The Compassionate Friends
The Camden County Chapter">

The Compassionate Friends
The Camden County Chapter, New Jersey   


In Loving Memory of
Capt. Thomas L. Acker, GFD
June 26th, 1946    April 15th, 1995

A father, a son, a brother, a friend
He was all these things and more...
So proud of the work he did each day,
of the uniform he wore.

Some will say he wasn't perfect,
but who will ever be?
He was just a man, with dreams and fears,
the same as you and me.

He kept his feelings deep inside,
his emotions went unshared.
Tho he never said the words out loud,
we knew how much he cared.

We all teased and called him "hero"...
Now we pray he really knew
those he touched, and loved, and helped in life
know those teasing words were true.

We miss you Tom,
forever and always...

Your sister,

In Loving Memory of
Stephanie Lynn Shirley
September 5th, 1979 --June 7th, 1997

Organ Donor

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm Free
I'm Following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day.
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief.
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee.
God wanted me now; He set me free!

Submitted by
Cindy Shirley

TCF Augusta

In Memory of
   Benjamin James Perrot  
10/07/79 -- 10/05/98

"In Our Beds"
Shelly Wagner
from Andrews Poems

In our Beds
I call a newly grieving mother.
She is in bed, her voice in pain.
She has come home
to an empty house-her young son
is dead.
"Coming home is hard," she says,
but where else can she go?
I remember days, weeks, months
in my bedroom
climbing vines in the wallpaper,
ripping off leaves,
pressing flowers
between pages of memory.
I'd climb to the top of the branches,
try to break through
to the other side.
Giving up,
I'd look down like God
at myself lying in the bed:
my hair a mess, my eyes bloodshot,
a white handkerchief in one hand,
my child's red shirt in the other,
a comforter
pulled tightly under my chin,
pillows around me like clouds.
I've heard of a woman,
an expert who writes about death,
who when weary lies on her bed
to allow six angels
to minister to her.
They stroke her forehead,
fingertips and toes,
She is refreshed.  I've tried it,
but I've never seen six angels,
not even one.  I've never felt them
touching me,
the key to this mystery
is the lying down to wait.

      Benjamin James Perrot    

Submitted by
Ben's Mom

In Memory of Jamie Renee Stewart
04/01/79 -- 08/15/99

My Jamie

Things To Remember

What a beautiful baby girl, she had the brightest eyes and frosted gold blond
hair, she was healthy and beautiful and even the nurses in the hospital stopped
 in my room to tell me how beautiful that she was.  Of course she was born on
 April 1, 1979 at 12:52 am, April Fools day. My little brother's birthday.  He made
 me promise to hold her in until then....He got his wish and Josh got a new
 baby sister.......... We got our little girl, Jamie.
Oh my, how the years fly by

I can still remember holding her in my arms..  Funny how we forget to remember
 the most simple pleasures that bring us so much joy, peace, love and contentment
 as the years fly by..... As she grew we noticed right off her personality full of 
determination, courage, willfulness and stubborn... Lord she was stubborn.  She almost
always found the way to get what she wanted, right or wrong, she found a way.
 Although Jamie had all the qualities to argue the color of the sky she had a most
 beautiful heart of love and care for others... From the time her little brother was
 born and before, she was the care giver, or so she would have liked to think that she
 was.  She mothered, smothered, protected, competed with, fought with and for her 
brother in any situation that she could find to get herself in.  
Oh my, how the years fly by

She wanted to be the best in everything that she did, from her struggles in
grade school, getting on the B honor roll in middle school.  From Dance team,
to baseball, volleyball, to basketball, to showing her pigs for so many years
at the fair in 4-H and FFA.  Although we always knew  that Jamie would spend
as little time as possible,  which was about a week before fair time, she
always managed to get herself and her pigs in the grand champion or reserved
grand champion rounds at the fair every year!  He determination, willfulness,
and her smile........ Her smile and her laughter would light up any place
that Jamie stepped. 
Oh my, how the years fly by
Her teen years were a time of exploration, some good some bad, and change.  I
often thought and said many times that between her and Josh growing up in
their teen years were the hardest part of my life, and the things we had to
do to fight for her to help her fight for her life was the toughest  thing I
would ever have to do.....I was wrong....Although as I look back, what a very
short time in space that was compared to all the good times and great
accomplishments for her.  For all the heartache that a young woman should
never have to face in her life time, for all of that, I turned around and she
had changed.  She was a woman. 
Oh, my how the years fly by

I want to share with you something that I found in one of Jamie's journals
that she had written a few years ago about herself and that she and I had
talked about only about a week before my life changed forever. That she told
me she felt stronger than ever about herself.

She wrote in her heading


I am strong, confident and determined.  I am powerful and good hearted,
honest, loyal and true.  I love life and enjoy everything.  I adore living. 
Every moment is precious and engaging and interesting.  I am fascinated with
all that goes on.  I can manifest the greatness and the beauty within me by
making healthy, intelligent and constructive choices in my life.  I will look
ahead and plan ahead.  I like people and every moment is full of delight, but
I also look forward to all the adventures and opportunities the future hold
in store for me.  I am going to make it bright and beautiful.  I will show
all the nobility and beauty of my real and true self and shine and be aglow
with all the magnificent good inside of me.  I will make my parents and loved
ones proud of me.
Then she signed it: Jamie Renee Stewart.

