August 29, 2008

Hello dear friends and family,

Michael Brian Kellay was born at 3:00 a.m. on August 29, 1971 .  He lived an adventurous, responsible life.  His greatest accomplishments were graduating from Western Michigan University (B.S.), graduating from Wayne State University (M.S.), becoming a husband to Jennifer and becoming a father to Gracyn Elizabeth, Sarah Marie and Alexander Evan.  He was a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, husband, father, and friend.

Michael loved life and his family.  Please remember his family today.  And, in his honor, live TODAY with every kind intention toward others.  Be joyful and give thanks for everything.

With thanks and love to all of you,


Today is now, today is here,
See it near, see it clear.
Yesterday's gone, the future unknown,
So live in today, and watch the day grow.

A child today, a child at play,
Chasing butterflies, happy each day.
Yesterday's gone, the future unknown,
So live in today, and let yourself grow.

Today let us dance, today let us sing,
Our hearts full of joy, we feel like flying.
Yesterday's gone, the future unknown,
Let's live in today, and help others grow.

A day to be sad, a day to forgive,
A day full of trouble, a day hard to live.
Yesterday's gone, the future unknown,
Just live in today, and let your heart grow.

Today is the only day that we have to
Show sweet compassion, seek peace, and share joy.
Yesterday's gone, the future unknown,
So live in today, and help the world grow.

Esther Kellay



August 29, 2007

Today is Michael's 36 th birthday. As his mother, this is a very difficult day. I want to celebrate his birth, I want to celebrate his life, and I want to celebrate it with him and his family and friends. But I can't. He was tragically and suddenly taken away from us on May 16, 2007. He was doing everything right; he was an innocent driver stopped in rush hour traffic, and a "distracted" woman slammed into his car and killed him instantly. In that one second, 35 ½ years of joy were taken away from me. It's not that memories of him do not bring me joy-they certainly do. It's that I and his father poured ourselves into this baby boy and nurtured him through toddler years, public education, Little League, Sunday School and Junior Choir at church, church camp, high school athletics, graduation from Plainwell High School and then from Western Michigan University. I was so proud of him when he graduated from Wayne State University (MBA), and that he had established himself as a competent, fun-loving employee at Ford Motor Co. I loved watching him as he became a wonderful husband and loving father.

Every day I think of the pain that his wife, Jennifer, and their three children have experienced. How do you explain the harsh realities of life to children? Why was their Daddy killed? Every day I think of my oldest son, David, and the significant grief he is going through; Michael was his close friend and confidante. They had a shared history. We expected Michael to be here for many more years. Sons (and daughters) are not supposed to die before their parents. I yearned to make many more memories of and with him.

In one way, every day takes me further away from my experience of Michael, which is very sad. In a spiritual way, every day takes me closer to my future experience of him, which is very comforting. And, in the present, I experience him in my heart, soul, and mind. He's alive! We shared a common faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ, and, therefore, the hope of eternal life. Together, we can celebrate all of life.

You, also, can help celebrate Michael's life. Here's how.

  1. Respect life -your own and others. Make choices that enhance your life rather than diminish it. If you drive, do it with both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. Do all you can to save your own life and the lives of others while driving.
  2. Express your love for family and friends at every opportunity -it may be the last time you see or talk with one another.
  3. Spread joy - it was one of Michael's greatest attributes. Everyone benefits from humor.

Thanks to all who have supported Michael's family through this sad and difficult time. We will make it through this valley of the shadow of death. And, when we get through it, we will concentrate on how blessed we were to have had Michael in our lives for 35 ½ years.

Oh, by the way, "Happy Birthday, Michael. I love you."

On the journey through loss,
Esther Kellay (Michael's mom)