Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Journey Called Life

So much has happened since I graduated from High School. I traveled paths noone could have forseen. Have seen things that broke my heart, other things that truly amazed me. And I have met people who truly touched me heart (and soul).

I've heard about, read about and pondered about the term soul mates. I do believe there are people who are meant to meet. That perhaps their souls call to each other. I don't believe we all have one soul mate - that would just be sad. I have found many soul mates over my 50 years. People who I know my life would not be complete had I not met them. People who helped me on this journey we call life.

Through the internet I have found some very special people who have touched me heart and soul. One such person is Keith. Some of you already know who Keith is. Others are just meeting him. He is worth meeting.

Many years ago (1998) I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. (After too many years to mention of wanting to know just what was wrong with me.) One of the things my doctor recommended I do was to go online and find others who suffered with this illness. He said it would help to talk with those who are going through the same struggles I was.

So I went into whats known as the Delphi Community. They have forums for just about any subject you could imagine. It was there I found a support group for people who are dealing with Fibromyalgia. A great group of people who will always hold a special place in my memories.

In 1999 I was no longer able to work, had filed for disability and was really not too happy with my situation. I had graduated from Nursing school in 1996 and loved every minute of doing home health nursing. It was something I had wanted to do for years. So feeling down and at loose ends I decided I needed to do something to cheer me up - and with winter right around the corner and Christmas lurking as well.. I thought what better way to cheer myself up as well as others than to play Santa Clause. So I created a Delphi Santa ID and with the help of two others. (Robert and Stephanie) we started visiting different Delphi forums - wishing them a Merry Christmas and asking what their Christmas wish was. Some were funny, others truly sad and others heartwarming.

I decided one of the things I would do in my Santa roll was to visit all the support forums. I just knew I wasn't the only one needing a little cheer. So this is how I stumbled upon Keith.

Keith managed a forum called Living With Cancer. I stopped by as Santa and Keith and I chatted a bit. I loved the way he ran his forum, the compassion he showed and his nurturing spirit. So later I went back as myself (Known on Delphi as Mimikay or Dreamweaver). And told Keith that Santa had sent me to meet him. Thats how our friendship started. Santa did it. Until the day Keith went into a comma that was always our joke. Santa bought us together, love kept us there.

We talked on the phone often. An expensive habit before I bought my cell phone. At the time we "met" online Keith wasn't able to travel due to his cancer fight. But he only lived 360 miles away. I knew one day we would meet for real instead of in forums and on the phone.

That day came too soon, when I was awakened by a phone call from Keith brother. He said Keith had been rushed to the hospital and wasn't expected to live. That his organs were shutting down. I told his brother to tell Keith to hold on, that I was on my way. Then I proceeded to drive through a blizzard to reach him. I would call the nurse on duty every hour for a progress report and she always said he was still holding his own and waiting for me. When I finally made it to the hospital after what seemed like forever of driving, I stood outside his room - afraid to enter. What if he has taken a turn for the worse, what if he decides he doesn't like me, what if? What if? etc.. The nurse spotted me about then, and gently took my hand. She led me into the room and introduced me to the most amazing person. Keith was barely awake at the time. He just smiled and said that since I was there he could finally rest. He wasn't in the hospital long, they discovered it was a medication causing the troubles and after they were able to get that straightened out he was able to go home.

This was Keith afterall, when he was diagnosed with cancer they gave him 1-3 months to live. Hospice was called in and Keith started walking. He made it to the front porch, then down the drive way and soon was walking all over town. Hospice kicked him out because it was obvious Keith wasn't dying. 2 other times he was kicked out of hospice. He just had that fighting spirit. He lived almost 12 years past his diagnosis. It wasn 't the cancer that killed him though - no it was the damage from the radiation he was given.

With the time Keith had - knowing he wasn't well enough to get out and travel - he settled in a little town called Ponca, Ne. A window in his living room overlooked the town - it was his window to the outside world. To keep his mind sharp and his heart right - he started taking classes. Before he passed away he was a fully ordained minister. And he ran his support group online. He once told me that when he was first diagnosed with cancer he was trluy struggling, and he had gone online to look for a place that others could offer suggestions and support. Something so important to someone who couldn't leave his house. He ran into a group that had a desperate post from a young woman who had posted several month before and noone had responded. He was determined noone else would ever have to go through that in Delphi. Thats how Living With Cancer started. And as long as Keith was alive - no post went unanswered. No cry for help went unheeded. No prayer request went unanswered.

