Posts Tagged ‘Daughter’

horseplay-with-dad

A couple of years ago, I recall my 10-year old son asked me a very interesting question that caused me to think about the person I am and the roots where I came from. He said, “Dad, do you think you and I would have been friends if you were younger”? I was kind of taken aback for a second because I was recalling I was kind of a jerk when I was a kid…My response back to him was very quick to say “absolutely, I know we would have been friends”…but in my mind I thought, would we?

Another time, I was over at a friend’s house picking up the very same son from a sleep over and the mother pulled me aside to tell me that my little boy was adamant that when he went to bed, that he be allowed to sleep without his shirt on because that is how his Dad sleeps. She thought that was great…I stood there in amazement thinking my little man is watching me all the time…

I don’t tell you these stories to get the “Ahhh” effect; I tell them to remind you that your children are watching you and me…24/7 and what you say and do now…well, in a couple of years they will also say and do the very same thing…are you are ok with that?

Look guys, let me say it this way, as someone who has lost an older child I know I have a different perspective than most of you causing me to be far more focused on the time I have with my kids because as I found out, you never know when that time will end. I can tell you this first hand, don’t be left wishing you would have said something or did something different, because that feeling sucks…

dad-son-flyingBut if I were to narrow in on your perspective right now, where do you spend most of your time? Are you focused on your hobbies or your business first?, versus your family? It’s a pretty simple question to answer and frankly, not anything you haven’t heard before from someone else or maybe even this blog. The question is, do you understand at your core, what your true legacy will be when you leave this earth? I assure you it will not be all the time you spent at work or at play…It will be the family you helped create and what kind of people they grew up to be…

Guys, I can’t stress that fact enough. Your legacy is NOT your work but your children. Everybody will forget what you did rather quickly, but they won’t forget the people you made and the impact they ultimately had on other people.

I know you know this so I won’t beat this drum forever. Take some time and be the Dad your kids need you to be. Just hang out with them and make them laugh…those can be some of the best times ever and its so easy…you have it in you, I know you do…you just need to let that fun guy out again.

Honestly, this is probably one of the simplest posts I have ever done which stands to reason as to how easy this one is to complete in your own life. TRULY, what I am telling you is NOT rocket science, it’s just Dad Stuff

Until next time guys…

kyliekitty

Today, June 21st, marks the anniversary of 10 years since you became a citizen of Heaven and yet there still isn’t one single day that goes by that I don’t think about you and who you would be today. I could tell you I miss you, but words can’t describe the gut wrenching feeling even now that I still feel. It still hurts so deep down inside me but yet I am resolved to this feeling because I know I cannot change the past, only the future, and I can tell you that your Dad is a very different person now since you are gone. But I will not digress in this letter to you…I will stay the course and promise to hold fast to God because I know that in Him and through Him, I will see you again.

Kylie, I wanted to tell you that we finally moved from the home you grew up in and became the person we remember the most. Your mother and I agreed that it was finally time. Your older brother Jarrett, has moved out and become successful on his own now and although I don’t see him as much as I would like, I am thankful for the time I do have. But without him in that big house, it just felt different and frankly it was time to move on. But through that process of packing boxes and unpacking them in our new home, all those feelings of missing you came back again, many of which I had packed away, not planning on “feeling” them anymore….but they came in a giant wave and there you were, right back in the center of our lives again with your Mom and I trying desperately to control them and keep it together.

You see we found your pictures; your voice in video, your artwork, your backpack, your clothes…we found “You”, exactly the way “you” had left your things. I probably should say, “shame on us” for not moving your things out of your room sooner but in your case, we just never seemed to find the time or the energy to take that challenge on…but when it’s time to move, well, it forced us to take that issue head on. I can tell you that it was not easy, but through the strength of family and friends, we overcame and I can see now that we are better because we worked hard not to wear that burden anymore.

