Time has passed, stories have been shared, and the fishing continues, but the fact that we miss Curtis doesn’t go away.
I have enjoyed seeing and speaking to anglers, friends, captains, and even complete strangers, on the docks along the tournament trail about our friend Curtis Morris.
To be honest, I was gratified by the response to my first post about Curtis. The stories you shared about him and the “thank you’s” for writing really meant a lot to me.
Curtis left a lasting impact on us in his special way. Remembering his love for his family, fishing, nature, life, and, of course, the Corps, will remain with us.
Curtis was a teacher at heart. He loved to share his knowledge with those who were interested. People who knew him well knew that he had insights and experiences that were not only interesting but also were life lessons. We had no idea that his time with us was short.
One quote Curtis liked to share was “You have to go slow before you can go fast, brother.” I think these simple words meant a lot to Curtis and now do to me.
In my original piece (Remembering Our Friend – Captain Curtis Morris), I wrote the following:
“Often, we are left with more questions than answers. We need to remember that Curtis is no longer in pain and will be watching out for us all, because that’s what Curtis would do.”
This still rings true today. We need to move on from the how and why of his death to reflecting on his life and the impact that he had on all of us. The how and why can’t change, but we can honor Curtis’s life by listening and observing and being more aware of each other’s up and downs.
I had written that Curtis and I started the tradition years ago of night fishing. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. Curtis would return from fishing offshore all day but was always ready to go! He would text “I checked the tides ….let’s go.” Rain, sleet, or snow—we were on.
While the fishing was great, our outings were much more than that. Curtis never stopped teaching. The best part was that we slowed down to enjoy nature and talk about life. In fact, the week before he died, we went night fishing. I just didn’t know that it would be the last time.
The fishing sucked, but the company was great! We “fished” longer than we should have because the fish weren’t biting. But, we continued to fish and talk. We ended up sitting on the back of my truck talking late into the night. Curtis followed up the next day with the following text.
“Thanks for last night. Sorry they didn’t bite. It was good to see you and catch up.”
Often we forget, or overlook, our military veterans. They are tough, but they, too, need outlets and opportunities to talk, get help, and, when needed, have treatment.
For my military veteran brothers and sisters, don’t be scared to seek treatment or call for help for yourself. Talk to your friends and family. Let others know when life is too heavy and too bleak. If only Curtis had confided in someone, had shared with me when we talked late into the night…if only.
I’m glad that the social campaign “22 Pushup Challenge” raises awareness of veteran suicides. Let’s make it our job to look for opportunities to act, help, and assist when needed.
Curtis’s Facebook page has been turned into a tribute page. I encourage everyone to share and discuss their amazing “Curtis” stories and the impact he had on you. I enjoy reading the posts and stories on his page and think that you would, too.
If you see me on the docks, please stop and say hello. I would love to hear your Captain Curtis Morris stories!
Stay safe, enjoy nature, be kind, and take care of each other.
Captain Jay Feimster