Even from a very young age Kyle had a great sensitivity for people doing the thankless, routine work of society. It was very much in his nature to write letters and poems to a neighbor, a teacher, family member, or acquaintance when things turned dark in their lives. He wanted people to know that they would not be forgotten by him. Through "Dante's Prayer" by Loreena McKennitt we say, "Kyle, we will Remember you forever."

 

One day, Kyle and his mother, Sherry, were driving through Mississippi on their way to Arkansas and the song “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri came on the radio. As it played, they both remained silent, listening in awe as their newfound mutual love for the song filled their hearts and drew them together in a magical way. When the song was over, Sherry noticed that Kyle reached for her cell phone and learned that he was looking up the artist and lyrics to the tune. Meanwhile, Kyle’s father was driving home from work and heard the same song. He immediately fell in love with it as well and purchased the song as soon as he got home. Little did we know that it would later take on such a profound meaning. Kyle, "we all will love you for a thousand years and more."

 

From birth to death, Kyle and his younger brother David were absolute best friends. Although they were 3 ½ years apart in age, they were twins in the soul. Kyle could say one word that had no meaning to his parents, but in an instant, David could pick up his thoughts and complete the story. Kyle cared so much for David, that he did not accept friends from his own age group unless they accepted David into the mix. He was also very protective of David, never wanting him to be hurt by anything or anyone. That did not mean, however, as an older brother he couldn’t at times manipulate David to get what he wanted.  On one occasion, when David was 4 or 5 years old, his father, Gerald, came home from work to find Kyle sitting in the La-Z-Boy chair watching television while David was in the kitchen staring at the oven door. When Gerald asked David what he was doing, he replied, “Kyle asked me to watch the oven and let him know when the timer went off.”  Gerald told David to go watch TV and tell Kyle to watch his own timer, but David just sheepishly stood there and said he wanted to watch the oven for Kyle. Another time, when David was getting into bed, he awakened Kyle who was already sleeping. Once Kyle was awake, he could not go back to sleep and to pass the time wanted to talk to an exhausted David. David begged for Kyle to leave him alone so he could go to sleep until they finally came to an agreement and Kyle quit talking. The next day, while straightening their room, their mother, Sherry, came across a piece of paper with Kyle’s 9- or 10-year-old handwriting on it. It read, “David agrees to give me all of his pizza for one year if I stop talking tonight.” At the bottom, it was signed by David.

When Sherry was pregnant with David, her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Lowrey, made a birthing tape with a number of beautiful songs to listen to while she was in labor. One of those included was an Elton John song named “The Greatest Discovery.” As a three-year-old, Kyle called it, “Brand New Brother” after a line in the song. He loved this tune so much, along with the thought of David’s impending arrival, that whenever he would get into the family’s SUV, he would say, “Play “Brand New Brother.” I want to hear “Brand New Brother!”” Elton John himself has said the lyrics by Bernie Taupin were among his favorite. The song tells the story of a little boy who is a bit confused by the activity and changes within his home as a new addition arrives. It culminates with the little boy seeing his new brother for the first time . . .   

His puzzled head tipped to one side

Amazement swims in those bright green eyes

Glancing down upon this thing

That makes strange sounds, strange sounds that sing.

 

In those silent happy seconds

That surround the sound of this event

A parent smile is made in moments

They have made for you a friend.

 

And all you ever learned from them

Until you grew much older

Did not compare with when they said, 

This is your brand new brother . . . 

 

Kyle was especially close to his aunt, Elizabeth Lowrey. She shared with him her love for music, especially that of Elton John. One song that was particularly meaningful to Kyle was “Skyline Pigeon.” Kyle enjoyed taking long drives and while he did he would listen to music and think about the world and his role in it. Once, while returning from a day of classes at Pensacola State College, his plan was to exit to his home off I-10 at mile marker 26. Just before the exit, “Skyline Pigeon” came on and Kyle felt its beauty was too great to interrupt with an exit. He thus continued driving and in that moment of inspiration decided to call Elizabeth and share the experience, as well as inform us he was going to drive on to Florida State University for an impromptu college campus visit. The lyrics, . . .

Turn me loose from your hands

Let me fly to distant lands 

Over green fields, trees and mountains 

Flowers and forest fountains 

Home along the lanes of the skyway.

. . . seem very fitting for Kyle's life.