His life began in 2004, November 18. The oldest child and only son of Kevin and Jana Kinnersley of LaGrange, Caleb Stewart Kinnersley was a typical boy – he loved playing outdoors, he loved attending school, playing with his friends, and even enjoyed hanging out with his sister, Anna Beth.
A big University of Georgia Bulldog fan, Caleb got to meet football coach, Mark Richt and some of the football team in November of this year. He got his blue belt in karate at May Martial Arts in LaGrange – that as exciting, and for him going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays at the First Baptist Church on the Square in LaGrange was probably the highlight of his week – he could sing about Jesus and hear great stories about Jesus. He was the kind of boy who lived to play baseball and sports, and enjoyed his grandpa’s farm.
In August of this year, Caleb was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer – something that rocked the Kinnersleys’ world, and touched the lives of more than 3,230 people.
As Caleb’s disease progressed, and he became less responsive and less able to do the things that most almost seven-year-olds do, it was as if his life seemed to make more of an impact on the lives of those around him and those who heard about him all over the world.
Through the use of the Internet and the social media outlet, Facebook, word spread like wildfire about Caleb, and through his battle, through stories of how the family handled each day and the things that God did for the family through each step of the illness, lives became different.
Caleb’s light was shining even when he didn’t and God used this blonde headed boy with a heart a big as Texas to show many how important it is to love God and each other, and to trust.
It could’ve been because of the words about Caleb handling all the poking and prodding like a real warrior – with only an “Ouch” and a smile – or maybe it could have been the prayers and strong belief in God that his parents showed.
His story made many, including this writer, think differently, about life and how to muddle through it.
Caleb Stewart Kinnersley died Monday, December 12, 2011. Many say that he lost his battle to cancer – but one wonders if he did really.
Survivors other than his parents include his sister, Anna Beth; grandparents, Jim and Jamie Kinnersley of Blairsville, Jan Yoemans of Hogansville, and Walt and Beth Stewart of LaGrange; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at the First Baptist Church on the Square with Dr. Paul R. Baxter, Dr. J. David Turner, and Rev. Paul Blair officiating. Burial was in the Restlawn Memory Gardens with Reverend Chris Rumfelt officiating.
Flowers were accepted and the family said that those desiring may contribute to either LaGrange Academy or Just One Angel (JustOneAngel.org) in memory of Caleb Stewart Kinnersley.
Caleb’s victory is in Jesus, and so can yours be.
Caleb’s story isn’t going to end here, this writer is sure.