Breaking The Cycle

depression, Healing, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Reading, Therapy

This may be another poorly thought out blog today because there are a lot of things I want to discuss but I don’t want to throw it all into one post. So let’s keep it short and sweet and maybe this weekend I’ll dive into some heavier topics.

I know I’ve discussed going to therapy a few times but I can now officially say that I have followed through and made appointments. Beginning February 8th my life changes for the better. It’s time to heal.

In preparation for therapy I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what things I want to get addressed. So I’ve spent some time in my head and began writing memories and thoughts down that I want to process. I’ll get into some of the things later but for now I just want to talk about how I am seeing myself in my children. And not the few things I do think are good about me but the things that I personally struggle with. Fear, anxiety, thoughts of failure, difficulty with processing and communicating emotions.

I wouldn’t want my worst enemies to have to have the thoughts that go on in my head, let alone my own children. So while they are still young, relatively, how do I get ahead of it?

In order for my children to be better I need to be better for myself.

As much as I dislike the thought of it, my kids look up to me and model their lives after mine.

That’s terrifying.

I’m 32 years old and struggle. People around me seem to think I have everything figured out but if they only knew the things I fight within myself they would be so sad.

I’m such a hypocrite when it comes to my children. I tell them the importance of self love. And of not letting the words of others affect you negatively. But then I will turn around and put myself down or take things personally from people who aren’t even close to us.

So I repeat, in order for my children to be better I need to be better for myself.

So I’m going to break the vicious cycle that I’ve put myself in. I’m going to do the hard work. And if you think dealing with unprocessed traumas and depression is easy? Well… don’t say that to me. That won’t go over too well!

I want to take a quick moment to express my gratitude for those who have been by my side and have been my biggest supporters. I’m not going to keep saying that you have no idea how much it means to me, because I think I can safely say now that you really do. You find beauty in my flaws that I try to hide. You give me love when I don’t have love to give myself. I want to talk soon on what my loved ones have done for me with their words, but I’ll save that for another day. Just know that I am so very grateful to have you in my life.

With all my love,

Kyle

I wanted to start holding myself accountable for some of the things I am trying to work on this year so I’m going to list at the end of each of my posts the things I am completing.

Books read:

  • Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again

Currently reading:

  • Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection
  • The Gospel of Matthew

Working on:

  • Therapy begins February 8th.
  • Drinking 1/2 gallon of water daily.
  • Praying more.
  • Communication with my children. If I wouldn’t respond, why would I expect they would?
  • Building my relationship with Jesus. The Meeting House has been fantastic for this and has really felt like the messages have been aimed at me. I miss our church community but I’m really glad to be getting more direct connection with Jesus and the messages that I need to hear.

It’s Not About “Happiness”

Family, friends, God, Healing, Jesus, Life, love

I’m come to realize that I have been self-sabotaging my life for years now. I’ve been a person who dreams big and never feels satisfaction in the victories. And I’ve struggled with understanding why that is.

And after coming out of this last season of depression I think I’ve finally realized what it is.

I’ve been chasing happiness.

Well that’s not so bad, right? Happiness is the key to a successful life, or so I’ve been told.

But it’s not. It’s a lie.

Now before you start thinking I’m crazy, let me explain. It’s another example of expectation versus reality.

I’ve been trying so hard in my life to grab hold of happiness and to never let it go. But you can not live in happiness. You can live in MOMENTS of happiness, but not a constant state of it. If your life was constantly happy it would undervalue the truly special moments.

So what should you be living your life for?

Contentment.

Now, I grew up believing that contentment was a bad word. I don’t think I was raised this way, but I’ve seen and heard others talk about how contentment was settling. That successful people are never content and always strive to be the best. Innovation and advancements come from always doing more. Wanting more. Being more.

That’s… exhausting.

And it only sets you up for a life of failure and disappointment. Because always looking for happiness makes the fall to sadness so much harder than it should be.

If I were to stare up at the night sky and only dream of reaching the stars, I would lose sight of the fact that in that moment I get to be present and enjoy the beauty that comes from them. I will never reach the stars, because it’s unobtainable. But I can be present every single evening and look at those stars and be reminded of where I am. And who I am.

Let me put it another way. Say you were really struggling financially your whole life and your goal was to someday have $1,000,000 in your bank account, even though you’ve never been able to even save $1,000. So you have this big dream. And you work incredibly hard every day. And you change your life and start saving like you’ve never saved before. And let’s say after the first 6 months you finally save $1,000.

You should be ecstatic, right? You’ve never had $1,000 before so that’s a really big deal! You should be so incredibly proud!

But you’re not. You don’t even acknowledge it because you set a goal of $1,000,000. So $1,000 doesn’t even matter.

So you blow right past that and 2 years later you have $10,000. HUGE DEAL!

Right?

It’s not $1,000,000. So who cares?

And you keep doing this for years and years and year. And you’re never satisfied. And then one day you find out you’re dying. And you look back on your life and all you can see is that you never reached your goal.

And you lost sight of all the beauty in the world around you. And all the recognition for the amazing achievements you made along the way.

You were working towards something that was unobtainable. $1,000,000 is a dream for a day that may never come. You decided to work towards something that couldn’t be guaranteed.

You undervalued every other moment in your life for something that you were never going to get.

That’s the thing about happiness. We often think that happiness is that $1,000,000. But it’s not. Happiness was in that $1,000 achievement. It was a moment. And it deserved to be recognized. It deserved to be treated for what it was.

Now take this example and apply it to your own life. Are you happy? As in truly happy.

I hope the answer is no. Unless this a moment that brings you such joy and elation that it is something you will forever cherish.

This is a happy moment for me because I’ve realized that I can start giving value to the moments in my life that truly deserve them.

I want to live a life of contentment with moments of happiness and joy.

Contentment is “a state of satisfaction”. How beautiful is that? To live in a constant state of satisfaction in what you have, who you are and what you do.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t work towards more? Absolutely not. Have dreams and have goals but don’t lose sight of the here and now. Acknowledge the little moments.

Stop stealing value from the things that matter.

Seeing my loved ones are moments of happiness. And if I lived in that moment I would accept it for the special opportunity to be with people that it is.

I get to have this beautiful family. If my goal is just to think about raising them well and to get into a good college and to have a great life I will lose sight of the little moments that matter.

Like my son being sick and coming to me in the middle of the night to make him feel better. Seems silly, right? But it’s not. If I didn’t stop and be in that moment I wouldn’t have realized that it’s an acknowledgement of the changes I’ve made to be more present in my children’s life. He’s finally feeling comfortable to come to me for support and not just to be the parent who works to make the money.

It’s the little moments that matter. Happiness is in the moments, not a constant state. Recognize them.

Are you happy? Or are you a happy person? A good response would be “I am an optimistic person who looks for the moments of happiness.” It grounds me. It pulls me back into this moment. It lets me be present for the ones in my life that need me the most. My “I love you” means more. The hug is special. Your time becomes valuable. Doing life together matters more.

People’s words are taken for face value. And you can accept them and believe them.

And you can start seeing yourself the way other people see you.

If I am honest with myself, if I take the goal of happiness out of the equation then I have lived a content adult life.

And that’s success.

A constant state of happiness is a dream that can only be achieved when we get to leave this world to be with Jesus.

I will be happy one day, but for now I will take pride in the contentment and recognize the moments of happiness that come along.

And I will start seeing myself the way that others see me. And for some of you, that’s a really big deal. Some of you are so special to my life and have changed me and you will never understand the impact you have had. And I’m starting to realize that to some of you I am someone special to you. And that I have changed your life, too. And that is a big deal.

When I stop looking for happiness and start realizing contentment is key the moments of love are truly going to shine bright.

I love you. Please take that for the value I put into it. Let it sit with you a moment.

And I hope reading that was a moment of happiness for you, for letting you know was one for me.

I’m looking forward to this new lens on life. Healing is beautiful.

I want to lie on the the ground with my loved ones – my wife, my children, my best friends, my family – and enjoy the beauty of the night sky together. Not reaching out to try and grab them for myself, but being present with those around me, feeling God’s love and theirs, and storing the moment of happiness in my heart.

Kyle

2021 – The Year of Healing

depression, friendship, Jesus, Life, pain, sadness

To say the last month has been rough would be a major understatement. I’ve been struggling with another massive period of depression, and what has scared me the most about it this time is that I have been on antidepressants for 6 months now which are supposed to help. So there must be some pretty serious things going on to overpower the medication and lead me into a pretty bad depressive state, right?

