Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Sad Decade For Me

Each year for the past decade the run up to Christmas has been especially difficult for me.  At a time when we usually get into that old Christmas spirit and look forward to joyous times with our loved ones I'm reminded of the day my best friend, Larry Moore, died - December 19, 2003 - ten years ago today.  As I sit here at this keyboard, contemplating my life with my friend, it is hard to comprehend that he's been gone for a decade.

I've written often about my friend, as you long-time readers recall.  The first time I laid eyes on him at the age of five when my mother and I were walking down the street past his house a couple blocks from ours and we heard this little voice cry out, "Hi!  Look at me!"  We turned and saw this little kid on the roof of his garage, back at the end of a long driveway.  He had climbed up the backyard incinerator - yes, we burned most of our trash in those days - and was standing poised at the edge of the flat roof directly over the grass strip that was between the two concrete driveway ribbons.  Then we watched as he jumped from the roof and landed safely on that grass strip and bounced up, laughing.
From that moment until fifty-seven years later, at 6:37 p.m., in a room in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital in Las Vegas, he and I had been best friends - closer than most brothers.  At that moment, in that room where - for six weeks -  he had fought a valiant fight to recover from injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident alone on a desert road, I had to tell the staff working feverishly over him to stop trying to bring him back from the cardiac arrest he suffered - the latest of a long list of difficulties he had that month and a half.  It was the worst moment of my life and I relive it in my mind as I type this tonight.
I've written about him often, as I said.  You can find most of those essays by doing a search on this site using his name in the box at the top left corner of the page.  I think you might enjoy what I wrote on December 18, 2006, HERE, and on December 18, 2011, HERE.
Even now I think about our lives together - elementary school; Cub Scouts; church; basketball teams; the girls we dated; the songs he wrote about them; sitting in his little bedroom as he wrote the music which he and his band played at sock hops; his success as a singer and songwriter - he sang and played his guitar on a television program with The Righteous Brothers; as water polo teammates in college where he was an All-American; the vacations with his family; sharing his successes as a 31-year member of the Los Angeles Police Department, including his athletic achievements; his leadership as the Athletic Director at the Police Academy for the last half of his career; his pride in the Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup Relay that he and his partner, Chuck Foote, created and conducted for nearly two decades and the thousands of friends he made in his life.
As Christmas approaches next week please tell the ones you love how you feel.  At my age it seems like each year brings with it the loss of more close friends and family members.  Don't squander a single second - make every one count.
I leave you with a recording of one of his songs, recorded more than 50 years ago.  Enjoy.

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Blogger Cindy Lou Who said...

I read your blog religiously and am often moved to comment but never have. Today I would be remiss if I did not do exactly what you urged each if us to do! I am so sorry for your loss but am also so very happy for you that you have in your life had the type of friendship you described so eloquently. Not many do, ever. I will take your words to heart. This time of year it is especially important to not lose sight of what's really important. Good friends are a gift to be cherished. Thank you for all you do, for your integrity, your sense of humor and your dedication to reporting "just the facts mam"! The world (my world, my community) is a better place because of you. Thank you my friend.

12/19/2013 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

As a former teenager from the 50s, I loved "Hooray for Weekends." As a friend, I honor your dedication to the memory of your dearest friend. In a sense, Larry is alive and well in your heart.

Yesterday was my deceased brother-in-law's 58th birthday. Kevin has been gone for almost 2 years, after a 7-year struggle with cancer. Nevertheless, Kevin is alive and well in our hearts, too.

12/19/2013 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

I am sorry for your loss, Geoff.
You had a special friendship with Larry.
This time of year brings back memories of those who have passed on. I miss all of them very much.
But I am grateful for the new friends in my life and know one day we will all meet again.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are an important part of our community and I appreciate your hard work and dedication to our city and its residents.

12/19/2013 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob & Marcie Stelzer said...

Bob and Marcie-We still rember when you visited us in Las Vegas and showed us the Hospital and motel you stayed in while Larry was recooperating. You were his best friend to spend all that time at his side. Wii pray for him. Hope you and Susie are well.

12/19/2013 09:45:00 PM  

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