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He Is And Was A Memory, A Special One

February 11, 2021

He was one of my oldest friends. He was old when I was young. He was deaf and I was hearing. He and his family lived about two blocks away from my parents. I was assigned to be his companion while we visited some families in the church.

He died today.

I don’t know how old he is. We met when I was 16. His daughter was ten, I think. I guess he might have been 35 when we met forty years ago. So, maybe he was 75 when he died.

Some people come into our lives and seem to fill a hole that we never knew we had. Leon was like that. It’s not like he was a father figure. I had a couple of those. And it’s not exactly that he was a friend. . .at least not in the beginning. Instead I think he was my first adult acquaintance. We became friends. But, friends like adults are friends.

Because he taught me sign language I ended up going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaching people using Sign Language. I got pretty good at it too. And I made some lifelong friends because of it. Because of him.

He died in Ogden, Utah. That’s only about 90 minutes up the freeway. I didn’t realize he’d moved to Utah. I thought he was still in Washington. I could feel bad that I never got to visit with him here. But, somehow I don’t. I can’t. He is and was a memory. A happy memory. One of the important people in my life. The important memories in my life.

Who knows with COVID if we’ll get to attend a funeral. My sister died a few months ago and funerals are hard with COVID. If possible, of course, I’ll go. But, even if I don’t, I’ll remember. He’ll always be a part of what made me who I am. The good parts.

Rest In Peace, Leon Curtis.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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