dear harry…


Dear Harry,

The time has come to say “Goodbye” to you and I can hardly believe we are in this place. I thought I was ready but I really am not.

I have so many fond memories of you and your crusty, old fart ways! Your passion for what was right and wrong! The way that you would criticize people when they were doing things wrong and those people who you felt had slighted you! You always made me laugh when you did that! Really, you did! Trying to come off as all mean and stuff, but I never bought into it! I also have very warm memories of the loving, caring side of you that very few people saw or were aware of. How much you loved your children, grandchild and your wife. Family meant a great deal to you and it was the source of much pride for you! The way you loved to organize and have a place for everything. That garage of yours always amazed me. The STUFF you collected always surprised me and how you kept it all neat and tidy was a source of much inspiration for me. And you always knew exactly where everything was! I will always remember how much you loved being a referee! Especially the young kids! You were steadfast with being a fair, equitable referee and took great pride in doing it right. My boys loved playing a game when they knew their Uncle Harry was on the field with them. They took great pride in that! Simon and Jared have always looked up to you and they both have struggled with how they were going to feel about you being gone. I promise that Richard and I will always keep your memory strong for both of them! I know you loved them as much and they knew it. I also have images of absolutely gracefulness as you dealt with your journey. At first, the shock of the diagnosis and then your valiant fight through the path that had been laid out for you. No, you did not want it. You and Jill had so much more to do with your lives. But in light of that, you tried your best to keep a stiff upper lip and give the impression that you were handling it with such grace. Yes, there were many times of grace, but I know that deep down you were thoroughly pissed off that this struggle had been given to you. As would anybody…

I have tried to be strong and be the person people could look to during this rough ride we have come to know as “Cancer”. And I think I did an okay job in your honour. I just wanted your wife and kids to feel they had someone to talk to. Our families have had such a relaxed relationship. Comfortable, pleasant, respectful of each other and happy! I remember you and Jill being there for Richard and I when I had my own journey with Breast Cancer. I wish your journey had ended the same as mine. Oh, how I wish that had happened! As you went through each stage of your illness, I knew that it could have been me in that hospital bed. I never lose sight of that fact.

Now, we all have to say goodbye to you and we are not ready! We still want you here with us. I want you to be on the football field as the kids referee, I want my husband to be able to call his brother and see what his week has been like, I want, I want, I want!!!

But here we are…

So now I need and want to look in another direction. You are gone and after all the suffering I find peace in the fact that you are no longer hurting. You are painfree and hopefully in a far better place visiting with your Dad. Hopefully you both are having a great conversation and catching up. He is no longer alone; you are together. We are here and will always remember you my friend! Watch over us! Keep us close as we will keep you close! And never, ever forget how much we all love you and miss you!

Love your Friend,



  1. Sandy Warner says:

    So very very sorry for your loss Judy, Richard, Simon and Jared! Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time. Our deepest condolences,
    The Warner Family

  2. Dear Judy and Richard,
    I am so sad for you all. It is never fair and never easy. I hate all these illnesses and how they shake our worlds. I am praying for you all. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying so hard that you will get through this incredibly sad tough time.

    • Hey Shirley, so nice to hear from you!! Yeah, illness is ugly! But there is lots of love here and we will be good! Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to when we are together again!

  3. Once again, Judy, you have shared a battle with cancer that has raged within your family & you have done so, so eloquently. Thank you for sharing Harry with us through your personal goodbye. I am truly sorry for Richard’s loss of his brother, your loss of a brother in law, & Simon & Jared’s loss of a much loved uncle. I know that Sean, Karl, Joyce & I can really relate to & empathize with all of you at this time, having lost our own much loved uncle/brother. Please know that we shall keep Harry’s wife, children, grandchild, & all of you in our thoughts & prayers. I can scarcely believe that Simon was able to go out & play that quarter final football game yesterday, given the news. He must have had extra inspiration & motivation during that game because, despite the driving wind & rain, he played a magnificent game, receiving & blocking like a pro in what must be one of his best games this season! Simon made a spectacular catch, against the wind, in the Grand River end zone, nabbing the Hawk’s first TD of the game directly in front of me. I’m sure Harry was thrilled for his success! What better tribute could this fine young man give as a send off to a football loving referee & uncle than that magnificent catch & a fine performance throughout the game? It was an admirable tribute in my opinion. Take good care of each other during the difficult days to come & know that you & your boys will be surrounded by supportive friends & teammates. God bless you all.

    • Elaine, once again your message has touched me in so many ways! Thanks again for such comforting words. Watching Simon play a great game was very emotional and a true tribute to Harry. He was with us on the field! Of that I am sure!

  4. John and catherine Dunham says:

    wow i am at such a loss for word
    s judy as a young and by young i mean inexperienced official harry took the time to work with me, i am greatful that i got the chance to tell him how much that meant to me. He was crusty on the outside but not at all on the inside he was a real mentor too me and we had so much fun working games together, so many memories of i fine man. Judy Richard Simon Jared on behalf of my wife and me know that you are in our thoughts today.

  5. Joanne Skalos says:

    Beautifully written Judy,
    Our thoughts are with your family at this difficult time
    RIP Harry

  6. Judy, we were so sorry to hear of Harry’s passing. He will be missed that is for sure. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. God’s speed.

  7. Paula Douglas says:

    Hi Judy, I am so sorry to hear about Harry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. He will be missed but never forgotten.

  8. Hi Judy, it’s Suzanne here, Jill and Harry’s neighbour. I started to read this entry in a restaurant yesterday but had to stop and wait til I was alone. You have captured Harry so perfectly with your words. I especially loved where you called him a crusty old fart! Perfect! But we know what a softy he really was. Rob and I and our boys feel so blessed to have been friends for so many years with the Beeksmas and we will miss Harry every day.


    • Hi Suzanne and Rob, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such great neighbours to Jill and Harry! I know that Harry really appreciated that! I also know that he really cherished your friendship!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: