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Carol Deboer

Distinguished member
May 7, 2003
Dear friends,

when our pastor asked me if i wanted to say a few words about henry and say thank you to some special people, i thought that i would never find the words in my heavy heart to convey what i wanted to say. with pen in hand, i sat, and the words just poured out of my heart. this is what i wrote, and this is what the pastor read for me at henrys service.

where does one begin to explain our lives over the past 7years? it is impossible to explain how much henry suffered, but yet still managed to maintain his sense of humour, dignity, strength and perserverence. he was always focused on maintaininf a positive outlook and became self educated in learning about a diesease that eventually became all of our lives. he fought a hard and tough battle. he was steadfast, he never waivered. he did many things over the years to help fight the als and i thin in many ways and in many self taught methods, prologed his life to the best of his ablility. of course, his will and stubborness not to give in was always evident. henry and his dad made many trips all over ontario, either for acupunture or many of his alternative treatments. he always followed through with any treatment that worked. when he found that the benefites of one treatment stopped, he actively searched out again for a new one. he succeeded in so many ways. of course it was extremely painful for us to watch this strong healthy man become so weak and dependent on us. he never was a burden not did we as a family allow him to feel that way, ever. we were a strong family unit, and love held our bond. we of course had bad moments and we were allowed. we had all been robbed of so many things. i, of course, was losing the love of my life and the children were losing their dad. henry's strength and determination gave way to a whole new meaning of life. we learned so much from him. and i think he learned so much from us. he saw how strong we could be. he say how patient we could be. he saw how we all could overcome the frustrations of all the modifications we all had to make. day to day life became very challenging, bu, yet very rewarding. our hearts were very heavy at many times, and we prayed to god to give us strength to begin a new day. i missed the simple things, a warm hug, embrace, dancing and holding hands. i missed him coming up from behind me and covering my face with kisses. i missed all the love swats on my behind. however, what became stronger was our discussions, and conversations and talks on anything to everything. we had some really good debateds on healthcare, politics, sports and the weather too! henry never told anyone what to do, (especially me!) , he showed us how to do things. my children and i have a huge hole in our hearts now. a deep painful void. i know god will teach us to cope. i know we will all have to learn to rest now. i know that we will have to learn to live now with henry in our hearts, and not here with us. he will be with us always, and that is such comfort. there are so many people that helped henry through the years and with their special love and bond with him, made sure he was somehow always connected with the outside world. it was especially difficult for his sister marg, who lived half way across the world in singapore. marg always made sure that whatever henry needed or wanted, henry had. she wanted only the best for her brother and he had it. she made sure he had the best possilbe care and teatments available. henry was so happy that you came home in february when he was in the hospital. he felt such comfort and peace with you there. the bond that you had as brother and sister was never more clear. nor could you see that it will never be broken. my heart swelled when he said to me, marg came just for me, and she stayed with me everyday, all day. words cannot express my gratitude to you and jim for all of your help, concern and love. we love you both. to cal, who always made time for ahenry. who took henry to the hockey games when he could not play anymore, so he could be with the guys. you were friends for many, many years and henry loved you so much. i however, had some concerns over your "roadtrips" as you so called them. but neverthe less, you picked henry up and took off for whoever knows where. he enjoyed those times so much, you'll never know how much.
to rich, your visits with henry always made him laugh. you always told him several stories and tales that brought laughter and smiles. you always had your "spot" right beside henry when you visited him. you fed him snacks, gave him his drinks, wiped his mouth, made sure he was comfortable, and you always kissed him and told him you loved him. you and karen will always be in my heart forever because of your love for henry.
to louie, who for the past year and a half, made sure henry had a stocked fridge of his favourite food, pasta. not only did you just drop off the food, but you sat with henry for a good visit. henry enjoyed that so much. henry always said, that louie has one of the best laughs, (right behind cals!). louie and antoinetta, thank you, your love and prayers and visits were so appreciated. when you came over last friday lou, you had tears in your eyes when you left. i could see that you maybe thought this was your last visit with your buddy, and sadly, it was.
to bill, you and henry grew up together. you knew each other so well. you loved henry so much, and i could see the pain and agony in your eyes each time you were here. you always said, iots not fair. well, it wasn't, but you always made sure henrys family was taken care of. if something needed done, you did it. henry was like a brother to you, and you took care of us and treated us as family. henry's ramp that you built for him had to be perfect. you made sure it was. henry called it his desinger ramp. he was so happy with it and used it right up unitl last week, when he got outside for the last time. bill, we can never thank you enough for taking such good care of us over the years and henry was so proud of all of your accomplishments, he told me so many times.
to all of henrys friends at the ymca. glen murray, you were an angel. henry was so lucky to have gotten to know you. you picked him up, drove him there, undrressed him, got him to the pool, dried him off, dressed him, brought him home and made sure he had his luhc. the friendship you forged with henry was so strong and we know you loved him so much. thank you from all of us.
to all of the church members, decons, elders, pastor ralph, pastor dan. your visits with henry were so comforting to him. he loved when you read the bible to him and prayed with him. your support and concern during the past months and years were so helpful during our time of need. i will never forget all you did for henry and, for all of us.
to my Dear friend brenda. you loved henry more than words can say. you have been there for us every step of the way. you came with us to our doctor visits in london, and gave so freely of yourself every minute of everyday. you always made sure henry was taken care of and made sure my needs were met too. you truly are the best friend i could have ever hoped for, and henry loved you and amy so much.. he was always co9ncerned for you and only wanted the best for you both. you will miss him so much, but you also gave him so much, and you you know how much he loved you.
