Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Long Past Due

Have you ever tried to blog something over and over and over and never actually posted it? I could probably find a few drafts in here that I've started about my brother but never posted them. I suppose we'll find out at the end if I actually press publish or not.

Today is Larry's 41st birthday. April 18th and March 14th usually lead to a few extra thoughts in his direction and today was no different. I remember 8 years ago on the first Marth the 14th vividly. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Tucson. In Illinois the weather wasn't as nice, it may not have been snowing or stormy but there was enough leftover ice on the roads and snow on the grass to change the day drastically in both places. As the news came that he had been killed in a car accident I knew almost immediately that I would be speaking at his funeral. Strange thought probably, but it entered my mind. During the rest of the evening I racked my brain trying to remember him. Thinking that I would be speaking about him in just a few days and I couldn't remember ANYTHING. My mind was just blank. How could that even happen? How can you know someone for 31 years and then forget it all? Of course I hadn't forgotten. I won't ever forget. There are things that just stay in your mind forever, and if you know me you'll know that I remember EVERYTHING. I'm not like Poppy Montgomery on Unforgettable...but hey close enough. When I sat down in front of a computer in the hotel we were staying at, because who can write on paper with a pencil anymore, it all came together. The more I typed the more I remembered. The longer the word document got. That's a pretty good sign of a good life, I think, when there are more good stories than you have the time to tell. Rather then tell them again I think I'll just make a list of some of the things I remembered today.

-When we were little his favorite song was "Rhinestone Cowboy". He was also a fan of Billy Joel's "My Life".

-We shared a room for several years when we were little. Probably up until the time he was playing with matches and lit our apartment on fire.

-When he was 6 he was riding his bike down a huge hill. His brakes went out or something and he crashed in to a stop sign and got a HUGE black eye. Well, it was more green because we called him "The Incredible Hulk" for a few weeks.

-He was afraid of spiders. There was nothing like being at one end of the house and hearing him shreiking from his bedroom as if someone was in there trying to murder him. Just a little spider on the light switch that he, of course, didn't notice until turning on his bedroom light.

-He once ditched school and broke in the house through the bathroom window. Nobody needed to call CSI to match the bottom of his shoe with the footprint he left on the bathroom wall.

-While "exploring" the attic space with a few friends they fell through the ceiling leaving quite the mess in the family room.

-With his cross country friends he "borrowed" the life size nativity from Trinity Broadcasting and left it on their English teacher's front lawn. They were caught by the police while returning the items....but fortunately let off with a warning AFTER being handcuffed to a stop sign to wait for their mother's to come get them. The best part of most of his little high school pranks is that they took pictures and they were always wearing their letter man jackets. Seriously - is wearing a jacket with your last name and high school on it the best idea when committing crimes?

-When ditching school it wasn't uncommon to go into a local fast food joint and see that he was also there. Friends would ask "isn't that your brother?" but we would never acknowledge eachother. Turns out he had friends who didn't even know he had a sister.

-He took my friend Stefani to the prom because her date bailed on her. My mom made him rent a tux and get his hair cut (see picture above). He was quite annoyed when my date showed up with longer hair then he had had to cut off!

-We once drove from Oregon to California with no car radio. He could sing any song I asked him to. If he didn't know what the song was I could give him a few lines and then he was off. He also punched me in the arm EVERY time there was a sign that said "no soft shoulder". NICE!!

-He came to visit me in college while he was in the Air Force. I asked him when he had to be back and he laughed and said he wasn't going. Nice joke until you start getting calls from MP's because your brother is AWOL. Good times. Yes, he went back and served for 8 years.

-He was an amazing dad. A total natural. When his oldest son was born I went to visit and he picked me up from the airport. Tyler was 11 days old and there Larry is walking through the airport with this baby in a stroller. When Tyler would cry at night Larry would say "boy don't make me get up". Just the sound of his voice would quiet the baby. There were also times that Tyler's mom would call Larry at work and have him talk to his son on the phone and it would calm him down.

-He dated a girl who didn't think it was appropriate that he let his 3 year old watch The Simpson's. He broke up with her. This totally makes me laugh. It isn't about The Simpson's - just the fact he was annoyed she questioned his parenting skills.

-After letting his son win one too many races down the hall from the elevator to his apartment he realized he needed to teach him that you don't "always" win. This then resulted in a long conversation after an hysterical Tyler told his mom that his dad "BEAT" him.

-He only spent 5 months with his youngest son, Jacob, but he was a great dad for those five months!

I'm sure I could go on and on...but I think this is about it for now. The thought for the day is "Call someone you love, tell them you love them. Don't put it off for another week. You never know if you will have the time."