Remembering Kyra

Six months ago, my 28-month-old baby girl, Kyra, was cruelly taken from us. Today, I don’t want to discuss the horrible way she died. Today, I want to share with you how she lived. How she embraced life and loved every moment of every day. It is something we can also aspire to do.

The words below, I wrote for my sweet baby. I hope it gives you the opportunity to know her.

To Kyra, I love you more each day. I am honored to be your Mom and always know you made me so proud. I miss you with every bit of my soul, and I hold onto to you in my heart. Today, tomorrow, forever.

Please keep me, Kyra, my family and friends in your thoughts prayers today.

Sending love through tears,

Eulogy of Kyra P. Franchetti
August 10, 2016
Written by Jacqueline Franchetti

I am Kyra’s Mom.

I say this because this is how I have been introducing myself for the past two. Not because it was a role … or a title … or my job. It was because of Kyra’s BIG personality. It was because Kyra made friends everywhere and anywhere we went. I was no longer Jacqueline; I was Kyra’s mom.

And I could not be more proud of this little girl. And, she is … and always will be … my little girl.

Kyra was the most fun. The most dynamic. This most spirited little thing. And, it was contagious. God threw away the mold when she was born. I am absolutely a better person for having her in my life, as are many of you.

And, she is NOT gone. She is not gone. Her memory will live with me … and with all of us … for eternity.

Even as a little baby, Kyra had such a strong sense of herself. That sense developed and became stronger over time.

Kyra and I went to a Mommy & Me yoga class when she was about 7 months old. When all the other babies were sitting in their Momma’s laps, Kyra, who had just learned to crawl, went up to each and every baby in the room. She was saying hi. She then went to the instructor and helped lead the class.

That inquisitiveness and desire to touch everyone she met continued to grow.

Kyra had three things she was known for…

1) Giving really BIG hugs, especially to me.

2) Blowing kisses to everyone… She loved to blow kisses and would get such a kick out of it when you blew them back at her.

3) “You Ok?”

Kyra was known for going up to everyone she met and asking, “You OK?” She would wait for a response. “I’m OK, Kyra. Are you OK?” And she would respond, “Yeshhh.”

“You OK?” This was her signature. Many of you can even hear her saying it now in your minds.

I am starting a foundation to help children like Kyra. To help protect them in the way Kyra was not protected. Because every baby should be OK. Her voice and her spirit will live on in many, many ways.

Every morning, Kyra woke up to “Mommy’s Kisses.” I would shower her sweet face with kisses until she couldn’t stop giggling.

She and I would then have a few minutes of Mommy and Kyra time to play alone before she would get up. Then she would investigate to see if Grandma or Grandpa were around to play with her.

Kyra and I would have breakfast. She would help me make eggs. She would crack them and put salt and pepper in the eggs. There were quite a few times I threw out the “over salted eggs.”

I would make toast, and she would demand jelly. It would be “Jelly.” “Jelly.” “JELLY!!!”

She knew how to communicate exactly what she wanted and needed.

She always had to be in the thick of things. She loved being around other toddlers. If something was going on, Kyra had to be in the middle of it.

I loved taking her to Mommy and Me gym classs. She would be so happy when jumping on the trampoline while belting out Old MacDonald. And she loved to hold onto and swing on the baby parallel bar. This was like a second home to her, and they were part of our family.

And, Kyra loved to travel to see family. She had such a blast on planes. If we flew, we would board first because she was a baby. When everyone else boarded, she thought they were coming to play with her. She would say Hi, wave, and high-five passengers as they went by.

She had NO fear. She would talk to anyone on the plane. On another flight, she climbed into the lap of a gentlemen in the next row to play with his cell phone. And, if there was another baby on the plane – she instantly made a friend.

She loved the beach. She was one with the water. She just wanted to jump in the waves…and get her Mommy wet.

At the pool, she had just learned to jump off the side of the pool into my arms. She thought that was the coolest thing ever!

Kyra loved the playground. On the swings – she had to “go fast.” She was a dare devil at heart.

In June, we went to the Fair. She LOVED the rides. Her favorite was the BIG slide – the one you need the burlap sack to go down. You can picture me with Kyra in one arm, the sack in the other…climbing up these creaky metal stairs. And, Kyra … being Kyra … doesn’t want to wait for me to get the sack situated and go on my lap…she is ready to barrel down the slide.

And each time we reached the bottom of the slide…she would be giggling and say, “Again, Momma. Again!”

Her sheer joy going down the slide made the many trips up those crazy stairs well worth it.

Kyra was also a digital native. She knew how to work an iPhone or an iPad better than some adults.

She LOVED watching Elmo Christmas specials. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And she loved watching “Kyra TV” – videos of her, her friends and her family.

Kyra had a very special bond with her friends.

She loved playing with Neil, Baby T, Baby Max, Leo, Stephanie and Greg…and so many others.

It is funny how many times I have heard, “my baby doesn’t like to play with any others aside from Kyra.”

Kyra had an amazing relationship with her family.

With her Aunt, she would go into her office and immediately start to draw on her dry erase board.

“Gan-ma” would spoil her rotten. They would make soup in her play kitchen and drink the soup Kyra made in tea cups.

Kyra had “Gan-pa” wrapped around her finger. At night, she would go down to Gan-pa’s basement. They would play “moo-sic” and Kyra would jump and dance around.

But her most special relationship was with her cousins. Kyra never knew she was only two years old. She thought and tried to act just like her older cousins.

She idolized them. When they entered the room, she would literally squeal with delight and the rest of the world faded away.

They called her Kiwi. And she loved all their attention.

They had been teaching her how to roll down a hill. And, Kyra had just gotten the hang of it.

And, then there was me and Kyra.

There were so many things that I just loved to do with and for her.

One of our favorites, before she went to bed, we would run around in circles and sing the song “Hot Dog” from Mickey Mouse. She would run and run and run…until she got dizzy. “Ut oh…I’m dizzy,” she would say.

And, there are many more great things we did together. And, I will share these with you in the days ahead. It’s too hard for me to go into more detail right now.

However, I will share how we parted ways when I went to work.

This was something I would do to help ease her separation anxiety.

And, it went like this…

I would say…

Mommy goes to … and Kyra would say “work”

I would say…

Grandpa plays…and Kyra would say “golf”

I would say…

Grandma does…and Kyra would say “errands”

Cousins go to … and Kyra would say “camp”

And Kyra …. Kyra “Plays!”

And so my sweet baby… my sweet heart … my sweetie pie … my sugar plum. The one I will always love the most.

Go play, Baby.

Go play.

Go play.

I love you, Kyra.