Grieving parents donate to Imagination Library of Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Imagine going on vacation with your two children and then having to return home without them. That is what happened to Lauren and Matt Kirchgessner.
The Kirchgessner family were in Panama City, Florida playing miniature golf with their kids. Lauren said she was thinking how perfect life is. Then a driver had a seizure and left the road, hitting and killing their two children.
“Today’s been hard because I realized today is the first day of school,” Matt Kirchgessner said through tears.
Addie would have been starting third grade, and Baylor first.
“You just think, you know, like what would they have been interested in? Would Addie still love unicorns? Would Baylor love fire trucks?” Lauren Kirchgessner said.
“And just how big they would be,” Matt added.
Lauren Kirchgessner took a photo of her children, then ages 4 and 6, the day before they were killed. Addie was lifting her little brother in the air with a tight hug. It was going to be their Christmas card. Together on the beach. Now together in heaven. Which brings Matt Kirchgessner some peace.
“That it happened how it happened,” Matt said. “She’s there taking care of her brother. He’s not alone.”
It took them several months before the Kirchgessner’s could return home. They left as a family of four. Now, the family is just two.
“There’s still times, this is home but it’s not home,” Matt said.
Their rooms have been left exactly the way the children left them.
“This was Addie’s room. They had hammocks during the pandemic anything to keep them busy. She would sit in the hammock and read,” Lauren said while going through the books. “Mermaids. Big into mermaids. Big into Frozen.”
Baylor’s room also has piles of books.
“He loved his dinosaurs and his trains,” Lauren said.
It’s why the Kirchgessner’s started the Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner Foundation. Already they’ve given out 16,000 books to children. Now they are giving a $10,000 donation to Imagination Library of Louisville. On all the books that go out to children in October, it will say “Addie and Baylor loved to read.”
“It’s hard day to day to find things that make us happy and that will definitely,” Matt said. “Addie and Baylor loved to give as much as they love to receive... to give things to people.”
Lauren and Matt came to the WAVE Studio for a check presentation. They say the foundation has saved their life.
“This is our life,” Matt said. “And it’s Addie and Baylor’s legacy. So, this is our connection to Addie and Baylor for the rest of our lives.”
To learn more about Imagination Library of Louisville and to see if your child lives in one of the zip codes, click here.
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