'Our Precious Korean Firecracker'
by Travis Wiginton
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Just one year ago, we shared this paper with you.....we share it with you now, in a different light.
Our son Kyle died suddenly on May 24th, 2011 at 49 yrs. of age.
Only 3 weeks after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Kyle 'graduated to Heaven'.
Our daughter Kristin and our sons, Craig and Kevin, were there at the hospital in Texas with Kyle's precious wife Darr, and their children Hailey (22) and Travis (20) during those extremely difficult days.
We arrived in Korea in Sept. 1960 to serve as missionaries.......Kyle was born July 4th, 1961.
We'll begin with Kyle's birth at Severance Hospital in Seoul. It was a VERY hot day in the Korean Hospital (which had no air conditioning), so Travis stood at the end of my bed fanning me.
After his birth the nurses kept bringing Kyle to me, wrapped in 1-2 blankets.
Bless his heart, he was covered with sweat, but they tho't if he didn't have cover, he might get sick.
I finally asked them to bring his bed into my room so that I could take care of him.
For breakfast (and other meals as well) they brought me Korean soup.
I liked the soup, but I don't like bean sprouts, so I would pick those out of my soup.
When the next meal came, there were those bean sprouts again.
I told Travis I just knew they were using the same ones I picked out of the previous meal...
since they were determined to keep me healthy!
A precious Korean lady, Kim Ajimoni (means 'Auntie') took care of our 3 boys while Travis and I were in language school.
She would carry Kyle on her back while she worked in our home.
She would say "Oh-boo-bah?" to Kyle then she would hoist him onto her back.
Kyle says he still remembers Ajimoni saying that.
He was with her so much that he learned some Korean words (and also some Japanese which she spoke). Though we spoke English to the boys, Kyle was faced with having to learn more English when we returned to America.
When we got back to the States, there were of course, many things Kyle had never seen.
Our 3 sons were all fascinated by stores when we landed in Anchorage, Alaska and then even larger stores in other cities on our way home.
We were at Travis' parents' home in southwest Oklahoma when a thunderstorm rolled in.
We liked to have never gotten Kyle quietened down as he was terrified of the thunder and lightning.
I can not imagine what was going through his little mind.
We had to go to court after we came back to America, to make Kyle a U.S. citizen
(he's also a citizen of Korea). The Judge informed us that since Kyle was born in another country, he would never be able to become President of the U.S.A. (In my heart I was thanking the Lord :)
When Travis pastored in Los Altos, Calif. I would put a sign on our front door each Sunday afternoon which read:
"Sunday is a day of rest...this we are doing! Please do not disturb."
Kristin was born before we moved to California, so there were 6 of us who needed rest.
Kyle always felt like he was missing out on something, so he would climb out the bedroom window and go play with his little friends.
When Travis pastored in Nicoma Park, Ok. the parsonage was next door to the church.
It was a small parsonage, but 4 yrs. later they built a new larger house.
One time when Travis was in a revival out of state, Kyle came home from school and said,
"Mom, I traded my bike for a horse!" (Where was Travis when I needed him? :)
As I was trying to explain to Kyle that we did not have a place for a horse, he said, "Now Mom, I've already talked to Mr. Fitzgerald (a neighbor at the new parsonage) and he said he had room in his barn for my horse....he even put up a nail for my saddle."
When the little boy who traded the horse found out that she was pregnant, he wanted to trade back, but Kyle said, "Nope...a deal's a deal"
So when 'Cinnamon' gave birth, Kyle gave the newborn to Kristin and she named him 'Pepper'.
Those little shetland ponies were sure cute!
Nicoma Park is a rural area, so Kyle and Kristin rode those ponies all over town!
Craig and Kevin even rode them some.
They had such fun, so were NOT happy when we moved to our present home in Norman as they had to give their ponies away (to Travis' cousins).
We're not sure they've forgiven us yet!
In addition to Kyle riding his bike all over town delivering a little newspaper he sold, called 'The Grip'.
He said that he had his delivery route timed right so that he could get to Mrs. Conley's house as she would have iced tea and cookies waiting for him!
Our next door neighbor (Mr. Shipley) had a great garden each year, so he would give Kyle some veggies.
Kyle would pull his red wagon and sell them all around town.
One time when I was hospitalized with a bad Lupus flare, Kyle skipped class and came up there with a sign he had made. He put it on the machine that was giving me IV's. It said "Take good care of my Mom!"
