I Used to Tell Him Everything

Dear Friends & Family,

Up until a few weeks ago Curt & I shared everything. There was no topic off limits. I guess that is why we are so close, we have nothing to hide so it is easy being open and honest. A few weeks ago I received a text that one of Curt’s friend’s dad passed away. Curt grew up around the corner from his friend Ray and had fond memories of his Dad. When I received the text, we were in Las Vegas getting ready for the Garth Brooks concert. A few minutes earlier Curt had fallen while he was trying to take his shoes off. I saw it happening and tried to stop him from falling, but there was nothing I could do. He hit the floor hard, barely missing the wheelchair and coffee table. I felt so helpless and sad for him. The kids were in the room next door and came running when they heard the thud. We all went from super excited about the room, the view and the concert to super sad seeing him there on the floor. Anyways, back to the text I received. Just as I was about to tell Curt that Ray’s Dad passed away, something came over me, I paused and decided he didn’t need any bad news or pain at that moment. I didn’t tell him. We continued getting ready, enjoyed a nice dinner, the concert and then explored the hotel and a little bit of Vegas. We went to bed with the curtains open showing us the awesome lights of Vegas. I really wanted to tell Curt, but didn’t want to ruin the moment and the fun we were having. I fell asleep wondering when I would tell him.

The next day we were about to have breakfast when Curt received a phone call from his friend Ray telling him about his Dad. I acted like it was new news to me. I was hurting inside knowing that I withheld information from him and now I was lying about knowing about it. This secretive stuff was brand new territory for me and was eating me up inside.

Since that incident I have learned to hold back from telling him a lot of things. He seems so fragile both physically and emotionally. I feel like I need to protect him. I need to filter things for him and just give him the highlights. This is a whole new ballgame for me. To go from telling him everything.....to deciding what he needs and doesn’t need to know. It is different and takes work. I am not even sure it is the right thing to do.  But really....does he really need to know every detail? Paul & I shopped for days for a mini van for him and only brought him into the decision making process once we had narrowed it down to the top two. He knows nothing of the different handicap conversion companies or the financing details. When I come home from work he doesn’t know how much of my day was spent making his appointments, researching wheelchairs or dealing with Medicare. At this point, he doesn’t need to know boring details, he needs to be happy and have his needs met. I will do whatever I can to make his life comfortable and fun to the end. Even if that means not telling him everything.

We have had a busy couple of weeks full of friends, dinners and family get-togethers. Curt is enjoying his days lunching with friends or hanging out by the pool with the kids. We are looking forward to spending this weekend at Lake Nacimiento! We are thankful for every one's calls, cards, dinners and encouragement. We are beginning to need that more than ever as this disease is truly impacting our normal life.

A few weeks ago, Curt, Corbin and I went out to lunch. Curt and I were sharing a soda, Corbin thought it was so cute, he grabbed the camera out of my purse and took this photo. I thought he was crazy at the moment, but I love the photo and love that Corbin is so thoughtful and tender. Most of all I love my handsome husband and hope we can share many more sodas!

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin


Gallie said...

Hi Cindy,

Once again, your transparency is refreshing. Thank you for trusting us enough to share the intimacy of your thoughts.

Humm…I’m not sure where I stand on this. I agree that at times we need to withhold information from our loved ones. We certainly do it with our kids, and release more information to them as they become age appropriate. The principle is that too much information at the wrong age would hurt them or rob them of their innocence. The same is probably true for the elderly. For example, if you were privy to information about a disease your 80 year old mother was inflicted with, yet by you telling her she would lose her will to live…then by all means with hold that kind of information. So the principle rings true, we should withhold information that might have a harmful effect on someone. To attain knowledge is certainly not the ultimate goal in life…it is trumped by love.

With Curt, I suspect that much of his emotional pain is not from his suffering but knowing that you and the kids are suffering. I have heard him express this on a few occasions. I wonder if you sharing all of your day with him, letting him in on how much you’ve done for him, even complaining if appropriate, will help him share the burdens that he knows you are bearing. It might actually do him good rather than harm. You are such an open book in your relationship with Curt that maybe now is not the time to change that. I agree that there will be details about his illness that should be kept from Curt, only because they will harm his spirit. Those are the thoughts you should save and share with your friends. Sharing the ongoing thoughts and busyness of life might help Curt to continue loving you in that area and that is a good thing for both you and him.

Still, who am I to recommend one way or the other? You have been incredible in the way you have handled this and I believe you will do the right thing for your family. That much is crystal clear. If my thoughts have been helpful, then great, otherwise kick them to the side. Either way, you have our support and thank you again for being so open and allowing us to be a part of your world. I pray that it can somehow bear some of your burden.

With Love,

Steve for the Gallies

Anonymous said...

It is heart wrenching to feel your pain.
I agree with you and how hard it must be to omit certain information from Curt. After so many years of open book policy, it must be so difficult to decide what Curt needs to deal with and what his energy is best reserved for.
I love you all and am there for you.
Always in my prayers,