the day jeremy payne died

J2What did I feel when I heard Jeremy Payne died? Complete disbelief. Where was I? In my kitchen picking up the house phone. It was Annabeth with some disturbing news. I was shocked and at first I didn’t believe it. I started looking for evidence online. Then the Facebook posts started appearing on his and his sister’s wall. I half expected there to be some huge misunderstanding that would manifest itself online. Or maybe another really close call. My progression of feelings was disbelief, shock, and as it slowly sank in, sadness then anger and back to sadness. My last sputter of hope that this was a misunderstanding was extinguished that morning with his sister’s blog.

My Jay-Bo
July 29, 2009 at 4:31am

I keep telling myself this is not appropriate… but my journal is in the car, and it is 4:02 AM. Bubba would be proud-I am up past 9:30.

All I can think about is: my daddy, being at home in our house on Andrews (which I am not), and curling up in Jay’s bed. Why? I don’t know. Does that sound weird? I know it does… But I don’t care. Who’s judging me now-I don’t care about that either. Like Jamie said, the only people judging now are the ones who didn’t know him whole-heartedly. Sometimes we do all we can and it will never be enough. You want it to be, and they want it to be, but the battle is almost always a losing fight. I never gave up on him, but I understood his daily pain.

I came to the realization a while back that he did know how much we loved him; he finally knew he wasn’t alone, he knew some of the “friends” he had were not friends at all. But you know what? People like that accept people like themselves-but he was not like them. He was an angel from God.

I am mad sometimes. I think about all these stupid freakin dopers, and by that I don’t mean the ones who battled with him (you know who you are- my heart goes out to you as well). I mean the dopers who took advantage and looked at him like another one of them. He wasn’t like you-Jeremy had a heart of gold, and a love of life, a passion for helping others and was NOT a lost cause.
But what is life when you cannot live it? I am thankful he is at Peace, and I know he is; God has reassured me of that. However, no one can convince me it is real.

I shouldn’t be writing this. It is 4:08 am now, I am wired to the brim, drinking coffee because food won’t suffice, and very much alone. God’s Word says I am never alone-but is it okay to sometimes feel like you are in a black pit and everything is moving around you? Because I am lost..

I am hurt, angry and scared-Why did you leave me alone? You said you would always be there, and where are you now?! I know this is selfish, and I suppose realizing that is a good start. But what am I supposed to do without my brother? My BIG brother who loved me no matter what, talked me through my first anxiety attacks, my first dates, my first days of high school and threatened to kick anyone’s ass who touched me? What do I do now? I couldn’t cry anymore before, but here come the tears. If I could, I would give you all my tears so you could dry them and tell me it will be okay. I know you would. I want to hold you and get my big bear hugs, the ones where you never let go and I can smell your cologne. I tried to protect you, I tried to save you. What did I do wrong?! Why couldn’t you stay here, with me?

The Lord knows what he is doing, and I knew it was coming. He told me the other night, but it wasn’t real, and I saw you online-you were there. Things would be fine.. just taking it one day at a time. But He knew you were tired, He knew it was Time.

I feel like by leaving you in Memphis I am leaving you all alone, and you hated being alone. I don’t want to go without you… I need you, I need you.

But I need you to know how proud I am of you. You were the smartest person I knew and such a big teddy bear too. You were passionate about helping other people, and you wanted to live life like all of those around you. But the torment wouldn’t let you, and I understand. I want you to know I understand. I forgive you for giving in(-but I am still mad). You were the best brother I could have asked for. I will cherish every minute of our time together, even if it hasn’t been much lately. I will miss your blogs, and your cynical (VERY cynical) sense of humor. Only you can make people laugh by saying things like that. I am thankful you were at home, and even more thankful you let us in your life the last year-we needed that, you needed that. I think He knew we needed that time to build back those relationships with you before you Left. I am thankful.

Last year I wrote a blog about 2008 being the worst year ever, and how I almost lost one of the MOST IMPORTANT people in my life-YOU. But now, I am alone… and I regret ever saying I still had you. Maybe I jinxed it. Maybe I didn’t pray hard enough, or try hard enough. But I was so afraid of pushing you away! I didn’t want to lose you again, like before.

