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September 4th, 1985 - July 14th, 2001
Life is strange sometimes. I mourn the loss of someone I didn't even
like. She wasn't my friend, she was in my school and the friend of my
friend, but she wasn't my friend. I couldn't stand her to be honest.
But even an "unlike" feeling is a feeling. She didn't like me, I didn't
like her, but we did know each other. And I did lose her that day, not
as a friend, but as someone who was part of my life.
I mourn her and wish to honor her memory because, even if we weren't friends, she did die in a way I can only acknowledge for her courage. She died saving her friend, before the hot air balloon of her father was pushed into electric wires. She took her friend, (who was also mine) in her arms and threw her out, saving her life but sacrificing her own. I must be honest, that day she gave her life for her friend, we did lose a brave teen whose smile could light up a room.
She will always have a place in my heart as a hero, but also as the
Bob was my kid brother. When we were young children, I thought he was a pain in the *** and too weird to be related to me. Funny, but when we grew up, Bob was the man I wanted to be. I still remember back in 1974, when our Dad's surgeon met Bob and I outside of the Intensive Care Unit, and informed us that Dad was in the end stages of a terribly painful kidney disease. He went on to explain to us that we should be tested since it was genetically probable that one or both of us would suffer the same disease. I'll never forget until the day I die, the reaction of my brother. He said if the disease were to be passed on to one of us, it should be him, since I had two children and he had none. Our Dad died that year at age fifty, after many years of suffering. Less than a year later, Bob began to experience pain in his back. Within a few months, he was diagnosed with the same polycystic renal disease that killed our Father. Bob worked as long as he could, but eventually became disabled as the cysts made his kidneys the size of footballs. During this time, I became divorced, and within a couple of years became a single dad with two small children. This is when Bob became my "Guardian Angel." He would take the kids on trips to give me a break and watch them and visit them constantly. You see, Bob worried about me and the kids instead of himself. I've never met anyone in my life so selfless. He was in horrible pain his last several years, but still worried about my family. He began to carry an ammo box with narcotics prescribed by his doctor. When the pain became unbearable, he would retreat to his room and inject himself into oblivion. He saw how our Dad suffered in and out of hospitals and made me promise that I would never take any heroic measures to save him when the end came. We talked about death and even told morbidly stupid jokes about dying. On February 20, 1992, Bob fainted and broke his back. Dianne, his companion, took him to a hospital in Virginia. The Doctors insisted on admitting Bob, but he would not have it. He wanted to go home because he was terrified of what may happen to him if he became incapacitated in a hospital. Dianne took Bob home and he died the next day at age forty-two. I cannot accurately describe just how good a man Bob was, and I'll never be able to repay him for everything he did for me and my children. It seemed to me that life just was not fair to Bob, but he took it in stride and did the very best he could. When I look back, I think he somehow knew life would be short because he lived life to the fullest. In his early twenties, he bought a used van and turned it into a camper with a bed, and took off to tour the USA. He was a scuba diver and toured the country for over a year. He learned to skydive and almost killed himself on his first jump. When our Dad became ill, Bob moved back home and helped out until the end. I could go on forever about my brother. Now it is ten years since Bob died and I still miss him. Even now, when something important in my life happens, I think of calling Bob and then realize I can't. Bob, you were there for us when we needed you and we all miss you.
Hmmm...how can I describe Harley? I suppose I should tell you how I
met Harley. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and as a
freshman, I went out for the track team. Little did I know, that the
young man who was a track team manager, was going to have such a
profound impact in my life. The day I met Harley was the day that
changed my life, even if I didn't realize it then. Harley and I had our
ups and downs as most friends do. I remember sharing lunch with him
and going to football games. I remember the first time I ever had
feelings for him as more than friends. He liked someone else then so I
moved on. We didn't talk for much of the summer of 1997, and I figured
that was it. When I came back to high school in the fall of '97, the
old friendship was ignited and we were inseparable. And pretty soon
we were going steady. That's when I really got to know Harley. He was a
smart, sweet, gentle person. I remember our first kiss and our first
Christmas together. I remember how we used to argue over who was better- Jeff Gordon or Mark Martin. I remember how Harley would go to my riding lessons and horse shows. Someone that I knew I could always turn to, no matter how big the problems were. We went to my senior prom together and celebrated my graduation together. I graduated high school the spring of 1998 and was heading off to college that following fall. I knew it was going to be tough for Harley and me, as I was going to school almost 300 miles away. We didn't last as a couple, but the friendship remained very much alive. We hung out constantly when I came home on breaks and over the summer. He was always the first person I called when I got home and we did EVERYTHING together. Go to the movies, revisiting the old high school, hanging out at the mall, swapping stories about ex girlfriends and boyfriends. He was the one person I could tell anything to. He stood by me through thick and thin, even when it seemed that everyone else was gone.
Thanksgiving 2001 started off as normal as ever. My then current
boyfriend and I were home visiting my parents for the holidays. I
hadn't spoken to Harley yet, but I gave him a ring and left a message
on his voicemail. I thought it unusual that he hadn't returned my call,
but figured it was the holiday so he might have just been busy.
Saturday morning, November 22, my Mom woke me early to tell me that
Harley had been in a horrible car accident. He was coming down a winding
road, driving too fast and couldn't make a turn. He ended up spinning
out and wrapping his car around a tree. I had to return to school for
the start of a new term, but I didn't want to leave Harley. Through the
years, Harley had become my best friend and soul mate. About a week
later, November 29 I got the call that Harley had passed away. I would
no longer hear that laugh, see his constant smile or feel his hugs.
Going to the funeral was the worst day of my life and I couldn't even
stand. I had to hold onto my mother for support because I was so
wrought with anger, sadness, grief, guilt and pain. It didn't even
look like him in the coffin.
