Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Kyle Post

"Every family needs a Kyle". That is what my sister and I say to anyone who meets Kyle and is taken away by his charm, which is most anyone who meets him. I am the blessed one in our family to get him! If you have never been close to a mentally handicapped person, you are truly missing out! If you are unaware of Kyle's story, you can read it here. Kyle is pretty high functioning, but not high enough to ever live on his own. He has no concept of time...minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. For example, he may be awaiting his friend who is due here at noon. He will come to me at 10 am and say "only 2 more minutes til Robert gets here." He told me the other day that Christmas was only 2 days away....it was really 2 weeks. If left to himself, he would never take his meds, wear the same clothes for days, never change his sheets, he would have no teeth because he needs to be told to brush them, have a full beard, drink WAY too much Mountain Dew, and eat pizza for EVERY meal. He would, however, shower everyday and keep his room tidy. He keeps his dvd's in perfect order and over the past year he cuts his fingernails without being told. Still, he needs his family. I can not count the times my sister will call me out of the blue and say, "Remember when Kyle......." and we will laugh until we cry! My nephew Andrew is Kyle's biggest fan....he is 2 weeks younger than Kyle and they grew up together, so he was around for alot of Kyle's antics!
Over the next few days, I thought I would record a few of our favorites here, so that some day Charlotte and Zach can carry on the memories of Uncle Kyle.
My personal favorite was from several years ago. We had just moved here and Kyle started to go to a school which housed only mentally/physically handicapped children up to age 21. Kyle was 15 at the time and he LOVED this school. He is very social and because the previous school system wanted to mainstream him, I chose to homeschool him. Anyway, he was on cloud nine at this place and he had joined the choir. A local organization called the "ARC" was having a big fancy charity dinner at an upscale restaurant and Kyle's choir was going to sing for them. We were all going to watch (at $20 a ticket) including my mom and sister. A day or so before the performance, Kyle asked me, "Mom, what does ARC mean?" I told him is stood for "Association of Retarded Citizens" Kyle's eyes got big and he said, "GREAT!!! You mean I am going to sing for a bunch of retards???" I about fell out!!! I had no idea what to say to him and told him, "No, honey, they are an organization who help retarded people." He did not believe me because in his mind who would want to help retarded people. Now you have to understand that Kyle only heard this word used in a negative way. We did not use it in our home and he would hear it out around other kids who used it in a derogatory way, like..."That's so retarded!" Kyle also had no idea he was handicapped, nor were any of the other kids in his school. Everyone in Kyle's world was just fine! He called my sister and told her she may not want to make the long drive to watch him sing as there may be retarded people there. He told her what ARC stood for and she (while holding her laughter at bay) explained to him it would be ok. Kyle felt he had never seen a retarded person before and had no idea what to do if he saw one in the crowd. Aunt Debbie told him, "If you see one, just smile and wave". She is SO naughty! We went to the dinner and Kyle and his choir went up to sing. He was standing tall with all his classmates lined up with him. Right next to him was a young girl in a wheelchair who could barely make a noise. She had on a bib and every so often Kyle would lean over and use that bib to wipe the drool from her mouth. On the other side of him stood a young girl who's arm curled in disfigurement. She looked to Kyle many times for, what appeared to be, reassurance. Still, my son stood tall, singing his heart out, all the while smiling and waving at one, singled out, well dressed, older gentleman in the front row. At one point he caught my sister's gaze and gave her a thumbs up. He had found the retarded person in the room and was handling it just fine!!!
Yes, every family needs a Kyle!



18 comments:

Berean Wife said...

What a blessing! You brought me to tears.

Berean Wife

Coleen said...

I've known and loved Kyle for so many years......In one respect, it brings a tear to my eye. While I was reading your post, I could just picture Kyle, when I got to the end of it....I almost fell off the chair laughing. It's so like him. Tell him "I love him".

Libby said...

That is THE BEST story!!No way that you can top that!! What a blessing he must be to everyone lucky enough to know him! Thanks for sharing your sweet boy with us!
Libby

NeeCee said...

I just loved this post! It made my day and put a smile on my face.

Nancy said...

Oh Bren, how amazing it must be to have Kyle in your life... He would brighten anyone's day...

Alesha said...

love, Love, LOVE this post!!! thank you for sharing this Bren!

praise God for our "Kyles"!

Alesha

Love Bears All Things said...

What a sweet memory.
Mama Bear

Susan said...

Oh, Bren! I laughed so hard! That poor little old man - he never knew. Kyle is priceless.

My step brother is mentally handicapped and we get quite a few laughs with him. I say with him, because he can say some things that will just crack. you. up. and never skip a beat. Like Kyle, Benji loves to take showers and be clean. He loves music and will spend hours playing CDs and playing DJ with them (he's 42, by the way), and that boy is a walking phone directory. He knows everybody's phone number, and when cell phones came out, he was in heaven. He also loves girls and thinks he's a teenager. He wants to marry a "cosmetology girl" because she will fix his hair and he loves having someone play with his hair. He also wanted to marry me till his mom married my dad and we became brother and sister - and everyone knows you can't marry your sister! ;) I could tell you so many things . . . just know that I will be waiting anxiously for your Kyle stories and will probably identify with them all! :)

Copper's Wife said...

I love, love, loved this story, Bren!!! What a sweetie your Kyle is!

Lisa said...

Bren,
I have never left a comment before but couldn't pass up the opportunity to share that I too have a "Kyle" in my life. Her name is Sarah. She is 16 and has Down Syndrome. She keeps us in stitches most of the time.We retell her stories over and again as they bring much joy and laughter to all. Thanks for sharing and a Merry Christmas to you and your precious Kyle!

Andrea Cherie said...

Great story!! Thanks for sharing about Kyle~ we don't hear too much about him here.

Just curious, have you vaccinated the rest of your children since that point?

Winona said...

Oh Bren, Kyle sounds like an amazing and loving person. Thank you for sharing him with us. You had me in tears, then laughing. Looking forward to hearing more Kyle stories. Winona

~Joann~ said...

Bren~Kyle doesn't sound that different than most young men at that age. NO teeth brushing unless being told to, no shaving and eating pizza for every meal..that's my Mattie :) Great story, look forward to more
Blessings,Joann

Donetta said...

Love you

Crispy said...

What a wonderful warm hearted fellow he is. That story just cracked me up!!

Crispy

julieQ said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this, Kyle seems to be a ray of sunshine for you.

Mountain Mama said...

Oh tears of laughter! How sweet and very funny. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to more.

Milah said...

LOL! That is just too sweet!