I first met Keith when I joined one of my besties, Barb, to watch rugby in West Rutland. Keith and Barb's husband, Matt, played together for the Rutland Roosters. Then one year I decided to give the sport a try since enjoyed watching and being around the other members of the club and I soon became friends with Keith's wife, Janet. Keith is a man that everyone likes and has not one mean word to say about anyone. He loves kids as he works with them both in the public school system and as a loyal coach and referee. He especially shines when working with kids with disabilities as he is able to connect with them on a level that most people have difficulty reaching. You could always count on Keith - at school, on the pitch, in everyday life. When I was going through treatment, he and Janet were at every event to support me.
|Keith wearing a special pink jersey in my honor during treatment|
|Barb, Keith, me and Pam|
On Tuesday he set out of another jog to the polling station to cast his vote as good citizen and as he arrived, he collapsed. Keith had a heart attack. How the hell does a man who is in the best cardiac shape of anyone I know have a heart attack? Life is so completely unpredictable and so not within our control.
|Keith and I|
|Janet and Keith|
This man, this kind gentle soul, someone the world needs, is now on his way out. And once again, I am stunned and so stricken with sadness it doesn't seem right to be traveling and exploring the world when he will never be able to do that again and while Janet is in such excruciating grief. Keith shouldn't be the one who is leaving us now. Why does the world get rid of those that are most needed and wanted? I should be there for my friends, and I'm not. I'm too far away. I need to take a few days to re-examine my trip. I feel so helpless being this far away when my friends are suffering.
For now, please keep Keith and Janet in your thoughts and prayers and hope for a miracle. He needs more time on earth, not just because I don't want to lose a friend, but because some many people, especially kids, count on him. He put his heart into everything - School, kids, sports, friends, family, running - that it is a devastating irony it's his heart that has failed him. However, there isn't a person out there that could say that he ever failed them.