Keith gave all his heart to living. Even as he knew he was dying. For 5 years I knew Keith, for 3 of those years I traveled every month to spend time with him. We were able to get him a motorized wheel chair, a ramp built and electric door put in so he could get out of his apartment. He didn't have long to enjoy them - as his health deteriated - but he was so grateful to those who worked so hard to try and help.

The last several months of his life when I wasn't able to be there with him he was in the nursing home.

I was at home when I got a call from him saying to come. That he was on the way to the hospital and not doing well. I drove the fastest I ever have to get there. As I arrived at the nursing home an ambulance had pulled up to take him to the hospital where a hospice bed was awaiting him. His doctor was there - and in front of Keith stated that this time he wasn't gonna make it. I could have slapped the doctor but held back. Keith took my hand and reminded me that he didn't want to die alone. I swore he wouldn't.

I followed the ambulance and we got him up into his room and situated as comfortably as possible. Since he was fighting severe pneumonia we knew there was little hope of him fighting it off this time. A cot was bought in for me and I was left to make the phone calls to his family. Keith looked at me, mouthed I love you, then went into a coma..

He only had two other visitors the day we were in hospice. One was the nurse who had introduced us. She had heard Keith was back in the hospital. I don't recal her name, can't even remember what she looked like. I do recall her compassionate ways, and her tears as she told Keith goodbye. For almost 24 hours it was just Keith and I. I talked to him non stop. reminded him of things we had talked about, people we knew, reminded him of Santa. And sang his favorite tunes to him. (his poor ears). All the time I had one hand on his heart, feeling his life slow down. The nurses asked if I wanted the minister to stop by. I told them I thought keith would appreciate it. So right before he passed away a minister walked in the room. He said prayers while holding both Keith and my hands. And then stepped back as I took Keiths hand and told him it was OK. That I knew he needed to go and I would be OK. Within minutes he took his last breath. The minister said he had never been at such a peaceful passing.

So I said goodbye to Keith in the same hospital I had said hello to him at. Although there are times I still feel him close, can still hear his whispers and gentle hugs. He isn't here on this earthly plane anymore but am sure his new journey is an exciting one full of laughter and joy.. and painless days and nights.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


What is it that you want from me? Can’t you see I’ve nothing left to give.
You had my heart once, and left it shattered yet I am supposed to forgive
And again let you in? I wonder what kind of fool you believe I am?
To even think I would put myself and us through all of that once again?

Oh please. You don’t love me. You are feeling lonely and somewhat blue
Your life hasn’t turned out the way you had dreamed and wanted it to.
But your burdens are not mine to bear. I can’t make everything right.
So please let me go. Send my heart back to me this much awaited night.

We tried, we failed, it is time to accept what is and get on with living
It’s no ones fault, we gave it our best. Our love was continually fading.
Turn and walk away now, don’t look back. There’s nothing left here.
If you must take something, take not my heart, but memories held dear.


And on a gentle breeze a soft voice echoes through the crevices and door
Goodbye my love, remember me. For I will hold you dear forevermore.
But alas the silence enters in, and is deafening in its eternal roar
As she remembers the love.. forevermore, forevermore, forevermore.

copyrighted 2/27/03




Thats what you left behind.
Bitterness - Your legacy!
A family split not in two
but torn asunder.

The seams began to tear
with that first drink.
All hope was lost
By the time

You took your last.
For it was death
that greeted you
at the bottom
of that glass.

And the children
You left behind
Follow your broken trail.
The beat goes on.


Round and round
and round it goes.
Will it stop?
No body knows.

And one son.
Stands alone
Dealing with his


Repressed emotions
towards a father
he never knew.

Wishing he had known
The sober you.

And now its too late.
Alcohol was your fate.

For those you left behind

** Written about a friend of my daughters who lost his father and is currently losing his mother to alcohol. Unfortunately he is also losing himself. **

This poem was used be a few different AA groups over the years.

Melanie Woodruff

Still Missing You

This is a poem I wrote back in January of 2006. Just a few short months after my fiance' lost his fight with cancer..

How is it that time slipped away from us?
Wasn't it yesterday we were laughing together?
Life was so much simpler then, living with no fuss.
My fantasy world believed that it would last forever.

