A year or so ago, we had a large stump in our back yard that we wanted removed.
“Kelly is coming up to visit us this week,” Mike said. “He can get it out for us!”
I knew it was true; on more than one occasion, I had seen our friend Kelly use his truck to successfully pull things out of the ground. After all, Kelly is the type of person who gets a glimmer in his eye when a piece of electronic equipment needs to be fixed, a fire needs to be started, or a couch just needs to be blown up.
With this in mind, I implored Mike to call a tree removal service.
“No,” Mike firmly told me. “Kelly can do it.”
And he did.
Knowing this, you can now maybe imagine how glorious life was for Kelly and Katie Keeton’s three-year-old son, Max. A grand adventure of tools, construction sites, rain boots, and car parts. A mommy and daddy who valued silliness, play, and surrounding their kids with family, friends, and faith.
So, it is with monumental, unfathomable sadness that we are now grieving the loss of Max, who passed away earlier this week. He was with us for only three years…but what a three years he had. Both sides of grandparents to dote on him, little and big friends to play with, and some amazing parents who helped him get dirty, explore the world, and learn to play on his dad’s pinball machines.
We last saw Max on New Year’s Eve, which we spent with the Keeton’s on Whidbey Island. Max gleefully played with his grandparents all evening, running through the house in his cozy pajamas. The next morning, he agreed to dress up in clothes a friend had brought back from Thailand for he, his sister Molly, and Luella. He sat sweetly for pictures during the ensuing photo frenzy, giving Molly a little kiss on the head as she sat beside him.
We’re going to be missing our little friend at every holiday and get-together, and, well, all the time in between.
And to the one and only Max: thanks for letting us be part of your life, pal. We’ll keep on loving you, your sister, and your strong, big-hearted parents. And if he’s lucky, we’ll probably even let your dad pull more stumps out of our yard.