It was sunrise at the beach in Gulfshores, AL, on Dec. 30, 2006 when Kyle Bergeron's battle with cancer ended just the way he wanted it, with the gentle sound of the waves lapping the shore, flicks of orange and yellow light shining from the sun bursting between the clouds, and a white sandy beach filled with Footprints In The Sand, just like his favorite poem.
"Kyle and God couldn’t put have planned it better," Vicki Bergeron, Kyle's mother, tells the Herald-Guide.
“The trip went exactly like he wanted, and the entire family was there."
Before the family departed for their trip, Bergeron says, a special event happened, a sign she believes was from God.
"Our neighborhood started a tradition several years ago in honor of an elderly person who used to live down our street but passed away,” she continues.
“Every year we would take empty milk jugs, slice them in half and place candles inside on Christmas Eve to light the way for Santa Claus to arrive.”
The lighting took place every year at Christmas and the milk-jug pathway stretched all the way to the outside of the neighborhood and up a path.
"This year in honor of Kyle a neighbor decided to bring the tradition back. The weather was horrible, it was cold, rainy and the wind was blowing hard.
“I just knew the candles wouldn't stay lit. My son Logan called me outside and said, 'Mom you won't believe this,'" Bergeron says.
To her surprise the brightly lit display had fizzled everywhere except for the path that led to the Bergeron home, where the candles remained lit all night. Bergeron says she felt God was with them and everything was going to be okay for Kyle's trip to Gulfshores.
About 13 years earlier, Bergeron says, her father died on the beach in Gulfshores, and the family stopped going back to the beach after that.
"It was Kyle who convinced us to give the beach another chance, he loved to go to the beach,” she says. “ When we got him in the van to go this time heenjoyed himself, he was laughing with us and smiling, he stayed awake most of the time the first few days when the family was there."
Bergeron tells the Herald-Guide that when she arrived at the hotel she wanted Kyle in a particular room, one with a view of the beach. But the only one that was available had a doorway that was too narrow for the family to get Kyle through.
"I had to get him in this room,” she says. “It was perfect. It had a king-sized bed, with glass doors that faced the beach, the sand was beautiful and the sunrise was perfect from this view.
“But with Kyle's weight and the two people having to be on both sides to get him in the doorway, it just wasn't going to work. I wanted him in this room so he could lie down comfortably in the bed look over at the view and see the sun rise and set easily and hear the waves of the Gulf," Bergeron says.
A friend of the family suggested that Kyle's mother call the local ambulance crew and tell them about Kyle's illness and his desire to view the beach. The medical team got on board quickly, drove down to the hotel and assisted the family by transporting Kyle to this hotel room on a special medical bed that fit perfectly between the narrow entryway.
"I am so thankful for the paramedics, I didn't even think to call anyone like this,” says his mother. “Once we got him settled in the room, he smiled, he was so happy when he saw the beach."
Bergeron says most of the family members and friends that went on the trip with Kyle a left on a Friday, but one group who stayed behind offered to pay for the immediate family and Kyle to stay another day as a Christmas present for Kyle. The family agreed and the timing couldn't have been better.
"Around 3:30 in the morning, I was lying next to Kyle on the bed,” says his mother.
“He begin to rapidly deteriorate. The color was gone from his face; his lips had lost their color. His breathing was so shallow and heavy in his chest, his respirations were really increasing, and he threw up.
“I stayed up with him, and every four hours gave him his nausea medications. After awhile he seemed fine, like he was really resting comfortably.”
Bergeron says she drifted off to sleep only briefly. It was 5:30 a.m. on Saturday when she got a jolt in her sleep to wake up and
check on her son.
"I just jumped up
and checked Kyle like I used to do when he was a baby. He looked so peaceful. He had his head resting on his hands and he was lying in bed facing the sliding glass doors where he could see the waves washing back and forth on the shore. His eyes were closed and he was curled up in a fetal position.
“I passed my hand in front his mouth to see if he was breathing - he wasn't. I checked for a pulse and I didn't find any. I called his father in the room and his father told me he was gone."
Bergeron says she had dreamed that night that Kyle was walking, like she longed to see before he died.
"In my dream I had the morning Kyle died, I saw him walking with my mother and dad, he was wearing khaki cargo pants, his favorite pair, and he had a huge smile on his face. He was dancing and waving good-bye to me. I saw my mom and dad in the background and this is what gives me comfort, because I know he is up there with them," Bergeron says.
The family is requesting no flowers at Kyle’s funeral, she adds, but would like donations to be made to the Lymphoma-Leukemia foundation in New Orleans.
"Kyle told me all about his funeral plans when he felt like things were getting close. He said he wanted it to be like a musical so we are going to celebrate his life," Bergeron says.
Funeral arrangements for Bergeron are as follows:
Location: St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 3412 Herring Road, Metarie
When: Friday, January 12, 2007
Time: A Special Mass will begin at 12:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be served at 1:00 p.m.
A “Celebration of Life Ceremony” will begin at 2:00 p.m.
The celebration of life for Kyle Bergeron will include a slide show, and musical performances, and tributes from various classmates, family and friends.
|Bergeron Family Photo|
|Kyle Bergeron: 1988-2006|