To My Precious West Family

Farewell to cousin, Kenneth Lee West, better known as Kim!

To my family,

It is with sorrow and hope that I write on behalf of your Dayton family. The funeral places a period at the end of Kim’s life – our Kim – cousin, brother, uncle, father, friend. Yet, that period doesn’t have to signify the end of Kim’s impact in our lives. We each have a store of memories from which to draw. Though I’ve spent the majority of my life living far from Sanford, and I didn’t really get to know the adult Kim, I thank God for the precious memories of the little boy with the ready laugh that I grew up with, the boy I played with, shared meals with, fought with – no wait, that was Mitchell (smile).  Our memories of Kim reduce the finality of the period. Yet, as precious as our memories of Kim are, his death gives us something much more important. His passing gives us an opportunity to reflect upon and re-evaluate our own lives. None of us knows how much time we have left. As it was for Kim, death doesn’t often give advance warning of its arrival. We don’t get a chance to yell ‘do over’ when we look at our yesterdays. And tomorrow is a gift we only hope to unwrap. Today, right now, is the only time we have. In this moment, as our lives are intimately touched by the passing of our precious Kim, we face our own immortality. When the period is placed at the end of our lives, when we’ve closed our eyes for the last time in this world, where will we open them? Where will we spend eternity? This is a critical question. It is my deep desire that we have a serious family reunion beyond Heaven’s gates. I want to know that every member of our family will live forever with Christ. Yet, as important as this question is, we cannot afford to neglect the here and now. Don’t be content to simply slide into heaven. Walk boldly, knowing you’ve lived a victorious life, doing the best with what you have. The God who created Kim, who formed him before (Aunt) Mae and Daddy (Uncle Robert) even met, is the same God who promises each of us an abundant life, the God who offers the blessed hope that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! This is Kim’s gift to us.

I love you all.
Donna McNeill Cox
Gerald, Jonathan, Jamie, Hezekiah


One Response

  1. Kim’s unexpected death led me to think about several other people in my life, any one of whom God could take away at a moment’s notice. I see my parents and siblings infrequently because they live so far away. I don’t have much of an excuse for not talking with them more often. Every time someone I know dies I am reminded of how brief and how frail a human life is. I resolve to talk to family and friends more, to express love and appreciation more, and to live life more fully. Before long I’m back in the same old routines. I would like to issue this challenge to myself and everyone reading this: Let’s do better!

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