Kyla McCullough

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Random Thoughts

It may be too much... too much to handle. Lately in the last day or so I have felt overwhelmed by it all. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach... hard to breathe. Memories... guilt... it all plays in my head until I cannot think clearly. Thought process is messed with so much it makes me feel inadequate. I think losing a child is like being on drugs. It's hidden, you think of nothing else, and you try to put on a happy face when all you want to do it break down and cry. You get irritable when you realize you can't get what you want and you try to lead a normal life, even though you know you can't because of this addiction. People say that drugs melt your brain... well I think losing a child does more damage to your brain than the most powerful drug. Thoughts can't stay in your head for long, you mean to do things but don't because you can't remember what you wanted to do. Talking about someone else's life is almost impossible, and it's difficult to even ask, "How are you doing today? What is going on with your kids?" It is work to ask these things, it doesn't come natural, mostly because you are so consumed by your continued grief... other things don't even seem to matter. Trying to become someone new, someone who you know needs to live, a person who never seems to see the light of day. The new Brettie who is broken, torn down, and fragile, needs to find a way to live a life of the old Brettie. However, the new Brettie is losing, she can't seem to find the balance between carefree living and grief stricken. How can someone find that balance? Especially if the grief is like a drug? It's not like I can go to rehab and all will be fixed. There seems to be no end to this pain, yes some days it is less, yes I can laugh with friends, yes I can spend time with my children and smile.

I have been feeling a lot of sorrow the last few days, the pit in my stomach is giving me no rest. And although this may sound a little off, I have enjoyed these feelings. I go through most of my days being numb, I think it's my body's way of allowing me to get out of bed in the morning... but when I feel sad, emotional, and weak... I can actually feel those emotions, in their entirety. If you have never been through such heartache that you've never been numb, then you wont understand what I'm saying. But if you have had a tragedy in your life, that left you so low and in so much pain, that the only way you could go about your day is to become numb.... you will completely understand my words. It feels good to feel something, even if it is pain and sorrow.

We are getting ready for a family vacation, which we have not done since Kyla has left us. Sure we've been to the beach over night, or up to Seattle for the weekend... but we haven't done a big family trip for almost four years. Gosh... four years... Anyway, it turns out the place we are going is Disneyland, although the girls think we are going camping. The last time we were at the wonderful world of Disney, was the last family trip we had, through Make-A-Wish. Whew... I can't even imagine what the trip will bring as far as memories, and emotions. Ups and downs will be a part of it, I'm sure, as well as new memories clashing with the old.

Monday, May 11, 2009


To the friends of the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund,

We certainly hope this email finds you doing well with wherever life has led you.

With good reason, there have been a number of people in the recent days that have been asking us when we are planning our next fundraiser. Although we have not been vocal about what we have been doing, we have been very active. After last April's (2008) benefit dinner and auction, our group realized it would be in our best interest to become our own tax-exempt non-profit organization. This would allow the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund to accept tax-deductible donations directly without having to get sponsorship from another tax-exempt non-profit organization. It would also give us the freedom to create programs that we feel serve the purpose of the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund.

It is our pleasure to inform you that we have done just that! :) As of a couple weeks ago, the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund is now it's own tax-exempt non-profit organization! Needless to say, we are thrilled as this is a huge step forward for our organization.

Achieving this goal was no easy task...our group spent many hours working to set up the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund as a non-profit corporation and applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS. We had countless phone calls, late nights, emails, and a few long meetings to ensure the success of our mission.

In particular, our impression from everything that we read was that it would take the IRS at least 2 months to respond to our tax-exempt request (if we were lucky!) and up to as much as 6 months. Amazingly, the IRS responded with our acceptance in a mere 27 days! This shows us, and we hope you too, that we are doing something that is right and good. When Brettie and I received and opened the approval letter from the IRS, it brought us to tears, realizing that this dream... this dream we are all creating, is coming true...that Kyla's legacy is being built before our eyes...that kids living with cancer will be touched by Kyla's life.

So now what? :) We are currently in the process of planning our next fundraiser, visiting venues, looking at menus, and working on a new website for our organization. We are planning to put together a fundraiser this year still, so as soon as we lock down a date, time, and place we will be certain to pass that on to all of you! :) In the mean time, please feel free to forward this email to anybody that you know would be interested in this update.

What an inspiration Kyla is, huh? We miss her's an ache that just doesn't seem to go away. However, lately when we think of her, we wonder what she would say about all of this? Those who knew her well can see her tucking her hair behind her ears for her beauty to shine, laughing, and smiling!

We want to thank you for all your continued support. Know that your involvement with the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund already has, and will continue to, positively impact children that are living with cancer.

Stay tuned... more to come from the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund!


Bret, Brettie, and the entire Kyla McCullough Gift Fund Board
Know You're Loved Always