Thursday, June 14, 2007

Here's To The Sunny Slopes Of Long Ago...

There is a place in my head where I will go. A place where sorrow and pain can not find me. A place covered with tall grass, rolling hills, and bright blue skies. The only sounds will be the swaying of the grass in the gentle breeze and the whistle of birds playing. A place where I will feel the warmth of the sun on my face, and my legs will be strong again. I will stand in the grass and let the grass brush past my finger tips as it sways. A place where I can see my brother's face and not be sad. A place where the memories will put a smile on my face instead of tears in my eyes.

Friday after they disconnected his ventilator, I sat with my brother while the breath left his body. His wife came in for a while then left, my other brother was there and a longtime family friend stood with us. Other people came in and out but I never left his side. For over two hours his chest would jerk and heave as he struggled to take his short gasps of air. Our friend said that there has to be a better way of dong this. I agreed. His eyes were open but he was not there. It was a hard two hours. I held his hand, it was cold but he was sweating. Slowly he began to calm down and his breathing came to a halt. It was a welcomed silence. Choking back the tears as best I could, I read the Lord’s Prayer out loud. I want my brother to go to Heaven. I want to see him again someday along with our parents. I hope when my time comes to pass that if I’m not able, someone will say the same prayer for me.

-- Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen --

(I didn't cry today)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Monday June 11th at 3:00 PM, we had the Memorial service for my brother Larry Ray today. I saw people that I’d hadn’t seen in over 25 years. I saw people that I had loved at one time or the other. Until today I had never regretted my life. Even with my failures and pains I’d always felt like I had led a good life and that everything was worth it. I had a wonderful father and mother all though they were taken from us too soon. My mom was 49 and my dad 54 when they passed, 3 years apart. I’d had a good relations with all of my brothers and sister. My marriage short as it was, my daughter the best thing that ever happened to me (and still is) my real friends were few but great. I had and have a good relation with God and it’s only gotten better with time. But so many of the people that I saw today were from a different time in my life. From a time when I could have taken many different directions that would have made my life so different. Maybe better maybe worse. During the service my mind wondered. What had happened along the way that I had turned away from these people and taken a path that led me elsewhere. Some of these people I had loved. Some I had thought of as family. Some I had gone to church with and shared meals with. Some I had worked with and some I had known as my brother’s best friends which I’d run around with and grew up with also. My ex wife was there, I see her quite often and we get along pretty well but if I’d known that she was gonna age this well I might have tried harder because she is still hot. There were a few girls there that I had crushes on when I was younger, a couple that I’d even gone out with once or twice. Now they are married and showing me pictures of their kids and even grandkids. Most people there had never seen me in a wheelchair before and I was worried that they would make a fuss over me, and that was the last thing I wanted. This day was not about me and I did not want to spend it explaining why I was in the chair, but it was not too bad. I tend to think things are gonna be worse than they are sometimes. We visited a lot and went to my sister’s afterwards and visited some more. And when it was over and I got home my fears were realized. I had been worried since Friday that when this day was over and all was said and done and everyone was gone and it was quiet again, that I would return home and it would finally hit me. Hit me worse that it already had if that was even possible. My brother, my big brother was gone. So I cried again. And I know that it’s not over and it won’t be anytime soon. I know I’m not the first person to lose a brother but it’s my first time to lose one and I have nothing good to say about it. I miss him. I try and look down the road and I know that I’ll miss him then too. Stupid me got out the family pictures when I got home. That was the wrong thing to do. Larry was the first born so naturally the folks took ten times more pictures of him than the rest of us. I figured out how dumb this was so I put them back away for another time. Maybe a time when it wouldn’t be so hard. If it seems that I’m starting to ramble it’s because I am. I don’t want to get off of here because I’ll start to think too much again. You can only cry so much and then sleep will take over. I’ve done a lot of that in the last four days. Sleep, eat, stair at the wall, sleep, eat, stair at the wall, and then take some medication and sleep some more. Whoever said that denial was a bad thing? If the meds and whiskey hold out I may make it through the week. Peace and good fortune to all.

Larry Ray Shoemake, Born Nov. 22nd, 1954 - Died June 8th, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I cried, I screamed as loud as I could, for as long as I could. I stomped the floor and I cried again. I prayed and after a while I laid down in bed and cried some more. I thought that either I could drink a bottle of Jack Daniel’s or take some pills that would make me sleep. I opted for the pills. At first when I woke up I didn’t know whether it was day or night. I cried again. Through out the rest of the day, every now and then I would start crying. Each time it wasn’t for very long, just enough to give me a headache. I keep picturing my brother’s face. The way he looked when he was young and healthy and then the way he looked the last time I saw him in the hospital. I hope the one where he is young will finally win out and completely replace the one where he is sick.
His memorial service is Monday. It’s gonna be a long day. Afterwards Emily is going to her mom’s for the rest of the week. It’s gonna be a long week. When my mom died I got mad and wanted to know why. When my dad died I got even madder and still wanted to know why. Now that my brother is gone I’m not getting mad and I don’t really care why. I know that it’s just the way things are. It doesn’t make it any easier. All anyone can do is just keep breathing. If it wasn’t for Emily I think that I could just lay down and stop.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Larry Ray Shoemake

My Big Brother, Larry Ray Shoemake 52 of Muskogee, Oklahoma was born on November 22nd, 1954. He passed away today, Friday , June 8th, 2007 at around 12:55 PM. He had a heart attack last Monday, it was his 9th one in less than a year. He suffered from Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney failure. He had to take dialysis 3 times per week for 4 hours each time. He hated it and he was tired. He taught me everything and I could write about him for hours, but not right now. I miss him like crazy already, it hurts to breathe. He loved all things Cowboy, he loved Appaloosas, and he loved his wife Fran. Like I said he was my Big Brother and a Damn fine one at that. My world will not be right for a long time, if ever again.