Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This One's for Kyle

My son, Kyle, was welcomed home in heaven 25 years ago today. Naturally, Kyle's birthday and the anniversary of his death are wrought with emotion for me. This year seems to be more difficult than most, perhaps because 25 years seems like such a milestone. 

Some of you may know that I write Bible study curriculum. One of the studies I have written is on 1 John. Each lesson in the study is prefaced with an Introduction. The following is excerpted from this study. It seems fitting to post this today in honor of Kyle.

"In March 1987, I gave birth to my second child, Kyle. He appeared to be a perfect, normal baby. Several hours later, it became apparent that something was horribly wrong. Doctors discovered that Kyle had a coarctation—a narrowing of the aorta as it branched off of his heart. This coarctation caused excessive strain on his heart and poor circulation to his extremities. Surgery was the only option.

The next day, Kyle’s surgery lasted five hours instead of the anticipated two. Consequently, Kyle was on a heart-lung machine, was “iced down,” and received oxygen for much longer than he should have. However, the doctors felt that the operation had been successful and that Kyle would go home approximately two weeks later.

Things did not proceed as planned. Because he had been iced down for such an extended period of time, Kyle’s kidneys had failed and his lower body was paralyzed. The high oxygen content he had received had probably caused blindness. Most significantly, his heart was exhausted. The harsh reality was that Kyle was going to die.

I bent down and kissed his tiny, precious forehead. My voice quivered as I told him that I loved him. He opened his eyes and looked at me. That was the one and only time he looked at anyone. His gaze pierced my heart and soul. Although I was not a believer at the time, I knew that God had kept Kyle alive to give me that moment.

Two hours later, Kyle went into cardiac arrest. CPR is routinely performed for 30 minutes before death is pronounced. After 25 minutes, and after watching Kyle’s heart and brain activity nearly stop, I asked the doctor to cease the CPR. I had never held Kyle, and I wanted to do so while he was still alive. I wanted him to die in the comfort and warmth of my arms rather than on a cold, hard table. I held him close, memorizing every detail about him. Five minutes later, I felt his last breath upon my face. The inconceivable had happened: my son had died. Little did I know that Kyle’s death would bring me to life.

For the next eighteen months, I was filled with an overwhelming anger and hatred towards God. Yet through that dark period, the memory of Kyle’s last breath upon my face stirred something deep within me. After a series of events well orchestrated by God, I walked into the 13th week of a 14-week Bible study. That morning, I discovered that God sent His Son to die on a cross simply because He loved me. God used that truth to draw me closer to Him, until I could no longer resist the magnetic pull of His love. Kyle’s death—the most painful event of my life—turned out to be my life’s greatest blessing because it led me to Christ. There are many things in this world that I will never know or understand, but this one thing I know: God loves me.

Do you know that God loves you? Despite the circumstances of your life—the things you have felt, thought, said, done, and experienced—God sent Jesus to die on the cross for you simply because He loves you."
(Published by, Inc. © 2006 by, Inc. All rights reserved.

I have posted this quote before, but it seems fitting to post it again: "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." So today I shall smile because of you, Kyle.

My prayer for you today is that you may know that God loves you.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Rick during this time Vicki. (((HUGS)))