SHERRI LEA HARRIS
SEP 22, 1964 – MAY 20, 1971
When Sherri entered the first grade at Vera Kilpatrick Elementary in the fall of 1970, she was your average, toe-headed little girl whose whole family adored her.
Sherri was the third of three children born to James and Barbara (Bobbie) Harris. Her mother was thirty-five when she was born and we were all soon to know that we had ourselves a “rotten” little girl. This was just fine as would testify any member of the family including her big sister Trudie and big brother Mike as well as half-sister Pat.
You could not keep from loving her!
She had a little mischievous grin and a twinkle in her eye and loved to have fun. She loved to get hugs and return them!
On a weekend in May 1971, while playing with some neighborhood children – one of the boys kicked Sherri in her side as they fell while playing on a tractor inner tube. To this day, her older sister, Trudie, can tell you the kid’s name.
Later, Sherri complained to her mother that her side was hurting. While giving her a bath, Bobbie noticed that her side seemed swollen. She called the doctor and he said to bring her on to the emergency room now or I’ll be hearing from you at 2 a.m. with a stomach ache.
That trip to the hospital would prove to be the worst news that anyone could imagine. After tests, it was determined that Sherri had a growth in her side and arrangements were made to travel to Houston, Texas and enter the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Minds went back to the boy kicking Sherri and questions of how and why? No, the kick did not cause the growth – which was later identified as a Wilms’ tumor, it just caused enough pain that the bad tumor was noticed.
Her daddy, James had total support of his employer as did Bobbie. This was only the beginning of such support from family and friends that it is still unbelievable.
Her grandmother, Mrs. Julia Pittman, sisters, brother and aunts, cousins, neighbors, teachers and folks they really didn’t know too well made trips to Houston numerous times. Monetary gifts, clothes for this precious six year old and gifts, gifts, gifts!
During the next six weeks, time flew and also was too slow. James sat vigil there at the hospital making craft items, such as key chains, billfolds and other things. Most of the family received some of these that made you know – the making of these had possibly helped him hold his sanity.
Even though the team of doctors worked night and day to help, the end came for Sherri Lea Harris on the morning of May 20, 1971.
The world seemed to stop!
Memories are treasured and live in our hearts!