Bryan Leopold Curtis
29th August 1924 - 25th January 2015
Father, Grandfather, Friend.
I know you won't think I am silly where you are, writing you a letter. I know that you know everything I feel and want to say, and even if I could say it to you that I wouldn't need to. You were one of the smartest guys I've ever known, so of course you know.
The last 10 days have been precious. I've got to spend some special time with you, holding your hand, combing your hair and telling you how I feel.
On the first day you were at the end of life unit, we chatted, didn't we? We talked about the children and how Ellizabeth has your mum's red hair. We talked about Charles and how clever he is, how he makes us both laugh. You told me you loved me, and kissed my hand. I managed to swallow the lump in my throat and tell you I loved you too, so so much. I kissed your cheek, and your head and just breathed you in. You've always smelt lovely. Sounds strange, but it's true.
The next day, I spent 6 hours with you. The longest I've ever spent away from Ellizabeth, you knew this and you were worried about me. You know how I hate to be away from my children, you know how I am devoted to them. You told me that I shouldn't spend so much time with you, that I should be with my beautiful babies. You told me you loved them, and you told me you loved me. I had to leave the room I was sobbing so hard. I love you so damn much, and the thought of losing you became too much to bear.
You became sleepier and sleepier and when I saw you yesterday you didn't seem to know I was there. I kissed you goodbye and breathed you in again. I told you to be good, always our little joke. I made a joke to my aunt and uncle, that I knew you were cheeky after a glass of wine, and that you'd flirt with the nurses. You were always a bit cheeky after a glass of red wine. You made me laugh.
It was just too hard to see you in pain yesterday. I had never seen you even look sad before. It broke my heart. You've always been so strong, and to see you suffer and struggle was so heart breaking. I love you, and I have been praying that God would relieve you, call you home because I didn't want you to suffer any more.
I've been thinking lots about our 24 years together. My first memory of you is when I was 2. I got a plastic tool kit for Christmas and I was really happy because I had a saw like you. I knew you used to be a joiner. I was so pleased that I could be a joiner too, that I could be like you. I wanted so much to be like you.
My next clear memory of you was when I was 3. We went on holiday to Cornwall, Dad, Mum, you and me. We walked on the beach, and you held my hand. You swung me round. It was after Nanny left you, I remember making you smile.
I remember you and Josie, your partner, taking me and her grandson Lee to Adventure Wonderland in Hurn when I was about 6. You rode some of the rides with me and pretended they made you feel sick. Did they really make you feel sick? It certainly made me laugh either way. You always did know how to make me smile.
I remember staying with you for the weekend when I was 7. Mum and Dad went to Paris for the weekend and I begged them to let me stay at your house. You bought me loads of colouring books and pencils. I made a door sign that said "keep out" on the bedroom I was sleeping in. I remember telling you it was for monsters, not for you.
I remember playing with your Newton's Cradle. I remember tangling it up one day and being terrified you'd be cross. You weren't. You just untangled it and told me not to be so rough next time.
I remember you always kept colouring pencils and paper in your middle drawer in your display cabinet. I remember going to it without asking you, and you keeping me in line, reminding me to be polite and ask first. You were always kind, never harsh.
I remember you slipping me £2 coins when you thought my Dad wasn't looking. You always told me to spend it on something nice, or keep it for another day. I think I always spent it on sweets at G&T's.
I remember always recognising your handwriting, and you always writing "Lots of love, Grandad (Bry)" and I always teased you, saying how I recognised your handwriting and that I didn't need you to write Bry!
I remember you coming round when he was just four days old, because you couldn't wait to have a look at him. Your first great grandchild. You said he was beautiful, and you said I'd done a good job. You were really happy when I told you I was breastfeeding. You said you were proud of me.
When I told you I was expecting again, you were really happy. It was a girl, a daughter. You were over the moon. She has red hair, like your Mum did. You were so happy and so pleased there was another red head in the family. I hope she doesn't go dark, like I did. I hope she stays "Rose Red". You told me how beautiful you thought she was. I agreed, are we both biased? I don't think so. Her smile lights up the world, doesn't it? Maybe she gets it from you, I think you had that effect on the world too. You made it better just by being in it.
You were, you are the most special person ever. You were handsome and funny and so smart. I was proud to call you my grandfather. I love you, and I always will love you. I miss you, and I always will miss you.
All my love, always and forever,