Yes, and no.

What started it all were untrue stories continuing to grow and be manipulated even further. How is it that something that isn’t even close to being true can be so damaging to your mental state? My past, and a person I no longer want to ever know again, continue to haunt me. I give power to someone who is so incredibly toxic and everyone knows does nothing but lie and manipulate.

And then I thought I lost my best friend, a person that would lift me up even when I was being oblivious to the fact that I needed to be lifted up. Why? Because I made assumptions and put words into other people’s mouths. But Kyle, did you bother to ask what was really being said? Oh, but of course not! So I escalated something and almost ran away from my favorite people.

But I’m glad it happened, because for the first time I was able to prove to myself that I’m not only trying to heal and be a better person, I am actually doing it. I didn’t hurt another person because I was hurting. I didn’t make *too* many emotional decisions. I took a step back and processed and didn’t run away. And I realized I almost lost some of the most important people in my life because they hurt me about something that wasn’t even personal.

I deleted my social media accounts again. Why? Because there’s enough negativity going on in my head that I don’t need to see it all the time I’m bored and randomly pick up my phone. And it’s taking time away from the things that I need to prioritize more.

Therapy is one of my most important focuses for this year. I’ve been doing a lot of research on finding the right therapists and trying to figure out what it is I need. The word trauma gets used so much and it’s not one that I usually think too much about. But, why wouldn’t I? I’ve got some serious depression, and it’s not just being pulled out of nowhere. So what are my traumas?

That’s a really fantastic question.

A really great one.

And I can name off quite a few, but I’m running into an issue. One that I’ve never really put much thought into until I started hearing people tell their own stories.

I can not remember 99.9% of my childhood. And the things I do remember?

Trauma.

And apparently that’s not normal. Most people have core memories that they have. But I don’t. I think about it and it’s just a big empty spot in my memory. It’s very similar to the numbness I went through in 2019. A good chunk of that year is just a big blank space in my mind.

So… I don’t even know how to process things because I have these huge gaps in my mind. Do I just have a poor memory? I don’t think so. I remember a lot of educational things. And I remember a lot of things from about 16 years old on. But before that? Little tiny bits and pieces of things I really don’t want to even remember.

Guess that’s for my therapist to dive into, right?

Anyways, 2021 is going to be my year of healing. I’m going to be completely selfish and put my mental health pretty close to the top of my priority list. I thought my depression only truly affected me, but it turns out when I hurt those I love hurt with me. And some people feel my pain a lot more than I think they do.

So, here are my 2021 goals. I can promise you I will mess up a few times but I will be victorious in the long run. See if you can see my healing in each of these:

Begin therapy.

Drink more water.

Practice recognizing and applying expectations vs. reality.

Pray more.

Stop weighing myself. Do not assign my health and feelings to a number.

Support my kids more, especially in their creative outlets.

Post a blog at least once a week.

Read at least 1 book a month.

Practice restraint on spending money on others. Stop trying to buy people’s love.

Watch at least 1 movie a week with my family with all phones, iPads and gaming devices put away.

Build a treehouse with the kids (if possible).

Build my relationship with Jesus.

No eating out. Period.

Those are the things I want to work on this year. 2020 was the year I started building relationships. I gave my wife her husband back. I found someone who will call me out on my crap and tell me the things I need to hear, not the things I want to hear. I found someone who will pray over me, be a listening ear, shoulder to cry on and hug me tight to keep my pieces from completely falling apart. Now I need to take what these people have shown me and learn to start applying it to myself.

Why?

Because what I am doing is discrediting the love that they are actually giving me. The people in my life could be giving me the very last of what they have to offer that day, sometimes even stealing from their future selves, for me to say “yes, but”. Or to tell them they are lying.

The love these people are giving to me matters. Because they don’t have to be giving it to me. They are giving me a very big part of themselves that others aren’t getting. And that’s huge.

I am ONE of 7.8 BILLION people in this world alive right now. And these people are choosing to give ME a part of themselves.

I need to have enough respect to take it for the value they intended it to be. And to not discount it for my own poor misconceptions.

