johnmac's rants

Monday, August 31, 2009

Brandon James Blakeley (April 25, 2003 - August 26th, 2009) -- and Dennis

With all that has been going on in the last week (away for a few days, doctor's appointments, Ted Kennedy's death, etc) , I did not see until just now that Dennis Blakeley (one of the stalwarts on the Inwood Social Network, a group that has over 1,000 members)'s grandson, Brandon James Blakeley, died at the age of 6 after rejecting a heart he had received in the early months of his life (link for members of the social network). Dennis is a good personal friend but is also considered a "good friend" to members of the network who have never met him personally. He constantly exhibits the reaching out to people in their time of need that was just referred to as Ted Kennedy's greatest virtue by his friends.

In an attempt to comfort Dennis, Gerri Zaiko posted a poem by James Whitcomb Riley on the network:

He is just away
by James Whitcomb Riley

You cannot say, you must not say
That he is dead. He is just away!
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there;
So think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here,
Think of him still the same, and say
He is not dead, he is just away.....

It is a beautiful poem and brings a sad smile to my face. I still wonder, however, "why" -- WHY?

Why some are taken so young and others -- like us -- are given a second (or third or fourth) chances as we go on -- a chance to straighten out -- do better -- do more -- care more. It seems to me that Brandon's untimely death (hell, all deaths are "untimely") should give us pause to look at our own lives to see what we can do make things better. That is Brandon's gift to us.

--- and, Dennis, we love you.

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