Douglas-- "You can't get through it alone," Nancy Harp said as she flipped through a book of family photos. What she and her husband Eddie continue to try to get through is the shocking death of their 13-year old son. "All the kids liked him," Nancy said.
Alex Harp was a happy and active eighth grader, but he had an undetected heart problem. "Tuesday on the 14th of August, Eddie had taken him home from school, and that's when it happened," Nancy said.
Alex's aorta ruptured. After getting a frantic phone call, Nancy rushed home. She got there just ahead of the paramedics. "I went in, and Alex was laid over on the love seat and what I thought was dry heaves of crying, it was his last breath that he was taking."
Alex's parents knew of their son's strong faith. He sang gospel music and often read his Bible at school and witnessed to friends and neighbors, but after his death they discovered religious pictures and writings from Alex they'd never seen. "His heart was for the Lord 100%," his mother said.
In death, Alex inspired his parents to start a Christian ministry and a grief support group and to start working for the American Heart Association. "A lot of people think heart disease just runs in men and women. Well, it don't. It can affect a 13-year old child." The Harps organized a walkathon in Alex's memory to raise money for heart research to prevent other families from suffering their sadness.
"I walk his dog at night, and I'll look up and I'll ask God to give him a big hug for me and tell him how proud I am, and I know God'll do it." And until she sees her son again, she keeps him close to her heart and keeps his legacy alive, filling the hearts of others with Alex's love.
That walkathon is Saturday the 23rd in Douglas. Registration starts at 10 a.m. The walk begins at 10:30 at Douglas National Bank on Highway 32. If you want to participate, call Nancy Harp at 912-383-5778 or pick up registration forms at Hungry Howie's or Gospel World in Douglas.