And I need to start loving myself. I have things that have gone wrong, but I know that things could have been much, much worse. I’m not as bad of a person as I tell myself I am.

I am worth loving. Jesus loves ME. So how can I say I’m not worth loving if I already have the truest love there is?

Love is such a powerful thing. I can say I don’t think people truly understand the love that I have for them. Like, real honest, unconditional love.

Love is what always brings me back out of my depressions. It’s not a lack of sadness, anger or hurt. It’s that all the gaping holes that are left behind from these emotions eating away at my mind I have Jesus there to fill them in, and he’s handed off some shovels to some very special people to help. And He has one for me, too. It’s always been in my hands but I always refuse to do the work. Because I’ve always felt comfort in the emptiness. Comfort in the pain. Comfort in the tears. Because they’ve always been there for me when everything else went away.

But they are lies.

I’m tired of lying to myself.

I’m tired of being tired.

So I’ve got the shovel. And it’s going to take some work because I’ve never done it before but I know it will be worth it to finally have the skills and knowledge to be able to make sure those holes never get as deep as they have been before.

To those who have struggled with reading my posts lately, I’m sorry. If it gives you any perspective on where I get to, take the pain you feel in reading my words and just realize that is only a fraction of what I feel when the depression sets in.

I know this post was very random today but I wanted to fulfill my goal of writing one post a week. I’m going to use this as a way to document my healing. Writing notes from my therapy sessions, or words of encouragement and wisdom from loved ones. But I will also be using it to process through my traumas so I can heal. It’s going to get rough but it will be worth it in the end.

Just please, never ever forget how much I truly love you.

Kyle

What Do You Do?

depression, Life, pain, sadness

What do you do when your good is not good enough?

What do you do when your good is too much?

And so this isn’t goodbye

This is the realization that our souls have been eternally tied;

The moment in time where I vow to always pray for you,

And to wish you the best,

And to love you in all of the ways refused by the rest.

I’m trapped in this place where I don’t know what to do.

What’s changed? To you? Nothing. To me? Everything. To go from finally being comfortable to questioning the things I do or say.

Where do I even belong? When I feel like the clouds are parting and the sun begins to pour in, I’m quickly pushed back into the darkness.

By whom? Me? Or others?

Do I try harder? Retreat? Pretend so everyone is happy?

Yes, probably.

Too much or not enough? Clearly just right was never an option.

Ugh…

Kyle

My Biggest Fear

anger, depression, Life, pain, sadness

My biggest fear is that eventually you will begin to see me the way that I see myself.

Not my quote, but it definitely hits home.

Today I am just going to share some things that I have found that have put into words the things I’m going through.

I have a bad habit of isolating when I am sad or depressed. Part of it is cause I don’t want to drain the happiness of those around me or burden them with my problems. Another part is because my mental state is fragile and I don’t need anymore negativity to make me feel worse than I already do.

I’ve been learning the value of not placing the people I love on a pedestal. It robs us both of our objectivity. And the inevitable fall from grace leaves me shattered every time.

This is not something you just logically understand and flip a switch. You get hurt and it takes work to come out of. But when that depression, that hurt, and that anger, that whole f*ing thing goes so deep that you can’t even feel your own body anymore. I read books and I tried to understand why this happened. I go to therapy, I meditate, I try to do good things, and I tell my parents I love them and I swallow it even when I don’t want to.

In every relationship I am too much.

Too much love to give.

Too many feelings shared.

But I don’t know how to close off a heart that needs love to feel alive.

I don’t know how to hold myself back from giving.

Even if it leaves me empty.

Shelby Leigh

I started making my list of things I want to work on in this upcoming year. Practicing expectations vs. reality was one of them. I need to stop expecting things from others. I need to stop assuming that others will love me in the same way that I love them.

I also need to learn that I need to stop thinking I need to change if people don’t accept me for loving the way that I love. If others don’t like that I love deeply then that’s a reflection of them, not me. I’ve hid myself away from this world for a long time and I’m getting tired of being pushed back into the shadows.

I’m honestly looking forward to starting therapy soon. My traumas have officially outgrown my fears. I’m starting to see some of my problems reflected in my children. I need to be the best role model I can be to them and normalize therapy and let them know that it’s more than okay, it’s often a necessity.

