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Keith E. White
2-12-51 ~ 3-20-17

Yesterday you died. Your body gave out. Your heart quit beating. You were unable to continue taking in the breaths that provided you life on this earth. But you live.  Perhaps memories give us comfort; scenes of yesteryear pop through the channels of our minds.

Funny, that. How death erases the mistakes and enlarges the good.  It would make you smile in contentment to know how that worked. Maybe you do know. We’ve had a lot of fun times, laughing, playing, adventuring, exploring, musing. I’m happy that we have those go-to moments in our sadness of losing you.

People think it weird that we were able to put our past behind us as much as possible but I think it wonderful. We each found life and love beyond what you and I lost and could be joyful for the other that we had another chance at happiness.

Brokenness is only as crippling as you let it be. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing. A gift that God granted us himself. It only works if you give it away. If you harbor it then it only resides in selfish bitterness and never completes that which it was created to do. As difficult as it was for you to wade through those things—you were determined to do it! I saw your journey and witnessed your trek through the muck of life. I had hopes that you would make it through with me and it was so difficult to maneuver away from your path that you had to walk alone. The hardest thing I ever had to do was to take the fork that separated us but you understood. Even while we each hurt ourselves and each other, you understood. You were deep like that. I know you found the forgiveness that you sought, for you told me. God knew who you were all along and I think you finally realized that He did, and He loved who He knew.

Love is eternal. Thus, a part of me that loved you will always love you. Me and my children can always be grateful for the things you taught us. You taught us to love the beauty of nature. You were alive in nature! Your color blindness gave you insight into the new growth of bright green leaves and you could see them before they were evident to others. You loved the Dogwoods and the Redbuds most of all.  You loved growing things and watching them develop and fruit and would get so excited about the life that flowed from a seed. You taught me how to appreciate the tenderness of that life.

You were able to point out so many small but significant things- bringing out valuable lessons from life and nature. You taught us to be mindful and not to miss the little opportunities before they lapse and fly away. You tried to teach us to be totally fearless. Fear was debilitating and you faced it just to defy it. You taught us to love without limits, to jump in with both feet. To find God in solace and in the quiet; to talk to Him there. You taught us to love beauty and be “in it” as much as possible.

Your propensity to live life to its extremes and your perfectionism at once got you in trouble and caused you pain. Even the pain taught you and is teaching us how to live life. To let go. To hold on and to keep on. You would find comfort in knowing that the goodness you were is what is living on in us. We know you loved us. We know you committed to do well. We know you made things right. We know you were a help, a companion and a friend to your life partner and had found love and happiness in her, and she in you. Your blood and genes will live on in your son, but you will live on in all of our hearts and lives. Your laughter and your smile is etched in our memories and is what remains.

God, in His great mercy and loving kindness once again works all things good, arranges and rearranges mysteriously and brings about delightful gifts and bestows them upon us, His dear children.