Goodbye Constable Dave (8/16/62 - 8/26/07)

My brother passed away yesterday and I wanted to post a memorial for those here who’ve all been so beautiful in helping me, and by extension him, through this. I’m still more than a little disjointed, so please bear with me as I muddle along trying to say what my heart is seizing up in agony over… what could’ve been more and better and different, and wasn’t nearly long enough. Regardless, here’s my version of his snapshot(s). Sadly, there isn’t all that much. Why didn’t I know better?

Anyway, here’s some starting quintessential David:

*Banging on the bathroom window from outside, while I was taking a shower, sometime around elementary school age. The tension before the Psycho scene had nothing on how this made me panic and I directly attribute it to my love of all things horror related, because it so blurred the line of reality. And gave him a good story to needle me about for years to come.

*The shirt he bought me from Texxas Jam, 1978. Wow! What can I say? As a 14 year old, he already had great taste in music (ok, that changed, but I won’t hold that against him), because you gotta love a kid who happily sweltered through the heat to listen to Mahogany Rush. :slight_smile: Alright, so more accurately I’m sure he was there for Aerosmith, Nugent, Heart and ARS. Maybe he was even in on the early worship of Van Halen. I wish I’d’ve known to ask him. Or still had the ringer.

*Always “dressing up” for softball practice, which cracked everyone else up. Because, you know, one (as a teenager on the prowl) must not ignore appearance if there’s a chance of landing some girl. I have no clue how impressed she could’ve been over matching stirrups, pant stripes, baseball sleeves and sweatbands, but he worked that look like you would not believe. Plus, since we’re talking the late 70s / early 80s here, I’ve got to mention the blow drying. Farrah is still proud to this day.

*Taking me to that White Heart concert and making me talk to my crush Mark Gersmehl. Oh the tongue-tiedness and swoonieness of it! I could’ve of alternately hated and been a slave for you over that. You both were so too cool for school.

*Chatting up my rich, snooty uncle about wine. Good enough show that you earned a book out of the deal and much posturing to be had. I’m just not sure if the joke was on him for being too dense to not notice you weren’t really interested or us for missing the satire and instead labeling you as a poser. Too bad I couldn’t see all that for what it was then. You rocked it.

*Taking dad to the Elvis impersonator concert. Erm, I’m not sure what else to say about that, but it truly was an interesting experience. I’m glad y’all both get a kick out of that sort of thing and bond more over it. I only wonder if you belonged to the fan club also.

…more bits as they come and I’m able. Please be patient with me. I’m sure my usual gale will blow long and random. Until then, I once more offer my gratitude to all the members here. Thanks for being my haven. You’re all just too wonderful.
Love to everyone,

~Dave’s little sissy, Kemi

You have my heartfelt condolences, you also have some great memories of Dave, hang on to them

I’m sorry for your loss. :frowning:

My sincere condolences to you faithfool. Though I’m sorry he’s no longer in this world, especially after your touching and eloquent tribute, I’m glad his suffering has finally ended. I wish I could give you a great big hug.

You will be able to see your brother in every Elvis Impersonator out there.
Really, his memory will live forever.

Take care of yourself, Kemi.

Thank you so much everyone. To me, my memorial doesn’t feel very eloquent, but it’s certainly written from my heart. You know, I already missed him before he even left. And this is when I do wish I had some faith left, a belief that I’ll still get to see him again in the future.

I’ve also been thinking of a few more (or ten) to keep me company tonight. I hope you all might find a bit of enjoyment out of them too…

*Him in footy-type pajamas (ha! another shared favorite!) on various Christmas mornings until he hit his teens. That goofy lopsided grin, those freckles and the constantly wayward, cowlick hair that made him look like Alfafa’s cousin, Howdy Doody Dave. Perhaps he still has a pair I could beg for.

*Teasing me about shaving my legs for the very first time. Said something about it being a bad idea, because I just might like to keep that up for like, ever. Huh. He was on to something there, I think. To this day, going natural seems to have been the possible superior decision. You ladies agree?

*Being gored by a hog and having his entire inner thigh sliced all to pieces. It was so pitiful and I felt so bad for him, laid up on the couch and unable to do much except listen to my mother be my mother. 'Nuff said. Plus, this was long before the days that he could have at least gotten some fuzzy Skinamax. Poor thing. However, with the wound placement, perhaps he was better off.

*Even though at that point we hadn’t seen each other in quite a bit, he made sure to attend my wedding. Thank you so much for that brother. You’ll never know how much it meant. Certainly, it wasn’t a short drive and the temperature could’ve been better in June. In Texas. On a softball field. At 10:00 in the morning. Again, thank you.

*Speaking of hair (or lack thereof), you looked kinda surreal without any. Like Kojak from down on the farm. I liked it, whether anyone else did or not. And when you humored me by wearing that Superman beanie I got you, talk about bein’ phat and hip at the same time. Only such a lovable doof could carry that off with aplomb.
I suppose that’s more than enough for now. I may try to nap and then start trying to wrap my head around funeral arrangements. I wish we could make it a celebration, a la’ a circus, because he’d get such a kick out of it and would instinctively know I was behind it. Just to make him crack up a little, while hanging out on his cloud. If I can’t sleep, I’m sure I’ll be back with more.