The youth group from our church were going to Colorado on a ski trip.
Kyle had gone on previous trips, so he said that he would really like to stay home and work on his car.
He wanted to take it apart, then put it back together!
So...his girlfriend Darr (now his sweet wife) was out there with Kyle (night and day) holding the light for him. He DID take that car apart that week and DID get it put back together!!
Travis and I stood at the kitchen window in awe as we watched 'patient Darr' holding the light into the night...
AND as Kyle started that car up! They were quite the team! Each thinking the other one 'hung the moon'.
When Kyle was trying to talk me into something, he would say
"Oh come on, Moyne-yun-head" which usually made me laugh.
(He came up with that after hearing Senator Daniel Moynihan's name).
I asked our children one time if they had ever regretted being a 'PK' (pastor's kid) and they all said 'No'!
Then Kyle said, "And miss out on all those good pot-luck suppers?"
When Kyle was serving in the Air Force, he rec'd word that he was being sent to Korea.
His commanding officer told Kyle that he had NEVER had anyone be that thrilled about being sent to Korea. Kyle replied, "I was born there Sir, and have never had the chance to go back."
Kyle thoroughly enjoyed Korea as he loves the people, their customs and their food...even Kimchi :)
Our Korean friend (ShinJa Cowan) made some Kimchi for Kyle to take home to Houston.
Darr said, "That is going in the trunk as I don't want to smell it all the way to Houston!
As I was riding with Kyle in his car one day, the song 'When I Need Love' came on the radio.
Kyle reached over and patted my hand and said, "That's our song, Mom!"
So for years (and still yet) he will call us when that song is on his radio...he won't say anything, just holds the phone to the radio.
During the yrs. we were in Hawaii, we would come home to messages left by our children.
The other children would leave messages, but Kyle usually never said anything....just played that song!
'When I Need Love' (Leo Sayer)
"When I need you I just close my eyes and I'm with you
When I need love I hold out my hands and I touch love
Miles and miles of empty space in between us
The telephone can't take the place of your smile"
An incident showing Kyle's tender spirit happened as he driving a large truck through Louisiana. He noticed a small church where a funeral was just over and the family/friends were in front of the church. He got off the Interstate and drove back to that little church to let the people know that he was sorry for their loss.
He asked all about their loved one (an elderly black farmer) and listened as they shared memories of him and Kyle said that his paternal gr'father was a farmer also.
The family was so touched, they asked Kyle to stay and have lunch with the family. He told them that he'd like to, but that he needed to get back on the road as he had a long drive ahead of him.
Another time, Kyle drove past a group of homeless people underneath the Interstate bridge.
He turned around and went back to get some pizzas, then took the food to those people.
When he told us about it he said, "I probably shouldn't have done that since Hailey (his daughter) was with me." I told him that he had just taught her about 'missions' and reaching out to others!
One of Kyle and Darr's favorite poems is 'Footprints in the Sand'.
Another one is 'GOD HAS A POSITIVE ANSWER':
You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible ( Luke 18:27)
You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: "Nobody really loves me:
God says: I love you (John 3:16 and John 3:34)
You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9 and Psalm 91:15)
You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:56)
You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)
You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Cor. 9:8)
You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)
You say: "I can't forgive myself:
God says: I have forgiven you! (I John 1:9 and Romans 8:1)
You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Phil. 4:19)
You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)
You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all of your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)
You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
As you can imagine, this now has new meaning for us and our family!
We will be gathering for a family memorial service for Kyle on July 1st here in Norman.
Then on July 4th (our Korean Firecracker's 50th b'day) Darr has asked that our family go watch fireworks that evening, as that was how they always celebrated his birthdays.
Many of you have 'walked this path' so you're aware of many of the feelings we're experiencing.
Kristin said, "I really don't feel like being around people right now as all I want to do is talk about Kyle!"
We praise God for friendships we've developed with many of you during these 7 yrs. of posting writings. THANK YOU so much for your prayers for us and our family.....please continue.
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I enjoyed reading this. Praying for comfort and peace that passeth all understanding for your family...In Christ's Love, Julia
Dear Travis and La Moyne my heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. You all are in my heart and in my prayers. I lost my husband Thomas the 13th of Feb. this year. May God give you everything you need to get past this. I LOVE YOU, Sharon