Dear Friends & Family,
As a child I loved to see how long I could hold my breath under the water. In lakes or pools I would challenge anyone who was willing to a “hold your breath” competition. As I got older and went through lifeguard training this technique really helped me get through the grueling classes and ultimately pass the final to become an official lifeguard. Being under water is quiet and peaceful and time seems to stand still. There are no distractions, sudden movements or loud sounds. Everything in a sense is blurry and muffled.
Into adulthood and as a family, we have a tradition of holding our breath as we go through tunnels. As we are about to enter a tunnel everyone in the car takes a deep breath and tries to hold it until we get out of the tunnel. Curt usually slows the car down and makes it really tough. The challenge is to make it out of the tunnel without needing to gasp for air. Some of us make it longer. The last person holding their breath wins! Silly, but fun!
These days, I find myself holding my breath constantly. Not consciously. It just happens. The other day my face was tingling and numb, I realized I had not been taking normal breaths for some time. Yesterday it happened again. I had to pull my car to the side of the road and just breathe. As I sat there, I realized why my subconscious is doing this. First of all, when you don’t breathe time seems to stand still. That is what I want these days. I want to be with Curt as long as possible and if I can make time stand still that would be great. I also realized that when you do not breathe you do not have pain. When I breathe deep my stomach feels sick and my heart hurts. My heart actually aches, it aches for Curt, for our children and for everyone that knows him as a friend. I hate this disease and just want a moment of what we had before; a carefree, happy life. Even though we are making the best of our situation, deep inside it sucks. It sucks the air from my lungs and the happiness that was throughout my whole being.
Curt came home from his four day fishing trip on Sunday. I am not sure if I was just not noticing how much he is still regressing or if he massively regressed over the four day trip, but things are not so good. He can barely walk a few steps now and his hands have lost almost all muscle. They are thin and bony and barely work. I am so sad for him and it hurts to watch him struggle with simple tasks. He continues to try to do most things and his attitude is so positive, we usually just laugh things off and do what needs to be done. Meanwhile I forget or choose not to breathe.
On a different note...
Curt & I met Jim Beedy when we were 16. He went to North High (we all went to West), but made friends with my brother and George Kudo through SCROC, an after school occupational center. Jim was a nice guy and instantly became a part of our group. We all hung out together through high school and then after high school continued spending time together with weekend motorcycle trips to the desert and boating trips to the river. In 1996 Colleen came into Jim’s life. We all loved Colleen for her kindness, energy and the fun she brought to our group. Colleen had also attended North High and her and Jim had a lot of mutual friends. Our river trips were full of fun. We all watched as Jim taught Colleen to ride motorcycles and drive sandrails through the desert. Soon it came time for kids. They struggled to become pregnant and Colleen ended up having to endure months of fertility treatments. We were so excited when they finally conceived twins! Colleen had some complications during the pregnancy and ended up on bed rest for a month and then 96 days in the hospital. We visited often and even had a candlelight dinner for four in her hospital room. Although it was a really difficult situation, Jim and Colleen made the best of it and were blessed with healthy baby girls; Paige & Chloe on August 1, 2000. I cried when I visited her in the nursery and she was breast feeding her tiny babies. We were so happy that they finally were all safe and together as a family.
As of last Friday, Jim & Colleen are facing a tough battle. Colleen was diagnosed with Grade 3 Breast Cancer. They are still in the process of tests and figuring out treatment options but know for sure she will need chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Please pray for our great friends as they face this terrible disease. Pray for Paige & Chloe also. It is going to be a long road for the family.
|Jim, Colleen, Chloe, Paige & Scout Beedy|
Last night I woke up at 3:00 am after a vivid dream. Our family and the Beedy family were all standing on a cliff in Palos Verdes. We were looking out at the lights of Los Angeles when I noticed below us was a huge dump. Trash and scavenger birds circled the air of the dump. It seemed the ground under our feet was caving in and pulling us all down towards the dump. We all kept stepping backwards but couldn’t move fast enough. I woke up with the feeling that the dump was Colleen’s cancer and Curt’s ALS, it is trying to suck our families in as we are trying to stay above it all. We have to keep focused on the future and not let these terrible diseases pull us down.
|The Beedy Family & Jim's Parents - Duane & Nancy at Curt's 44th|
We are still looking forward to the ALS Walk on October 9th. If you had problems joining the team, the computer glitch has been fixed as of yesterday. Try it again. We hope to see lots of friends there walking beside Curt! Deadline to order t-shirts is September 28th, if you need one please email Lynn ASAP.
Thanks for thinking of us and praying for us.
Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin