I was looking forward to Christmas Day my 56th birthday on December 25, 2018. I was looking forward to today January 1, 2019 New Year’s day.
For the past 3 years I have been going to the Charlotte Panthers game on either on December 23rd or 24th and this year it was the 23rd. I was debating if I wanted to go this year and decided on Friday December 21st at the last minute that I was going. God has blessed me with some resources.
What I was not looking forward to is another family member expiring in December close around my birthday. My mother’s mother expired on my birthday back in the late 70’s. My dad’s daddy expired in December in the early 80’s. My dad’s mother expired in December in the early 2000’s and now my dad’s brother this December.
On Wednesday December 19 I had just gotten off work around 5:45 PM and I was on Hwy 64 right around the QVC exit. I call my dad every day when I get off work and I had just got off the phone with him or either my Sheriff Clee Atkinson or Andre Knight. Andre called to tell me a friend was in the hospital. My Uncle Curtis Dancy’s friend called me but since I was in between calls I missed her call around 5:58 PM and she left a message at 6:04 PM saying where are you come see about Curt. His friend was hollering and crying. My gut feeling told me that he was going to be expired when I arrived. I called my cousin retired Sheriff James Knight and said I think I may have a possible situation be on standby I am almost at my destination and hung up. He kept calling me back and I would not respond because I wanted to see what was going on.
When I arrived my uncle’s friend and her mother met me at the door and they both were hollering and crying saying I think Curt is gone. I didn’t know whether to go in the room or just call 911. I went to Curt’s room and he was lying in the bed with his oxygen machine still connected. I then walked out the door and called 911. I told the lady that my uncle was not breathing and that it appears he had expired. She said do anyone want to try CPR and I said I think it is too late for that. I called retired Sheriff Knight and told him to go to my dad’s house and tell him Curt had expired and bring him if he wanted to come. I then called Sheriff Atkinson and left him a message that my uncle had expired. Shortly afterwards EMT and the Sheriff Office arrived.
I had a time trying to stay calmed while dealing with my uncle’s friend and her mother because they were just out of it. I told my uncle’s friend I was going to call the family and she said let her call. I said ok. I went and stood outside by the road waiting for the EMT and Sheriff Office to arrive. After I walked in the house with them I seen that I was right he was gone so I went back outside and just stood in the yard. I went next door to my uncle’s house and he was sleep and didn’t hear me knocking on the door. I tried calling the house phone but he didn’t respond and I had lost his cell phone number due to changing phones. After they decided what funeral home to call, I called Mr. George Bullock and told him to come and pick up my uncle. I had just done this back in September when my uncle Eugene Dancy expired and it was Curt and I at the house when EMT and the Sheriff Office came out.
As I was standing in the yard folk were coming by seeing all the lights EMT and Sheriff vehicles my cousins and others were beginning to call me.
Although the planning of my uncle’s funeral was going on I worked on up to the Saturday December 29th after his funeral and stopped by his house every day. On Saturday since my uncle’s friend and his daughter were trying to complete the obituary I told them let me help them because I got information on my laptop whereby I did the outline of my uncle LeRoy a little over a year ago and then Eugene in September. I told them they kept getting distracting by people stopping by and that they needed to complete it so they could whine down and to get it to the funeral home especially with it being the holiday weekend.
After I arrived back to my uncle’s house I realized I had moved the information from my laptop to one of my portable hard drives and the one in my laptop bag was not the right one and the other one was in my office. I typed the handwritten outline that was given to me. I went to Dickens Funeral Home website and copied the most recent information since they handled Eugene. It was still tough because my uncle’s daughter was entertaining visitors and my uncle’s friend was trying to work with a photo so I had to disturb them making sure I do what they wanted.
I was going back to work around 12 midnight Saturday and work 4 hours which would have been my Sunday. I would have received double time so actually I would have gotten paid for 8 hours. I worked on the obituary leaving my uncle’s house around 10 PM and then went home and worked on it some more. I decided I was not going to work because I was tired and also I was fighting my allergies/cold.
