got to meet her in person at WCSF.
She was so down to earth and so real. Nervous too, she was going onto tape as the Docs lead for explaining the Codex and getting involved in that team. When that video was taken I was near the podium doing the thumbs up thing before and after her presentation. She had nothing to worry about and she did fine.
The WordPress community is volunteer driven and we all focus on those things we are individually interested in. For me I like to provide support even if it’s just a “Hey, try this plugin it may help you out” reply in the forums. That’s an easy way to get involved and takes very little time.
Kim did so much more than that. She was an active and key member of the Docs team and contributed to WordPress core. She downplayed it but she was a member of and a huge person to the whole support team. She collaborated with so many people. The tag #wpmom was one that she embraced and it was true, she really was like the Mom to all of us. On my last day at WCSF I walked over to sit with her and see how she was doing. I had to, I told her I would. We talked about meeting again at other WordCamps and I wanted to introduce my kids to her.
Now that won’t happen and I feel awful. When I heard the news about Kim’s passing I was shocked. I kept telling myself that she’s just taking a break or a vacation. That’s what I told myself till the last minute.
I feel so small right now. But interacting with her online made me a better person. Collaborating with her and others is amazing and even small contributions are valuable. I got to meet her in person and I’m so grateful for that. She made me feel involved and important. I’ll miss her and her encouragement but I can’t mope about it. That’s not something wpmom would approve of.