The Compassionate Friends
The Camden County Chapter">

The Compassionate Friends
The Camden County Chapter, New Jersey   


In Loving Memory 
Calvin Paul Ranney
11/10/82 - 6/27/96


Seven stockings by the wall,
little footsteps in the hall.
Every year we change and grow,
add a stocking to the row.

But this year our heads are bowed:
one dear smile is missing now.
How can we have Christmas joy
without our laughing, teasing boy?

In Bethlehem, the babe's still born,
the angels sing on Christmas morn.
But just beyond, already stands
the cross:  its shadow fills the land.

The cradle's there, and then the cross;
my son's my gain, and then my loss.
We shun the deaths, and love the births--
but Jesus' death gave hope to earth.
That death upon the ancient cross,
the empty tomb, the sense of loss,
turned suddenly to bright sunrise,
eternal hope for one who dies.

And now I try to understand
the wonders he knows in that land.
Does heaven ring with his great laugh?
Does his ball bounce down golden paths?

I know he's looked in Jesus' eyes,
no more his sorrows make him cry.
No more fears for him to face,
he's cuddled in the Lord's embrace.

We just dream, by the Christmas tree
of things that he can really see;
he's home for Christmas; we're away.
His joy is full this Christmas Day.

Submitted by
Carol A. Ranney
Calvin's Mother


Christmas Eve has come again,
the baby born in Bethlehem.
The tree is up, the shining lights,
expectant children wait for night.

But in my mind I'm far away--
six months ago, this very day
I told my son a quick goodbye,
never dreaming he would die.

How could I have stood the pain
if I had known, never again
would he come banging in the door,
or gripe at every little chore.

Never to hear the way he'd laugh,
or bounce his ball along the path,
or ask to sit down on my knee,
though he'd grown taller now than me.

Christmas seems too full of joy
when my heart aches without my boy.
Then, late at night, the prophet's words
come new to me, though often heard.
"Surely He has borne our grief"--
those old words now bring new peace.
For long ago, this very day,
God sent His own dear Son away.

He knew too well His Son would die
as He said that last goodbye.
He knew His child would be despised,
and spit upon, and crucified.

And He saw how much pain there'd be
for human mothers such as me;
affirmed our grief through Simeon's words
of mother-heart pierced through by sword.

Unfaltering love through dying pain
to bring a wanderer home again,
although that one might turn and go--
a love like that I'll never know.

In all life's pain and mystery
why my son died I'll never see...
But there's no more a last goodbye,
because God sent His Son to die.

Submitted by
Carol A. Ranney
Calvin's Mother

In Memory
Susan Elsie Hutto Krasae
12/29/71 -- 04/30/97

Oh, my darling, Oh my darling daughter Susan Elsie, 
God has taken you to heaven oh, my daughter, Sue Elsie
You Worried about your daddy, as he worked to clear up debts
And as I worked hard on that, it must have seemed like great neglect.
Forgive me Susan, honey, if I'd known what was to come
I'd have spent more precious time with you, and left you less alone
Our life together without you, Susan will continue as before
Your home we bought together will remain an open door
John is now a part of the family, when the children come home from school, 
Daddy will be there to greet them but we'll miss you, precious jewel.

Daddy, Amber, and Daniel

Submitted by
Carlisle Hutto
Susan's Father

In Loving Memory
Nicol Leanne McGrath
04/08/75 -- 03/13/94


My child.  
We are separate people...
yet we are one.
When she is happy, so am I.
  When she is anxious, so am I. 
  Our souls overlap and mingle 
for my children are a part of me.
  Sadly I've come to learn it's an everlasting bond
 that even DEATH cannot separate.

Submitted by
Charlene McGrath
Nicol's Mother
Copyright: Dec. 1999.


  In Memory  
Timothy James "T.J." Ward
02/04/83 -- 11/23/99

T.J. I don't know how to say goodbye to you.  You were the greatest love I will ever know.  You touched so many lives from the very beginning.  The brothers you were named after argued about what you would be called.  Mama decided on T.J., so no one's feelings were hurt.  But to me you were always My little man.  I love you son.  I can't wait to be with you.

Timeless love - A love I will never know again.
 I miss you more each passing day.
Many I love you's - So many we did not get to say.
Only God knows why he why he called you home.
The most beautiful flower in heaven.  A gardenia I would say.
Heaven's gates guard you now.
Years - 16 wonderful one's - Not quite enough.

Just memories and pictures - Nothing left to hold.
A family weeps for what will never be.
My little man you will always be.
Everyone misses you - None more than me.
Son, My heart and Soul, will always be yours.

Walk with the Angels till we meet again.
A part of me is gone - never to be again.
Right away I knew you were the very best of me.
Death is a soul set free.  Yours is flying higher, and brighter, and freer than ever.

In Loving Memory of the most beautiful person I will ever know.
Timothy James "T.J." Ward
02/04/83 - 11/23/99

Submitted by
Lois Ironmonger
Timothy's Mother

In Memory
Gary Tomic
08/12/63 -- 12/26/91

The Call

Don't think of me with sadness, nor sorrow in your heart,
I heard the Lord call out my name and knew we had to part.

All that the Lord created will return to him one day,
with his love and with his guidance I knew I'd find the way.

I willingly walked upon the trail so many have tread before,
for I knew that peace would come to me once I walked through his open door.

So gently and so lovingly he received my earthly soul,
he took away all pain and fear and made my body whole.

So many things were left unsaid, many dreams yet unfulfilled,
but you my loved ones left behind, your sorrow must be stilled.

You must dry your tears and think of me that I'm at peace at last.
I am all around you now my reaches are so vast.

So when you think of me each day, don't sorrow for the past,
For I am where I had to go, Safe in heaven at last.

My son I will love you forever and miss you for always

Written by
Karin Powell
Gary's mother
TFC  Daytona Beach

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