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Melanie and Keiths Journey


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This is the obituary I wrote about my dear Keith. He was a host to an online forum called Living With cancer. That forums was in the Delphi community - so this obituary was written for the Delphi community. but I wanted to share it here so you all can meet my Keith. The love of my life.


As a host of a Delphi support group I used to spend a lot of my online time surfing the other groups. When I stumbled into Living With Cancer I met one of Delphi's finest members. The_Pianoman (Keith) was like a breath of fresh air, you could feel his compassion, his love and the peacefulness that surrounded him. I knew I wanted to get to know this man better.

That Christmas I enlisted Santa's help.Perhaps Santa could formally introduce us. (Yes, Delphi, there is a Santa Claus!) Luckily it worked and for the last five years of Keiths life, his and my love grew. Five years is such a short time to cram a lifetime of living in.

For those of you who never met Keith, his story is worth hearing.He always held onto faith and hope. Eleven years ago he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 3 months to live. Instead of giving up he formed a nationwide prayer chain thanks to an organization known as The Word of Hope Ministries.(I can't find this organization now, and am assuming its no longer active) He also started doing things for himself. Like walking. He could hardly get out of bed, but was determined to walk to town. So one step at a time he made it. One day to the door, another day to the mailbox. And slowly but surely he made it to town. He also started taking online classes. He eventually became an ordained minister and was working on his doctorate. When he was supposed to be dying, he was making plans for the future.

Keith came online looking for people such as himself that he could share his struggles as well as his triumphs with. Although he traveled throughout Delphi, not a single one was found to be active. He told me he found one that had a post sitting for months unanswered. He was determined that not another cry for help would go unanswered if he had anything to say about it. That day Living With Cancer was formed.

Through his years in Delphi he has helped hundreds through the hardest times of their lives. Whether it was someone living through cancer or one of their loved ones. Even lurkers came often and I know they, too, found comfort in Keiths guidance and comforting words.

The Breast Cancer Survivors and Friends Forum was formed about the same time as Keiths forum was. I know when Keith found this couragous group of women, they accepted him with open arms. If I am not mistaken he owes a select few of them dances. I am sure one day when we all meet up again, he will be dancing his heart out. I'll have to fight the ladies for the first dance.

Linda remembered Keith this way. "I remember the very first time I met Keith ... it was when he opened this forum. I was always looking for good forums that I could point my visitors to when they needed help.

I ran in, took a good look around, liked what I saw ... and Keith and I became friends. He was such a special person. I was amazed at his life ... and how compassionate and understanding he was with all those who found a need to visit here.

Then came the day that my husband was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and was pronounced terminal. I turned to Keith ... I was so angry and hurting so much .. Keith helped me keep my sanity at a time that I most needed it.

After Jim passed away, he never failed to greet me with a hug and well wishes ..wanting to know how I was doing. His caring and concern never stopped.

I feel so privileged to have known Keith ... even though we never met in person. I will never forget that man."

Another member of Keiths group, Deb, shared this with me. "My favorite memory of Keith is when I first met him in 2003. I was on his forum and read his profile. all of the information about him intrigued me, but since I wasnt too religious, I thought he'd never have much to do with me. I also didnt want to get to know someone who had cancer (even though I did) and might die.

I got over my selfishness and emailed him. He responded back almost immediately, putting my fears to rest. We became email pals, I sent him cards and he went out of his way to make me feel comfortable speaking about God, and comfortable in my own body. I'm no longer afraid to befriend someone who's beliefs are different from my own, and I treasure the very day I met him online, he will forever live in my heart."

Keith truly cared for his members. When he was able to be in the forum more, he would keep a calandar on his computer screen. It was set to send off an alarm each time an event was happening so he would know to stop and pray. Whenever someone on the forum posted they had a procedure to endure, or a doctors visit etc. It went onto Keiths calandar. And the following day he would be there checking in to see how things went for that person. He didn't do it because he had to. He did it because he truly cared for each and every individual that stopped by his forum.

For myself, I will always remember the time Keiths brother called to tell me he wasn't expected to live. I set out to drive there. 370 miles in a blizzard. Stopping every hour to call the hospital to check on him. That was the first time we met face to face. I was so scared to enter that room. What if he didn't like me after all. But the nurse dragged me in saying I was all Keith had talked about for the 7 hours he knew I was driving there. Once we met I discovered he was as nervous as I was. We were like two middle aged teenagers. That was almost 4 years ago. Since then we went through many other scares. And I made that trip monthly until I finally all but moved in. Yes, I met Keith in the hospital. Almost 4 years to the day, Keith and I whispered our goodbyes in the same hospital. He passed over on November 14th, 2005.

For someone that was homebound, Keith touched so many lives. Not just here in Delphi but also in his home town. From nurses to pharmacists to grocery worker and mailman. Keith touched all their lives. The words he spoke to everyone who called or visited were, " I appreciate you." and that about sums up Keith. He never met an enemy, and was forever grateful to all who touched his life. Both in small and big ways.

On this day I urge you all, never take a day for granted. All you have together is this very moment. make the most of it. Never let your loved one leave your sight without letting them know you love them. May you all find your soul mates. And know that this kind of love doesn't end on this plane but lives within your heart forever. Such a love comes only once in a lifetime, if that. When it comes your way - grab ahold for all its worth. You'll never regret it. I know I won't.

Melanie (Dreamweaver)

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Wow what a wonderful soul. He will be blessed for all his good work.

Keep all those wonderful memories of him alive in your heart and he will always live on in you and all those he touched.

Peace be with you.

Maryanne :wink:

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Don, Sue, Maryanne, Rich -

Thank you all for taking the time to read ksiths story. He truly was an amazing person.

Have you ever heard the country song - "When I get where I'm going." Everytime I hear that song I think of Keith - he could have written it himself. We spent time talking about the possibility of his death. He was ready to go. Letting him go was the hardest part. Telling him it was OK to go... I hope I never have to do such a thing again in my life.


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