I donít really know where to begin, I could write pages and pages on who he was, and I know I need to condense it into very few words.
I wished I had wrote this for his funeral, but there was no way to think clearly during that time of my life. I know he was someone a lot of people loved from his work, to his coaching career, to the community, but it just wasnít talked about enough about who he was to his family, and what his family was to him.
Each of us would maybe have a slightly different story, but the crux of it would basically be the same. He was our rock. All of us. He was always there..... to listen, to encourage, to laugh with, to cry with, whichever it may be, he stood strong for all of us.
He was loyal and he was passionate about everything that was important to him. He didnít care what people thought, if it was something he believed in, he stood behind it.....no matter what, and that meant his family....you knew he had your back always, no matter what anyone thought, and if he thought you were wrong, heíd tell ya, believe me!
From the time he was a tiny baby he was cuddly, and that never, ever changed. I donít care where you were, in a crowd of people, or at home where heíd seen you the day before, he always had a big bear hug for you...even if youíd had a bit of a spitting match the day before, he always had a hug for you, each and every time he saw you....miss those bear hugs so much.
He never left I love you unsaid, he said it often, and he said it to all of us, and he meant it. He was fun, had a great sense of humor, and could make you laugh, even at the worst of times, he knew how to help you get through painful situations with just a little less stress somehow. He wasnít perfect, none of us are, but he knew that and was humble about it.
It wasnít always easy to get him to admit he was wrong, but he would... haha! He took care of all of us...my sister and I even though we were both older, and my mom and dad..... emotionally, he was our rock, and the hub of our family.
He was so smart, if you wondered about something, you called Kenny, I donít know how he knew so much about so many things, but he almost always had an answer for you. He was quick witted; he always had some funny smart comment and they rolled off his tongue as soon as you were done speaking. He was tough, but also very tender hearted, I bet most people didnít know that about Kenny, but he got his feelings hurt so easily, but you would never had known that, the tough exterior he showed everyone.
He was talented...in so many ways, his wood working and carpentry being at the top of the list. He used to make us all presents for birthdays, Xmas, etc, what treasures they are, and we are so blessed to have them. I have a beautiful desk and two nightstands in my bedroom that are just beautiful.
He built his own home with the help of my dad, whom him and his wife and their two children lived in. I know many of you have seen it, it is beautiful. He was a perfectionist and if it wasnít perfect, he changed it. It was painful to work on a project with him for this reason because it took so long to get things exactly how he wanted them. But, wow, when they were done, they were beautiful!
He was an incredible photographer, he took hundreds of thousands of pictures that we all have lining our walls today, that are just amazing. The sad part is, he is not in very many of our photos because he was always behind the camera.
Every camping trip, every birthday, every Christmas, every family vacation, he was behind that big ole camera snapping shots. He took my sisterís wedding pictures that are absolutely some of the best wedding pictures Iíve seen. Just gorgeous. He took my kids senior pictures, along with many other kids senior pictures (who could not afford a professional), and Kenny did them for free, and they were amazing, as good as any professional.
We are so thankful for the many keepsakes he created with his own two hands and his beautiful, talented mind.
He has two beautiful children of his own who miss him terribly and are never going to know their wonderful daddy who would have given his life for them if given the choice.
Which he proved with his dying wishes in the things he had prepared for them, and his beautiful wife. Even at the young age he was, he had everything planned out for them. What a hero. They will not have to worry for the rest of their lives because of his preparations. He helped me raise my kids, when I got divorced and went back to college, he got up at two in the morning and drove 20 miles for more than 10 years to help them get up, get breakfast for them and get them off to school when I had to leave for work by 3 am.
He loved them like they were his own, and they loved him the same way. It has been heart wrenching to watch your own children crumble and be so broken for so long, and not be able to explain to them why when I canít find the reasons myself. If he were only here, he could help us all through this terrible time.
This was just another testament to who he was, so giving. Giving up time with his fiancť at the time to help me with my kids. I know he was this way with his wrestling kids too. Making sure they had the things they needed even if he didnít have it to give.
He was not just a brother, a son, an uncle to any of us. He was our best friend, and our confidante. Every time Iím having a bad day, I just want to pick up the phone and call him, and we canít.
All of us have dealt with our grief in different ways, there are ok days, better days, and still really hard days in our homes. There are still many tears shed. I still watch my children and his children, my sister, my mom and my dad struggle unmercifully some days.
We have read many books, and hundreds of quotes over the last two years trying to understand. There are several that stick with us, but one in particular, which you too, will understand if youíve been through this...it does NOT get better, it gets DIFFERENT.
Thatís all, it gets different, life for us will never be the same again. He is missed and loved every single day. There is not a day goes by he is not on our mind, and there will not ever come a day we donít think of him, remember him, love him, and miss him, wish we could talk to him, and get a big hug from him. Thank you to all of you who remember him.... he was one of the good ones.
We love you to the moon and back little brother.
(A story about Kenny ran in the Sept. 18 issue.)