Karlyle, the world is brighter because you were in it.

by Charles Myrick, Publisher

Cancer sucks. So many people I know have fought this horrible disease, and the results of those battles are often a mixed bag. Many survive, but sadly many do not. It’s just a reality. I’ve lost family members, including my precious mom, to this ugliest of diseases.

On Sunday, I learned that a dear friend and former colleague, Karlyle Keith Young, passed on to her eternal home after a 33-month battle with the evil that is cancer. Karlyle came to work for the Advocate in 2005 I believe. I was the Advertising Manager at the time, and my boss and former owner of the Advocate, Bob Wilson, asked me to interview this “Keith” girl for a reporter job. He trusted me to do the interview... for reasons I still don’t know. He just gave me background that the Keith family was a newspaper family like his and they were very well-respected. He thought a lot of Karlyle’s parents, Luke and Margaret. I came to find out that I scared Karlyle when I interviewed her. That is no short feet. She was always tough as nails, and fought cancer the same way. This week I mourn the loss of Karlyle. My heart breaks for her husband, Justin, and their children Maggie and Dyche. There will never be another Karlyle. As I told her mom that she did a great job in raising a wonderful woman in Karlyle, I watched as Karlyle has raised a beautiful, strong and adventurous family. Karlyle lives on.

Just a few weeks ago, I was excited to run a press release from Baptist Health announcing a new patient fund named after Karlyle. She fully believed in each and every doctor and nurse that helped her over the past 33 months. They were her angels on earth, and helped give her more life than cancer would’ve allowed. I hope the day I leave this mortal coil, people will have something to say about the legacy I leave behind. I don’t want to be known for what I did or didn’t do at the newspaper. To some, that is my identity. It isn’t who I am, it’s what I do for a living.

I want my legacy to be that I cared for people, no matter their situation in life or what obstacles they face. We are all human, and we all have the same problems. Some folks just wear more makeup and smiles than others. I don’t want anyone to say “he’d give you the shirt off his back.” I probably wouldn’t. But, I’d love you enough to help you get a shirt, and get you on your feet any way that I could. I understand the sentiment, but I want to be known for actions and not feel-goods.

The world is dimmer without Karlyle Keith Young in it, but the world is also all the brighter for her having been in it. Rest in heaven, my friend. I know you were joyed to see your dad and many others who went before you.

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