Thank you again guys. You always help me get by. Where else could I have someone suggest that I’ll forever see my brother’s face remember in countless Elvi. I may have to hit a convention sometime. (You rock Shirley! Gracias.)

P.S. Oh, and a special thanks to Tuba for re-instating my posting privileges upon my return from the sabbatical. The ease with which that was done is now allowing me to share and breathe. It helps ever so much.

A question to anyone reading along, if I may…

Any ideas on how to find a fund to donate to for the widows and children of lawmen? I’ve tried googling for it about a million different ways, but I mostly get information about firefighters and the police in New York. All help will be appreciated, because it’s been decided that in lieu of flowers, that’s where any monies will be sent. Thanks in advance for the assistance.

Oh, gosh, Kemi, I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry, Kemi. Your memories of your brother are touching. He died much too young.

Dopers are so terrific. I just can’t say thank you enough. However, if no one really minds, I want to post some more flashbacks. It seems he deserves at least that, since I missed out on so much for him.

I really do appreciate your patience.

*He had a tiny white, ratty chihuahua, inappropriately named Killer. Not necessarily that witty a moniker all things considered, but to this day, that still makes me smile. That dog thought he was 10 feet tall and David remained protected by his viciousness. Yup. He’d down right lick ya to death.

*Only recently did I get to ride in his squad car! Neat, neat, neat!! He flashed the lights and sqwacked the horn doohicky and even let me talk on the loud speaker. Which, by the way, was a fun way to get dad back in the middle of downtown Mineola. “That’s right Mr. Betts, please step away from the car.” David was such a great constable. Everyone loved and respected him. I’m so thrilled he found his calling. I don’t think there was anyone in his community who didn’t recognize who he was and spoke favorably of him.

*Coming to the hospital when I had my hysterectomy, bearing a plaque for his “sissy.” I’ve never delighted so much in being labeled something before, especially when it’s pre-ordered. But I loved this and, as I type, it sits in front of me. Plus, he didn’t exactly make a quick visit either and, if I remember correctly, there was no air conditioner for that long ass round trip. Thanks big bro.

And finally for now…

*The picture of him riding backwards on a carousel horse at Six Flags Over Texas the summer when he was about 17. He was the epitome of a sweet, safe, conscientious, California-esque young man. Just really friggin’ adorable and groovy to the right extent. What a great time we had, much like the others I recall from our vacation to Disney World when I was in fifth grade. I mean, c’mon… donned muscle shirts (heh), Steve Martin’s King Tut and water slides in the rain (hey, they’re cheaper that way!!). I can’t imagine a more wonderful set of images to cherish, distinctly since I have a love of all things kid-like. A perfect set of summers.
Once more, you’re all angels for letting me go on like this. You have no idea how much it’s helping right now. Almost like having him here. Thank you.



Oh, dearest Kemi! As you know when we chatted earlier, I am so, so very sorry. When you said you were making funeral arrangement earlier, I got tears in my eyes right there at work. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am saying prayers for all of you.

David sounds like a wonderful man. Your tribute to him is evidence of how much you loved him and how much he loved you.

Call, email or chat any time you want. You know you can.

Big hugs and lots of love to you!

Call your local PD and ask. They’ll be glad to help you out. I know in the St. Louis area, the organization that does that is called Backstoppers. They do fantastic work. There is probably something very much like it in your area, but you may have to ask around. The funeral home may know what the right organization is, as well.

I’m so sorry, Kemi. You’ve got me thinking about my brothers, and how much I love them both.

I gotta’ know, was he younger or older? It makes a world of difference. Older brothers are tormentors and protectors, advisors and judges. Younger brothers are tormentors of older sisters, but admire them and are in awe of them nonetheless.

He obviously enriched your life immensely – celebrate that at his memorial/funeral. I’ve always believed that a “funeral” shoudl be a celebration of someone’s life.

Be strong Kemi…I KNOW you can handle what is before you.

Please know I, and many other doper WILL be with you in your time of need.

What a GREAT sister you are…

love ya,


You got me with the goofy, lopsided grin. I’m a sucker for them. The first guy I really had a crush on had one. Nearly married him until realized I still needed to do some maturing before settling down.

Thanks for sharing your memories, Kemi. How lucky you were to grow up with him.

Older, the first post is signed by his “younger sister”. Here, have some coffee…

Kemi, I’m sorry for your current pain but glad for all the joy you got from each other. In time, the pain will somewhat fade - the happy memories will remain. This, I promise from experience.

So sorry for your loss.
He sounds like a wonderful brother and a good man. I know he’d be proud of the beautiful words you’ve written.

I’ve got the flu, I’m pregnant and I’m hormonal so maybe that’s why I can’t stop crying now - or maybe it’s just because it was such a beautiful tribute to a sibling relationship. My thoughts are with you, Kemi, and I’m so glad Dave left you so many wonderful memories in his tragically short time.


I’m so sorry for your loss. I know (through Rhiannon8404) how difficult this has been for you. Our prayers are with you and your family. I hope that you can find peace soon.