I wasn't going to post this. But when Oct. 12 rolls around each year some memories hang heavy on my heart and mind and I feel a need to share. This forum is well named and is a place for sharing.
October 12, our son, Brent, age 27, was found dead in his apartment in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His friends had lost contact with him several days earlier and I had been on the phone constantly for three days trying to get police to look into his apparent disappearance. They wouldn't even talk to me for three days. When I finally convinced them to break into his apartment they found him dead. We observe Oct. 12 as his day of passing but, I'm sure, it was several days earlier. The autopsy never discovered the cause of death. Officially the cause of death is "undetermined". We will never know. A perfectly healthy 27 year old just died. Brent was an exceptionally talented writer. When he was editor of the campus newspaper at the University of Arkansas it won the award for the best college newspaper in the country. He wrote a column called "Expletive Deleted" that combined humor with some very insightful analysis of current news and events.
To supplement income from his 9 to 5 job, he wrote music reviews and did promotional work for bands. His favorite band was Everclear. His favorite song was "The Fire Maple Song". We have a fire maple tree planted at the cemetery near his crypt. The Everclear band later dedicated an album to Brent's memory.
One year later, on Oct. 12, some relatives visited from out of state to help us through the difficult first year 'anniversary'. My mind wasn't were it should have been. I was acting stupid trying to keep my thoughts happy and off the sadness of the day. We were showing our farm to the relatives. I had a burro that was broke to pack for hunting. I would walk and lead the animal. It was not broke to be ridden and I am not a rider. But, I tried to ride him, without saddle or reins. He did have a one-rope halter. I got bucked and landed hard on my left side. My kidney was fractured and massive internal bleeding began. I almost died. Five weeks and three surgeries later I went home for a long recovery.
Several years after that, our late in life daughter, was recovering from serious knee surgery at the Shrine hospital. She was at high school, on crutches. Another girl, just goofing off, kicked her and broke the leg at the site of the surgery. That put her in the emergency room and back to Shrine hospital for more surgery. She is a dancer and that was a very dramatic event for her and the family.
Oh, BTW, that happened on October 12.
We don't hole up in a cave on Oct. 12 but we do remember our son. We are placing a wreath of fall leaves on the crypt today and, of course, will be thinking about him.
When you younger guys post pictures, or mention, your children, I often make comments like "treasure them". I mean it, my comments come from a place I pray none of you ever have to be.
Tonight, I will be with friends. I'll be cooking fish for my Shrine Club fish fry. But, we will be thinking about Brent, our other children and our grandchildren. There is nothing more important in life than family.