n memory of Kyle M.
My son died yesterday.

I am 37 years old. I have been teaching since Fall of 1989. In these 14 years or so, I've taught a couple of thousand students, some of whom have become very close to me. There was one year in particular when the line between student and teacher and friends was not just blurred, but obliterated. Brannon, Brooke, they became part of my Strategists Club at school and helped me playtest Legendmaker.

That summer, the summer of 1993, the summer of the flood in Macon, the summer of Magic in Dublin, I met Kyle M. He went to the rival high school, but he joined our fun-loving crew at the comic book shop, our weekly sessions of Legendmaker and ESS at my place on the weekends. He even lived with me for a while during a particularly difficult time in his life. He was my son when he was away from his parents.

We spent hours watching movies, playing games, laughing at the world. He wasn't always a mirthful person... he had his moments of anger and doubt and self-pity. But I'd like to think that I offered a bit of relief from such pain.

Penny and I were very close during those days. We were parents to many of our children. We offered our home to all of them- when they needed a place to get away, they knew they were welcome. And their parents knew that, no matter what, their kids were safe with us.

Kyle had many health problems, none of which could ever adequately be explained. Most of them were circulatory, and he had undergone quite a bit of surgery before I even met him. He underwent even more from that time, and it became more and more serious. But he always seemed rather optimistic about the surgeries, about his recoveries.

This past summer, he wanted to move up to Boston. He liked that city, and went up there to visit a friend of his there. While there, something happened. He was hospitalized there for a week before the doctors there would release him to come home. Blood clots in his lungs. But he had been going to doctors here. Surgeries were being planned, and, meanwhile, Kyle was told to take several prescription blood-thinning medications.

He messaged me on Wednesday of last week, asking if I wanted to go see the new Harry Potter movie on Friday- he was coming up and wanted to share dinner and a movie, like the old times, I thought. Of course, I said yes. I have always enjoyed watching movies with Kyle. I also got Lindsay and Brannon to join us, and my friend Casey, who had met Kyle at a couple of my Halloween parties. We had a good time- it was just like the old days. He came by the house and we watched some television as we waited for Brannon and Lindsay to call. We ate dinner at Buffalo’s Cafe. I had a cheesesteak sandwich. We shared a lot of stories... things that had happened to us over the past year or so, remembering moments of fun and frolic between us... with our friends.

The movie was not spectacular. A personal opinion, yes. But the company was good. I enjoyed spending the evening with all of them, especially seeing Kyle. He got in his car and drove home, drove back to Dublin.

His roommate, our friend Kyle P. called me last night to tell me. Kyle had been complaining of having difficulty breathing. Due to the problems over the summer with the blood clots in his lungs, they immediately called the hospital who sent an ambulance. Our friend seemed fine as they drove away with him in the back on an oxygen mask. About two and a half hours later, he died in the hospital. Kyle P. couldn't tell me too much last night, just that it was probably heart attack.

No parent is supposed to lose a child. No teacher is supposed to lose a student. No friend is supposed to lose a friend this young.

It is not the things we did to each other that I regret, nor the things we may have said. Any words or actions stated in anger have always been forgiven and forgotten. It is the things we never got to do that I regret- the weekends at DragonCon that we'll not spend together, the movies we won't see together and laugh at or around, the Halloweens and New Year's Eves that won't be spent in jovial laughter. It is the unplanned that I regret, because, now, these things won't be planned, can't be planned.

Howard I. Scott, III
18 November 2002

Kyle as Drin in ESS
as Darktooth
The Obghinn