The Choice

By Barby Jobe 
Kylie and Kyle
     My friends often say “you’re so strong,” but that’s a choice for me.  They aren’t with me when I drive to and from work and that special song comes on the radio.  My throat tightens up and the tears stream from my eyes and all I can think about is her. 
     They aren’t with me when I wake up on her birthday each December, so close to Christmas, and we’re supposed to celebrate. They aren’t with me to understand how much my heart aches when I watch my two sons score touchdowns or goals or go to state and I know how much they miss her cheers and words of encouragement, and most of all her advice.
     They are not with me when all her friends graduate from college and her name is in glitter on their caps. They aren’t with me when her best friends get married and she is recognized as their maid of honor but she isn’t there. There’s that same feeling of my throat tightening, threatening to suffocate me and I’m not feeling very strong. They aren’t with me when I’m driving on a highway, any highway, late at night and it’s all I can do to shake the horrible images that keep flowing into my head. 
Kylie and her brothers
     They aren’t with me when I think it took just one person. One person who made a choice.  One person who chose to drink.  One person who chose to drink a lot. One person who then chose to get behind the wheel of his car.  One person to enter the highway going 90 mph heading west towards Colorado on the eastbound entrance ramp. 
They weren’t with me when I got the call. They weren’t with me when I had to call my dentist so we could confirm it was my baby girl. I don’t feel so strong. One person killed two precious young lives. Both lives, full of love and light, were put out by just one person who chose to drink and drive. 
Life is full of choices, please choose wisely. Drink responsibly. Select a driver, call a cab, call Uber, call your mom. Please don’t drink and drive.  You can’t take it back.
I wish you could’ve met my daughter, Kylie Brooke Jobe, and her boyfriend, Kyle Thornburg.  Kylie was a 20-year-old sophomore at Oklahoma State University and her boyfriend, Kyle, was 22 and attended Wichita State University.  Both were from Wichita, were high school sweethearts and had both attended Maize High School. We had just spent a fabulous spring break skiing together in Colorado. On their way home, they became the innocent victims of a drunk driver.  They were killed in an instant, at mile marker 211, on I-70, when a 27-year-old man entered the Interstate going in the wrong direction. He had a blood alcohol level of .23 – almost three times the legal limit. 
Kylie was the light of my life, my best friend, beautiful and full of life.  There are no words to describe the hole in my heart that can never be filled.

 Barby Jobe Myers
Mother of Kylie Jobe – Born, Dec. 20, 1990 – Killed, March 23, 2011
The lives of Kylie and Kyle are honored each March at Run2Believe, a 5K race, held at Maize High School. Race proceeds are used to raise awareness in high schools about the dangers of drinking and driving and to support scholarships in their honor.    



  1. Anonymous9/14/2016

    There are no words that can take away the pain of loosing a loved one so close and dear to you, to something that could've and should've not happened had someone been responsible for their actions. Sharing your story could help someone, maybe save someone else's life, someone you may not ever know, or that sharing your story made a difference for someone to make the right choice - to be responsible. Thank you for sharing, for taking the time to care.
    Betty Oliva

  2. Your story is devastating, Barby, and I'm so sorry. Sharing it here and giving others some idea of the far reaching consequences of bad decisions and driving may save another family from the same heartache. Thank you for sharing your story.