Kylie, you would be very proud of both of your brothers. Your 12 years here truly impacted both of them positively. Jarrett has gone on to be a successful producer in a local prominent television studio. He is working to ultimately be the sports guy and if I know him, he will make it. When I see your little brother Kendrick, he reminds me of you. He has a crazy personality and enjoys being silly with all of us. He plays baseball and the piano just like you, and is very good at both. Sometimes he asks questions about you when he sees pictures of you holding him and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy talking about you to him. It makes BOTH of us happy, even still…

You would be amazed at your Mom and what she has done since you left. She is a part of Umbrella Ministries that has been instrumental in helping other mothers who have lost children in dealing with the grief and pain of child loss. In other words, she has taken her pain and worked it into a positive for someone else in the same circumstance…doesn’t that sound like something your mom would do? By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why your heavenly father comes to you every single evening and gives you hugs and kisses, it because every night, your mom signs off every family prayer with that request of Him…

Sometimes I think about how you’re not being here changed the overall course of our lives. In other words, what decisions did your Mom and I make while in our state of grief that caused our life’s direction to change? Your mother and I look back and see very clearly now that we were not the same people after we lost you and logic says that when you make decisions in a different state of mind…well…you are going to get a different outcome…Only God knows how our lives would have gone with you still here but that wasn’t Gods plan. His plan was to take you and although I am not angry with Him, I will never understand the “why”…

Kylie, I never would have thought that I would ever be a Dad writing a letter to any deceased child, let alone my own…but here I am 10 years past your death, still trying to get a grip on you not being here. To help clarify, I miss who you would have been and the chances I would have had to be your Daddy…even now when you would have been a grown woman. Being a father of a girl, well it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being the father of you, well, frankly, was indescribable…it just ended far to soon. Because of that statement, I can easily say that I do not take time spent with family and friends for granted as I did. Now, I just soak it all in…

Kylie, it’s been 10 years since you left and my observations are we are all very different but yet, we are all still that same in some ways as our memories drift back to our time spent with you. I have said this all along and will continue to feel this way until I’m gone…

 I am better person having been your Daddy and although I still miss you desperately, my faith in God tells me I will see you again.

I will always love you Kylie…

Your Daddy

If you have ever read any of my blog before, then you know I am a guy who lost his only daughter to a heart problem when she was 12 years old. So why do I mention this again? Well, having gone through an experience like this with a child, I can tell you first hand that it changes a man…forever. I do not think in the same manner as I did before. I certainly don’t take family opportunities for granted, I soak them up with my eyes and enjoy every second of them…But why start off a blog post in this fashion? I often think about my daughter Kylie’s legacy having only been on this earth for 12 years. I remember listening and reading to the overwhelming outpouring of love and affection towards her and I was stunned at what people said about her. She made such a huge impact in only 12 years and as time has passed, I almost feel like I didn’t know that side of her. She was impacting people everyday and I never knew. But I can easily say that her life mattered because she made a difference to the people she touched everyday, myself included.

Even now, 7 years removed from her passing, I still marvel at who she was at such a young age which got me to thinking about my own legacy and what I will be remembered for. We have all heard the expression “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. Well over the years I have made many first impressions, some of which I wish I could perform a “do over” because they were so pathetic. But it is because of these missed chances that I began to wonder what I could have given that person about who I am as a believer that they never received from me. For that moment, I blew the chance God gave me and I probably will never see that person again. God intended me to give them something, a kind word, an ear to listen…and I didn’t. These examples are the kind of chances that legacy’s are born from. People like Kylie, who take full advantage of these chance opportunities without any fear as to what others might think or say about them. I believe God continuously brings impromptu moments into our lives for reasons we do not know. He knows you have something this person needs and all we need to do is to be who we are, but we don’t and that person moves on and God assigns the task to another person in another circumstance.

So we have all these chances over a lifetime that will build a legacy of who we are. There is a country song by Aaron Tippin that says “You’ve got stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” which means when you make up your mind to stand for something, that strong stance changes those encounters. Here is my point illustrated; Kylie was only 12 years old, but her relationship with Christ resembled that of an older person. She believed in Jesus Christ and she stood solid for Him so as a result, her daily opportunities to make first impressions revolved around who she was in Christ which meant if you met her for the first time, you knew who she stood for and that became her legacy.

Now I know as guys we don’t go around thinking of things like this much but as I said, I am a changed man as a result of my experience with her. But I am asking you today to consider the wisdom of a 12-year-old girl for your own future. Consider standing strong for Christ in your own daily walk and let Him guide and direct you while you build your own legacy. I can honestly say that I hope my legacy isn’t business or sports but rather how I affected the people I met throughout my lifetime. Did I impact them for Christ? Did I accomplish the task Christ intended with our chance encounter? If I can pull that off, I would be a happy guy…

All of this I learned from a crazy little girl who lives in heaven…Thanks Kylie…

Until next time guys…Live with Ironman Strength…