Monday, April 23, 2007

Kyrie's "greater purpose" begins.

Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my beloved middle school art teacher, Ms. Frakes, who now works in the Andover school district. A friend of hers, who happens to be the grown daughter of my dad's closest neighbors, dresses as the Easter bunny each year in Clearwater, and she was asking if Kyrie would like a special visit on Good Friday while in the hospital. This was before the MRI. Yes! Jordan and Lacie thought Kyrie would really love something like that.

Susan (a.k.a. Easter bunny) had been keeping up with this blog and had everything set up with Wesley for her visit. The following is a portion of her subsequent e-mail:

Then...the news came that Kyrie was going home on Thursday. My whole mindset changed. I just couldn't seem to think of anything else but your sweet niece and family. And the tears came and went. Came and went. I called the hospital to see if Renetta had told the other kids that the Easter Bunny was coming on Friday night. She said no, she hadn't. So I told her I just didn't feel I could do it. I apologized. And begged out. But...that did not dismiss the thoughts of Kyrie for me. I slept on it. Tossed and turned. Played it over in my head. And finally came to the conclusion on Friday morning that I could do nothing for Kyrie directly, but there were 28 other children stuck in the hospital over Easter weekend and I could do something for them.

So I made the call to the hospital.

Tried to explain my crazy emotional self and ask if the Easter Bunny could yes, please...come visit on Friday night? Renetta graciously said yes! to Dollar Tree I went on my lunch hour. Found tons of fun stuff for the precious patients I was going to visit. And, at 7:00 PM on Friday night, the Easter Bunny and her friendly assistant, Ms. Frakes, arrived at Wesley Hospital to spread what Easter Cheer they could to some well-deserving children. I had a basket filled to the brim with stuffed bunnies and stickers, and Ms. Frakes had a big duffel bag over each shoulder filled with puzzles, posters to color, crayons, bath toys, butterflies on sticks,books, CD's, and misc. Easter items. the bottom of my Easter Basket, a picture of Kyrie Thome.

She would be with us this evening, even if in a small way. We mentioned to several staff members that we had originally planned on coming to visit Kyrie....and a soft smile and knowing look in their eyes appeared. I am guessing she touched the hearts of the staff at the hospital as well.

No one should ever "have" to be on the pediatrics floor. Ever. But....everyone should go to visit. To give something of themselves to those children. To read. To deliver toys. To dress up as something silly and entertain. Something. Because the appreciation that one takes from there, is humbling. Appreciation of health. Appreciation of patience. Appreciation of healthcare professionals who are able to do that job day in and day out. Appreciation for the parents who He has given sick children to take care of. Appreciation for Life.

It is usually a given that a smile will appear on a child's face when he/she sees the Easter Bunny. But the smiles that appeared on the adult faces, was just icing on the cake Friday night. The furrowed brow on dad. The pale face of mom. The tired eyes of a grandparent. We saw all of those. But to be able to see a relaxed smile on these burdened adult faces...and so very many "thank you's!"...made me wonder why I had hesitated to come. Maybe that is where the saying "Dumb Bunny" comes from?!

The experience left such a positive impression on both Ms. Frakes and me. Awesome!

Needless to say, I do believe that the Easter Bunny visit to the Wesley Hospital Pediatrics Floor was a success...and it was done with great love and in honor of, Miss Kyrie.

This is a tradition I hope to continue every year...and every year I will go knowing that a little girl who I never had the privilege to personally meet, led me to other little girls and boys who might need a little Spring cheer that an appreciative Easter Bunny will gladly deliver.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Megan. How lucky Kyrie was to have you...and how lucky we all have been to have been touched by her.

Susan Jae Eckel
"Easter Bunny"


godsgirl said...

What an awesome experience that must of been.Maybe sometime I can do something along that same line.We almost lost our daughter twice and that would of brought a smile to my heart to think that someone would take the time to do something like that.God bless,Debbie Schneider

Shanda said...

Megan, I am a new "post-er" but I have been wanting to post for a while now. I want you to know that Kyrie's "greater purpose" began so long ago for me. From the moment I received the call from my mom that the outlook for Kyrie was not what we had prayed for, she changed me. I feel that I am a better mother now among so many other things. I feel that I am on the road to being a better Christian because of all of you. Kyrie, Jordan, Lacie and you have inspired me in countless ways, everyday. I check-in, as so many of us do, just to see how you are doing. Knowing that you are day by day surviving, strengthens my faith in a loving, caring and giving God. And I have faith that, if he can see you through this most tragic time, he can see any of us through anything. Thank you for continuing to include us in your life and in Kyrie's story. I think of you and pray for you everyday- you are a constant petition for my family and me.

Leah Rundle said...

That is just beautiful. What a touching experience! I am so happy that this blog is continuing. I just love hearing stories like this about Kyrie's inspirations. I hear little one's in my own circle, but I love hearing ever one else's as well!!

Erin said...

Wonderful, thank you for sharing that email.

Just this morning I accepted a position as a fundraiser for a major particular as the lead fundraiser for the pediatric division. Know that Kyrie's story will always be in my heart and head...nudging ever so gently to encourage folks to give just that much more. Go Kyrie..go.

Angela said...

I know there are so many other families going through the same grief right now. All they can do is wonder if anyone will remember how wonderful their child was; trying to find ways to hold onto every precious memory. I didn't personally know Kyrie, but my heart has been deeply broken by her loss, but I believe that God has been broken for a reason. I can't imagine the emptiness Jordan and Lacie, and the rest of your family are experiencing right now. I just know for me personally, I would want to do everything in my power to ensure no one forgot my child.

I have been trying to think of something that I can do to help Kyrie's legacy live on, then, today, I received something in the mail that instantly made me think of your family.

On July 22, 2007 there is an event in Oklahoma City that is specifically designed to remember children like Kyrie. It is called the Compassionate Friends Walk to Remember. I would be happy to help organize a team to walk to remember sweet little Kyrie. As team participants, we can create a web page about Kyrie for others to read, Kyrie's name will also be transcribed onto memory pages that will be worn by walkers, and each team also gets a banner to carry during the walk (I don't know all the details, but I'm sure the banner would somehow be reflective of Kyrie's life). Anyway, just a thought please don't feel obligated. If it something you would like to do, but none of your family etc... can participate, I would be honored to walk for Kyrie and your family. More information about the event can be found at

Your family's strength has been a great testiment to me, and I want you to know that we pray for you constantly.

Many Blessings

DeeAnn said...

Megan, thank you so much for keeping this blog going. I read everyday--and there isn't an hour that goes by that I don't think of Kyrie. Lacie and Jordan: You are in my constant prayers. Regarding ideas to remember Kyrie: count me in!! I am not very good at coming up with ideas--but am great at organizing and following through with others ideas! I think the idea that Angela came up with regarding a walk is wonderful. Everyone needs exercise and what a better way of getting it and to get Kyrie's purpose out there than to walk! It would also give us an opportunity to meet as a group and share Kyrie. I know that there are many "friends of Kyrie" in the KC area also; and there maybe something in that area similar to the walk in OKC. I don't know of anything in this area but will check. Megan, Jan has my phone numbers if you need me to help with anything--don't hesitate to call. Lacie, I saw your mom a couple of days ago, and didn't realize until we hugged how much I had missed her. Your whole family is in my constant thoughts and prayers. Dee Ann