Saturday, Dec 22, 2007 – this is the day that would change our family forever. It started out like any typical Saturday morning, trying to finish up last-minute Christmas shopping, decorating and present wrapping. All day long, Kyle kept trying to get his Dad and me to let him open just one present. You would have thought he was 5 instead of 18 he was so excited. Of course, he knew what the present he wanted to open was but I wouldn’t let him, the present was an official team jacket for the New York Jets, Kyle’s all-time favorite football team. I just couldn’t let him though, he didn’t have that many gifts, I wanted something for Christmas morning. Kyle never got to open that gift.
At 11:30 that night we all said goodnight and told each other “I love you.” We never went to bed without saying those three simple words, “I love you”, and I am so grateful that we did. John and I went to bed, so did Kyle and his brother. Unknown to us, Kyle had decided to “borrow” his Dad’s car keys to go for a quick joyride. The roads were wet and spotted with patches of black ice. Kyle did not have a driver’s license, nor did he have very much driving experience. He was traveling at a high rate of speed and was just cresting a small hill in the road when he hit a patch of ice and lost control of the car. He tried to veer to the right so he would not hit any oncoming traffic, but the car was out of control, he smashed into a telephone pole, which threw him into a spin, causing him to hit the next pole, killing him on impact. We said “Goodnight, I love you son” at 11:30 and Kyle was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:55 p.m. He was less than a mile from home.
Kyle was a very happy-go-lucky casual kind of guy. He loved life, he loved sports, he loved his family. We will never know what potential he would have had or what special gift he would have left this world, but I know he did leave a great impact on his dad and me, also on his brother and sisters and many friends. Kyle was an organ donor; we are very proud of him for making that decision, he knew he wanted to be a donor for many years. Our family encourages organ and tissue donation. Through organ donation Kyle has helped several people. What a great legacy for our son.
It has been eight months since we lost our little boy. It does not get any easier, some days even harder. Not a day goes by that I don’t cry at least once, usually several times a day. His dad and brother are having just as hard of a time. You can’t put a time line on it, you never know what is going to set you off, you just learn to deal with it, you have no other choice. If I could pass anything on to teens and younger children, it is you never know what will happen. Live your life to the fullest, enjoy every day and be kind to all others around you, you never know the things they are dealing with to get by, day by day. He will be sorely missed and remembered often. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families that are dealing with their losses. Teach your children well; it is not just alcohol and drugs that cause accidents, it is also driving distracted, talking on the cell phone, messing with the other kids in your car, and texting. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SAFETY. Car accidents are the number one killer of people between the ages of 16 and 25. Now the last thing we say to each other is “I love you, please be safe.”