This next blog post will be sad to some and completely uninteresting to others. Those of you who are in my immediate family will know who I speak of during the next page or so. The other day in the car I was listening to Frank Sinatra's CD (yes, I do listen and quite often dance to his tunes.....but only when no one is looking) :) Anyway, this post is not about him, it's about a specific song he sings and a specific man in which I admired. Originally Sinatra sang this song but later Elvis Presley re-did it. I debated which version to post because they are both really good. If you are into the new aged songs, and hip-hop, and country, this is not what you are used to. This post is written solely for the purposes of telling someone they are still thought about and missed dearly.......
The song I am referring to is "My Way," the man I am referring to is Keith Janssen.
To give some background on Keith for those of you who didn't have the honor of knowing him, he was my Great Uncle. That sounds really old and outdated but he was more than that. He was a loving husband, a fun father, a happy man, and an adoring grandfather.....he was a genius at his job, very patient, funny and entertaining....and he was taken too soon by a brain tumor. He battled it for quite some time, defeated it just long enough to see his first grandson born, was the Godly man he needed to be for his family during the time of his grandson's hospitalization with a heart problem, abrublty after his grandson was better Keith's tumor came back full force and snatched him away from us just after Christmas a few years ago.
After his death I was a bit angry because my view was "why was he spared for such a short time to get every one's hopes up, then taken away just as we were losing our fear that the tumor would return....and just after his grandson's beginning of life?" Then I heard a wise preacher talk about why people die, there are many reasons but the one that stuck out to me the most was that sickness and sorrow in this life are here because of the first sins of Adam and Eve, we also have things now that are made from synthetics, we have cell phones, fast food, and all kinds of unnatural things we use and consume now in life. So without our knowing and without warning these things have a detramental effect over time and impact or even take our lives. I know that God didn't take Keith's life; he spared it from the effects of being a human in this world long enough for Keith to be the anchor one more time for his family and for his wife, and I know that if necessary Keith would have traded his life for his little grandson's.
Tyler came to visit the other week and when he left, all his shaving cream was gone, his razor, his soap, his Old Spice deodorant, his washcloth, his towel.....etc and those were only the bathroom items......I was straight up depressed for a week when it was all gone and I only had him here for a week. I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to love someone so much for so many years and abruptly they are gone......their clothes are still in the closet, their bathroom items are still in place, their car is still outside, even their keys are still on the hook where they last left them, but they are not there. Their washcloth is still wet from the last shower, dirty cloths still in the hamper from the last time they wore them, coffee cup still in the sink, hat still on the couch, even down to the pillow that is still indented from his head. When is the right time to get rid of that stuff, to be able to handle actually taking it away from where it was supposed to stay forever??? When is a good time to say "I can move on now" and sell the clothes? There is no set time and there is no "good" time. I realize that you have to go through something like that to understand it, but if how I felt when Tyler took his stuff home (knowing that I would see him again) is any indication of one small piece of how it feels when a love like that is lost, I don't ever want to go through it, as far as I am concerned I would never get over it and admire those who can carry themselves through it. I still think of him quite often. The song posted in this blog reminds me of him so much that I can hardly stand to listen to it.
So back to the song..........
And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, Ill say it clear,
Ill state my case, of which I'm certain.
Ive lived a life that's full.
Ive traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Regrets, Ive had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.
I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.
Ive loved, Ive laughed and cried.
Ive had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!
The most powerful thing in this song is "Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew, When I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall; And did it my way." This was Keith, I would say more but to try and explain it would do him great injustice, the verse says it all. Also, I love "For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows - And did it my way!" Even though he is gone I will always remember him as a man who faced it, didn't back down, didn't kneel, too the blows of life and didn't regret a bit of it. I have posted the song but please don't pay attention to the pictures, I couldn't find one of just music. Really listen to the words.
If I can have a love for Tyler the way that Keith and Vic loved each other, stuck by each other, and took care of each other then I will be the luckiest woman in the world. I have the utmost respect for Vic and the way she has handled everything and no matter what she will always amaze me how she pulled herself up by her bootstraps (sure it was tough and it wasn't at first)... I don't think I could have done it at all. We as Christians have to remember; the promise was not that everything would go perfectly all the time, the promise was "when everything failed, we would be held."