On December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked and 2,402 people died. On December 7, 1995 Curt's Dad; Don Ziemke, died of a sudden heart attack. On December 7, 2009 a second doctor confirmed Curt's diagnosis of ALS.
Hearing it for the second time was like a second blow to the stomach. The first blow; hurts, makes you stumble and takes your breath away. The second blow; knocks you to the ground, doesn't stop hurting and takes away your ability to breathe deeply forever. It has been over 4 months since the first diagnosis and the pain only gets worse. Every decision we make is based on time. The clock is ticking. Every one's clock is ticking, but ours is attached to a time bomb. We have no idea when it will go off....months or years? Meanwhile, each day is a gift. Everyone always says to live for today and yet nobody does it. It is hard to do until you have a deadline; then you will live for today. I have learned that if I am thinking about tomorrow, I am not living for today. It is easy now to live for today; it is too painful to think about the future.
On December 7, 2009 we left Dr. DiStasio's Harbor City office after getting the second confirmed diagnosis. The Doctor told us there was nothing that could be done for Curt. He said to "go home, prepare Curt's Advance Directive, your Will, get your finances in order and travel now, because the disease can progress rapidly, so do all you want to do soon".
We left his 4th floor office and paused on the balcony that led to the stairs. It had been dark and cloudy and raining all day. But now the sun was breaking through the scattered clouds revealing bits of blue sky. We hugged and cried in each other's arms, trembling and shaking, not caring that people were coming and going all around us. We took a moment and looked at the view of Downtown Los Angeles and the mountains. Off in the distance Curt noticed a rainbow. The rainbow became brighter as we were looking at it. It became the brightest rainbow ever. The kind were you could see each distinct color. Was God telling us something? Did it mean that everything was going to be alright? Did it mean Curt would not die? Did it mean there would be a miracle? Was it a sign of Hope? Or was it just a random rainbow on a rainy day? I think about that rainbow often. I still wonder what it meant.
As I see the disease progress a little more each day and watch Curt struggle, I hurt. I hurt for him and I hurt for me and I hurt for the kids. I hurt for his mom, I hurt for my parents, I hurt for all his friends, I hurt for his brother and his sister. The hurt is heavy, my heart hurts and I can't breathe. I need strength and prayer. I need to breathe. Pray for Curt, he is also in emotional pain. He is doing his best to be strong for us, but wow, how does he do it? Thank you for caring. Thank you for praying.