I can't believe it has been 5 years since Kyle died. It often seems like a vague memory, a distorted part of my life. Shock, questions, anger, sorrow, loss...not only for myself but for so many around me as well. So many people loved Kyle, and he was so good at loving them back.
I was up pretty late on Friday night, listening to audio of Kyle's funeral and his sermon read aloud the week after the accident and I started to think of so many things:
I think of the beginning of my relationship with Blair Browning, that had essentially formed with Kyle as they had both given me the nickname 'Doddy'. Blair then becoming my not only my favorite professor but someone who helped guide me in my Baylor education and a man I am honored to remind certain people of.
I think of being one of the last to leave church that day standing in a circle with Byron, a few other professors and Dr. Korpi saying something to the effect of "Well, the sermon next week will be incredible."
I remember sitting at the funeral 5 years ago today with Sean Walker and Emily Richards on either side of me comforting me and being there. They just showed up and were used. And so many phone calls from people I knew in and out of Waco.
I think of Ben Dudley's strength to keep it rolling though he had such a burden to carry. And the Crowders' care for their own community in so many ways (one being moving the offices to the barn).
I think of talking to Mark Charbonneau about maybe not grieving correctly and him telling me that the Psalms made it OK to wrestle in anguish with God.
I think of Gideon's teaching through the book of Ecclesiastes the weeks and months following and what a breath of fresh air he was to our community.
I think of leading worship that semester on Wednesday nights at Truett with Mark and Anthony and Adam Horton always busting it to get things ready. And I would always think of how stoked Kyle made me feel the first time he heard me lead.
(In no way is this list exhaustive, more a few initial thoughts that circled through my head.)
All this thinking really makes me so grateful for the people in my life during my time at Baylor.
Now looking back, it is awesome to see what God has done through and since that time. That day changed a lot of lives (i.e. Austin Mann, read this incredible post of his testimony from today, and Craig Nash's from this weekend). These two posts are few of hundreds of lives that have been impacted and they give me total reaffirmation in the cross and the sovereignty of God's plan.
Lacey and I got to have lunch with Jen and Harris last weekend and it is so fun to see them joyful and well. And the kids have more energy than ever. To me, Sutton and Jude look more and more like Kyle each time I see them.
For those of you who aren't familiar with it already, below is the last paragraph of the last sermon Kyle prepared that he never gave. I hope that you are able to take in everything you have been given and that you know that He is good and He does good.
Live. And live well.
Breathe. Breathe in and breathe deeply. Be present. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now.
On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and feel the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.
If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool autumn day to freeze your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be alive.
Get knee-deep in a novel and lose track of time.
If you bike, pedal hard…and if you crash then crash well.
Feel the satisfaction of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.
If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all…because soon he’ll be wiping his own.
If you’ve recently experienced loss, then grieve. And grieve well.
At the table with friends and family, laugh. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then smell. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And taste. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-gift.