I need people to understand that this blog is now my safe place for processing. I do not need anyone to try and “fix” me or my problems. I do not need others to take offense to the things I say. These are my thoughts and my feelings. They are me, not you. Regardless of if you may be partially responsible for some of my traumas or not, I don’t need any sort of acknowledgement, apologies or justifications. I post here because I can speak without anyone responding. This is a place for my thoughts to go, unfiltered. If things are hard for you to see I ask that you please just unfollow my page. I need this to be a safe place for me without fear of judgement or abandonment.

Kyle

Expectations vs. Reality – Taking Responsibility For My Own Pain

depression, Life, pain, sadness

Until I can get into therapy I need this to be my safe place . I’ve lost too many of those and I need something that I can go back to and know will still be there. My own words aren’t going anywhere. My own words can be extremely damaging, but they remain as long as I let them.


I was recently told something that was pretty insightful. I am responsible for my own pain and sadness. It’s a simple matter of expectation versus reality.

Let me try to explain.

I absolutely dread my birthday. Every year I get anxiety leading up to the day and typically end it with sliding into depression. Why? Because I put false expectations on people that don’t even know that I’ve done it. I tell myself that despite what has happened historically that all of a sudden people are going to care about me. I mean Facebook even has a notification to let people know! But do you know what happens? I don’t hear from people. I’ve gone years of not being told Happy Birthday from my siblings. My own dad has even forgotten my birthday before. I hate birthdays. A day that should be a moment of happiness is typically one of my saddest days of the year. Every year.

But it’s my own fault. Honestly. If I had no expectations and I went into it knowing that it’s just another day then I wouldn’t be so disappointed.

Same with gifts. I’m fantastic at giving gifts. Why? Because I never want people to feel the way I do about getting them. I have this false expectations in my mind that people really “know” me and that they will be able to get me something that just is, well, me. And it doesn’t happen. I usually end up pretty disappointed in gifts I get so I prefer to just tell people that I don’t want anything at all.


Side note on gift giving, I give too much and I really need to stop doing that. I need to stop trying to “buy” people’s love. One, I spend a stupid amount of money on others. Honestly you really don’t want to know the extent of that. Two, it makes people feel bad when I do that for them. Shame on me for not thinking of others when thinking of others. As sarcastic as that sounds I’m being completely serious. I’ve always given anonymously because I didn’t want people to know the things I did. Because I don’t want recognition for things. I’m an extra in a movie scene. I’m there, but unless you’re really looking, and usually no one is, you won’t see me. But people told me to start letting it be known when I do things and now I get comments about people thinking I’m better than them, or that I’m pretentious, or that I’m doing more than they could do themselves. And I get hurt for doing things for others. That’s stupid.


Anyways, back to the gift giving. It’s my fault for thinking people really know me. So instead I just tell people things that I would normally get for myself. It’s easier for them. It’s fine that people don’t really know me. And the reason I’m writing today is because people still don’t know me.

I put expectations on relationships, especially friendships. And that’s why every single one of my friendships have failed. Instead of just going into them and letting them be what they are, I try way too hard and end up ruining things. Or crossing boundaries. That’s a big one for me. I love way too much. And in turn I get hurt. I get extremely hurt. I’m not anyone special so why do I always think things will be different?


I sent a text to my doctor yesterday and asked for a change to my antidepressant medication and he called an emergency prescription in for me first thing this morning. I’m grateful for that.


I’m not okay. At all. I’ve been hurting for awhile and yesterday the last of the light fell behind the clouds and the world went dark…

And what’s so difficult for me is that my life has been great lately. I can’t pinpoint what the triggers are. I don’t understand why my emotions take over and take me to a place that I hate.

I am in pain. Every day. Every day I remember more and more of the traumas in my life and I remember the things I’ve said that have hurt so many people. And I start to tell myself more every day that I’m not someone worth loving. If I were then why would so many people want to see me hurt?

But I’m already fighting back. I haven’t missed a day of medication since I got put back on them. And I’m still losing. It makes me feel like a terrible person, a terrible husband, a terrible father, a terrible son, a terrible brother, a terrible friend. Because my pain and hurting makes them feel like they aren’t good enough. And then my depression just gets worse.


