The following is the first in what turned out to be a 3-part series of short stories on the passing of my father, Jesse Edward Kelley. I had not intended to write these but my soul urged me on. It is my hope that through sharing my family’s personal journey, you and your family can benefit. Joscelyn Kelley (aka Jelaila Starr)
My father was diagnosed with cancer in October, 2008. Up to that time he had been very healthy. Normally energetic and active, he fought the cancer with gusto. Still, the cancer won and my father passed away in the early morning hours of on Sunday, March 8th, less than 6 months later. I had asked Spirit to let me be with him when he died; my request was granted. I was there beside him holding his hand as his long journey came to a peaceful end.
Our family had been torn apart by the conflict between my parents. Though I was able to heal from much of it, my brothers, especially my younger brother Keith, had not. Keith was very special to Dad but their relationship had been all but non existent for years. Dad had prayed that his cancer would bring our family back together. That would take a miracle.
Keith had been on my mind quite a lot during the week. I had just recently gotten an address for him but the phone number I had was wrong. I figured I would not be able to reach Keith in time. Continually urged by Spirit to talk with Mom about it, I asked her to write down the phone number she had given me previously. I discovered that I had transposed the last two digits. Excited, I called the number and got Keith’s voice mail. That was Wednesday. He called me the next day. We talked and he said he would check consider it. I waited to tell Dad until Friday night. “I got hold of Keith.” I told him. “I’m not sure he will come.” Dad squeezed my hand in answer. He had stopped being able to see or talk days before.
Saturday morning dawned. Dad was awake and unusually restless. He had had little pain up to that point but now he said through hand squeezes that he was in pain. We gave him morphine and a sedative. He slept for several hours.
Even though the Lymphoma was growing in his brain and his kidneys were shutting down, Dad’s vital signs were strong so much so that the hospice nurses were amazed. They told us that he could last for two more weeks. “He may be waiting for someone.” They said. “It’s not unusual.”
Keith surprised us by showing up on Saturday. Though Dad was unconscious I believe he still heard Keith as he poured out years of sorrow and pain in heart-breaking sobs. I was not in the room but we saw through the window what was happening.
Dad passed just 5 hours later … at home … with a loved one by his side. It was quick and painless as he wished.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Written March 10, 2009