Travel as Metaphor

The blog of novelist Sue Swift.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Keith, one year gone

There’s a saying in sports: adversity doesn’t create character, it reveals it. Keith died one year ago, and everyone who was privileged to witness his passing saw his character displayed. The courage which enabled him to face his fate without complaint or whining. The determination and love he showed in staying with us as long as he could, despite tremendous suffering, so he could enjoy every minute with us possible, and so we could spend as much time as possible with him.

Those around him also showed who they truly are. I was honored to see what a fine man my nephew Tony, Keith’s oldest son, has become. At age 30, he was the rock upon whom we all depended. Wendy’s strength and steadfastness throughout the year-long ordeal of Keith’s illness was extraordinary, testimony to their deep love and commitment, one that death cannot break. Alex and Jake showed courage, love, and maturity beyond their meager years.

In the year that’s passed, their example has given me what I have needed to continue my journey, which has come full circle since I am now back in California and preparing for a new life. Thanks seem inadequate, but I thank everyone who’s supported me and who continue to be a part of who I am becoming, especially my mother and my surviving brother.