A friend and neighbor who has lived up here on the hill by us for the past 8
years said to me the other day that they may have not known Jamie well but
that they watched her grow from their living room window.  As I think about
that statement and the last few years as I watched my Jamie grow and put into
reality the words she wrote, I kind of feel the same way.  Although she and I
shared our conversations and secrets, although we still had our share of
disagreements and arguments.  I watched her in one way or another fulfill all
the things she wrote about herself in her young life and I think about that
living room window when I catch a glance of all the people and lives that she
touched in these past few years.  Over all of her so few years.
Jamie wasn't a princess of a country, although she was our princess. 
didn't die at the hands of a mad man proclaiming her love for God, although
we knew and he knows what is in her heart. 
She was and is a beautiful young
woman that tried to live by her "things to remember".
And did.

I hope that along our life's journey that I had given some things to my Jamie
that helped her in her short journey and adventures.  I know that she did me.
 I am sorry that I didn't tell her more often and let her know more often
what a wonderful, strong, beautiful woman that she was.
And she was....
And oh, my beautiful baby girl, child , woman... You made us proud.  You make
us proud.
Thank you for letting me share on this her sixth week of leaving us.  It
helps me to share an although I really can not believe that the phone will
not ring and I will not hear her voice or see her drive up the road in her
little red car, hear her complain, share our talks, hugs and cuddles.  I am
starting to get a glimpse.  And God it is so painful!  But when I can share
with you that knew her well and those of you that watched her grow from your
living room window be it here on the hill or through family and friends, it
seems to help in some small way.
Jamie was and still is her Grandpa's angel and now she is mine and ours.

Submitted by
Jamie's mother

In Loving Memory of
Harley Avery Malone Owens

Beetle Malone

November 8th, 1991   October 15th, 1998


 I waited a lifetime for you, that special kid, the one just like me. The one who always got in trouble and had a big mouth, and an attitude like no other and enjoyed eating ,but especially loved music. I can remember being pregnant just like it were yesterday. As you grew in my stomach I would play music for you to listen to and would sing even if I didn’t know all the words to a song. 9 months went by and there you were a special little boy. I just knew you were the one, the one, the one just like me. I often sat and rocked you days on end, listening to the radio, playing tapes and singing. You seemed to love it so much. You began to talk and walk, singing and dancing to your own tunes. We often rode in the car, you in the front, your brother and sister in the back singing silly songs, ones we had made up (Two little ladybugs walking down the street ) was the one you loved best because we would always add something to it as we rode down the road.

Often we played the radio at home, you would always say put it on WBBQ or WZNY mama cause they have fast music. The music would belt out so loud that the neighbors would complain but we would just keep on singing and dancing in our living room shouting out tunes by Will Smith, Billy Joel, Elvis and John Denver. Your versions of the songs were never the same but they always made us laugh. You loved your tape collection, Men In Black, The River Of Dreams, but you had two tapes you loved the most Wee Sing Silly Songs and Trains by John Denver. You were hooked on John Denver music. You were the biggest John Denver fan I knew. You and I would sing and dance for hours to theses tapes. The John Denver song you loved best was "Daddy What’s A Trains". In your words it came out Daddy is a Train. We often watched you dance and sing.

One day it hit the News,  plane crash kills singer John Denver. It hit you like a brick, it was as if some one stepped on your heart and broke it, you cried for days on end but you kept up your faith in music. You belted out more songs than ever and danced up a storm. You and your brother would get in the living room and grab the vacuum cleaner and use it for a microphone and you would sing and dance to Elvis, Denver, or Will Smith. Any time the T.V. played you would have it on MTV or VH1 videos. There we could dance to Boy George or Prince but when they came out with swing music you were hooked. Jump Jive and Whale was your song and video. When they played it on T.V. you would say mama dance with me, you just have to throw me cause I can’t throw you mama. I would then pick you up swing you around like they do in swing dancing ,swinging you to one side and then to the other, you would laugh and say do it again mama, just one more dance, just one last dance, the music would continue on and it would be as if we were in our own little world that Jump, Jiving and wailing laughing and singing and you saying just because the music has stopped doesn’t mean the dance is, keep up mama , keep up. We would keep up for hours on end having a good time just as he knew it would be our last dance.

We had taped John Denver’s life story on VH1 videos and we sat singing and watching it for hours on end. We knew the songs and the words perfectly , we cried together the day we sat and watched that video but we enjoyed it so much. That day was Monday October 12, 1998 . I did not know that my special little buddy had other plans that week but God took him that Thursday as the music played on, Denver belted out his tunes on the tape player and Harley sang his last song and danced his last dance. I knew once he was gone that the Music must play on so that Monday as we sat in the chapel for that awful day DENVER sang out on a tape "PEOPLE GET READY FOR THE TRAINS COMING" I knew then that the train had came and Harley had hopped on John Denver by his side. I could picture the two of them singing and dancing but I will always REMEMBER THE LAST DANCE.....

LOVE MAMA Keep on singing and dancing Harley.......

Submitted by
Lea Owens
Harley's Mother
TCF Augusta, Ga

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