David prayed desperately to God for the little boy. He fasted, wouldn’t go out, and slept on the floor. The elders in his family came in and tried to get him off the floor, but he wouldn’t budge. Nor could they get him to eat anything. On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him. They said, “What do we do now? While the child was living he wouldn’t listen to a word we said. Now, with the child dead, if we speak to him there’s no telling what he’ll do.”
. . .
David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate.
His servants asked him, “What’s going on with you? While the child was alive you fasted and wept and stayed up all night. Now that he’s dead, you get up and eat.”
“While the child was alive,” he said, “I fasted and wept, thinking God might have mercy on me and the child would live. But now that he’s dead, why fast? Can I bring him back now? I can go to him, but he can’t come to me.” ~ 2 Samuel 12:16-18, 20-23, MSG
He just turned forty-five on Sunday, April 30th. On Tuesday evening, he was gone. In less than 48 hours, I experienced the most extraordinary loss that a parent would ever face—the death of a child.
My oldest son, Olumuyiwa Ade Keen, is with the Lord now, and while I know he is in a much better place, losing him is the most traumatic experience I have ever had to encounter. Needless to say, I am definitely one of those parents who truly believes that parents should never outlive their children. However, as I was reminded earlier Tuesday evening, God makes no mistakes.
It was time for my son to go home and be with the Lord. Even though his diabetes claimed his life this evening, I rejoice in knowing that my God is not done with my son. Thank You, Jesus, for Your Gift of eternal life.
Ade, I will always remember that sweetest and most infectious smile of yours—when you were flashing your pearly whites. Additionally, every time I look at one of your three sons or your only grandson, I will always be reminded of how you were a loving dad and granddaddy. I also will always be reminded of how you were such a good-natured person. Lastly, whenever I am listening to a song that I know you would love to sample, I will always remember how talented and gifted you were as a lyricist and rapper.
Your dad, Maynard, and I are grieving right now, and we probably will be grieving for a while. Nevertheless, as we told you so many times in your life, Father God richly blessed us when He gave us you. That is why, even in our current sadness we can rejoice over your homegoing, for we know one day we will come to you and be with you eternally. For now, we are glad that we told you and showed you countless times just how much we love you.
We—your brother (Tarik), your sons (DaShede, Darius, and Rayshen), your grandson (Kayden), your dad (Maynard), and I (your mom, Nadine)—will love you forever, Ade. We also will miss you dearly.
Here is the latest poem—a haiku—that I wrote Sunday for Ade’s 45th birthday:
No matter how old
My child you’ll forever be –
Life’s greatest blessing.
OLUMUYIWA ADE KEEN (April 30, 1972 – May 2, 2017)
Rest in peace, my son . . . until we meet again.
The obituary for my son, Olumuyiwa, which follows his homegoing services’ program, is posted in the Martinsville Bulletin.
Olumuyiwa Ade Keen, 45, of Martinsville, Va., passed away on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Kindred Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. He had been in declining health for the last several months. He was born to Maynard and Nadine Keen on April 30, 1972, in Spokane, Washington.
Mr. Keen lived at Laurel Park community in Martinsville, Va. most of his life, and he graduated from Laurel Park High School, class of 1990. He was a disabled United States Navy veteran. His hobby was writing and mixing music, and he was affectionately nicknamed “Puzzles,” “Telecommunications,” and “Schematics. He grew up a member of Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Axton, Virginia.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Helen W. Keen; and his maternal grandparents, Clarence and Lucille W. Drayton.
He is survived by his three sons, DaShede and Darius Keen of Norfolk, Va., Rayshen Robertson of Axton, Va.; parents, Maynard Keen (Sandra) of Greensboro, N.C. and Nadine Drayton-Keen of Glendale, Az.; grandson, Kayden Ade Keen of Norfolk, Va,; brother, Tarik Keen (Kimberly) of Glendale, Az.; and paternal grandfather, Wash Keen of Axton, Virginia, along with a legion of cousins; aunts; uncles; and friends.
The family will meet at the church Fellowship Hall at 10:15 a.m. and will receive friends at the church starting at 10:30 a.m. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Axton, Virginia with Dr. Thurman O. Echols Jr. Interment will follow in the Keen family cemetery in Axton, Virginia.
Arrangements are entrusted to Hairston Funeral Home at 301 Fayette Street, Martinsville, Virginia 24112.
Just Sleeping: Only Believe
Nothing in life happens by chance
Neither by accident nor happenstance;
The Fates can’t override providence
Or replace it with inevitable dominance.
Destiny may be written on some stars
But only Creator knows how long ours
Has until we are snuffed like a candle—
On the fade to black shut-eye channel.
Death brags with no reason to be proud
For he claims no life God hasn’t allowed;
Sorrows touch humans for many reasons
But He who changes times and seasons
Raises the sleeping; changes bad to good,
And upgrades His aggrieved to sainthood.
The saints who still move and still breathe
Must exercise the faith needed to believe
They’ll see their gone-home family again
Healed from all misery, illness, and pain.
~ by Nadine Drayton-Keen
Composed May 5, 2017, for my son’s homegoing services’ program