This is what my mother wrote about Larry. He was my dad's youngest son by his ex-wife Edna. He felt he was never the same after the divorce. It seemed to forever affect him. She met him after she started dating his dad. He was so lost after the divorce he resorted to substance abuse to forget about things. He just wanted someone to love him as he tried find his way in life. He was a very talented artist with a God given gift. But his life was sad and tragic in how it ended. He was searching in life for something. I don't know if he ever found it. I pray he did. He died of a drug overdose. Was it suicide? We don't know. But Dad mourned for him for a long time. He blamed himself and I think he always did. He wished he had done something more for him.
This is what my mother wrote about her memory of him.
In memory of Larry Gargus
A little boy of 13 years of age.
This is a letter my Father wrote about his youngest son by his previous marriage, Larry. Though infidelity was involved on her part and it tore a family apart, the ramifications of this divorce was felt through all my half sisters and half brothers to this day. But Larry took it the hardest. In hurt his ex-wife told my dad he wasn't his and in some way he believed it. He still treated him a little different than the others after that. He was so confused that one night he stood crying wanting his Dad to understand him. Dad knew he was his even in spite of the hurtful words Edna said. Divorce has many causalities but children suffer the most. My mother tried to be his friend but she was just a stepmom he said. All he wanted was a family. Maybe the one he lost. At times my dad would accidently call me Larry instead of Lance for we favored some I was told. He died when I was young and never got to know him very well. But none the less he was my brother and my blood. The pain of not getting to know him is as real as my Father's was the night he found out the news of his death. Here is what Dad wrote in his own words...
Larry in spite of his terrible problems loved me to the end and I did that boy. I kept thinking he would be okay. He was a miserable, wonderful, honest young man with his family life blown apart and he never recovered from it. I loved him dearly.
Dad with Larry right before his divorce from Edna. He was the youngest of 5 kids.
He took very few pictures when he got older. He mostly went off searching for something ever elusive to him to fill a void. The alcohol and drugs finally did him in the end. He was living with his mother. She found him lying on the couch at her house. He had convulsed and his liver had exploded trying to process all that he had consumed. He was only 26.
What we all do affects all those around us. No man is an island, they say. What you or I do could affect generations of people, especially those whom we love. A stray word can even hit harder than any fist. But one spoken in kindness to a receptive heart may make all the difference. Seach your own soul and figure out where you stand with those whom you love.
He planned on attending Art School at the University of Memphis. If attended, the City of Memphis promised a job as an art designer of their billboards. But the past haunted him so much that he tried to silence it anyway he could.
His handprint he made at about the same age I was when he died. I was 9 when he died.
The last picture he had made. It was with his neice. She was just a baby. He never had one of his own.
Him with his mother, Edna.
by Lance Gargus