About TAD



THIS WAS MY EULOGY FOR DAD THAT I SHARED WITH A PACKED CHURCH. A celebration of The Rev. David R. Ketchen’s life was held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (http://StAndrewsFergus.org), Fergus, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

I am David Ketchen’s eldest son, Jonathan Tad Ketchen.

One of my character flaws Dad had to endure was the fact that, due to my Severe OCD, I have always been chronically late. Most of my life, he was also my chauffeur. One day, when I was late getting into the car, I said to him, “Dad, I think God put me on Earth to teach you patience.” He responded, “Mission Accomplished.”

Another day, Dad was driving me home when I said, “Kids and cats have one thing in common. I love them, but I don't want any.”

I continued, “I just visit my friends with cats whenever I need my cat therapy.”

Then, A REALLY HOT WOMAN rode by us on her bicycle; and regarding her, I said, “But I wouldn't mind one of those!”

Dad responded, “They're a lot more trouble than cats.”

I am sharing with you a story and poem that I wrote about the bond between him and me that I shared with him a couple of times while he was still with us. If memory serves, his first response was, “Wow.”

“MY DAD, MY HERO (To The Rev. David R. Ketchen)”

Dad is The Rev. David R. Ketchen, retired Presbyterian pastor. I’ve grown up with a dad who has pastored churches in Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New York State, and Indiana. That’s why when I get homesick, I don’t know where to go.

At the end of Fall 1989, my last semester at Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Dad showed his love in a way I will never forget. Although my two years at Covenant were, spiritually and friendship-wise, a mountaintop experience, my academic performance needed Federal Disaster Relief. I was on the phone with my parents, telling them that even though it was way past the deadline for withdrawing from my courses, I was seriously considering quitting and coming home. I didn’t know what to do. I was at a loss as to where my life was headed or if I’d ever get control of it. To my amazement, Dad, who was pastoring in upstate New York, asked, “Would it help if I came down and helped you through your last week of classes?” I broke down into tears. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And that’s exactly what he did. He drove south, 960 miles (including the final, perilous drive up Lookout Mountain, which he always dreaded), typed my papers for me, and was there for my encouragement in my time of need. A couple of decades later, when reminiscing with him about it, he said, “I also typed papers for other students on your residence hall floor.” That was news to me; so I guess he was a hero to more than just me during that week.

I have dedicated this poem to him:

“MY DAD, MY HERO (To The Rev. David R. Ketchen)”

When I was feeling down,
You picked me up.
When I was dry with thirst,
You filled my cup.
When I was on my mountaintop,
In the depths of my despair . . .
In all these times and always,
You’ve been there.

You drove a thousand miles
Just to hold my hand,
And to help me sweep the shards
Of my shattered plans.
Without an ounce of judgment
Nor a bill for the repairs,
In all these times and always,
You’ve been there.

So many people search the world for everything,
But I’ve got a dad who loves me more than anything.

If God blesses me with children,
I’ll have big shoes to fill.
But I can’t see the future past my window sill.
For now I’m simply glad
To call you “Dad.”

© http://JTK.CA
Tad “JTK.CA” NudistPoet
© Jonathan Tad Ketchen
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
519-­­780-1057 (Home)
519-­­830-4812 (Mobile)

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