The Story of Curt & Cindy, Chapter 1

Dear Friends & Family,

I knew "of" him, before I ever met him. I attended Towers Elementary School in Torrance and he attended Carl Steele Elementary just across Anza Ave, less than a mile from my school. I don't remember how or why I knew his name, but he must have been something special for us kids at Towers to care about anyone outside our great school.

I finally met Curt Ziemke face to face in sixth grade. Our two elementary schools fed into Bert M. Lynn Middle School. We both had Mr. Matz for sixth grade homeroom. Yeah, he was cool, but a little too cool, if you know what I mean. I was kind of shy and he was not. He had lots of friends and it seemed all the girls liked him. I remember his strong build and dark hair. My friend Chris McDonald was infatuated with him from 6th grade through High School; I respected that, and concentrated my feelings on Curt's friend Steve Sherrill. Curt and Steve hung out on the bleachers with a group of guys every day at lunch and recess. My girlfriends and I called them "The Monkeys" because they were always hanging around the bleachers. Of course, my friends & I spent a lot of time hanging around the bleachers also. Our school would have after school dances and I remember dancing with Curt a few times. I also remember skating the couples skate with Curt at Shamrock Skating Rink during school events. Boy could he skate. Backwards, forwards, spinning, he was definitely the coolest guy out there.

Like I said, my friend Chris had "dibs" on Curt. So although we hung out a bunch, he was pretty much off limits for me. That was ok, because I always liked Steve. But, there came a night in August of 1982, it was actually August 4th to be exact. We were both 16 and it was a warm summer night before our Junior Year. There was a party at Bob Young's house. He lived down the street from me, was quite a bit older, but asked me to this party. It turned out that Curt was at the party also. Curt sat beside me as we played quarters at the dining room table. There were quite a few people there and the room was high energy, loud and lively. Curt rested his hand on my knee under the table. He continued touching my knee throughout the night. I began to feel like we were the only two people in the room.

Something was needed from the grocery store so Curt & I volunteered to go. We rode together in Curt's 1967 Volkswagen Bus. It was yellow and white. The front seat was a bench seat. It was weird to be in a vehicle that had no hood. I remember pulling up in front of Alpha Beta and feeling like we were going to hit the yellow pole. We got what was needed and went back to Bob's and stuck together the rest of the night. At the end of the night we walked out to our cars and had our first kiss. While we were kissing, friends from the party were picking oranges off of Bob's fruit tree and throwing them at us. I remember the full moon, warm air and Curt's strong and confident kiss. I went home totally in love and smelling like oranges..... be continued (the story of Curt & Cindy, Chapter I)

Please pray for our family. Curt's symptoms seem to be worsening quickly the last few weeks. Sometimes he really struggles with his speech; the words just don't come out quick enough. His brain is fine but the words won't come. His legs are not working well. He sometimes struggles to walk, while other times he walks normally. There seems to be no reason or predictability to why his body is fine one minute and not functioning properly the next. He struggles to get dressed. Buttons, zippers and shoelaces test his patience each day. Even though he has not really worked since last May, he officially went on permanent disability this week. He turned in his uniforms and company property after 25 years at American City Pest & Termite. Please pray for him.

Corbin has been struggling the last few weeks at school. He is not doing his work in class, he chooses to daydream instead. Our evenings are spent doing hours of homework together each night. This is wearing me out. I try my best to be understanding and patient but I am so exhausted, it takes all my energy to sit with him and encourage him. I am hoping this is just a phase and will end soon. Please pray for Corbin (and for me).

Clarissa celebrated her 17th Birthday this weekend with her friends at our house. She has had a lot of homework lately, but is doing great at school. She is keeping busy with volleyball and played great in a tournament on Sunday!

Cayden had friends over most of the weekend. They rode bikes, went to the movies and spent the night here. He is keeping busy with high school volleyball. He had a game today and played really well. Curt & I really enjoy watching Clarissa and Cayden play volleyball.

Curt & I are taking one day at a time. Trying to not think too much about the future. Waiting to hear about treatments (I have been calling, but no answers yet). We had our family portraits taken this weekend (thank you Cindy & Dana). We finished our taxes. We are meeting with an attorney next week for our Trust. Curt is busy organizing his tools and garage cabinets for us. We spent today together. What a beautiful, crisp, clear day. As we were driving in Huntington Beach we could look from the ocean to the snow covered mountains. They looked close enough to walk to. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful area! We drove around Palos Verdes and stopped to look at Catalina Island and reminisce about childhood experiences. As we sat in the car looking out over the ocean, the sun warmed our faces through the windshield. It was great to just be together! I am the luckiest woman in the world!

Thanks for being our friends, for supporting us and most of all for praying. We need that miracle really soon!

Love to all,

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

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