My heart is broken, but I needed to get Kyle’s eulogy posted, so it is here for you when you need it. Writing and speaking is theraputic for me, and I thank God everyday for my ability to make sense of the world through my writing. I sincerely hope these words bring you peace through all the sadness.
Naughty – yet Fun-Loving and Good-Hearted
Kyle was the most naughty yet fun-loving, good-hearted person we have ever known. The naughty part of Kyle is likely a genetic predisposition hailing from both sides of his family. Grandpa Frannie just found out that Travis and Kyle thought it would be really funny to race while raking hay. They did an entire field in 20 minutes, and had Grandpa Frannie known they finished that fast, he would have made sure there was crap to be shoveled somewhere. Kyle could have gotten into a lot of trouble on the farm if Dale or Grandpa Frannie had known half of what went on. One time he chased Carl with a weed eater. Of course he had no intention of hurting him, but Carl ran for his life. Another time, he tied Kalynn up by her belt loop to Brownie, his cow, and then he slapped the cow, and she took off dragging Kalynn down the road. Kalynn was only saved by her belt loop breaking. Kyle begged Kalynn not to tell Lisa, but Kalynn pointed to her coat and her belt loop, and said, “Um. I think she’s gonna know; my coat is ripped.” Lisa tells the story of Chad and Ryne teaching Kyle to flip people the bird at a very young age. He walked around with his fingers in perfect position for days. That was all fine and good until one time, in this church, Bubba held Kyle on his shoulder during mass, and a family with a couple of middle school boys were smiling at him and waving…you know the drill… a cute kid in church is the perfect distraction to make the time go faster. Well Kyle wasn’t one for niceties even at 3 or 4, so he gave those middle school boys the finger. They laughed and laughed. Lisa is still embarrassed to tell the story today, but as Kyle grew up, he continued to fly the bird often, but those on the receiving end would know it was actually a term of endearment from Kyle. He couldn’t give you the finger without that smirk of his taking over his face.
When he walked in a room
Speaking of terms of endearment, we have to talk about what would happen when Kyle would walk into a room. Picture this: family gathering, Kyle shows up–he’s not really late, but he’s certainly not early. Five kids start running and hollering, “Kyyyllllle!” With a kid on each leg and one in his arms, he’d lead them to the living room floor where he would wrestle with them for a bit. He managed to man handle all of them at once, and no matter how tired or defeated they were, they would always go back for more. The same was true when he walked into school or a party…wherever he went, people…usually girls would jump up, yell, “Kyyyyllllle!”, and they would hug him. He’d turn a little red and he’d smile; meanwhile Katie and Kalynn would be like, “What the heck? I have some dirt on that kid that might make you think twice about lovin’ on him.” But do you know why this happened every single time? Because he hugged them back tightly…like they were the only people in his world right now…like they were the most important people in his life. Kyle had this ability to make you feel like you mattered! And truth be told, you mattered to him.
As his aunts and uncles, we may not have gotten near as many hugs as our kids or those girls, but he made the rounds. He would go from one house to the next just to say, “Hey, what’s up?” Maybe he bought a new gun or a new vehicle. Maybe he just wanted to hang out. Often, he’d stop to share something he was proud of. He did that with his friends too. He sought them out if he hadn’t seen them in awhile. Not all of his friends were friends with each other, but Kyle managed to include everyone in his life.
Honesty and Integrity
One of Kyle’s most special traits that may be overshadowed is his honesty and integrity. Kyle definitely lived by his own standards and rules. No one knows that better than his teachers and parents. But what made Kyle different than most people his age is that no matter how much trouble Kyle was in, no matter how many times he got his butt chewed, he would always tell the truth. He wouldn’t necessarily volunteer info about his poor choices, but, when confronted, if he had done something wrong, he would admit it; if he had hurt someone’s feelings he would apologize. If he had made a poor choice, he would acknowledge it and create a plan for future incidents. He was known for cutting deals in school, and if he said he would do something, he did it. Kyle knew his actions had consequences, and he would always accept what he had comin’. Don’t get us wrong; he made lots of mistakes, but what was so great about Kyle was that he owned them. Every. one. Kyle was a man of honesty and integrity, and through his honesty and integrity, he set an example. Kyle lived on the wild side; he broke the rules…a lot of them, but he always manned up.
He did good – even in his death
We are saying goodbye to Kyle today. It is hard! We are going to miss him a ton, and no matter what there is nothing that can change the outcome. But even in Kyle’s death, he did good. Kyle had made the choice to become an organ donor by placing that little orange sticker on his license. Kyle has saved 5 lives and helped countless others through his death.
His liver has gone to a 59 year old man
One kidney went to a 32 year old man and the other to a 40 year old woman.
His right lung went to a 67 year old man and his left lung went to research.
And his heart went to an 18 year old boy. That boy is getting a heart of gold.
Kyle, you are a true hero. We are gonna miss you man! Please watch over all of us and keep us safe from harm.
Fly High Kyle…Fly high…