One of the guys who worked with me passed away suddenly. His name was Kyle Ames. He didn't show up for work on Friday and was found by his sister in his bed. He apparently died in his sleep some time between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Kyle was 37 years old and was born with a heart condition. He was due to go to the Mayo Clinic on March 15th for surgery. His passing comes as a shock to all of us who knew him. He was a great employee and a friend.
He was also a father to a 10 year old daughter named Willow who he was absolutely crazy about. As I gathered his personal effects from his office yesterday, I found numerous cards and notes from her along with various awards she had received in school. I also found the piece which follows.
It made me stop and think of how fragile and temporal our existence is in this world. And how easy it is to get caught up and forget the really important things and people in our lives. Priorities can become so misaligned.
To My Child
I will step over the laundry, pick you up and take you to the park to play.
I will leave the dishes in the sink and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
I will unplug the telephone, turn off the computer and sit with you in the back yard and blow bubbles.
I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck. I will buy you some when it comes by.
I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up but instead I will live in the moment as you do.
I will let you help me bake cookies and I won’t stand over you while you’re fixing them.
I will take you to McDonalds and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
I will let you splash in the tub and not worry about the water on the floor.
I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
I will snuggle beside you for hours and miss my favorite TV shows.
I will run my fingers through your hair as you say your prayers and humbly thank God for the greatest gift I could ever receive.
I will think of the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, those who are visiting their children’s graves instead of their bedrooms and those who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, all the while trying to hang on as they ask the unanswerable question … why.
Tonight when I tuck you in, I will hold you a little longer, squeeze you a little tighter and be grateful for every moment we have together.
And tomorrow, I’ll do it all again.