We came home that evening, and then (as previously reported) the weekend got busy for us. Sunday morning, Ed got a phone call from one of "his" firemen... Harvey had passed away the night before!!!! He was away on his trip and died suddenly of a heart attack... he was 48 years old. Needless to say, we both found the news shocking!!! I had just met him less than 24 hours ago, and now he was gone, I couldn't imagine how his family and friends must have felt.
The phone was very busy all day Monday, Ed was planning and organizing as everyone decided that they wanted Harvey to have "full fire fighter's funeral"... things began to come together.
They decided that they wanted Harvey to arrive on the back of a firetruck, and true to tradition, the truck should be decked out in black. I had made a set of "black buntings" for the York Fire department a number of years ago, so Ed called down to the old station to see if we could use the bunting. However, no one seemed to know exactly where it was, he called a number of the neighboring towns, but no luck finding it. So... I volunteered to make a set for this station.
Ed got the material and Monday evening (after teaching dog classes) I went to the station and got to work. I had offers of help from several of the members, but because I sort of make these "from the hip" so to speak, I really didn't know where I needed the help. Ed and I worked until 1:30 am, and then - almost done - we had to call it a night, as we just couldn't think much longer.
Tuesday morning we were back at the station, finishing up the details and making sure the bunting fit everything just so.
A cover for the lights.....
And draping for the sides. We got it finished just in time for the truck to go out and attend the visiting hours.
Today was Harvey's funeral. And even though I had met him just that one time, and only had those few minutes with him, I certainly got to know Harvey today. Talk about a "full church"... this was a great big church and it was packed to the brim. Not only was Harvey a fire fighter, but he was a devoted husband and father, extremely active in his church, he had served his country in the military.. and had literally hundreds of friends.
The firemen did a beautiful job of giving Harvey their honor... driving him to the church on the back of a truck
Lining the walkway with a grand display
And gently again, placing him on the truck to "return" him
And the thought that struck me the most as the truck pulled up the hill, taking Harvey for his last ride..
was.. it was only his body on that truck, for I know for sure....
that his heart and his soul are with our Loving Heavenly Father, and he will be greatly missed by many here on earth.
I am grateful to have met him and sad that I will never know him.....