Our Viking boat trip Europe gave me two wonderful results, memories and Keith.

Keith’s actions and behavior will affect my behavior for the rest of my life. I noticed him during our tours up and down and through castles and the like. The mass of humanity at every stop did not phase him.

I made it a point to dine with him several times. Average height, maybe 70, scraggly head of hair, and sharp sparkling blue eyes if you could ever see them. Arthritis has claimed both hands, leaving limited use of the forefinger and thumb on each hand. Parkinson’s has his legs dancing  at every sit down. Then, 90 days previous, he awoke unable to lift has chin off his chest. His focal point now is his own knees no better. He puts his thumb under his chin to raise his head to see straight ahead periodically. His bright eyes and great  smile along with a wonderful upbeat personality make it a pleasure to be his friend. Never once did he bring up his handicaps or anyway allude to them.

Keith       ” I can tell a lot about you by your shoelaces.”

” A neighbor got mad at me just before I left. She came out and yelled at me to get down off the ladder. I was getting ready to get up on the roof.”

He never again will lift his head normally on his own or cease being the object of many stares. He has been given a heavy burden, but his gift to me is to see the human spirit at it’s best. I suffer from melancholy from time to time, but just remembering the manner in which Keith lives his life has helped me live mine…

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