I recently switched jobs and haven’t had insurance for a few months. Once I get it back it’s time to finally talk to a therapist. I’m not going to others for emotional support anymore. It’s too much for some people and others don’t know how to even be there when I need them. So I release you from your burdens of worrying about me. I will not be your problem any longer.

For now, this will be my safe place. I need somewhere to let these things out. I have traumas in my life that have lead me to be where I am now. And I’m realizing that last year was one of the worst years of my life, but it wasn’t completely my fault. I have a lot of things that I need to work through. It’s difficult because some of the people who read my blog have been responsible for my sadness, pain, loneliness and hurt. The hurt is what is the worst.


I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m getting so tired, emotionally and mentally, of being the person who makes others uncomfortable. That’s legitimately one of the hardest words for me to hear because of all the traumas I’ve been through. All I want to do is love others but I even do that wrong. All it makes me want to do is retreat into a shell and never let anyone see me again.

I stopped letting people in for a reason. Shame on me. I bring it upon myself.


I haven’t been able to sleep well for months now. I struggle to fall asleep and I usually end of waking up restless in the middle of the night. I just want to sleep. I just need to sleep.

I’m not okay. But I’m not going to burden others with it. This will be my safe place until I start paying someone to be my safe place in a month or so.

Right now I just need some time before I make stupid emotional decisions. I’m a very fragile person and right now I feel like I’ve just been kicked around a lot and that I’m very alone.

Kyle

Listen to: Ludovico Einaudi by Nuvole Bianche

Are You Listening?

anger, depression, Life, pain, sadness

Can you hear me?

I know you see me standing here but can you understand the words that escape me? I try to keep them in but sometimes they spill over to make room for more. There are too many of them now and I don’t like it.

It’s loud in here and it’s often hard to even hear my own thoughts.

I’m right here, with tears in my eyes and my face red from my screams. But you just stand there and look on as if you’re seeing through me.

There’s no one else around so why can’t you hear me?

If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?

Does it even make a sound?

An isolated tree that stands atop a hill is noticed when it sways and bends. But I know I’m a tree amongst a forest, and you wouldn’t be able to pick me out from the rest.

And that’s okay. Honestly, it really is.

I should be speaking to someone who comes to see me and not to those who walk through the forest and return home without a second thought to the wonder and beauty that they got to experience. My leaves will fall but I’ll be damned if they don’t come back in the next season and standing taller than the season before.

Does it make a sound?

Only to those who are actually listening for it.

Listen to: State Lines – Novo Amor

I Failed You

anger, death, depression, Family, Forgiveness, God, Jesus, Life, love, pain, sadness

*Current song to listen to while you read this… Toby Mac – 21 Years*

Today marks 3 months since you left us. While I know you are in a much better place and are no longer in so much pain it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially around this time of year.

I was supposed to protect you. I’m your big brother. That was my job. To make sure you were safe.

But I failed you. And I failed your son. And I stole the little moments of joy from your life that you held onto so dearly.

I kept my children from you when they were such a bright spot in your life. Why? Because you did things away from them that I didn’t agree with? Yeah you were addicted, but you didn’t bring it around my kids. So why did I always make sure you were at an arms length away from us?

My new job is right by the funeral home where your body last was. And every time I drive by it I get angry at the bs and lies that came out of people’s mouths as they told stories of you. “She was the annoying little sister.” No, she really wasn’t. What was annoying about you? That you just wanted to love so deeply that you wanted to be around your friends and family all the time? Out of all the memories I have of you not one of them were ever of you being annoying. It was never you. You were the sweetest child I had ever met. You just wanted to spend time with us.

People gave up on you. They stopped making you a priority. Everyone went on with their lives but you were still a child who needed to be raised and taught right from wrong. And who was there to do that? I stole your sister away from you. She wasn’t there to teach you all the things she had learned.

You were always placed in peoples shadows. So of course you did things to try and make your voice be heard.

But I didn’t hear you. No one did. While you were screaming for help we were all distracted by the other noises around us. Granted, ours happened to be raising 3 kids but that shouldn’t have stopped us from letting you be a part of it.

