Henry came to us from St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in the summer of 1997. He was at the time undergoing experimental treatment for cancer of the lymph-nodes, when our friend AoT, learned of his interest in CW and encouraged him to go into the Civil War Chat room. For several months he was very reluctant to do anything more than lurk. He always said he was just a kid and would feel stupid talking to all us EXPERTS! When he finally decided to join in, he and others had some great discussions on the Civil War in general and U.S. Grant in particular. He especially enjoyed the younger members of our group discussions about their reenacting experiences. He planned to be one when he was old enough. Henry, in my humble opinion held his own and was a great contributor.
Henry seemed to rally as a result of the treatments and was finally allowed to go home in Feb of 1998. He had been had been at St. Jude's for almost 9 months. His mother was insistent that Henry approach this thing like it was not going to be terminal. He did home school and his plan was to return to school this fall. About the Middle of April Henry seemed to take a turn for the worst. Then complications began to develop. He finally succumbed shortly after midnight on June 1, 1998 with his mom and his little pard "SAM" the hound at his side. He had not yet seen his 12th birthday.
My friends, most of what I have just related are the facts as I know them. Interspersed with some opinions of course. The following is my opinion, based on observations as I saw them. One of which was how this young man put a whole new meaning to the term "Momma's Boy." Henry loved his mom with a passion seldom exhibited by anyone of any age. What a great tribute to one who must be a wonderful woman! I hearken back to the day that Henry found a way to put his mom's picture in the chatroom (not an easy task for anyone to do) and how he told us all just what a great person she was. What a day that was!
Some years ago I served in combat with some of the finest and bravest men in the world. I watched them literally spit in the eye of death. Most came home, many did not. However, not one amongst them out shown our friend Henry. I think he looked the Grim Reaper square in the eyes and said "take me if you will, but I will not go quietly into that good night. I will fight you every minute, of every hour, of every day!" My young friend, you have set the bar terribly high. I fear that many of us will not be able to clear it. May the good lord bless and keep your mom until you meet again at the final bivouac.
|MAP's Tribute||A fine remembrance from one of our own, to one of our own.|
|The Day We Knew||The chatroom on the day we received the news. A truly great but emotional read!|
Personal Note: I know that I will embarrass him when I say this but I'm gonna do it anyway. For those of you that don't know, it was AoT that donated the computer to the Ronald McDonald house that allowed Henry to chat with us. It was AoT that took Henry on a personal tour of the Shiloh battlefield in his final days at St. Jude's. It was AoT who sent the puppy (that Henry named Sam) to him for Easter. It was AoT that stood beside his mom at the funeral when they said their final farewells. There are many more things that I could mention, but if there was a finer role model for Henry than AoT was, someone will have to introduce me for I have never met him. Sorry AoT, but you are one heck of a guy and even though we have never met, I am proud to call you "friend"!