In Memory of Johnny Harvey

The death of old friends is a part of growing up that nobody really tells you about. Everything just seems so infinite...right up until the day you get an unexpected phone call. It's the second time this year and the third time in my life that I've had to say goodbye. I must admit, it never really seems real. So many of my friends have come in and out of my life, often with years in between, that part of me just expects to run into him again some random Saturday night....not this time.

In summary, for those who have never met him, Johnny was a larger than life person whom everyone loved and respected. We were never close enough to have a deep understanding of one another. But, from afar, it was easy to see that we could have been the best of friends. He wrote a poem, presumably before he left for the Navy, that was delivered at the viewing. I wanted to post it here to honor his contribution.

Goodbye old friend. You are further proof that only the good die young. I would be honored if a little piece of your soul could find its way into my future children.

To Those I Love
by: John (Johnny) Edward Harvey - 7.31.79::11.01.06

When I am gone, release me, let me go...
I have so many things to see and do.
You musn't tie yourself to me with tears,
be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess,
How much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But not it's time I traveled on.
So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for awhile that we must part.
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me,
I'll be near...
And if you listen with your heart you'll hear
All of my love around you, soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way,
I'll greet you with a smile, and "Welcome Home."