I am, in your own words, so blessed to have a family that had you in it. With that, I will leave you for now, but I will see you when I am able to sleep-I always have and I know it won’t stop now.

I love you Bubby,

J1Minutes after Annabeth told me the news, a heavy rain started. I remember thinking that the movies are right, it does rain during sad parts. I am fortunate in that I’ve never had someone I’ve known as well as Jeremy pass away until now. Just the night before I heard about it, I talked to him on the phone at 8:02 PM CST. While he could barely get his thoughts together on the phone, I never thought he would overdose pass away hours later. He told me that he had a car full of groceries and that he needed to call me back. I said OK and didn’t think much of it at the time. While I was convinced he actually did have a car full of groceries last night, I’m not so sure this morning. How could he drive when he could barely form coherent sentences? Apparently he did have a car full of groceries. I’m so glad that I was convinced correctly. While I know it wasn’t my fault that he died, I can’t help but feel like there was something… anything I could have done to save him. This was the first time I cried in front of my son, Elek whom Jeremy was very fond of. Jeremy also got along really well with my wife, Diana. These were her words:

it was great to have you in our lives for a short time, Jeremy. thank you for sharing your self and your time with us. we are so lucky to have known a happy, healthy and truly sweet soul.

for those of you who had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy, he is no longer among the living… please send your love and light to his sister… and those who loved him best.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know Jeremy, though I’m sad that I didn’t have more time with him. He was always so happy to see me. Jeremy Payne was a cuddly bear of a guy. He had no harmful intentions. He was sincere, intelligent, funny, animated, straightforward, and kind. Jeremy was my friend and all I can think about now is giving him a hug.


Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors… and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and… up to… Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

Below are some comments some of you left Jeremy and his sister, Meghan.
Facebook - Photos of Jeremy Payne_1248973762605
Facebook - Jeremy Payne_1248973189745
Facebook - Meghan Payne Wright_1248973578601

Jeremy’s memorial was held this past Sunday Aug. 9, 2009 at the P&H Cafe in Midtown Memphis. It was simply amazing. Kendall and Sam really did a tremendous job at putting the whole thing together. Their skit with Kendall doing Jeremy’s voice was hilarious. Kendall’s solo of Amazing Grace was so very touching. The duet with Kendall and Sam’s sister was awesome. Annabeth’s instrumental piano piece that she wrote for Jeremy was absolutely amazing. I am so glad that my wife and I got to go. It was great to see everyone that Jeremy was friends with and to meet his sister. I loved hearing the different stories that people had to tell about Jeremy. This event really helped people with closure and that’s very important when you lose someone like Jeremy Payne.

Tags: , , , ,

elek sings for the world to hear

I luckily got Elek on video singing a few songs. Please enjoy.

Tags: , , , ,

music monday – dan black – symphonies

This is a clever video in which dan black references many different movies.

Tags: , ,

kip gordon and fire dancers

Kip has a fabulous (yes I just used that word) set of photos at his site of a fire dancer in downtown Memphis on main street. Check them out here:

Tags: , , , , ,

transition tunes

As you may have noticed, I’ve cut down on the number of songs to be included in each “Latest Listening” post. This is simply due to the fact that when I was browsing many many music blogs, I don’t like it when I come across a post that has ten different songs in it. I figured three was ample, but that I may post more often. I think this will work out better in the long term. That being said, enjoy the tunes.

1. Atlas Sound
[audio: AtlasSound-Walkabout(wPandaBear).mp3]
A collision of sounds.

2. Cold Cave
[audio: ColdCave-LifeMagazine.mp3]
Upbeat reverb.

3. Grizzly Bear
[audio: GrizzlyBear-Cheerleader.mp3]
Slow, dreamy, drift.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

kiss kiss bang bang (2005)

I first heard about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from the Reddit community a few weeks ago. I got around to seeing it a couple weeks ago and it’s one of those movies you’d want to see more than once. A lot is happening at once and it may take a couple times to catch it all. This movie was part black comedy part murder mystery. The haphazard main character, Harry (Robert Downey Jr.), plays off Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) really well. I recommend this movie with no reservations and give it a 9 out of 10.

Tags: ,