Reader: Kimmyan Franklin's story taught me to love out loud

A Read-Letter Day

This is just a little note from a former Denver (Capitol Hill) resident for fifteen years. I come back to Denver every 4/20, and Westword is by far one of the best publications to ever hit the presses. I have never seen such a fulfilling mag.

Rich Pinnick
Lockport, Illinois

"Too Many Mornings," Alan Prendergast, January 3

The Damage Done

I enjoyed reading the touching article on Kimmyan Franklin. She sounds like a beautiful yet troubled soul who positively affected the lives of others while suffering through her own torment. Pain which, from all accounts, seems to result from a difficult and dysfunctional childhood.

But I wish Prendergast would have taken a bit of a different path in his piece. I realize that exposing cover-ups and unfair treatment by the authorities is de rigueur from Westword. And I am so often grateful for that in this corrupt political environment we find ourselves in, where every politician from Obama on down is solely self-serving. But here is the simple truth: Kimmyan Franklin was damaged. And while we have insight into some of the factors that made her the woman she was — alcoholic, drug user, depressed, co-dependent — the truth is that she was responsible for her own actions and, by extension, her own death. We as a society never want to point the finger at ourselves. We always want to find someone else to blame. Well, as is so often the case, we need to put at least a fair amount of the blame on Kimmyan herself. She chose to hang out with the hard-drinking, drugging, having-casual-sex subculture due to her extremely low self-worth, most likely brought on by childhood sexual abuse, abandonment and any other number of reasons. And my heart truly goes out to her — as it does to all addicts — but there comes a point where personal accountability must win the day.

Yeah, life sucks! Nothing new to report there. So pick yourself up, turn your attention toward the Father and the Savior who love every single one of you in spite of your myriad flaws, and live a life of self-worth and love for your fellow soul. I love and miss Kimmyan Franklin. I only met her once, years ago, the only time I ever set foot into the Lion's Lair. She was working the bar that day, and I only had a couple of beers before heading home, but I remember her. She was a genuinely sweet person. I only wish I would have been more attuned to her pain in that moment and informed her how very much she was loved by God and Jesus Christ. She very likely may have dismissed me as some "Bible thumper," but maybe, just maybe, she would have stopped trying to find love and acceptance from people who were only there to take from her. And maybe, just maybe, she would have begun to see, and believe, that there is an unlimited amount of love for her originating from the Almighty. I would like to believe she would be alive today. If she only knew of God's love for her, she wouldn't have been hanging out with a fellow damaged soul like Newton; she would have hopefully been somewhere safer.

Thank you, Westword. I will use this touching story of a loving woman to endeavor to never again fail when faced with the opportunity to let someone know they are truly and deeply loved.

Wade Johnson

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