Friday, June 16, 2017
Keith is one of a set of twins. His sister Carol is my aunt who recently died. Twins were expected for two of Grandma's cousins but Grandma was the one who had them. Just like Carol Keith was 5 years older than me.
I told you of Grandma's dislike of nicknames. How could you make a nickname of Keith. We did it. One of the kids could not pronounced Keith. It became Deke. After that Deke was what we called him.
Keith had a hard childhood. Or maybe it was just bad luck.
He had to have his appendix removed in emergency surgery. Back then that operation was a major one. He was in the hospital for several weeks because like most families they tried to treat the pain at home until it was too late.
He missed a lot of school while he was in the hospital. He fell behind.
Keith had not been out of the hospital long when he heard the whistle of a train of in the distance. He quickly climbed a tall tree to see if he could watch it. At the top of the tree he lost his grip and slid all the way down to the ground.
He was severely burned all down the front of his body. His arms and hands as well as his legs were also burned.
It was another trip to the hospital. He was there for months. I cannot remember if they did any skin grafting. I am sure he needed it. He still has scars where his skin has puckered while healing.
Keith was also active in sports at school. He played basketball because he was tall. Football is a sport most young men play in this area. He also was a track star. He did some running but he was usually used for pole vault, long jump, and shot put.
He married a seemingly nice girl. They had two children together. Their marriage ended in divorce.
Keith loved his children and made sure he visited and kept them as much as possible. Suddenly he was not allowed to see them.
Someone had found cigarette burns and bruises on the children. When questioned the children said Daddy did it. The mother's boyfriend was also called Daddy. To make sure the children were safe they were removed from their mother's home and only supervised visits were allowed while the case was investigated.
Finally it was determined that the boyfriend was the culprit. The mother did not like the ruling. She stayed with the boyfriend. After some legal wrangling Keith was awarded custody and raised them.
He is now married to a very nice woman. She came to the marriage with children and they have one together. It is a nice big blended family.
Keith and his wife only live about 100 miles from me so we are able to visit. It has been hard for him to lose his twin sister. Other than that he leads a good life.