ON Easter Saturday, Keith McAuliffe of St Theresa's place, Kanturk, surrounded by his loving family, bade farewell to this life and returned to his Father in Heaven, after a short illness.
Keith would be celebrating his 21st birthday this week, on the 7th November.
A heavenly gift on loan to us, his parents, Sheila and Ben, and our parent's first grandchild, Keith is a shining example to his sisters, Sharon and Aisha, and brother Erin.
Keith's bravery and quiet resilience endeared so many people to him throughout his young life.
Having walked with his schoolmates to receive his First Holy Communion, Keith had to cope with transferring his mobility to a wheelchair for his Confirmation.
At a time when accessibility was a constant battle; Keith's fortunes were many as people embraced his challenges as their own to help cultivate a more embracing culture in Kanturk's schools, roadways, buildings and Church to enable everyone to become fully part of this great community. Their help and goodness will always be close to our hearts.
Ours is a happier home because of all the love that Keith brought with him, as witnessed by the great outpouring of emotions during the days of his wake and funeral.
We thank all our neighbours and friends, near and far, who came to support us.
This gave us an opportunity to reminisce about late night phone calls to see Santa in Lapland, meeting the CSI team in Los Angeles, Keith receiving the Garda Youth Award, adventures to France, Italy, England and Wales.
Keith's love of Munster rugby and the GAA gave us many pleasurable days with the van stuffed with sandwiches.
Keith loved life and embraced it with a zest. He was passionate about books and films, looking forward to the new releases and had a willing circle of friends waiting for the call to review them with him.
The most kind-hearted of people were the umbrella for Keith to shelter under when he looked to sail from the safe the harbour of home and embrace a career path. The education and confidence gained at Coláiste Treasa enabled Keith to reach his goal of going to college and live independently as a college student.
The support from the IWA and Tralee I.T., where he studied Computers with Gaming and Development was strengthened by his wonderful colleagues and lecturers.
His world and ours was lifted by the numerous blessings received through the goodwill of the staff of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland and the HSE, they will always be in our prayers.
Keith is and will forever be in our minds and hearts. He is with us every day; felt in the lyrics of a song, looking through a book, a noise, a welcome surprise.
When quietness surrounds us and our hearts are crushed, when your gentle embrace would stem the flow of a thousand tears, when we think that we will not cope, you are there to help us now. In our hearts we know you are telling us "I'm fine". Until we part the thin veil from this life to the next, and meet you again, stay close to us Keith, we love you.
Happy 21st Keith, from your loving family