On Sunday morning I was in Rocky Mount around 7:15 AM because a co-worker Kelvin Little, his girlfriend and a brother from his church we got in his car and Kelvin drove me to the Charlotte Panthers game. My wife did not feel like going, my son had to work and my daughter’s boyfriend had to work so Kelvin was a blessing. I picked up my tickets on Friday and I called Kelvin and told him to be on standby because I had 3 tickets to the game and it looks like I am going to only need 1 ticket. On Saturday I called and asked him did he want to go and he said no doubt. I said thanks because I can continue to work on my uncle’s obituary because I had not even started to begin to pull photos to send to see which ones one uncle’s friend and his daughter so they could choose which ones they would like to use.
On the way to the game I sent the photos because I had photos of Curt from LeRoy and Gene’s funerals but most recent photos of Curt when I had the privilege of videoing and taking photos of the G.W. Carver Class of 1968 Class Reunion in July. Wow! I will never forget spending that time with my uncle. I found out that many folk I knew were his classmates. Wow he had a good time and he ended up being crowned the King of the Reunion. When I sent the photos to my uncle’s friend and daughter, they had been struggling trying to work with a photo that they wanted to put on the obituary. I said hopefully when they see my photos from the reunion that they would just use one of those. When I sent the photos my uncle’s friend texted me back and just said “Smiling.” But since I was pulling all of those photos one by one and saving them to my phone then texting them to them I didn’t know what photo she had picked out. I told her that I was hoping once I sent her those photos she would quit struggling with the photo she had and choose one of mines from the class reunion. I could have suggested they use a photo but I would not because I wanted them to pick one.
While at the game since we were in a Luxury Suite I spent a lot of time talking back and forth and working on my phone. I was at the game but I was not at the game however mentally but I enjoyed the atmosphere.
I got back on my laptop on the way back from Charlotte and I just happened to go to Dickens Funeral Home Website to read the condolences. Well I didn’t even know that my uncle’s friend and daughter had sent the outline for the website obituary and the photo to the funeral home. When I went to the site I seen the photo they chose and the obituary with information so folk could see when the funeral was going to be. I was happy to see it online because it had been 4 days and folk were contacting me about the arrangements. Some of Curt’s classmates were contacting me trying to find out the arrangements because it was the holiday and folk were trying to see if they were going to be able to attend.
After arriving in Rocky Mount around 8:15 PM I had to go home and print what I had done while on the highway. I printed the outline as I was asked to however I put it on a flash drive. After they read it we found out that something was out of sequence as it related to Curt’s work history. It was decided to let it go. I went home and was going to change it but I fell asleep on the computer because I was tired.
On Monday morning I was supposed to go to work and this was triple time. I got up made the corrections and was getting dressed. My uncle’s daughter called me because she had found a small error. I told her I am glad she caught it and I was going to call her because I was making the correction we had talked about last night. I then reprinted the obituary and put it on another flash drive however I emailed it to the printer. My uncle’s daughter called me back and said you need to go to work and I said no I am going to make sure my uncle’s obituary is right because he was at the table when I did my uncle’s his brothers.
I told my uncle’s daughter I had decided that I was going with her and my uncle’s friend to the printer at 9 am because I was good friends with the owner and he was like family to me because his daddy and my daddy were close. I told her I had already called the owner and talked to him that morning. I told my uncle’s daughter I thought about they were going to meet with my dad at 11 am so they could pick out the gravesite on our farm. I said my dad and Curt did that and that my dad is the oldest at 84 and can’t hear too good so I needed to go so I can see for myself because I need to take Curt’s place now with my dad.
After we left the graveyard they had an appointment at 12 to meet at the church to pay for the use of the sanctuary and the fellowship hall.
I went to work Wednesday 4 AM – 10 AM. I went to work on Thursday the day of the funeral at 3 AM until 7 AM the day of the funeral. I went to work on Friday and Saturday.
