From Graham Smith to me:”Thanks, Beau! I’m doing better and am now in a regular room instead of ICU.”
That was sent on May 18th, 10:21pm. I replied:
“Great to hear. Hope you continue to recover well and quickly.”Graham Smith answered ” Thanks!”His reply was a couple of days ago and so I was surprised by the news. But some who saw him recently told me after this news that he expired that they thought he was in deep trouble physically. My condolences go out to all of the family and to his many friends.
Severin W. Summers III was my second cousin named after Severin Leblanc in that his grandfather who was the brother of my grandfather Frank Summers was named after him. Sev was killed on August 2, 2009 in Afghanistan by a command operated improvised explosive device when his vehicle was hit. Severin had a Bachelor of Science degree from LSU and was qualified among other elite distinctions as a U. S. Army Ranger. He did not serve in Ranger Battalion but in the Special Forces proper in the Airborne units. He received at least eight official awards and decorations as well as the badges of various skills, certifications and levels of proficiency. I have not spent huge amount of time with his side of the family although certainly there have been many connections. When I have spoken to them with one major exception it has often centered around military matters. but although it was not very much it was only with Sev among his father and brothers that I ever told any of my own stories of places with gunsmoke, exotic names and uniformed and mufty men scurrying or stalking about under stress. Although we were different even in age and personality he seemed to be easier for me to talk to than most and perhaps some of that was reciprocated. But it is easy to overstate that connection especially as we both knew a lot of people with experiences more similar to those each of us had lived ourselves.He enlisted into military service in 1989. His father and brothers are military men and his wife then Tammy Fraser Summers and daughters Jessica, Shelby and Sarah survived him as well as his mother and sister. He and I were not close and had very different life experiences but I always felt when we did have a conversation it was longer, more detailed and more heartfelt than was the case with me and most people. It may be unfair to say we shared some confidences but I say it anyway. Last time I spoke to him at length was on the shores of False River and there was some concern shared with me about certain issues related to the fitness of some parts of the military in recent years. I think these factors had little to do with his death but the truth is I did very little to address those issues before he died and his words still haunt me sometimes. But Sev was all the gung ho poster boy that I have never been. We did stretch each other in some small ways. He carried the cross in his grandmother’s funeral procession and I felt it was part of an ongoing conversation between us although it was many other things as well. To associate myself with him in any way is too much and not to do so is unthinkable as well. But he is in many ways my main share of Memorial Day.