The words that there is “life in death” is a truth that my family have fully comprehended over the past week. Harry has shone a light across the devastation that his loss has created. To look at the sea of people here and in particular all the young faces of the wonderful children and youth that have come to see Harry, some dressed in sports kit is a reflection of his life and a window to the life of the future. Through the love that he had for everyone and the love that so many people have expressed for us, he has made the pain that little bit more bearable. There is the multitude of people, young and old alike who have sent us their words of support called us by phone or visited our home. So many people know Harry, he has touched so many people and many have expressed feelings to us as if he was their own. My family cannot express our gratitude for all your support love and friendship. The indomitable spirit of Harry is with us all, he is with me as I find myself standing here today, he will always be with us and always a loved member of our family.
Sadly my brother Robert living in Australia is unable to be with us today. We are thinking of you Robert and know that you loved Harry - your thoughts and spirit extend across the water.
This is a celebration of a life, it cannot be anything else. Christened Harris - Harry, known to his many friends as Hazza, Haz, Millsy - Harry was born on Judi’s birthday, the 22nd June 1995. He would have been 12 years old this year. His hallmark love and friendship and of course his brilliant smile.
We all know Harry as the sportsman and his unbounding enthusiasm and skill for any activity that involved a ball. The family have asked Roy to talk about Harry’s sportsmanship today. I want to share the family thoughts on the Harry I called Rascal, remembering the fun times.
There were many sides to Harry’s character. Harry was modest, loving always prepared to help and support others. Stories of Harry are many – here are a few: -
Harry could show an understanding of situations that somehow went beyond his years. I recently started a new business and all the family took a keener interest in what I was doing. As I left the house one night Harry asked where I was going and I said to meet a new customer. He said oh Dad can I come. I said no and he said but I can take my shoes off put my torn trousers on and say that dad needs the deal so that I can have a pair of shoes.
Harry could come out with the unexpected. On calling my brother Derek to wish him a happy birthday harry got through to voicemail. As I listened to Harry speak on the phone he said “Derek, Harry here call me back so that we can Talk Man to Man”.
Harry was resourceful. Holidaying in Cornwall, the beach was ideal territory for Harry to hone his ball skills. A single game of cricket was never enough and Harry would soon be on the hunt for another game as he headed off across the beach. He would target an unsuspecting family and circle their game of cricket with a technique more closely associated with wildlife on one than a beach. Eventually the ball would come his way - he would throw it back smile and bingo he was in. The moment that Harry was offered the bat was the que for the Mills, Denton and Harjette family holidaying together to crack open the tea and biscuits and while away the afternoon watching the hapless family fielding Harry’s shots from every corner of the beach or swimming out to sea to retrieve a superb shot at Deep Point.
And Yes, Harry could also be stroppy. He didn’t tend to react to individual situations but build up to a major stubborn strop every now and again. For no apparent reason one cold winters night Harry burst in to the room and announced that he hated us all, we were the worst family in the world and he was moving out. The Front door slammed and off he went. I grabbed my shoes and went after him knowing that it was a futile act – he could outpace me easily. Eventually I found him lying down in the porch of the printers shop at the end of the road. I asked what was wrong – he hated me the family and didn’t want to live with us and he was staying where he was for the night. He would not be dissuaded and I couldn’t move him. OK Harry I said well it’s a cold night so I had better get you a blanket. He hesitated and wasn’t sure about that but stuck to his guns – well OK then he said meekly. I walked down the road back to the house slowly and glanced back only to see his little head peering around the wall – hopefully Harry was thinking Dad can’t be serious. I kept an eye on the road and waited at the end of the drive to our house – no sign of Harry. OK I thought I had better go and get a blanket. I went back to the porch Harry still there. I have to say that at this stage I was beginning to feel a little uneasy about this as I would not want to be caught putting my son to bed in the porch of a local shop and apart from that there must be a law against it. I put the blanket on Harry. I sensed his determination was waning but he still lay down. I walked back to the house very slowly and with trepidation waited at the end of the drive out of site. I stood for some time before he eventually appeared sneaked into the house and went to bed. The next morning with not a word said he was back to his normal self.
Harry was also a giver. In sports he was always prepared to stick up for his team mates. Upon his death the family were asked if we were prepared to agree to donate to the transplant service. Knowing Harry we all agreed without hesitation. Harry has now given hope and life to 5 other people.
A 16-year-old girl;
Through Harry’s web site at the last count he had collected nearly £8,000. We thank all those who have given.
With everything said, Harry was simply a much-loved son to Judi and myself and brother to Marie Jenny and George. We are a close strong family and we will miss him terribly but through his spirit he will always be with us and we will become stronger.
Goodnight Dear Dear Harry.