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12/22/72 ~ 6/9/98


Taken in 1991 when Randy was 43 years old, 
Kathy was 40 years old, Harlan was 18 1/2  years old, 
Mardi was 13 1/2 years old, and Daryl was 7 1/2 years old

Harlan was our first born. He was born 12/22/72, two months after my dad passed away and the day after what would have been my dad's 60th birthday. We'll never forget that day. It was a really bad, snowy day in Cleveland, OH and Randy couldn't see four feet in front of him to drive us to the hospital!

My pregnancy with Harlan was a tough one. I had to quit my job for fear of miscarrying him. Harlan, however, made up for the troublesome pregnancy by being the best baby ever! He slept through the night from the first day we brought him home with us. I had a nurse, whom I used just to help me with the cleaning, laundry, meals etc., he was such a good boy!

When Harlan was one month past his 5th birthday (1/25/77)  Mardi joined the family. My pregnancy with her went well. However, when Mardi was an infant, her insides grew quicker than her outsides so she was a colicky, screaming baby. Harlan quickly became jealous of Mardi no matter how much one-on-one, quality time, we spent with him. By the time he was in the third grade, Harlan was diagnosed as passive aggressive.   (A.D.H.D.~Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder~was not quite as easily diagnosed back then). We placed him in a facility where he came home on weekends only and things took a turn for the worse from that point on.

Daryl was born when Harlan was 9 1/2 yrs old (7/19/83). When I discovered I was pregnant, we made the decision to switch Harlan from coming home just weekends to living at home and attending the facility/school during the weekday. Once again, my pregnancy went well, but Daryl was born with AGRANULOCYTOSIS.  Daryl's white blood cells weren't maturing and multiplying, like David's, "the boy in the bubble". Since we had two healthy children, the doctors decided to treat Daryl like a normal child, after a few weeks in a sterile environment, and he came home to stay.

Between the births of first his baby sister, then his baby brother, and the changes they brought to our lives, Harlan became more and more passive aggressive. When Randy was transferred, through his job, from Cleveland, OH to Brick, NJ, we thought it would be a good way to make a fresh start. At this time Harlan was in the 7th grade. Things didn't turn out as expected, though. Harlan began taking his passive aggressive behavior out on Mardi and Daryl and got involved in drugs. Once more, we placed Harlan in a facility for a short while.

After living in NJ for six years, another job opportunity presented itself to Randy. This time it meant our moving to Dallas, TX. How could we pass that up?! For one thing, it meant a new beginning (again!) as well as pleasant weather for a change. We were wrong once more. Harlan got involved in the wrong crowd and began
doing drugs even more so and added stealing. After all, how do you pay for the drugs if the money isn't available?!

In the seven years he lived in Dallas, Harlan finally got his GED and driver's license just before his 20th birthday. His incentive, for the license at least, was that his younger sister, Mardi, was going to get her learner's permit when she turned 15 and how would it look if Mardi could drive when HE, the older brother, wasn't driving yet?! Also during that time, Harlan attended numerous business schools and colleges but could never make it to enough classes to remain a student for very long. He even moved to Waco, TX to attend McClellan Community College for a short while!

Not only was he unable to remain in school, Harlan also had a difficult time keeping jobs. Don't get me wrong, he always managed to find himself a job, he just didn't stay in one place for long. As far as his staying in one place, Harlan was repeatedly moving out of our home and back in again on an almost regular basis. He enjoyed living at home, free of charge, but didn't like having to abide by our house rules . . . "our house, our rules!".

All these problems were a result of Harlan's drug use. He would say that he was clean but I would notice needle marks on his arms, his red eyes, or that he had 'the shakes'. When asked about these things, he always had an excuse. The marks were a result of his scratching himself too hard . . . despite frequent showers, his skin itched constantly. His eyes were red because his allergy was acting up or he was just very tired. He was shaking either because his back was sore or he was upset about some minor problem he was in the process of correcting . . . maybe a warrant out for his arrest? . . . we never knew what, when, where, or why!

Well, to make an even longer story short, Harlan was frequently caught with drugs, arrested and did jail time.  The last arrest was in 1997, when Harlan was put on a three-year probation. The weekend of June 6, 1998, Harlan dropped by on his way to Waco, TX to visit friends he had made while going to school and living there.  He told us he loved us and that's the last we saw of him, alive. On his way back home, on Tuesday, June 9th, Harlan was stopped for a traffic violation. All went well until the policeman asked Harlan to get out of his truck so they could search it. Since he had drug paraphernalia in a safe in his truck, Harlan sped away going 100+ mph. The rest, so-to-speak, is history.


adopted from:
Touch of Heaven
Please Do Not Take!