Originally Written on June 18, 2010
It pains me to write this for it is a day I had hoped would never come. However, for the last few weeks, I have been unable to continue ignoring the signs that our time together would soon be coming to an end. It is for a truly remarkable being that I write this eulogy: for Curtis, my Halloween Pumpkin.
It feels like only yesterday that Curtis became a part of my life. In the town of Savoy, IL, it was early in the month of October with the chill of autumn in the air. Out of all the others, there he was. An appropriate size, perfectly round, and Illini orange, I knew he was the one for me. He came back with me to Champaign and using my paint-pens, I gave him a face. We've been together ever since.
Curtis was an ideal roommate and companion. He never made a mess, was never needy or demanding, and always had a smile on his face to greet me after a long day at class. We were nearly separated in December - it was time for me to move back to Schaumburg. He sat by as I packed, keeping out of my way as I organized everything in my own way. Before long, my room was empty, the van was packed, and it was time to go. It was that a day when we almost had to say goodbye forever - Mom was about to throw him out in the hall garbage when I suddenly cried out, "You can't kill Curtis!" It wasn't until this moment almost two months after he became a part of my life that I finally gave him a name in honor of Curtis Orchard where he had come from. It was decided that he too could come north to Schaumburg and to continue to support me as good friends are supposed to do.
When I later learned that the name Curtis means "courteous," I thought it was a fitting choice for my vege-friend. He has become to me what Wilson the Volleyball was to Tom Hanks's character in the movie Cast Away. He has been so much more to me than just some inanimate object - he has been by my side through one of the most trying and exhausting challenges of my life - student teaching. Day after day, it was so nice that Curtis would be sitting quietly waiting for me.
It was only really in recent weeks that he started to take a turn for the worse - a seemingly minor spot on his otherwise flawless orange complexion began to develop into an unhealthy looking growth. What was once a blemish became a large and squishy orifice on his forehead. It is time for his suffering to end and for Curtis to be welcomed back by the Great Pumpkin to that giant pumpkin patch in the sky. You have been loved, Curtis, and you will be missed.
*EDIT - JUNE 20, 2010*
A video recorded by my brother of Curtis's send off, if you could really call it that...