Tears and Prayers for Weston

Wes2012-12-23_18-53-47_307It’s one of those moments when you wonder what it all means.  I met a little boy and his family a little over a year ago.  His name was Weston Keeton(in the middle),  Mom, Julie, was as kind, patient and gracious as they come; as real as a good, almost overwhelmed mom is.  Julie and her husband, Adam, and their children are from Tennessee, but Julie and Weston had been living in Philadelphia for almost a third of Weston’s life.  He needed a heart transplant.  Waiting and going in and out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia became the way of life.  Julie talked about how kind and great CHOP and all of Philadelphia had been for her family,  The Gift of Life staff was stellar.  Some Mummers from Fralinger String Band became friends of the Keetons.  Adam had to keep working in Tennessee and take care of the other kids, except for when they could all get away to be with Julie and Weston here, as Weston hoped for a matching heart.  Lots of folks were doing everything they could.  But, now, 7-year-old Weston Keeton has passed away.  I thank Weston for his smile and for the courage a little boy cannot understand but lived everyday.  May Julie, Adam and Weston’s brothers and sisters come to understand their grief and find the answer.

For Weston

Praying, hoping and all around banking on the best for young Weston Keeton.  The young Tennessee boy has been living up here in Philadelphia for a long time, a couple of years, since he was 4, a third of his life so far, as he waits for a heart transplant at CHOP.  (He’s the 3rd child from the left.)Wes2012-12-23_18-53-47_307

His mom, Julie, has been with him.  Dad, Adam, has been working in Tennessee, but comes up as often as he can.  Siblings are here off and on.  It’s not been easy for the Keetons.  But, it has been especially hard, of course, for Weston.  When I met him back in December, he was able to live for awhile at the Gift of Life House with his family.  He is a happy, beautifully rowdy kid by nature.

Weston 1a2012-12-23_19-04-42_100The Keetons have been befriended by many Philadelphians, some of them Mummers.  The family is grateful for what everyone is trying to do.

Things are getting a little tough for Weston.  Hang in there, buddy.