Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two Letters to My Kyle

Hey friend! 

This is gonna be one of those posts that I write more for me than for you. 

Fair warning.... it's a tissue grabbing, nose blowing, eyes leaking kinda post. 
At least for me. 

I started this one year ago on the sixth anniversary of my Kyle Matthew going home to live with Jesus in heaven. For some reason I never finished it. Hmmm....

So another year has gone by and I feel the need to write another letter to my Kyle.

Today I'm publishing last year's {with minor editing} and today's in one long, but heartfelt post.

Dear Kyle,

It's been six years now since you left. Things have changed more than they've stayed the same.

It still hurts.... but I've learned to live with it. Well, at least most of the time.

One big change that I've just come to realize is I've gotten used to you not being here. I don't mean so much accepted it.... since I did that a while ago. And I still think of you every day. It's just the "new normal" for our family that began six years ago now feels.... normal.

And I'm feeling more anger at times. At you. At me. At me & dad. And with the anger comes guilt, but not as much as at first.

The pain doesn't hit anymore when I see a black Ford F150 or a guy mowing yards. Now it's more of a wistfulness tinged with sadness. Like when I see a man in his early 30's with a family by his side. That could have been you if things were different.

It's still just plain sadness I feel when I see a young man in his twenties with cigarette in hand, baggy pants and a few tattoos walking down the road. Makes me think of you that last day when you walked home that last time. Oh God it breaks my heart once again and I push those memories away as quickly as possible. deep breath

And when I see a mom in Publix with her son tagging along in his shin guards and soccer cleats, obviously after a game or practice, I don't look away any more. I don't deny the wonderful kiddo you were. But, I still don't like to dwell on those sweet memories of your young years (like you playing soccer). They always lead to memories of your teens and then 20's.... most of that time sucked. For all of us. sigh

And I still have mixed emotions when I hear of a friend's son or daughter who is caught up in the viscous bondage of drugs and alcohol. I have no answers to give. I wish I did. Shoot! I didn't have any answers for us. For you. All I can do is tell them I understand, I've lived it, and even with the worst possible outcome I've survived by the grace and faithfulness of God.

I'm teaching Sunday School again. I can finally work with kids without the fear that they will grow up to nothing but heartbreak and ruin. Did you know that your death even effected that aspect of my life?

You would be so very proud of your big brother. He's a full time youth minister.

I'm finding more clarity........

And that's where I ended last year.
I guess I feel pretty much the same way a year later. Although the anger has gone.

So, this year here is what I add to my Kyle letter.

And I write......

Dear Kyle, 

Hey buddy! I still miss you every single day. That's seven years of missing you every day.

Today I got to thinking as I drove to McDonald's to buy me and dad some breakfast....

Oh yea, {a side note} That's become our 11/20 tradition. I take the day off work. We get McD's for breakfast. Then we get pretty flowers (with a blue ribbon and bow) at Sherwood Florist and go to your bench.

Anyways, as I was driving I was thinking about you and trying to hold back a few tears that had already started today. I started wondering, as I've often done these last seven years, if I'd want you back here. And the answer is always the same.

No - I know where you are. I know you're happy and safe now. 

And than this morning I thought - but what if only for five or ten minutes?

And my answer was - Yes.  

I felt kinda selfish about it. I mean heaven is a wonderful place. And to pull you away even for a little while? Just for me? 

Oh my YES! For one more smile. One more hug. To tell you again that I'm sorry. That I love you. That I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always....  

And I think, knowing how much you loved me, that you'd do it. 

But than again, maybe not. Maybe heaven is just too grand and you'd say - "I'll just wait here and meet you at the gate like we always planned."

You know buddy, last night I thought this day wouldn't be so hard. Yet, here it is and it's still so very hard. I can't believe it's been seven years since that horrible day. And than I think how it's been seven years that you're in heaven with Jesus. And that brings this mommy's heart some joy. Even today. 

Dad is having his own struggles with trying not to remember that day. He was so strong and brave. 

TJ & Amber are living in TX now. Yee Ha!!! They miss you more than you know. 

Mema will visit your bench later today. She will probably leave flowers and a card with a PS to tell Papa hello for her. 

That's life here on earth. It goes on with our broken hearts and hanging onto the good memories. I can't help but tell others every chance I get that the only way we've gotten through these last seven years is that God is forever faithful. He has held us when we had no strength {or sometimes no desire} to hang on ourselves. 

Well, this is getting pretty darn long. I know you prefer the "Reader's Digest" version and getting to the bottom line. *wink*

 So buddy, I'm seven years closer to seeing you and getting a Kyle {{HUG}}. Can't wait. 

Love you bunches, 

Well, friend that kinda felt good. I guess, at least for me, writing can be a form of therapy. Now, to fix my runny mascara and get ready to go get the flowers with the blue ribbon and then go to Kyle's bench. 

PS - As I re-read this once more before hitting that "Publish" button, I think maybe there's been some healing this past year. God is good and never let's me go.

Love ya!