*Note: I wrote this post last night and woke up to learn that Larry Haman Sr. lost his battle with cancer. My sincere condolences to the entire Haman family. Larry made this world a better place….
I went to a bittersweet event tonight. It was a colon cancer benefit for Larry Haman Sr. Larry is in stage IV of the disease and his family and friends are doing all they can to raise money to help him. I’ve been thinking about Larry a lot over the last year or so since I reconnected on FaceBook with his oldest daughter, one of my best childhood friends. That’s when I learned about the challenge Larry’s been facing.
When we moved into a new house in 1976, we had the pleasure of living across the street from the Haman family. Larry Sr. and Cindy, the parents, were the epitome of what I thought a perfect couple should be. They were young and fun and in my seven year old world, their house was THE place to be. We lived in that neighborhood until I graduated from high school and over those years, the Hamans had five children (they had one more child after we all moved away). They were my play mates and eventually I even babysat some of the younger kids.
I remember Larry coming home from working at a car dealership. He was always dressed to the nines and looking professional. He made time to have fun with us kids and he loved teasing us. His smile and that twinkle in his eye is what I remember most. As I look back, Larry Haman Sr. was a huge influence on me. His love for his family and the kids in the neighborhood was apparent. His work ethic balanced with his spirit for fun demonstrated that even then, balancing time as a worker with being a family man was important. He reinforced to us kids that we needed to play fair, never leave the little ones out, and stick together. All those things are lessons that are important as kids, but they continue to help us in our adult lives.
Larry Sr. is very ill and could not make it to the benefit. I was hoping after all these years to be able to hug him and thank him for his role in helping shape who I am. I hope he knows how special and loved he is. Even though people grow up and apart, we can’t forget to reach out now and then and tell them how much they mean.
If you’d like to help support Larry Haman Sr. and the fight against colon cancer, please send donations to:
Larry Haman Sr. Colon Cancer Benefit
c/o The Haman Family
6116 Arbor Green Drive
St. Louis, MO 63129
or donate online at the Colon Cancer Coalition. This is a disease that can be treated successfully if it’s caught early. Be sure to read about the ways you can make sure you are protecting yourself through regular screening.