Kelly Lovering, who was a giant of a man in the Saskatchewan and Canadian sporting communities, died on Wednesday at 11:15 p.m. He was 69. He took his last shift in the palliative care unit of Regina’s Pasqua Hospital.
A man with an incredible love of life, he kicked cancer’s ass for 5½ years before the battle ended.
Lovering was a lot of things to a lot of people; he also was a poet. Knowing that the end was near, he wrote a final poem, one that he titled Take The Next Shift.
It's always the same in the game or life
A constant barrage of chaos and strife.
So rely on your talents, God's generous gift
Forget your laments and take the next shift.
Backwards thinking is what the weak ones do
They get bogged down and can't come through.
But we never give up when we get miffed
We bounce right up and take the next shift.
Prompt and prepared we get all jobs done
Ignoring the storm and seeking the sun.
Focus on tomorrow, don't let your mind drift
Yesterday is long gone so take the next shift
While others complain and flail in the mire
We forge straight ahead, our spirit won't tire.
When the weaklings flag we give them a lift
Forever ready to take the next shift.
Life has sorrow and joy in equal amounts
How you handle them both is what really counts.
So I'm calling on you not to dwell in the past
Help me through my next shift, I fear it's my last.
May God bless you all.
For more on the life of Kelly Lovering, give this piece right here a read. It was written almost a year ago by Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post.