After a fire, a Mother's Day lesson learned too late

After a fire, a Mother's Day lesson learned too late

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A 66-year-old woman died following an apartment fire early Sunday morning.

For the woman’s daughter, it was the saddest Mother’s Day of all, for more reasons than one.

Karen Kimberling was rushed to the hospital with severe burns following the fire that broke out at 1:30 a.m. at the apartment on East 16th Street in Vancouver. She was taken off life support later in the afternoon, officials said.

Investigators haven’t released a cause of the fire.

Dede Kimberling said her relationship with her mother had been broken 11 years ago, and if she knew what would happen on Mother’s Day this year, she would have tried harder to make amends.

But now it’s too late.

“She really did love us. And we love her. I brought some flowers,”  Dede said. “I never got a chance to tell her I love her and I do. I do. I do.”

The family rift is hard for Dede to discuss or explain – it spans more than a decade. But, she said, the separation wasn’t long enough to erase some of the good memories.

“She was a very artistic woman and she could make the Taj Mahal out of a pile of dirt,” Dede said.

Now, Dede has a message for other daughters: “Being that it’s Mother’s Day, I just want everybody to know that, you know, don’t let 11 years go by without telling your mom you love her.”