How was is it possible that on this very day, just a few hours later, I would be speaking at my son’s memorial?
I stood at the podium, my mouth so dry and parched I had to ask for water a few minutes in.
Speaking on his life…
The birth and life of Kyle taught me so much.
My niece, Chelsea, posted on Facebook the day the news broke of Kyle’s death:
“You raised a good person. Seeing the impact Kyle had through the outpouring of love and support from all his friends and colleagues, I can’t help but think that you’re the cornerstone of that all.”
My response to her was:
“Thank you, Chelsea. I think we kind of raised each other.”
And oh how true that statement was…and is. Kyle is still raising me.
As I have been reading over many years of emails, letters, notes and journals, going all the way back from when Kyle was very young, I only wish I would have had the opportunity to say, “Thank you” just one more time before he left this earth.
Thank him for bearing with me, thank him for his faith, his questions, his doubts, his certainty, his willingness to always help, his willingness to listen, his willingness to keep the door open, when at times he may have wanted to close it, but love outweighed that option. We strove together. We challenged each other. We grew together. We knew each of us deeply loved the other, despite any differences.
Kyle always said I was his greatest critic and his greatest fan. I don’t know…perhaps a mother should not be known as their child’s greatest critic. But we were honest in our conversations. He knew my faults and weaknesses, I knew his faults and weaknesses…and I tried desperately not to be a “mom” about them. But alas…
…I remember an email he sent me after graduating high school and headed for college – and it put that “pang” in my heart re-reading it. In it he asked me, “Mom, when can we be friends?”
He was referring to how I could seemingly talk to his friends with such “light care-free-ness” with no expectations, but with him it was more serious – more “gravitas”.
He knew his mom had his best interest at heart and yet so wanted her to enjoy him for who he was – and maybe not what his spelling looked like – seriously. And any number of other things.
And this mom did enjoy him, immensely, for who he was…but her words sometimes got in the way of him knowing that. It’s so hard to be a parent, without regrets, sometimes.
He was a grown man now – his own man – not needing “parenting”.
Learning how to move from parent to friend can take some time, some adjustment, some transformation. I am still working on this. Kyle’s siblings can thank him for paving the way.
I’m so grateful that there were years…after that email was written…that we became very good friends.
Kyle’s death has taught me so much. I am different now. Altered. Changed. Forever. I will never be the same as I once was since he left us. Just as I was never the same after he was born. And I won’t be the same next year.
Kyle’s physical absence has changed every one of us in his family. Everyday. I feel as though there has not been a moment without him in my mind.
And he will continue to be with us…always in our hearts..until we see him again.
I’m not sure how all that works, but I can tell you Kyle has given me an excitement. For death. For eternity. And that… is just..So Kyle!
I know that I did thank my beloved son while he was still with us, probably while crying with him, for all the years I tried so hard, but perhaps, at times, were also hard on him. We had great years together. Yes, we did. I would have just loved to have had a few more…to enjoy him..to thank him…one more time.
Why do I share all this?
Because I would like to encourage anyone reading this that if your son, or daughter, or mom, or dad, or husband, or wife, or brother, or sister, or friend, is still alive, and you have the chance, take the time to tell them, “Thank You” while you still can – and take a picture with them – especially if it is their birthday!
#kyle #memoryeternal #lovedbeyondmeasure
I am follower of Christ, a sinner saved by grace, trying to walk in the sweetness of life – resting in the strength of the triune God, who fortifies me daily with His righteousness, loving kindness and holiness of spirit. Read full bio here.