Saturday, February 5, 2011

Keith Darrell Burnett

As the vast worldwide readership that is Darrell's Yakimania, already knows, I am quite fond of my name--Darrell Keith Smart. One of the happiest days of my life occurred about 3 years ago when Darcee called to tell me that she was going to name one of her twins after me--Keith Darrell Burnett. To say I was thrilled is an understatement of epic proportions. In contrast, one of the worst days of my life was last Tuesday, the day Darcee called to tell me Keith had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Wednesday and Thursday were progressively worse, with seemingly more bleak news from each specialist with whom Darcee and Brent consulted. Thursday night, however, was a very special night, with a turn for the better. We rallied as a family (The Burnetts and the Smarts), had a special prayer and gave Priesthood blessings to Keith, Brent and Darcee. Collectively, we felt at peace. Whatever the outcome we felt that things were in God's Hands; we however, would continue to be hopeful and prayerful.

As a family, we were overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude over the outpouring and expressions of concern and love from family members, friends, and in some cases almost total strangers. Our Stake President, President Grow, called me earlier today (before the good news from the neurosurgeon) and asked, "How are you doing?" My response? "We feel blessed President. We have felt the love of so many that we are truly overwhelmed." During this period of time, each of us commented that we felt the unmistakable love of our Savior. Regardless of the outcome, we felt that He cared about us and heard our prayers.

As many of you know, our family has endured a number of tragic and premature deaths. We have desperately hoped for a miracle in this instance, and to be spared yet another tragedy. We know that not every prayer is answered how we might choose. Darcee was promised in her Patriarchal blessing that she would be blessed to raise very "choice spirits." Keith certainly qualifies as "choice" beyond measure and has fulfilled that prophecy. We still do not know all that we will have to endure in regards to Keith's cancer, but we feel as though our immediate prayers have been answered. After reviewing the post-surgical MRI, the neurosurgeons reported a much more optimistic assessment of Keith's surgery. For more details please see Darcee's post on the

We truly appreciated the fasting and prayers offered on behalf of Keith and our family. The words "Thank You" seem entirely inadequate to describe our profound gratitude for your thoughts, prayers and words of concern and encouragement. Regardless, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We have truly been blessed just to be surrounded by amazing people who have shared our burden and helped lift our load. So again, Thank You!

We know that Keith has a long way to go. He is far from "out of the woods." We, however, are encouraged and hopeful. We feel at peace with whatever happens. As long as there is hope, we will continue to exercise every particle of faith that we can muster and leave the rest in God's Hands.