Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kyle Joseph

  Today is my brother's birthday. The first of his birthdays that he will not be here to celebrate with us. I will celebrate his life and his amazing love for my boys. And I want my boys to celebrate Uncle KK on his birthday. Without his birthday, there would be no birth, no Kyle... and I am so grateful for his life. Though I miss him Every Single Day, I am so thankful for the years we had together. I simply cannot imagine my life without him in it for those 26 years, but I never thought I would be contributing to a scholarship fund created in his memory for his 27th birthday.

Kyle and I in the summer of 2010.

  Growing up, Momma always let us choose the menu for our birthday dinner. And every single year, he chose the same thing. Mom's Apricot Chicken. And so that is what I will be making for dinner tonight. Kyle's favorite birthday dinner. Momma baked his favorite birthday cake and took it to the middle school where he taught and coached. She said that this will be the first year that he's ever shared any of his birthday cake!

  Through the tears, I give thanks to God for creating Kyle... He was so many things to me. For one, he always provided free entertainment. No matter what he was doing, you can bet it would make you laugh out loud! And he was constantly (even the last time I saw him at Christmas) poking me in the ribs.

  It was his love for camping that forced Jonathan and I to camp/overheat in the middle of the scorching Texas summers to float the river with him, and led to Jon and I purchasing a popup camper (with air conditioning)! Camping has become such a joy for my boys, and is a tradition we intend to carry on.

Heading to float the river on our last camping trip together.

  Kyle had such a passion for football and for coaching. This is the loneliest football season I've ever experienced. My Daddy was a football coach, and from the time when I was just a few weeks old, I spent every Friday night at the game. When he retired, it was Kyle's games we would go to, even if that meant a 10 hour roadtrip to Alva, OK to watch him play for Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Once he graduated from college, Jon and I would pack up the boys several times a year and head out to watch the Ferris football games where Kyle coached. This is the first season of my near 30 years that I do not have plans to attend high school football games.

Alex and Abe with Uncle KK after a Ferris Football game in 2010.

  One of the greatest roles Kyle played in my life was that of cheerleader. I used to run track in school and he was always at the finish line, waiting to tell me that I ran a great race.

  And I know he'll be there, when I finish this race and meet him at Heavens Gates, and I hope that he'll be proud of the race I ran.

  In celebration of Kyle's life, leave a memory that you have of him in the comments.