Dear Friends & Family,
As much as I would like to check out of life and spend these days holding hands with Curt watching the sun set into the ocean….life must go on. There are bills to pay, laundry to fold and ortho appointments to get the kids to. Since I cannot check out of life, I have to continue on with the normal day to day tasks, including work. Lucky for me, I have the best job and co-workers in the world!
My parents started American City Pest & Termite in 1979, running the business out of their home. My Mom manned the phones while my Dad serviced a monthly pest route of 300 customers. Now, 30 years later, we have 44 employees and over 4,000 regular monthly customers along with a full service termite department (sounds like a commercial here, but hey, why not? You can check out us out at http://www.americancitypest.com/ ). In 2005, when our long time manager moved on and my Dad was considering selling the company, in order for Curt & I not to have to work for anybody else, I convinced my Dad I could run the company. I was promoted to President and worked hard to learn the business and prove I could carry on. My stress level soared trying to balance a busy company and a busy family. As my hours at work increased Curt jumped in and took over more of the family duties. Eventually things got easier and the workload became manageable. Today; thanks to great managers and great employees, I am able to come and go more freely. I work 4 days a week, sometimes 3, depending on Curt’s needs and appointments.
The best thing about our office is; everyone there knows and loves Curt (after 25 years working there he went on permanent disability in February 2010). They are as sad as I am to see him battling this disease. I cry, they cry. It is good to have my parents and Curt’s mom working there also, we can all cry together, away from Curt & the kids.
Andi, our General Manager, has worked with us for 15 years. She knows everything I know and more. She runs the company when I am not there (and even when I am) and has taken over a lot of my duties. She is a great manager and a great friend. Our Manager Greg, our secretaries, and the rest of our employees are the best co-workers I could ask for. They understand and feel the pain; we are all in this together. A lot of my workday is spent dealing with Curt’s needs and everyone understands that.
I thank God everyday for this company, the employees and my parents who have trusted me with it.
As many of you noticed, I did not post an update last week. I had way too much on my schedule; unpacking from our weekend at the lake, repacking for the next week in Oregon, trying to get the van ready for Curt, and ramps built (thanks Bob) for the house. On top of all that, I lost internet service for two days and spent many hours on the phone with people on the other side of the earth trying to help me fix it. Lastly, I have been fighting insomnia for the past few weeks. This all caused a bit of a mental breakdown Wednesday. After spending most of the day in my office, with the door closed, crying uncontrollably, I decided I could only do what I could do. I pulled myself together and focused on one task at a time instead of my mile long list. It all worked out and we left Friday for Oregon. We are enjoying our time here with my parents, most of my cousins, and friends that come and go. We will head for home on Saturday.
Curt is happy being in the outdoors. The weather is great and he can go all over in his power wheelchair. We are busy entertaining and he enjoys socializing with everyone. The other night as we were settling down for bed, Corbin came to me, in front of Curt, and said “So, how much longer for Dad?” I thought I knew what he was talking about but was surprised that he was so matter of fact about it, especially with Curt sitting there. So I asked him what he meant. He said “You know, how much longer for Dad?” I answered, “Hopefully a long time.” He agreed and jumped into bed. That was that. Curt and I just kinda smiled at each other and kissed him goodnight. Curt said he was glad that Corbin could talk about it so openly. I fell asleep wondering how much longer…..
Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin
|All the Cousins having fun in Oregon:|
Dominic Pace, Ethan Pace, Abby Shepard, Corbin, Amy Shepard, Clarissa, Ashley Shepard
(missing Cayden & Colin)
|Clarissa, Cayden, Grandpa Jim, Corbin, Grandma Celia|