to ties, you were so incredible of a friend to henry. from being the best man at our wedding, to being the best friend any one man could ever hope for. you brought energy and love to henry and your constant visits meant so much to him. henry used to say, ties is coming over today hon, is there anthing that needs fixed? we would laugh, because you did more than fix our taps and plumbing. you fixed our hearts too. especially henrys. he would look at you and take in your every word from every story you were telling him. he loved that so much. you were his constant companion of the last few years and your dedication to henry and to the boys and i will never be forgotten. henry loved you so much, and you loved him back. he will always be with you ties, because you have a piece of his heart.
to lee, god had a plan for us to meet. he parked us right across the street from you at the campground. god knew that you would become a big part of our lives and, so the plan unfolded. your help over the past 7 years has been, well, unbelieveable. you never waivered. you took care of us like family. in fact i think you and henry became like brothers. there was a bond with the 2 of you that no one could ever break. you made sure that henry's last summer at the trailer was his best. if you had not of been there, i could not have taken him. henry had a good holiday. we appriecated the fact that over the past 3-4 years you and grace took your holidays the same time as i did. you carried him, put him to bed, got him out of bed, sat with him, talkd to himall day and all night. you never left his side. he loved you so much and of course the family too. he admired graces' tanacity with you and the boys. we had so many good times and sat together each and ever night for so many years. our friendship was indeed in god's plan for henry and i, and i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication and support over the years, because if it wasn't for you, we would have had to give up camping a long time ago. and you simpy wouldn't have it. henry loved you so much lee...oh yeah!
to mom and dad deboer who spent so much time with henry, prayed with him, read to him and took him for walks and trips to the waterfront. henry enjoyed these times so much. your help and support was incredible. we needed you, your son needed you and you never let us down. we thank you for all that you have done and hopefully will still do for us. you wated henry suffer so much and the pain in your eyes was too much for me to watch some days. i know that if you could have made it berrer, you would have. your loss of your son and the pain you are feeling now is unsurmountable, but we do have the reassurance that he is resting now, and safe in the arms of his Dear lord.
to my mom and dad, and sister. your love and support over the years was so strong. you always were there for us. you made sure that i was alright and my needs taken care of. you enjoyed your visits with henry and gave him so much love. my love for you both has grown so much over the years. you shoed me what a strong marriage is all about. for that i am so thankful. you both always made sure that whaever we needed, we had. i know that you will miss him terribly and i know that you will be there for me and the kids when we fall and need you most. i love you so much.
to all of my friends, co-workers, staff, and customers and extended family at hbc. thank you. your concern and love for meduring the past difficult years was very comforting to me. you will never know how much. many of you did not know henry, but felt that you knew him through me. to john and karen, your continued support has been greatly appreciated. i truly work with such a great group of people. i am truly blessed to have you in my life. thank you.
to janet, alisha, and theresa, henry was not a client to you. he was your special friend. he loved you, and you loved him back. you had a loving and caring touch with henry and you all took such good care of him. thank you.
and where does one begin to talk about our children. jeff who steadfastly supported his dad with love and help. it was difficult for him to watch his dad go downhill. i could see it in your eyes, along with all the love. you had so many good years with your dad. daddy doted on you and always, always had time for you. you were the light of his eye, his first born son. he rejoiced watching you grow from a baby, to a boy, and into the fine man you are today. you stayed at home to help us and put your life on hold. you became the man of our house, and sdid so with such pride and love. i have depended on you so much over the past years and daddy knew that you would take care of me. i am so proud of you jeff, most young men would not even begin to understand how or where to start to handle this type of adversity, but you did so, and for that your dad and i are so proud.
alyson helped out in so many ways too. all the walks she went on with dad. all the times you helped feed dad when i was so tired. all the times you sat and just quietly watched tv, just to keep dad company. daddy only ever wanted the best for you and i hope you will make him proud. he loved you so much.
and micheal, where does one begin to express our gratitude to a son who literally live and breathed for his dad? dad relied and depended on you. you were his lifeline and you gave so freely of yourself. you never, ever let us down. we did have some frustrating moments, but, you always made sure your dad was comfortable. your dedication to your dad and i was something that went beyound boundries. dad and i always used to say, we sure did something right raising those boys of ours. dad was so proud of you mike. he loved you more than anything in the world. his world revolved around you, from morning to night, and you were always there. during these difficult past few years mike, you found your calling. dad was so happy that you decided to go into nursing. he will be so proud of your when that day comes. mike, not only did you give so freely of your time and care to daddy, you did so many things for me as well. it was a lot of responsilbilty for such a young man, but,you did so with such love and compassion. god will richly bless you because of you dedication and the care that you bestowed on your daddy. he loved you so much. you will miss him so much. i love you mike and i know that i can never thank you enough, but, because of you, we were able to keep dad at home til the end. bless you son!

and myself, well, it is over. he is free at last. you can never prepare yourself to lose your best friend and the love of your life. he truly inspired so many people and touched so many peoples lives. he fought a long hard battle and i am so proud of him. he is now at peace and resting in the glory of heaven. i will miss him. i will grieve for him. there will be a void in my heart and life that will never be filled again. his love for me was so strong and i will always cherish his dedication to me, forever. he will always live on in my heart. so many people have asked me over the years how i did it. my answer was always very plain.
"i just simply loved him " sweet dreams my darling.

a l s about loving someone

i will be back on the forum soon Dear friends. i need some time now to take care of myself and my children. i will never forget your loving words of compassion, sympathy, and love. it is truly wonderful to be loved so much.

stay strong........... carol xo
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