I have had a great run. But I’ll be honest; I was counting on at least another 20 good years and not having to write my own obituary. It has been a tough couple of years for my family but with the end of my suffering, they can start to heal. Despite the untimely end, I am deeply thankful for the privileged life I have lived. I have been blessed with the best of friends and a great family over these past 54 years.
I had the best childhood. I grew up on the beautiful Bras D’or and I lived a half mile from the ski hill. I grew up fishing, hunting, roaming the hillsides of Ben Eoin, skiing, and swimming. In those days, there was still cod in the lake and the deer would often come down to Charlie’s pond (what is now the yacht club) to lick the salt from the rocks on the shore.
I grew up with the best of neighbours in the McMasters, Giornos, Frasers, Mahers and O’Neills. Sleepovers at Betty and Steve’s were the best; they let us put chocolate milk in our cornflakes.
As I grew older and eventually moved farther away from home, I often wondered why I ever left in the first place. But I was lucky to get home every summer, as most Islanders do. And if I had never gone out West I never would have met Katrina who blessed my life with two beautiful sons, Lauchie and Conall. With my passing I know that there will continue to be difficult times ahead for my family, but I know that friends, family, and time will bring some measure of healing, peace, and comfort. I know that they will be well cared for in a way that honors my memory and builds them a beautiful life.
‘I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly
together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.’
Henry Scott – Holland.
Besides my immediate family I am survived by my father and mother, Guy and Cathy Harris, and my sisters; Anne, Colleen, and Jeanette. I am also survived by many loving aunts, uncles and cousins who have been important in my life but if I mentioned all their names here, this would be a very lengthy obituary.
During the course of my life, I have lived and worked in five provinces and one territory. I've worked with fine people and made many friends over the years. I would ask that if you knew me either as a friend or through work you please take some time to write a story you might have about me or an experience we shared together. My hope is that these stories can be collected through my sisters and compiled in some form for my sons to have. Thank you in advance to those of you who take the time to do this for my sons and I.
Special thanks to the boys of 4th Mac (StFXU) as well as Brent, Phil, Brian, and Craig. There are no words to describe how thankful I have been for you guys who have walked beside me these past couple of years. Also, special thanks to Auntie Fritzi, Susan and Eldon, Tiefengrund Mennonite Church, Ed Olfert, the Regiers and Kathleen Mortensen for all your support. Thanks to everyone who helped me get home to Nova Scotia during the pandemic, you know who you are. Finally, a huge thanks to Dr. James McMillan and Sarah Warkentin from the palliative care team, Dr. Kaler, Sylvia and the entire staff of Rosthern Hospital. I know I was at the best place at the end. Thanks to everyone who visited and provided support throughout the course of my illness. So many of you have done so much; I cannot express how important that support has been.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Tiefengrund Mennonite Church (www.tiefengrundchurch.ca), a small but mighty community of gentle and selfless souls who have supported my family throughout the course of my illness.
Finally, to my beautiful Katrina, Lauchie, and Conall: I love you. Goodbye. There are better days ahead. I will be with you always.
"Maybe time running out is a gift.
I'll work hard 'til the end of my shift
And give you every second I can find.
And hope it isn't me who is left behind."
led by Ed Olfert
Saturday, October 21. 2023
Tiefengrund Mennonite Church
Details to be determined for a service in Cape Breton at a later date.
Arrangements entrusted to Funk's Funeral Home, Rosthern, SK