Recent Death a Painful Reminder
CHRISTOPHER LAURIE'S DEATH A REMINDER
The tragic, untimely and violent death of Christopher Laurie, 33 year-old son of pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie, in an automobile accident last week dredged up some very sad memories for me. Laurie, apparently a young man with a history of driving with excessive speed and violating car pool lane rules, drove into the rear of a Cal Trans sweeper train moving at a reported 15 mph while cleaning debris from the car pool lane. We'll probably never know what caused Laurie to crash into the sweeper train at such a speed that, despite the high technology impact barrier attached to the rear vehicle, destroyed Laurie's Dodge Magnum so completely that it was all but unrecognizable. It's a sad loss of a young man with much potential.
Laurie's accident - which may have been a result of inattentiveness, reminded me of the passing of my best friend, Larry Moore, at the end of 2003. Some will recall that Larry, my best pal for 57 years, crashed on his motorcycle on a lonely desert road as he drove home from Las Vegas. We'll never know why he missed seeing the three signs that preceded his accident - a "25 mph" sign, a "RR Xing" sign and a "Left Turn" sign - but he did. Those of us who knew Larry as a safe - almost to the point of being boring - motorcycle rider all his life, including his fifteen years as an LAPD motor officer, this accident was simply inexplicable. The only explanation we can come up with is that he just wasn't paying attention. Maybe he was reaching for a drink of water or tuning his radio.. we'll never know.
AT THE SIDE OF MY FRIEND
Larry lingered for six weeks in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Las Vegas before finally succumbing. During that time I stayed at his side, helping doctors decide the course of action that, we hoped, would bring him back to us. Finally, when a blood clot in his heart caused cardiac arrest and the doctors couldn't bring him back again, I had to make the decision to have them stop trying. It was the worst moment of the worst six weeks of my life.
LOSS LEAVES HUGE HOLE
As is the case of the death of Christopher Laurie, my friend's passing left a huge hole in the lives of his friends and family. He loved his daughters and grandson and will never know his brand new granddaughter. Larry's legacy included the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, the premiere relay of it's kind in the world where public safety officers from around the world run from Baker to Las Vegas overnight in a test of fitness, tenacity and teamwork. He and his partner, Chuck Foote, created the event while Larry was the Athletic Director at the Los Angeles Police Academy more than a quarter century ago. Through that event, and others he administered, he formed fast friendships with thousands of people around the world.
DON'T WAIT TO SHARE YOUR LOVE
So today, on the day he would have turned 67 years old, I remind you once again that life is fleeting. Don't waste a second of any day and, above all, tell those you love just how you feel. Don't wait - do it now.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMIGO
The photo at the top of this entry is the last photo taken of us together - snapped just a few weeks before he died. Happy Birthday, Larry...