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Where two or three are gathered together in my name
There am I in the midst of them
In Memory of Dick Kelly, cancer took his life, but it never took his spirit
"I feel like the luckiest man in the world!" This was Dick's response when, five weeks after his diagnosis and two weeks into radiation and chemotherapy, he was asked by a friend, "How do you feel?" The question was meant to ask, How do YOU feel? Are YOU hurting? Are YOU comfortable? But Dick took the question past that to mean, How are you feeling about life? What are you feeling inside?
Dick said, "The phone has rung off the wall, I get a stack of cards in the mail every day, people I haven't seen in years have driven hundreds of miles to see me and say hello, shake my hand, hug me, and tell me they love me. This has been the most humbling experience of my life."
Dick was blessed because he was given the opportunity to hear from the people whose lives he touched or helped in some way. He received cards from across the country, a hat from the Hard Rock Cafe in Nairobi, a card signed by his High School Class from fifty years ago, from the people who were important to him, the people on whom he depended or who at some time depended on him. People were important to Dick. He carried a two dollar bill with him for over 40 years. That two dollar bill was important to Dick because it was signed by four of his buddies from his squadron in Korea after they returned from a mission. They were people who trusted and depended on him, and whom he trusted and depended.
Forty-four years ago a newspaper clipping read, "Lt. Richard Kelly, a Graduate of Ranger High School and Texas A&M College is Surely One of the Luckiest Guys in all the World." That day Dick had miraculously survived a mid-air collision in his F-80 Shooting Star jet. He walked away from tragedy with an emotional scar of losing his friend in that crash, his friend whom he trusted and depended on. But he knew that life must move forward.
In a diary that Dick kept during his illness, this is his last entry:
"There are no days I do not know that I have cancer, but I do not concentrate on that. I do not spend my time thinking about dying, I am much more interested in living. Of course, no one knows what each day will bring, no value in trying to figure it out, will just make the best of it. Have done well in service, business and church work, don't need any extra applause in my life."