Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Keith

It is Keith's birthday. 

Ten years ago, on 9/11, we all lost a young man with so much potential; a rising star within the local Floral Park volunteer Fire Department; a dedicated, passionate, compassionate Paramedic, who was only just beginning to fulfill his potential in life. On 9/11 Keith died working to save others' lives.

I have written about Keith many times. His mom, Diane, told us of the kid who couldn't keep his room clean - her beloved son - here. Dad Ken shared his most precious memories of his son Keith here.

Ken and Keith on one of Ken's birthdays. As Ken tells it, they were at the fire house, and they were deciding who would get the biggest piece of this birthday cake.

I often think about who Keith might have become if it wasn't for 9/11. Would he be married, with kids of his own? Or would he still be enjoying a very active social life with the ladies?

How far up the ladder in the EMS profession would he have risen by now? Would he be a Critical Care Paramedic ? Would he be a Supervisor?

Within the Fire Department, would Keith be a Captain by now? Would he be running for Chief?

We cannot know.

What I DO know that is on this day, especially - and most other days, too - Keith is still missed by those who know and love him the most. I have been privileged to come to know and love Keith's mom and dad. I have been blessed to be among those people with whom Keith worked and played, and I know that Keith is remembered - often - with great respect, lots of laughter, and so much love. He IS missed, every.single.day.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Keith is always around his mom and dad, and his friends. I would lay bets that today - his birthday - he will pull a stunt from Heaven, as he so often does, just because he can..hey, it might even rain!!!

Watch for that penny, Ken...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Keith. You are loved - for always...

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