They Called Him,”Boom, Boom”

I am going to side step for this post.  It isn’t wine related; it is very personal.  My brother lost his son a week ago and our hearts are so full of grief and sadness that I am compelled to write about what a wonderful kid he was.

Richard “Boomer” Smith – he was only 20 – and had so much living yet to do.  I know we hear all the time when anyone dies what a great person they were and how everyone loved them, how they had no enemies.  Well, from the more than 2,000 people who showed up at the funeral home March 27, 2012, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Boomer was THAT person; the one who is so loved.  He lived in small town USA – Monterey, TN and the whole town was heartbroken.  Heartbroken because we/they lost him and heartbroken for my brother, Richard, and for Boomer’s other siblings, Anthony, Mercedes, Philip.

Boomer excelled at everything he did.  He graduated high school with honors having straight A’s through all 4 years.  He played football and was MVP in both his junior year and senior year.  He had 8 (yes, “8”) full ride scholarships laid in front of him when he started his senior year.  He was the #2 college recruit for football in the state of Tennessee in 2010.  But all of this is nothing compared to the heart of this kid.  None of this went to his head.  He was humble and appreciative.  If he saw anybody on the street or at church who looked like they needed a helping hand, Boomer was the first one to hold out his hand to help.

Boomer was artistic and creative.  My brother has a house full of trophies and accolades Boomer won or was acknowledged for.  He has a book where he saved poetry Boomer wrote and pictures he drew as well as letter from recruiters.  How could any one person have so much talent and so much love in his heart?  Is that why he was taken from us – he was too good for this earth???

The night of his funeral, the football team showed up in their jerseys to show their respect and love for Boomer.  His brother, Philip, wore Boomer’s old shirt with the #10 emblazoned on the front.  The entire graduating class of 2010 showed up, each with a single rose to drop off for him.  The minister started the funeral by commenting on Boomer’s “Goofy grin” and then choked, not able to go on for several seconds.  We all miss you Boomer Smith – you were not long on this earth, but you touched a lot of lives.  Thank you for touching mine!

Boomer wrote the following poem when he was only 14:

Where I Am From

I am from swimming at the pool

Softball on Saturdays

And going to School

I am from a home of laughs

From telling jokes

To passing gas.

I am from George W. Bush

to Dale Earnhardt’s grave

To going golfing at the range.

I am from Dollar Store

To Save-A-Lot

From going home to eat a lot

Marijuana and Meth

All of the above

Kills the people and

Kills the love.

I am from Monterey

And the people who loved him most, the kids he hung around with – they called him, “Boom, Boom!”

( footnote to this post:  The death certificate came back with “blunt force trauma to the head – homicide” as the cause of death.  The grand jury has pressed charges against the young man who did this and now 2 families have had their lives destroyed because of it.  Boomer’s Law – please sign this petition.)

Following up on this post.  My brother has struggled unbelievably over the last year.  He has alienated his other two children.  He has done things that are so far out of character for him, that you would never believe that it is him doing these things.

I didn’t go back to Tennessee for the trial yesterday, but my heart ached all day.  The young man who killed Boomer went to court.  It was a sad and heart breaking day for everyone.  My brother and his other two kids had decided before the trial that they would agree to a diversion – in other words, they would not seek to have Jesse imprisoned.  They requested an eight-year probation.  Tears filled the courtroom from both sides of the aisle.  The judge honored their request.  This means that Jesse will have to walk the straight and narrow for the next 8 years.  I hope he can, I truly hope he can.  My brother told him that if he did, he will stand beside him as he goes back to court to request that his record be expunged.

We are really close to getting Boomer’s Law passed in the State of Tennessee.  Please see the link above to sign the petition.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wine Everyday
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 20:41:18

    My heart is breaking for you and your family. To loose someone so young is unspeakable. I hope you find comfort knowing that so many are thinking of you at this time.


  2. wineno
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 09:38:50

    So very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.


  3. Karyn Howard
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 12:16:29

    Oh, Jean, I did not know your family was going through this. What a tragic loss, but such a beautiful showing of love for Boomer. That will help his immediate family tremendously in their healing process. What a nice tribute. Thank you for trusting us to share this painful time for you right now. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.


  4. Alana Gentry
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 13:22:55

    I am so sorry for your loss, Jean. You have written a wonderful honest and heartfelt post, thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you and your family.


  5. Cathy
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 16:11:29

    Simply beautiful! We have definitely felt the loss in our little town!


  6. silverlining09
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 23:44:40

    our condolences and deepest sympathy… how did he die?


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