Paul Charles Harris was an 18 year old young man full of life and spirit. He was born on November 11th, 1987, in Richmond, Virginia…a Veteran\’s Day baby. He was born 10 days early, in of all things, a November snow storm. His sisters, Hillary and Emily were 11 and 8 years old when Paul was born. It was thrilling for our family to have a new baby, a little red head boy. Paul loved having been born on Veteran\’s Day because it meant he had a holiday from school every year for his birthday.
From the time he was a little guy, Paul was filled with a spirit of adventure! Whenever he walked in the door, the house filled with noise. He always ran up the stairs, closed doors hard, and spoke with a booming voice, singing, playing CD\’s, playing his guitars, calling, \”Mama!\” or \”Dad!\” whenever he needed anything. He made us smile. There was never a dull moment when Paul was home.
Paul loved adventure whether it was climbing trees, climbing walls, playing soccer, body boarding, scuba diving, jet skiing, attending YMCA camp, going to Boy Scout High Adventure camps, or fishing. He loved the ocean more than anywhere else on earth. Soccer was his game and he played from the time he was 5 years old until the time he passed away. He truly lived life to its fullest.
Paul loved his family, loved God, and loved his friends. He will be remembered most of all for being a loyal friend to many people and a good faithful son, brother, grandson, nephew, and uncle.
In July of 2006 our family went to Tennessee to attend a family reunion. We had family photos taken in his grandparents\’ backyard and enjoyed time together. On August 13th, Paul received his Eagle Scout Award along with one of his best friends, a \”brother\” Matt Faircloth. Also in August Paul started college at Tidewater Community College. He had a job delivering pizzas for Domino\’s Pizza. He had good friends, strong family, and was an uncle to three little ones, Morgan, Ella, and Gracelyn. Life was good and Paul was happy.
On September 13th, Paul was in a one car accident on a rainy night on a dangerous road, close to our home. He slid off the road into a deep ditch and was taken to a hospital by the Nightingale Helicopter rescue team. He lived a week, a week of grace for our family and his friends. On September 20th, 2006, Paul passed into the arms of Jesus.
We are grateful for the 18 years and 10 months that we had Paul with us. We are thankful that Paul chose to be an organ/tissue donor. Because of his gifts of life, 49 people have received these gifts, so far. He lives on in our hearts, in the laughter of his nieces and nephew, and in the love we share with his friends (our friends) and our family. We thank God for the gift of Paul\’s life. We miss him every minute of every day. We miss his big crooked smile and his way of saying, \”Yo\” whenever he first walked in the door.
Chuck and Cindy Harris