Although I am struggling with the death of my uncle, I am at a peace. Over the past year I got to spend quite a bit of time with my uncle however over the past couple of years he was there when my dad had his 2 hip replacements, his truck accident and 2 floods back to back. I could count on Curt to be there for my dad. He also was there back in 1997 when my moma died.
We worked on uncle LeRoy’s funeral a little over a year ago and after we completed the obituary I drove my uncle LeRoy’s wife to Greenville to her sister’s house because Curt would not let her drive that distance and plus it was raining. I told him yes we can do that. Curt and I talked all the way back.
In September when a cousin stopped by and told my dad that he couldn’t wake my uncle Gene up my dad told me to go see about him. I called Curt but my dad had already called him so we got over there about the same time. I am so glad that Curt was living when Gene died because Curt made sure he had a nice home going celebration. We had a long conversation on that day and he told me what he wanted to do and how he wanted his siblings to get together. He told me he was going to start working on the home house because his brother that died during Vietnam War Uncle Arthur Lee Dancy made it possible for my grandparents to get the house. He said he wanted to have it ready so that when his siblings came home from out of town so that they could stay there. He called me to meet him at the house to video and to take photos before the work began.
Curt had 2 projects going on he took care of uncle Gene’s funeral and was now working on the house. It was killing my dad because my dad wanted Curt to give him a price so he could help with the funeral and the house and Curt told him just hold on and he would get with him. Curt knew my daddy was going to do his part so he was not worried about it. My daddy kept calling Curt and he kept worrying me and I kept telling him he is going to let you know when he is ready. I had been intending to stop by Curt’s house and talk to him about when we were going to pay the taxes on the home house because my daddy wanted to make sure they are paid by January so would not accumulate any interest. I hate I didn’t stop by Curt’s house to talk to him because I kept saying I was going to do it so I could tell my daddy what the plan was. I go by Curt’s house everyday going and coming from work and every time I go to Tarboro which may be a couple of times a day.
Curt shared a lot with me on the day Gene died because we stayed over at the house for a while before EMT and Sheriff Office arrived and after them, the funeral home, my dad and others had gone. We went way back and some of the things we talked about I had almost forgotten.
One thing Curt never mentioned to me was he had a medical condition. I had heard about it and my dad too. I felt he didn’t want my dad and I to know but I could tell some something when I was around him.
When I got the call on Wednesday December 19 I was not shocked but the timing. I think that I am handling it because I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my uncle Curt especially seeing him have a good time with his classmates in July and the recent conversations we had.
I think this is going to take a toll on my dad because Curt and he was very close. He always checked on my daddy and I could count on that. I also could count on getting Curt to try to get through to my daddy when I was trying to tell him something and Curt would help me with that.
My mind goes back to when I got my license in December 1978 before I got my car in February 1979 Curt let me keep his 1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo white and gold. My dad bought me a 1977 Monte Carlo and mine was white on white. I used to drive his little convertible midget also and Volkswagen.
It appeared to me that when I walked in Curt’s room on December 19 that he was at peace looking like he was just sleep. On top of him dealing with his medical condition he had a lot he was dealing with trying to finalize his brother’s funeral, working on the house and trying to reach out to his siblings.
I am going to miss my uncle Curt a smart and intelligent man, a loving and caring man. It didn’t matter who you were, black, white or other if he could help you he would. He was one of the coolest men I have ever known. He was a special kind of cool.
Nope I don’t want to be like Mike, I want to be like my dad and then I want to be like Curt.
It is my desire that my uncle’s significant other and his daughter work through this and continue to have a relationship.
I thank my uncle’s significant other and his daughter for allowing me to help them be a part of the home going celebration of my uncle Curtis Dancy.
I know Curt loved himself some Fay. Some folk call her Vanassa but I couldn’t because that is what he called her. I know he loved himself some Vickie too! He had a special kind of love for Lamont. He loved his grand children also.
For anyone who wants to know what role I played there you have it. I represented my dad who is the oldest of all his siblings.