Joshua Keahey Funeral Service
April 5, 2006
Pastor Shawn Williams


Little Boys

Little boys come in all shapes and sizes
Shy and adventurous, full of surprises
With misshapen halos and mischievous grins
Small dirty faces, and sweet, sticky chins

They'll keep you so busy, and yet all the while
Nothing can brighten the world like their smile
And no greater treasure has brought homes more joy
Than a curious, active, and lovable boy!

- Poet unknown


A wonderful little poem that seems to describe little Joshua Keahey. Josh came into this world in a rush, he left us for a better world in peace. How difficult this is! Because he took a little bit of us with him. As his mother says, "He's now chasing butterflies in heaven." Earth loss is heaven's gain.

When Josh came into this world in 2003, life became busier for this baby boy than for most baby boys born into this world. He underwent his first surgery rather quickly, and doctors, hospitals, and medicines soon became routine for Josh. More surgeries over the next three years and more doctors, hospitals, and medicines. For those of us looking on the outside in, we might only picture a baby fighting for his life within a sterile environment. But his family knew, and those closer to him saw, a little boy with a personality developing, and little Josh was becoming part of them. He grew into their hearts and not a day went by that you as a family didn't think of Josh and pray that he would be made better.

We deeply grieve and mourn his physical loss and now his physical absence in our lives. But we know that God takes care of children not only in this life, but also when they pass from this life. So we remember all the business of his life, all his stories, all the funny little things he did or said, all the moments when he hurt, all the times he was happy and all the times he was sad--these we ponder in our hearts. Because Josh touched our lives and stole our hearts. Mary the mother of Jesus pondered in her heart all the things of her Son when he was born. All the things said by angels, by shepherds, by wise men, by family, and by God. And she treasured these things in her heart. They became a source of joy to her, a source of comfort, an ability to cope in trying circumstances, and a bond of a loving relationship that united her to her son. To those closest to Josh--store all these memories of his short life in your heart. Let them be a source of joy to you, let them comfort you, and know that they bind you to him. In this way you keep the spiritual life of Joshua with you and you are changed by such a bond, and his memory is never lost and your love for him will never diminish.

Josh was a sweet, sweet little boy. Despite all the struggles, the surgeries, the needles, the pain, the difficulties with his little heart, and the tumultuous events that have been part of his short three years on earth-Josh was always a sweet little boy.

So many wonderful thoughts and truths have been brought forth and discussed about Joshua Keahey:

- He had eyes that touched your heart, eyes that caught your attention and drew you to him. Eyes always searching, always perceiving people and events. Eyes that showed he had a level of consciousness that few of us ever really achieve. Eyes are said to be the window of the soul, and if that is the case, then Josh’s soul is pure, bright, sparkly, attentive, innocent, soft, inviting, friendly and comforting.

- Josh was in charge. He knew where he wanted you to stand, sit and what you should say. He was outgoing as much as he possibly could be.

- Josh had a wonderful coping ability about him. A God-given resiliency. He inspired us not to give up on him and ourselves. In the name of Josh and in honor of his memory, don’t you give up on life. Fight with every ounce of faith and endurance you can find to fight for God and for life. Let’s not take ourselves for granted and let’s seek to do all the good we can do.

- Josh loved to be loved. To be held and touched, and he would respond in touch. That last day of his life he sat on his Meemaw’s lap and on his mother’s lap, and would gently touch their face with his hand as if to say, “hey, everything is going to be alright.”

- Josh loved to play. He was a little boy and the little boy in him was developing. He was making all the discoveries that little boys make, and it delighted his family to see his love of life and his personality beginning to blossom.

- Josh taught us the importance of living one day at a time. It was important to take big chunks of days and weeks together, but to simply live one day at a time. Deal with the matters of the day. Cherish each day and each moment in each day.

I want you to know about another little child, a girl. She was sugar and spice and everything nice. She was a joy to her parents and to her family. She was a delight to all. And she had a zest and zeal for life. Her name was Kelly Corbly. Kelly’s parents lost her to this life only a short time before Joshua. Joshua needed a heart transplant if he was going to make it in this life. When Kelly was taken so tragically her parents decided that her little heart might help someone else and so a little part of Kelly became a little part of Joshua. We acknowledge this most awesome gift that you gave. We thank Kelly for her gift. We express our deepest grief and sorrow in this loss. And we are grateful for your giving spirit in the most difficult of all circumstances. As heaven’s newest residents, Kelly and Josh must be exploring heaven’s playgrounds hand in hand.

The Bible has some very wonderful and warm stories of children and their relationship to God. Listen to some of these and be comforted in how heaven understands and sees children.