I shared the following tribute — along with many tears — at Curtis' memorial service today.
Growing up, Curtis had mighty big shoes to fill. Up until recently I had convinced myself that I wore a size 15. Turns out this was an exaggeration that I now recognize as a testament to the footprint of my oldest brother. The expansive void left in all of our hearts is no exaggeration. We have suffered an immeasurable loss, that of our “gentle giant”.
As a younger brother, I remember both the gentle and the giant. He roughed me up almost every day we spent together. Dad was often concerned that he had gone too far. Often, he had. But, at the end of these days, we always restored our friendship. He would have me listen to his recently purchased albums until I could barely keep my eyes open. After I finally managed to break away to go to sleep, one of us would knock on our shared bedroom wall and the other always knocked back. This, like our roughhousing, was another way in which we showed our love.
A few days ago, I walked passed many of the haunts of our shared childhood. At the time he had the driver's license, so these were places representative of Curtis' passions — such as art and music. Instead of feeling the pains that each one of us has felt during the last couple of days, I found myself in good spirits remembering the creativity that he expressed with paint and with the guitar. He will not put a brush to canvas again. He will not strum another note. The precious moments we shared, though, carry on in my heart.
I offer a gentle and giant reminder: until the end, Curtis never held back his love — do the same.
2010-04-05 17:51 / Crystal:
Wonderful, beautiful words!