Several years ago, when we were still fairly new to the neighborhood, another family moved in up on the hill. They had a boy close to the age of one of my own boys and the two soon became friends. Kyle was about eight months younger than Joe and would often come down and hang around, looking for a bit of friendship and maybe a laugh or two. He always had a smile and a look of mischief in his eye. I never knew quite what he was up to, whether to believe his stories, or if he was giving me a line just to see my reaction.
As time went on we learned that Kyle struggled with a serious illness, cystic fibrosis. He did his best to never let it slow him down and I never heard him complain. He jumped on his trampoline with a snowboard, worked on his bike and rode BMX, and got into the kind of trouble that lots of teenagers do. Once when he was feeling ill I made him an apple pie. I expected he would share it with his family, but was told he ate most of it himself.
One of Kyle's passions was becoming a firefighter/ EMT. If memory serves me right, his mother got involved with the volunteer ambulance along with him, and I believe his step dad was already a fireman. At 17 Kyle became a Jr EMT and in his enthusiasm encouraged my son Joe to join up too. I think Joe went as far as to attend a meeting with Kyle but he never officially joined. All that was more than seven years ago now. In December of 2005 Kyle had a terrible car accident. Joe took the news hard. I think we all did. Teenagers aren't supposed to leave us so quickly, or so young.
I've been thinking a lot about Kyle lately. I think he'd be happy to know that Ben has been riding with the ambulance crew this year (I can almost see him grinning) and all his encouragement to Joe is finally paying off too. The local ambulance base has another young trainee, Josiah. Thank you, Kyle. I'm smiling too.
I am a work in the hands of the Master Potter. I pray that His fingerprints are all over me as I walk through this life. This is my journey. Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me.
I am mom to seven beautiful grown ups and grandma to seven beautiful grandchildren, and tender of a shrinking "flower garden."