Rest in peace Kevin

Kevin and I met during a radio wish contest. He wrote the station I was working part time for, and said his dream was to go to a Kentucky game, but he was in a wheelchair, and was going through rounds of dealing with cancer. I took the assignment and ran with it taking him to the game. The company I worked for paid for the travel and the seats. When I met him he was doing well he was confined to a wheelchair recently because of his body being weak from the treatments, but as I got to know him I realized how strong he really was.
For years secretly especially in my teens I dealt with survivors guilt. I used to think to myself I somehow made it through and beat the odds, but why? I know it’s kind of weird, but when I would get depressed those things would come out. It was a luxury getting to know Kevin, and looking back he’s had an influence on how I view things now.
The last time we spoke he knew things were getting bad. We just talked about sports, and then he said to me “you’ve grown in the 2 years I’ve known you, and I hope you continue to do so.” Most people look at me and feel sorrow, but with you didn’t see that you just treated me for me and didn’t have any expectations. If I was having a bad day you dealt with it and we moved on. I couldn’t quote all of that, but it was close. His final thing to me was I know Mat Jones helped, but I’m glad you’re on the Kentucky wagon now. I’ll never forget when I called him explaining that I was becoming a Kentucky fan. After the Wisconsin game we didn’t call or text each other for two weeks. We had to heal. We never mentioned it actually.
My favorite memory was one day Kevin and I were talking about Valentine’s Day. He told me it had been a few years since having a date, and with him in a wheelchair and with cancer he just never felt up to try to date. I told him we should go to Yum for the game. He was nervous, because at this point he was really weak, and he said well you’re going to have to help me more than normal is that okay? I told him its fine, and we’ll make it work. The game was a blow out, but we just sat talking about how the team looked, and music. He was at his weakest, but I made him laugh, and took him to a normal place. We’d talk about the song Elephant by Jason Isbell which is probably in both of are opinions the greatest song depicting cancer ever.
I’m sad today, because I lost a great friend. However he lived a great life impacting everyone he met. Today there are people here from several states some doctors and nurses that spent a lot of time with him the past several months. He would tell me I want you to speak at my funeral you’d be great at it. I’ll leave you with two remaining thoughts one quote one observation. “I need people who look at adversity as a challenge and failure as a learning opportunity.” That is from coach Cal. Kevin was always a person I could call after a failure, and we could laugh. I remember calling him after a recent bad first date. He told me it’s hard for people to understand something different. I I went to being a normal kid to being in a wheelchair, and that was hard. Things that I used to do have become challenging and now at times it seems all most impossible. All we can do is do the best we can that’s all god asks of us. I find that statement to be peaceful and humbling. Please say a prayer with me. God has a new angel today. 


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