Mom’s early morning text four years ago jolted me awake. I pictured all five of us kids getting her message at the same time. Her words caused us to stop and remember and to never forget. We lost our little brother, Larry Lynn Doran, thirty-four years ago today. He was driving home from fishing at Navajo Lake up in northern New Mexico when his ’67 powder blue Mustang left the road and changed our lives forever. We will never know why.
Larry was eleven days away from turning twenty-one. Our hope is that he didn’t suffer. He had a caring soul and a quiet sense of humor. Shy as a boy, he was just coming out of his shell and finding his way in the world. Seems like yesterday all six of us kids were together – cheaper by the half dozen – opening Christmas presents or fidgeting and teasing each other unmercifully in church.
At Dad’s funeral in May 2013, I heard lots of sniffles during the slideshow whenever Larry’s photo appeared. Although his physical presence has been gone from this earth for thirty-four years, I feel him sometimes late at night when the wind blows through the trees. Dad and Larry are together now, and our family takes comfort in that.