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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Keefer

Remembering You...

I cannot believe it’s been a year since we lost you. So many times, I’ve wanted to pick up the phone and call you just to hear your voice one more time. I still do not understand why it was you God chose to call home at that moment, but He must have needed you more than we did.

We are left with memories of you in our hearts. Because of those memories, you will never be forgotten. From the precocious little 5-year-old with the shiny tooth and attitude as big as the sea to the amazing adult you turned out to be. Each memory is packed tightly in my soul. And Curtis, there are so many.

I remember a day I played hooky from work; we went and did all kinds of fun things. And to top the day off, you insisted that I allow you to pump my gas. We both ended up with gasoline all over us and an irate convenience store attendant giving us all kinds of grief for making a mess. Oh well, right?

Your dad called me one night and said you wanted to talk to me. You wanted to ask me a favor. That favor was for the 100th day of school and you needed 100 things to take with you the next day. I asked you what you wanted, and you said chocolate chip cookies. Homemade. I stayed up very late that night and made sure you had 100 homemade chocolate chip cookies for school the next day. And I didn’t mind at all.

There was the time you were playing with the neighbor boys at my house and came in the house screaming like you were killed. You’d been shot by a BB gun and the darned BB was lodged in your neck. Do you know how I cringed when I had to call your dad to tell him we were at the hospital? But you took it all in stride and I think you even bragged about having a BB lodged in your neck permanently. Was it something about chicks digging it?

A co-worker of mine came to your memorial service and reminded me of your “jubbly” phase. Jubblies being your name for girls’ boobs. And you spent many weeks running around pinching jubblies at the expense of every girl you were around. God, you were so incorrigible back in those early years. But I loved you anyway.

Oh, the temper tantrums you used to throw. In the toy aisle at Walmart. Because you were made to go to Lowe’s. Breaking a watch your dad gave you with a hammer because he wouldn’t let you go in the store with him. Christmas Day when you got Pokemon pajamas instead of toys. How was I to know that your love of Pokemon didn’t extend to pajamas? As soon as CVS opened later that day, I was there to buy the toys so you would chill out. Spoiled much?

Fast forward to your high school years. Sitting in the bleachers watching you run out on the football field. Your first girlfriend…and first hickey…which you tried to hide from us. The look on your dad’s face when he finally saw the darned thing. Priceless. Your graduation day. Me and your Uncle Greg watching you walk across that stage to get your diploma with tears in our eyes. Such a proud moment and I was so blessed to be a part of it.

Of course, it wasn’t the last graduation I would attend for you. Camp Leonardwood. In the middle of nowhere. Sitting at the dinner table with officers and hearing what a great soldier you were. Again, walking across the stage at your AIT graduation with tears of pride in my eyes. Then we stuffed you in the back of my little Aveo and drove you all the way back home to Indiana.

You moved around the country and served at Guantanamo. From Kentucky to North Carolina then Nevada and finally coming back close to home. Where we all thought we would be able to spend more time with you. But that was not to be. Because you were taken from us before that could happen.

So, today, I want you to know that you’re still in my heart…my soul…and even though we weren’t related by blood…you were my son. You were my daughters’ little brother. I was blessed to have had you in my life. I’m grateful your father shared you with us. We all love you so very much and not one day will ever go by that you will be forgotten.

Curtis Dalton Maxey, I hope you are looking down from heaven with your grandma Betty by your side and Oscar on your lap. Sending you much love from all of us stuck down here on earth. We miss you.

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