That's when Ms. Donovan leaned over and whispered to me that Kyle, one of
our 5th grade students, had been hit by a car and killed. What?? Utter shock. Word spread like wild fire across the school. Teachers passed the tragic news in hushed voices down the hallway, door to door. I was asked to stand in for Kyle's teacher from years ago when he was in first grade as she got the news. He was "her baby." The only thing I knew to do was try and remove myself emotionally from the situation and put on a happy face for the unknowing kids. Shortly after I returned to my classroom, teachers were notified to go ahead and tell their students the news and watch for their reactions. Grief counselors were available in the library and students were allowed to call their parents if they wanted to go home. The rest of the day was a blur. There was lots of speculation going around as to what exactly happened to Kyle but no one really seemed to know. I went home with questions.
After waiting through an hour of non-sense on the 5:00 news, I finally got to hear Kyle's story at 6:00. In a tragedy, all we want is answers. By human nature we need to know details. If we know exactly what happened, at least we won't fill in the blanks with something worse. Even if there seems to be nothing worse than the truth. I learned that Kyle had been waiting for his bus in a neighbor's driveway when the F-650 that was parked there backed over him and he was killed instantly. It was because he had on headphones that he did not hear the truck backing up. Because of the sheer size of the truck, the driver did not even realize what he had done. Kyle's poor siblings were the first ones to discover what had happened & the bus driver with a bus full of innocent eyes also drove up to the scene of the accident. Needless to say, there has been a somber tone around Hesse for the past few days.
Kyle was one of those kids whose presence was known wherever he was. A bundle of energy and charisma. A tough little boy with a huge heart. Proclaimed a "ladies man" by some of his fellow classmates. I saw him on a daily basis, sprinting down the back drive to his bus in the afternoons. It seemed like every other day I was shouting, "Slow down Kyle!" to which he would respond by speed walking the rest of the way with a mischievous grin on his face. I couldn't help but smile.
Funny how loss has a way of bringing people together. Hesse has been so unified this week. We all seem to appreciate each other more. To care more.Friday we had a dress down day in honor of Kyle and raised over $7,000. Many of his classmates decorated shirts with messages to Kyle and wore them around school. We also decorated the fence with a WE LOVE KYLE message and green and white ribbons. A day hasn't passed where our thoughts are not consumed with his memory.
Today was Kyle's funeral. We miss you & Hesse won't be the same without you. Keep smiling down on us...you were an angel in disguise!
"Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere" Psalm 84:10