I closed my heart to the possibility of you going away.
Living is such a struggle without you here.
I'd give the world to have you back one more day.
For some reason, though, God must need you near.

There's so much I need to say, so much to tell you.
Like how much I love you, you are my heart!
To tell you how I appreciate all you taught me, too.
You helped me find a part of me, giving me a new start.

My heart was full but my spiritual side was lacking
So, in essence I was empty until you showed the way.
There's so much else I learned from being with you, darling.
With you I found joy, happiness. I found love every day.

But without you here, it's lost. Everything is empty.
Every day I put on a smile and tell everyone I'm alright.
But it's not true, if they looked in my eyes they'd see.
That just to get up some days is a tremendous fight.

I think when you left, a part of me also died.
I'm not sure who I am anymore, or what I need to do.
Letting go isn't easy, so many times I have tried.
People say your spirits with me, perhaps that's true.

You'll always be a part of me, that will never change.
Yet somehow I must find the strength to once again see.
That this life of mine I need to try and rearrange.
To learn to live in this moment, to learn to simply be.

I know that's what you would want, you tried to help me see.
Life was just a part of your journey, death just another phase.
You lived so long in pain, you longed to be painfree.
Wait for me, my love. I'll be joining you one day.

My time isn't here yet. I know you tried to make me understand.
That I have so much living yet to do before I can go home.
And even though I can't see you, you are still holding my hand.
By my side you will be, no matter where I may roam.

When I remember that, it helps to lift my sorrows.
Not a day goes by though, that I wish I had some clue.
As to how to face today, and all of my tomorrows.
Because, to be honest dammit - I'm still missing you!

~~ Dreamweaver ~~

Into the Night

Into the night of the golden moon

She felt the call of the silent tune
Carried to her by the gentle wind
Whispers of love from a lost friend.

Love begun as friends never fades away
Yet it dissolves in the mornings first ray
It's at night the midnight flames are one.
Fading away too soon as night greets the sun

Cursing the day, in all it's wonderful glory
It can't compare to the golden moons story
Where twin flames parted, once more unite
Joined together in the still of the night.

Dancing to the songs only they can hear
For the songs of the heart are held dear
At first signs of dawn, they slip away.
Dreaming of the night that follows the day.

~~ Dreamweaver ~~
March 29, 2006

My Dearest Friend

My Dearest Friend:

I wonder if you know, my friend, just how special you are to me? It seems as if we have always been friends and yet we only met a few short months ago.

In that time you have taken up residence in this heart of mine. Although parted by thousands of miles you have often reached out and dried my tears. You have shared your laughter and in fact I can close my eyes and still hear your laughter ringing in my ears.

I have learned so much from you in such a short time. I have learned about life, and about death. I have learned about accepting and letting go. And I have learned the importance of me, by seeing me through your eyes.

You have touched my soul when I thought it was dead. In the middle of winter you showed me Spring, and bought back to life the wonder of newbirth. Not just in the physical world but in my soul and heart.

Who would of ever imagined us connecting? What were the chances of finding you out of all the millions of people online? Astronomical I would imagine. And yet it happened. By chance? I think not!

When nightmares awaken me in the middle of the night I have but to reach out with my heart and you are there. Your gentle soul tenderly calms my fears and I can soon snuggle back down with a sigh.

But alas I hear the distant drums calling you home. Yet even in the afterlife I know our hearts have touched and forever we will be connected. For us there will be no good-bye..

And so I want you to know, my most precious of friends. That it was no accident, our finding each other. Our paths were destined to cross, and we will forever be connected, soul to soul.


Written in 2003 for my dearest Friend Charlie. He lost his fight with cancer in 2004

Two Souls Falling in Love

There’s a bright moon shining tonight

Caressing windows with its silvery rain
Awakening the lovers basking in its glow
Their passions they no longer can feign.

Beauty in the gentle touch of the moons light
A stroll along the beach – hand in hand.
Enchanted by nature’s perfect melody.
They dance barefooted in the sand.

The rhythmic beating of their gentle hearts
Encircled by the moons brilliant glow.
The stars dance in such delight
As the lovers let their love flow.

Time stands still on such a special night.
When passions desires are calling.
The moon provides the ambiance
While two souls in love are falling.

By: Melanie Woodruff (Dreamweaver) 2004