I take solace in knowing that not once did we ever tell you that you were a screw up. Yes, we pulled away, but when we saw you we showed you love. I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but the people who are struggling with themselves now because of the way they treated you while you were still here, they should be feeling guilty.

You were such a beautiful soul that had so much to offer this world. You had a beautiful voice that deserved to be heard. You loved my children so much and I never realized it until I had to go through all the pictures for your funeral. So many pictures with you and them. One of my biggest regrets is that while we have so many pictures of you from photo shoots I’ve done, I was always behind the camera and I don’t have a single picture of us together. Not one. My baby sister and I have no pictures of us.

It shouldn’t have been you. You made bad choices, but they were never to hurt other people. Yes, others were hurt because of them but your heart has always been so good. Why were you taken from us and not someone who intentionally causes pain and lies to others?

I struggle with you passing, even more than when my grandfather passed away. Because I now live every day wondering if I could have saved your life. I wonder if I would have pulled that car over and come over to you and asked you to come see the new house if you would still be here today. I wonder if we would have written you letters and explained to you how our lives have changed and how much we were looking forward to you being a part of it if you would still be here. I wonder if we would have let you see the kids more often if you would still be here.

I carry a lot of weight from you being gone. I find some peace in knowing that you committed your life to Jesus before you met Him, and that you now get to spend your time with your precious baby boy. But I so wish you were here. These holidays are going to be rough without you.

We plan on making sure that our kids never forget who you were. You were more than your demons. But you owned those demons and you never blamed others for them.

You should still be here.

I should have protected you.

I failed you.

And now I have to live with that failure for the rest of my life until I get the blessing of seeing you again.

I love you. You were so precious to us and I’m so sorry that we didn’t make it known more often.

I hope you left this world knowing you were wanted and you were loved.

May you rest easy, beautiful girl.

Love,

Your Big Brother

Just A Bit Longer

Family, Life, love, Prayer

It’s a sad realization that while we often remember many of our “firsts” in life we tend to not even realize that our “lasts” have come and gone. We take life for granted and assume that we are promised a tomorrow. Sometimes tomorrow simply doesn’t arrive. Sometimes it’s in the literal sense and your physical life will come to an end. But many times it will be in the things you prioritize today that lose their importance. Your relationships are good so you stop trying. Your life gets too busy so you don’t want to sacrifice the little time you do have to something that doesn’t matter as much.

To you.

I’ve had a lot of lasts in my life that I didn’t even realize had occurred. The last time I spoke to a family member that is no longer a part of my life. The last time I attended a church I never returned to. The last time I played a game that I once really enjoyed. The last time I watched a movie or read a book that really made me think.

The last time my siblings came over just because they wanted to spend time with me.

The last time my children came to me for comfort, or to play with their hair while they fell asleep.

The last time I hugged my grandfather.

These moments come and go and we never acknowledge them or appreciate them for what they are. Because we assume these things will always come again.

So I will continue to be intentional. I will hug you just a bit tighter. I will hold your hand just a bit longer. I will tell you I love you one more time even if it annoys you. I will write you one more letter. I will buy you one more gift. I will surprise you with texts and phone calls.

I will love you just a bit longer.

I can hope and pray that tomorrow will be waiting for me, but I can not live assuming that it will be. I know all too well the heartbreak and regret that can come from making that assumption. And I live with it every day.

If anyone comes to mind when you’re reading this, make an effort to reach out to them and just tell them what’s on your mind. Remind them how you feel about them. Because if their tomorrow doesn’t come, shouldn’t they live their last day with the joy that comes from being loved?

The relationships in your life will come and go. As much as we hope that things will last forever, it’s honestly rare that they ever actually do. Sometimes people just stop trying. And people grow apart. It’s okay for that to happen. We are all unique individuals who have their own things going on. But just remember that there will come a day when you have your last meal together. Your last holiday. Your last laughs. Your last hugs. Your last goodbye.

Your last I love you.

It’s an honest reality. Yes, it can be sad, but it can also be beautiful. Live your life with this mentality and show your love as much as you can.

When my tomorrow, inevitably, doesn’t come I fear that those most important in my life won’t truly know how I feel about them. So let me hold your hand just a bit longer. Let me hug you just a bit tighter. Let me love you just a bit longer.

I love you. I promise you it is way more than you think I already show or tell you.

Kyle