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Monday, September 28, 2009

Killed in Auto Accident

Oceanside Teen
Killed in Auto Accident

Written by Lisa Sales

There’s a story behind every headline. Our daughter Gracie’s friend Michael Victor Pyper died Friday night, 2 days before his 18th birthday. His friends called him Pyper. We might not think a 17 year old has much of a legacy to leave, but I’d like to share a few memories about Pyper.

Pyper’s friend Omar invited him to Church where he met Jesus.
He was a believer and was growing in his faith. He looked tough on the outside, you might even cross the street if you saw him coming toward you, but he was a born encourager and was full of joy. His friends often got text messages from him before they woke that read, ”I love you; hope you have a great day.” On Wednesday mornings he’d text Omar and say, “It’s Church Day! We get to go to Church tonight!” Pyper was growing up in a catholic home, and his father didn’t always let him go to church. He called Omar very disappointed to say he wasn’t going to be there one Wednesday night and Omar told him, “Don’t worry about it you can do what we’re doing at home. Just read your Bible.” Omar got a text in the middle of the night from Pyper that read, ”I think I’m almost half way through but I’m getting stuck on all these stories about these old guys killing each other.” Pyper was literally trying to read the entire Bible. Pyper often sent text messages to friends containing scripture references, so much so, that occasionally a friend had to text back, “Pyper, just use your words, I can’t keep stopping to look these verses up!”

Gracie and Pyper had a lot of fun lifeguarding at the Wave Water Park together. He loved to tell stories, loved to make people laugh and according to all who knew him, he was always smiling. He also had a serious side and had some good conversations with Gracie about faith and values and how he wanted to live. He told her he respected the way he saw her make decisions that he thought it was great that she told people she would only date Christians and that she was open to others about being a Christian. He told her he wanted to be more like that and hoped he would grow to be a Godly man. He said he was going to get a tattoo when he turned 18. Taken from Romans 12:2, his tattoo would read, “Do not conform.” He was thinking about having it written across his chest backward so he’d read it every morning when he looked in the mirror. He said he wanted a daily reminder.

Pyper had plans. He intended to grow. His friends often heard him say he was living to turn 18 so he could start his life. He was going to make some changes and he thought he had time. We all think we have time. Pyper’s enthusiasm for growth, his hunger for the Word, his contagious joy, and his words of encouragement inspire and challenge me. I can’t remember the last time I woke up thinking, “Today’s a church day, and I get to go to Church today!” Can you? Not bad for a 17 year old.

Gracie and Pyper were going to take a Ballroom Dance class together next semester. Gracie wants you to save a dance for her Pyper! She knows she’ll see you again.

Pyper's 18th birthday was Sunday, 9/27/09. Local News Coverage about Pyper...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for telling us about this wonderful young man. It was a sobering reminder to love one another and that life is short but that God is Sovereign.


Thank you for your words of encouragement. The Sales Family