Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 182

A brief introduction:

My name is Paul Howley. Some people have called me the "luckiest man in the comic book business" but that all changed as of January 9th 2001, when our son, Adam Howley, died.

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 46
Mal Howley: age 46
Adam Howley: my son, age 21
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 17


I met my daughter Cassandra at her voice lesson one day during her junior year of high school. Her voice teacher, Dona Lynn Curry, was an experienced singer who travelled around the world in various singing groups for several years. For some reason, she felt the urge to move from south Florida to the “Lakes Region” area of New Hampshire and she began teaching voice lessons. My daughter learned quite a lot from Dona Lynn including vocal control and vocal performance techniques. Dona Lynn had put together a group of singers from several area churches and she called it “One Voice.” This group put on a fun Christmas program each year at a local school auditorium.

Dona Lynn asked me if I’d be willing to donate some money to the One Voice group so that they could purchase some costumes for the next Christmas program. I was happy to help her out with this. Shortly, she would help me.

As the snow began to melt and the ground thawed in New Hampshire, we realized we needed to make some decisions for Adam’s upcoming burial. We talked with the management at several local cemeteries to find out which place seemed best for us. We settled on Union Cemetery, the one that allowed plantings by the gravesite. Mal and I picked out a cemetery plot and ordered a black marble headstone from Laconia Memorial to be engraved with Adam’s “information.” We decided to have the happy and sad “theatre masks” engraved on the stone so that future generations could know how much Adam loved theatre. The engraver wanted thirty days to complete the headstone but I really wanted the headstone to be at the gravesite in time for the June 2nd burial ceremony so he agreed to get this done for us.

We asked our friend, Eric Robinson, if he’d be willing to speak at the burial and he accepted the task. We knew he’d communicate a meaningful message to anyone who would come.

As the school year came to an end we were surprised and honored that the senior class of Laconia Christian School dedicated their yearbook to us! It read:

“Dedication to Paul and Mal Howley:
Since they came to this area two and a half years ago, the Howleys have proved themselves true friends of Laconia Christian School.
Their constant help with fundraising activities, attendance at nearly every sporting event, help with the drama productions, Mr. Howley’s leadership on the school board, and countless other instances of behind-the-scenes aid have improved this school immeasurably.

Therefore, in memory of their son Adam, a good friend and brother who went to the Lord on January 9, 2001, the senior class would like to dedicate this yearbook to Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Mal Howley.”

As the date of the burial got closer, as we expected, it saddened us even more because we knew this would be the final “chapter” of Adam’s earthly life.

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