Tyler bought me a monitor for my notebook, so that when I’m sitting at my desk I don’t have to squint.
Some husbands buy flowers, chocolate, and lingerie. Mine buys electronic things. This is one of the many reasons why I picked him. But, I digress.
I set about getting my desk organized with the behemoth which meant I needed to pilfer through the basement detritus for a mouse and keyboard.
(By the way, that’s the other great thing about Tyler. Our basement is like a Circuit City/Best Buy/CompUSA/Apple store all rolled into one room with bunches of cardboard boxes full of cable and cords and keyboards and computer cards and on and on. I’m pretty sure we could cable the neighborhood and take care of their electronic needs for the next year.)
As I walked by a bookcase of old CDs, I found an interesting stack of paper I hadn’t previously seen. I took a closer look and was so overcome I had to set down my electronic treasures. It was a stack of papers that had been saved by my Uncle Curtis, that had probably been in a box, most likely found by Tyler, and set aside for me to peruse.
The stack, a small portion of which is in the picture above, was full of bits of things Uncle Curtis had saved: letters and cards from me, newspaper clippings about me, my research paper, pictures of my father, my honor roll certificates, his Camera Club ribbons, and on and on. It wasn’t like I was excited to read these old letters and newspaper clippings. What touched me and stopped me was that he saved all of this as if he were my parent, which he pretty much was. He was my third parent. He was my way-cool uncle who listened to me, took a huge interest in my life, spoiled me, and held me tight. He was the absolute best uncle a girl could have ever hoped for. My parents were and are awesome, but my Uncle Curtis was something special. When I went through that stack yesterday, I didn’t smile over the memories of writing those cards or receiving those accolades. I smiled and remembered my times with him, those special moments we shared.
One of the items in the stack was a sheet of paper containing my Uncle Romie’s thoughts about his brother Curtis, read at Curtis’s funeral. Some of Uncle Romie’s thoughts about Uncle Curtis included:
When Curtis started grade school, Mom had him ride the garbage truck home (about 2 miles).
Curtis was a very generous person who would give you the shirt off his back.
We lived in Maryland on the Eastern Shore where there are no mountains. One night he looked out the window and became a little disoriented. He said he wondered why the sky was so “low.” Being from West Virginia, he said he was used to looking up to see the sky.
As I look back on Curtis’ life, I see a very generous man who will be missed very much. Our children loved him and will miss one of their favorite uncles.
Uncle Curtis (and Uncle Romie and my father) are missed every day, still, after all of these years. I am thankful for finding that small stack of papers so that he was next to me again, even if only for a little while.