Who knew what a powerful impact that super-blond kid with a lisp would continue to have on my life? I have not heard his lisp in almost 60 years. Yet six decades later, I relive, reminisce, grieve, smile and wonder what kind of life Larry would have had if he had been given the chance to grow up. How different all of our lives would have been but for that tragic Saturday morning in October.
|Larry, 4 in 1950…|
Early on, we were best buds. I’m sure we must have fought at times, but for the life of me I cannot remember one time in our short life together when he was mean to me. I was his pain in the ass little sister, trying valiantly to keep up with him. He was four and a half years older than me and had the run of the small town by the time he was 10. Pigeon hunting, shooting rats at the dump with his B-B gun, swimming at the pit, playing marbles, baseball (he was a lefty), riding his Schwinn bike everywhere. I could do none of these things because I was too little. But he always found time to play with me. We played together a lot before we moved to the epicenter of our little town in 1955. He was younger then, there weren’t nearly as many boys his age and the neighborhood was sparse.
|Little Neese in my playhouse in 1954. Before Mom cut my pigtails off…|
No, we weren’t the all American family. I don’t think we had much money, and our parents were not very close. There’s always been conflicting perspectives about our family life before (and after) we lost Larry. My sister has a whole different slant on our upbringing than I remember. Although I never remember Mom and Dad being very romantic around each other, Mona claims both mom and dad were mean to her. They were not mean to me. I remember us being a rather happy family, she does not.
|Larry, about 7…|
Larry had the best personality in our family. He got the whole enchilada. I managed to snag about half a tacos worth. He was easy going, good natured and well liked. I was a spoiled brat and Mona had issues. But Larry turned out just right. He was close to both Mom and Dad during his short tenure on earth. There’s just not much in the negative department when talking about my big brother. I adored him.
|1951, Larry, me and Mona…|
So how is it that after nearly 60 years, I still think about him everyday? I was not quite 8 when the world we knew turned sour. Hard for an already fragile family to hold it together when delivered such a devastating blow. Larry was hit by a car while riding to our grandparents on my bike, which he had borrowed (but promised to give me a dime for using it because it had the basket he needed). Larry was 12. He was killed instantly. Nothing can take away that pain. It’s eased up but has never gone away. I guess I don’t want it to at this juncture in my life.
|Larry, what a total doll, 1950…|
Larry was born 72 years ago today. That doesn’t seem possible. Seems like yesterday, we were living on the west side of Rock Valley. Life was good, we enjoyed endless summer days in the play house dad had just finished building. What I wouldn’t give to just have a couple of those days back. Two days. Heck, I’d be happy with 2 hours.
|About a year before he died. Mona 14, Larry, 11, me 6…|
Each passing day brings a family reunion closer. While I’m anxious to see him, I’m content with looking to the future til we meet again. There’s grandchildren in my life who I need to love/watch/enjoy/grow up.
|Larry 4-1/2 watching his newborn little sister, me, 1951…|
Happy Birthday Larry. Love you to the moon and back…
|Larry’s last school picture…|