Let me introduce you to my first guest blogger. Only he’s not a blogger in the sense that you are thinking. One definition of “blogger” is one who “adds material to” a blog (thefreedictionary.com). This may be his first formal entry, but this man has contributed to every blog post of mine, whether directly or indirectly. You may think my boys have contributed the most, but without this man there would be no boys. A lot of things would be missing without him. For more information about him and our relationship, see my very first post and my “About Me” section.
When he told me he had some words for the blog, I cut my eyes at him in a way that he knew I meant “They would mean a lot more coming from you…”. He got the hint. A few days later, he surprised me with the following words. And let me tell you, it hardly needed any editing! So with that said, these words are from my husband Cy:
No one knows but…
I wore my University of Kentucky socks to a funeral today. I didn’t care for anyone else knowing really. I’m not even sure Kristin knew before I told her. Mason or Clint may have caught a glimpse since they’re a couple feet from the ground, but the truth is who cares? Well I like to think Kyle does.
Funerals are not easy for me. I tend to get emotionally attached to people and things. I guess we all do to an extent, and maybe some more than others. The first funeral I can remember was Molly’s. At a ripe old age of 12 we had to put our family pet Molly the beagle down to rest. After I came home from little league baseball practice that evening I spent a couple hours kneeling over a mound of dirt that had a sandstone Dad had engraved “Molly” on plopped on top. I also made a hand-written memorial card for my wallet. She was awesome. Really set the tone of how a family pet should be. Always loyal, protective, loving, steadfast. She was All-American in my book. She left an impact.
Fast forward 18 years and the most recent funeral I attended was that of a friend I first formally met in high school (our first informal meeting was during our Junior Pro Basketball years, more specifically during a stand-off at the old Providence Pizza Hut buffet line over the last piece of pepperoni which morphed into an unsaid rivalry on the basketball court. We later figured out “the stand-off” was why we always “hated” each other on the court. We laughed about that a lot.). Those that spoke at his memorial service summed up his life perfectly. My buddy Kyle was in the business of accounting, but his great investment was in people. He was always interested in how life was going for others, not quick to unload his life on you. His first item of business always seemed to be in the area of laughs and comforting anecdotes. If there was ever a person who loved Kentucky basketball more than Kyle I have yet to meet them.
As I was informed of his passing, my first thought was to remember a time where we shared our faith together. I couldn’t remember a time. I felt and still feel very ashamed. However, during the service another common theme was that above all, Kyle’s faith had grown even during recent times battling his illness. Shew… he made it. He’s in Heaven. He had friends, family, a pastor, who cared enough to be there for him when he needed a guide on his walk with Christ and I was too busy. Wait, I did care about him though… We had a breakfast club in Chemistry on Fridays, I took him to catch his first fish, we made fake screen names when chat rooms were still cool and tricked other people in our class who were also supposed to be working on “Computer Applications,” I helped clean up his house after a tornado ripped through his neighborhood on prom weekend then we went “snipe hunting” later on.
We had good memories I’ll always cherish, but if Kyle’s salvation were up to me, what would the verdict be? Thank God for the Body of Christ and for His Church.
I left the cemetery today wondering how many more funerals it will take before I conduct a deeper examination of the impact I plan to leave on the world. What is my vision and mission statement? Do I have those? When is my funeral? Will people honor me and my accomplishments or will they be impacted because of my answering God’s call to share the story of His grace and mercy with them?
As I read what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:8, “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,” I think of Kyle as I’m sure I will every time UK tips off and the #BBN celebrates victory (and the few times we come together in defeat).