Donor Family Stories

Larry Caraway

Larry Caraway: “You know I love you, Mom”
From his Mom, Debra Griffin

The morning of June 27, 2009 started out as usual with the kids arguing over who’s going to listen to what on which radio station. Being the oldest of seven, Larry pretty much thought things should be his way. 

“Mom, Larry took my CD out and put his in,” his brother Cedric complained. “Larry, please let Cedric listen to his CD first and then you can put yours in,” I said.

By the afternoon, the boys were done with their chores and ready to hit the streets. Larry, Cedric and his friend Ferris were on their way to a friend’s house. That was okay with me. The boys knew their curfew and followed the rules from time to time. Every now and then Larry would be a little later than curfew. A logical excuse was always handy.

Everyone carried on with their day. We were having a birthday barbecue for a friend at Auntie Rachel’s, only three minutes from my home. At 10:45 p.m., a call came from Larry saying, “Mom, we are going to be 15 minutes late.” I replied, “Larry, you have 15 minutes for you and Cedric to either get home or come over to Auntie Rachel’s for the birthday party.” 

Larry said, “Mom, you know I love you.” To which I replied, “Don’t play, boy.” “Mom you know I love you, right?” was Larry’s next statement. “Let me speak to Cedric” was my last request to him before the phone went dead.

Two minutes later, I received a call from an unfamiliar telephone number. It was Cedric telling me that Larry had been hit by a car. I literally flew out of the house and immediately saw several police cars racing up Raymond Road. When I arrived at the scene, the officer asked for my identification. I watched over the officer’s shoulder as they threw a white sheet over my son. At that moment, something within me died, too.

Larry was a people person, and made friends wherever he went. He loved to cook, but never liked to clean the kitchen. He especially loved our dog Queen. In fact, she slept with Larry. When Larry died, Queen knew someone special to her was gone. Larry left behind a lot of people who loved him dearly. Everyone tries to keep his memory alive through jokes and remembering the silly little things he did in life.

I remember Larry asked me one day about organ and tissue donation. He said he would gladly give me his knees so the pain I have in mine would be gone. When I was asked whether I would consent to sharing Larry’s tissue with others, I said “yes” because I knew it was what he would have wanted to do.

Of Larry’s 19 years, six months and seven days on earth, I only had him with me for three years and seven days before he was to turn 20 years old.

I never said “I love you” to him that night. I wish I could take it all back.

My love and heart is always with you!