I entered counseling because I just couldn't deal with being in college
full time while dealing with my loss. The therapy helped and I also had
some wonderful friends that helped me through. I try to remember Harley
every day that I live. I do my best to achieve all my dreams because he
supported me and gave me the encouragement and confidence that I needed to get through. I know that he's watching over me right now and I miss him dearly. But I do know that one day I will see him in Heaven and we will never be apart again.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have comments or just
She died in a car accident on Nov. 14, 1998 at 15 years of age. Anyone living in the Platteville, Wisconsin area who knew her is encouraged to post a message to her memorial page, at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Krystal_Lynch/. All are welcome.
I learned about your site while driving home from work the day before Christmas, when you called into radio station NJ101.5. After hearing your touching story about your friend Arthur, it immediately reminded me of my friend Danny. To tell you the truth, I do find myself thinking about him at least once or twice a week, and always just before Christmas.
Danny was killed by a drunk driver while waiting outside a roller rink, with another friend named Stephen. Unfortunately, Stephen was also killed. I had only met Stephen one time while visiting Danny at his house, and although I really didn't know him that well, he was a nice kid and I really liked him. That tragic night happened a little over 18 years ago, in December 1984, two weeks before Christmas. I can still remember that Friday morning in school when Danny and I were planning to go to the rink with Stephen, and I was to stay overnight at Danny's house. I guess you can say I was lucky I was grounded that weekend for poor grades. I really only knew Danny for about 3 and 1/2 months. I can still remember him walking into the class and sitting next to me and asking me my name. When I told him who I was he said, hey, I remember you from first grade. I had moved to another town and hadn't seen him for about 8 years. When we finally met up again at a technical school in 9th grade, we instantly hit it off. We were inseparable when we were in school, always laughing and hanging out together, and when we got home we would talk on the phone for hours at a time. I had never in my life met another person like him. He always seemed to be so happy, always sharing everything he had, and always there to listen when I had a problem, and he was the kind of guy who would do anything for you and never expect anything in return. He was honestly and truly my best friend, and I miss him dearly.
I have been married now for almost 10 years, to the most beautiful woman and have 3 beautiful children. Sometimes when I look at my family I think of Danny and wonder if he were here and married, maybe our children could have shared a friendship like we did. I still have a couple of things that Danny had given to me packed away in a chest for keepsakes. Once in a while I will take them out and look at them and think to myself, I really miss you! I can still remember the day of his funeral seeing Danny in one room of the funeral parlor and Stephen in the other. He looked peaceful, but God, I hated seeing him like that. I walked up to his mother and looked into her tearful eyes to tell her how sorry I was, and before I could get the words out to tell her she hugged me and told me, Danny really loved you Dale, he really did. Writing this brings tears to my eyes and I think to myself, I love you too Danny!
My grandmother, Betty may have been 67 years old when she passed away but to me that was to young to have died. Gram was a second mother to me.
When I needed her, she was there. Each night, for the past 2 1/2 years since she has passed, I sit and think. 'what would she be doing right now.' I graduated high school this past June and it broke my heart that she wasn't there to see me walk. I pray each and every day that I may see her again. She was a wonderful singer for the local church. She reminded everyone of Miss Betty Boop. Gram had her height and looks. It was a wonderful feeling to see her smile because she just warmed your heart. It's hard losing someone you love so much.
I started in Cherrywood School in the second grade. I went to Seaman Neck for kindergarten and first. I used to take bus #37. Then we rode bikes from the fourth grade on. I lived on Twin Lane North. I remember all of the teachers. They were wonderful. Mr. Reynolds was probably my favorite. He really got us interested in music. I was in the boy's chorus, the chorus and the orchestra. I played the violin. I remember when I made beam duster in Mr. Fitzimins' class. NO ONE WAS LOOKING!!! Boy was I pissed! Mr. Rondenella started a soccer team. I was on that too, but I couldn't even come close to Mike Simon, Rory Sadoff, Bruce Downing, Johnny Brown. Mr. Fitz passed away about a year or so ago. I was very sad to see that.
I do remember the accident with Arthur. I just wish I could remember him. I never went to school with him.
I would love to have a reunion with all the Cherrywooders. Great website. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
Nick and April That's how everyone knew us Even after everything and even still.
You pulled me in so long ago and I never got away no matter how much I tried you were locked in my heart even when we couldn't be together.
You are still in the showcase, (You never even left, like you thought) You are all over my house my mind, my thoughts my memories, my dreams, my days and my nights my world and my life burned into my soul you are there with me.
Nick, the life of the party the laugh that still lingers the smile that brightened the attitude and personality that encouraged the guy everyone loved, the happiest and the saddest, the man of the hour in your suit and Pop's hat. the dancer, the singer, the music lover, the biker, the boater, the driver, the player, the smart ass, the jokester, the lover, the fighter, the friend. You will never leave us.
You changed my life more than you knew You showed me things I never would have seen Brought me places I never would have gone Introduced me to people I would never have met Gave me experiences I'll never forget You brought me into your life, your heart, your group And they've been my family ever since. I have so much to thank you for and no more time to do it.
I'm sorry you hurt so much Felt so much guilt, I'm sorry for your pain If I could have I would've taken it away I would have carried the burden for you if there was any way I smile when I think of you, I laugh at our videos, I admire you in our pictures I see you everywhere and in everything and I know you are there. You are etched into my memory and for that I am grateful.
Stay with me, babe, because I need you now more than ever, I miss you more than I can say and the tears that fall from my eyes are yours. Keep me strong, be by my side I may have been your angel in life Now you are my guardian angel from Heaven. Rest in peace, Nick, Until we meet again I love you.