can't steal, dad, death, divorced, extended families, families forever, family forever, father-in-law, first grandchild, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandson, grieving, hard-working, heartache, immediate families, loss, love, man of God, memory, mourning, Mr. Wash, paternal grandfather, provider, uncle
Those who mourn are fortunate! for they shall be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4, TLB
What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, TLB
The year 2017 has not been particularly kind to me. Between the first week of May and the second week of November, I lost my oldest son and his paternal grandfather. My son died on May 2nd of this year, and his paternal grandfather died on November 15th.
Now, I know plenty people who think that divorced persons are no longer part of that family they married into, and more times than not I have heard about divorced persons being treated like outsiders. However, when the divorced individuals are followers of Christ and when these same divorced individuals have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren together, these facts mean they still are families. This family truth means even their extended families are still connected to the divorced men and women.
Case in point, I have nieces and nephews from my ex-spouse’s side of the family who continue to call me Aunt Nadine—even though he and I have been divorced since 1998. Then too, even after the legal dissolution of our marriage and after Maynard’s remarriage, many of his relatives still treat me like family and most of my relatives still treat him like he’s family. My nieces and nephews still call him Uncle Chilly (Maynard’s nickname that I called him during our nearly 27 years of marriage). Furthermore, he and I still share friends who have remained friends with the both of us.
I said all that to say that in the same year that Maynard and I lost our oldest son, Ade, our youngest son, Tarik, lost his brother. Now, a little over six months later, Maynard lost his dad (Mr. Wash), and our youngest son lost his paternal grandfather. The point here is that Tarik and Maynard’s heartbreaking losses are mine as well. Therefore, even though I am no longer married to his son, Mr. Wash is still family to me. The essential point is that families are forever, and there aren’t any legal divorces that will ever change that fact.
Mr. Wash Keen, I know you know that I love you and miss you already. I miss that beautiful smile of yours. I miss listening to that soothing voice of yours. I miss seeing and hearing you sing in the men’s choir at Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church. I miss hearing you explain a Sunday School lesson. I miss seeing you meet-and-greet church members and visitors. I miss eating Sunday and holiday meals with you, Miss Helen, me and Maynard’s immediate family, and your other sons and their families. I also miss fellowshipping with everyone in your home, after we all were done eating.
I have known you since July of 1971. You were a kind and thoughtful father-in-law. You were a faithful and obedient man of God. You were a loving and caring husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. You were a hard-working man. You were an outstanding provider for your wife and sons.
You were well-respected by every one of your family members and by countless colleagues and friends. Everybody I know loved you, so I am certain they all do and/or will miss you just as much as I do and will.
Your God (and mine) has delivered you from your well-used body. Thankfully, we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Praise God!
Be sure to say hello to Ade, my son, for me. He is your first grandchild and first grandson! Tell him I love him and miss him, too. Also say hello to Miss Helen, to my mom (Lucille), to my dad (Clarence), and to so many other people we both know.
I love you, and I miss you dearly, Mr. Wash. I know you know that. I also know you know that I look forward to the day when I can worship throughout eternity our King of kings and Lord of lords with you, and everyone else. Until then, rest in peace, in Jesus’ arms.
I am sending up warm thoughts and prayers for the family. I have been thinking of each of you. I wish I could be there to share in the celebration of Mr. Wash’s life on Monday, November 20th, but it is not possible.
Every blessing family,
UPDATE . . .
Obituary: WASH KEEN
AXTON, Va. Wash Keen of 25 Keen Drive passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the Hospice Center of Rockingham County, after a lengthy illness.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Monday, November 20, 2017, at Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Martinsville, VA.
Burial will be in the Keen Family Cemetery in Axton, VA.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 19, 2017, at Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
Wash was born on December 8, 1925, to the late Edgar “Edd” Keen Sr. and Nannie Josephine Terry Keen. He was married for 52+ years to the love of his life, Helen Watkins Keen, who preceded him in death. Wash attended the 1 room school in the Sandy Level community. He loved working the land. He farmed several years and raised a garden for as long as he was able. Wash worked for several local industries and retired from the DuPont Co. He also served briefly in the U.S. Army during WWII. Wash was a faithful God-fearing man. He was a no-nonsense hard-working man who loved the Lord and his family.
Wash joined the Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor J.E. Harris. He faithfully served the Lord through his church until his health began to decline. He could be found regularly reading his Bible and studying his Sunday school lesson. He served as an Usher, Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Chairman of Deacons and member of the Men’s Chorus to name a few.
Wash is survived by his sons: Vernon Wash Keen (Sylvia) of Chesterfield, VA; Maynard Andrew Keen (Sandra) of Greensboro, NC; Rexford Maurice Keen of Martinsville, VA; William Beverly Keen (Jacqueline) and Danny Stewart Keen (Lena) both of Danville, VA; Henry Dillard (Sherideen) of Eden, NC. Also surviving are two brothers Silas Keen (Mae) and King Keen (Rosetta); three sisters in law Memphis Keen, Florence Amos, and Dorothy Martin (George); five brothers in law William H Watkins (Leadell), Windle Watkins (Dinah), Virgil Watkins, Charlie Redd Jr., and Jimmy Carter; also 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Perry – Spencer Funeral Home, Inc