Yesterday I woke up to find the text messages on my phone that stop your heart. There were three in a row from my mom so I knew immediately something had happened. I saw the last one first “Kendall, Kyle passed away a while ago. Call me when you are up. . .”
As the details unfolded for me I came to learn that apparently he had stopped breathing in his sleep. He was just a bit younger than me.
Kyle was walking a hard road. He had been dealing with unfortunate problems and chronic pain in his arm and hand for a long time. This pain eliminated his dream of being a pilot, and not only that it was severely impairing his quality of life, especially in the last 6 months. At the time he died he was in Los Angeles with his wife and 2 young kids as well as his mom, my aunt Carolyn. They were staying in a hotel because Kyle had traveled there to see a specialist and was recovering from a procedure the doctor had done to help his pain.
Kyle I just want you to know I am so thrilled for you that you have no more pain! I know we hadn’t kept in touch recently and we had our own lives, but I had so much fun with you when we were growing up. Some of my best ever memories of the Coosa River involve me and you in camo gear traipsing through the woods building forts and exploring uncharted territory. We would play outside ALL DAY, canoe over to the islands, skip rocks, make our parents hearts skip a beat on the rope swing, climb the waterfall, eat lunch in our swimsuits, ski behind the elvis boat, and see how many of us we could cram onto one of those water biscuit things. Aunt Jo was the most reckless driver of all, wasn’t she? Ha. We loved her new boat but there will always be a place in our hearts for granddaddy’s elvis boat.
I remember the time we were out in the canoe and someone came out in the elvis boat to toe us in, and then that boat ran out of gas. We called a fishing boat near by and he toed our line of 3 all the way in. Me and you were in the canoe trying to go straight but the rope would fall on one side or the other and we kept going side to side! It took forever to get back in!
And how about the time we camped outside in Selma? That may have been my very first time camping, and you and me wore our head-to-toe camo and our space center mesh ball caps. I woke up that morning and had to pee so bad I couldn’t stand it but I was afraid to walk back up to the house by myself. I guess I finally did or else I would have floated away! We rode on the red tractor and played on the swing outside in selma. We went swimming in Miss Carrie’s pool. We ate at McDonalds because you loved it, and I distinctly remember a meal at Pizza Hut where you ate so much you were moaning and moaning but someone said something about ice cream and you said you had saved a little spot! You ALWAYS had room for ice cream and you never had a shortage of drama. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.
I’ll miss you my friend . . . I’m so thankful for the memories we have and the forts we built together. I know you’re on the biggest adventure of your life right now and loving every minute. Our God is a brilliant creator and you must be bursting with joy and anticipation for your family to experience what you’re experiencing now. Love you Kyle!