by MaryLou Dolan

October 6, 1999

Our mom and dad, they brought him home, 
"A boy!" the doctor called;
"How precious! He's our only son,  
Oh look, so nearly bald."

He grew &endash; he laughed &endash; the ringlets came, 
A head of hair so gold;
He talked and walked - the joy to all, 
A determined mind we're told.

He had his little birthday parties, 
And Mark and Ricky came;
And Dennis - Stephen, they were there, 
He smiled and called their names.

They brought him trucks, all sorts of things, 
He couldn't wait to get some sand;
To start the roads, and dump the dirt, 
His busy little hands.

Our mom would watch &endash; then Dad came home, 
The girls &endash; constant chattering sounds!
And where was Keith?…
Still quietly playing, And not a soul around.

"Ok" Mom said "Pick up your toys." 
"Come on &endash; inside you go."
As he played on with trucks and sand, 
Our brother, Keith said "NO!"

Inside then, he sweetly came, 
But not because Mom said, 
But just because our brother wanted, 
A thought in his own head.

One day his little sister died, 
Keith, no longer a big brother;
With Linda gone, just three of us, 
Keith and sisters older.

We laughed with him, we joked and played, 
And I could always beat him up and brag;
His knees would give, I'd pin him down, 
And sit on him &endash; he'd beg….

"MaryLou, just let me up!" 
"I won't &endash; I'll drool on you!"
We'd laugh so hard, and Mom and Dad, 
Would stifle laughter too.

But sister Nancy thinks &endash; A disgrace! 
"Mom, can't you make then mind?
Don't laugh at them &endash; teach them things, 
Manners…Class… you'll find,

If you teach them all the finer things, 
In life I'm sure they'll be;
A lot more decent to have around &endash; 
I mean, just look at me!"

"Let's eat now kids &endash; now that's enough, 
Girls, set the table &endash; some ketchup please."
We saw her go with head held high, 
Keith and I laughing to our knees.

"Hurry Keith, the ketchup bottle,
Put it on the table;
He'd plop it down &endash; there &endash; all done! 
We'd sit, and then, when able…

We'd watch Nancy, she'd grab it quickly, 
The bottle… whisked away;
Oh well, we'll just chew with our mouths open, 
And that will make her day!

What's this? The doorbell rings, 
Who's that? There's someone standing there;
"Ken and Lou, her name is Rosie, 
Can we leave her in your care?"

Oh boy! Our brother Keith is thrilled, 
He loved her like no other;
"I'm happy Mom &endash; she's cute &endash; huh Dad?" 
And again, I'm a big brother.

Well, with his friends, he laughed, he loved, 
And they all would come around;
My mom and dad, they knew each one, 
And sometimes Keith, without a sound…

Would sit and listen &endash; Mom would talk, 
And Dad would laugh and grin;
"Those friends of Keith's, can you believe, 
How much they mean to him."

To places Mom and Dad would go, 
"Did you hear? Keith plays today;
He's out there now &endash; he's getting dressed, 
And it's not that far away.

And then next week, he'll play some more, 
And the girls can come to see;
Rosie, Nance and MaryLou, 
How proud of him they'll be.

And they could stay a night or two, 
And Keith will be around ;
And they'll all laugh, and maybe later, 
They'll all go into town."

Then times were quieter… and fewer smiles, 
And worries flooded in;
"Of all the things I want to say…" 
Keith hardly could begin.

But so much comfort he did find, 
Each day with Mom and Dad;
And we all cried and hated, 
Seeing him so sad

It breaks our hearts to think that you, 
Died all alone - were you scared or cold?
We pray that we were with you then, 
In your mind - your heart - and soul.

So Keith, on this &endash; your final day, 
Please know you compared to not another;
You were ours and we so proudly boasted.
"That's Keith! YUP, HE'S OUR BROTHER!"

With Love from your sisters
Nancy, MaryLou and Rose