Mental Escapes

Dear Friends & Family,

The condo would be located in a high rise building somewhere within 30 minutes of my current home. Floor to ceiling windows are a must along with a view of the city lights at night. The condo would be furnished with contemporary fixtures and clean lines. The walls would be dark and have interesting art hanging on them. There would be no family photos. The bar would be stocked with fine wine and the refrigerator empty except for bottled water and gourmet cheese. The bedroom would be a haven with a soft cozy bed and dark curtains on a timer that would let you fall asleep to the city lights then close automatically in the early morning to prevent the morning from ever coming. No one in the building would know me except for the doorman who would greet me with a smile as he opened the door. Friends would be invited, but somehow would be brought in secrecy, I don’t want anyone to know this place. It is my private sanctuary, a place I could escape the pain of the loss of my husband.

The thoughts of “my condo” filled my head for many months after Curt was diagnosed. I thought about it daily, decorated it in my head, and planned how I would escape my regular daily routine and spend a few hours or a few days there. I would read, write and sleep; all the things that I miss in the present. I felt guilty for all that was going on inside my head with my fantasy condo, but knew that mental escapes must be normal when facing what I am currently facing.

Once the condo was finished in my head, I moved on to holiday plans. Curt has always been our family’s Christmas cheerleader. He gets the decorations ready, sets the date to get the tree, puts the lights up, plays the Christmas cds, and pretty much spreads the cheer. What will the holidays be without him and all our family traditions? My mind went to work and decided for the first year or two, escaping our house and all that is familiar would be the easiest way to handle the holidays without Curt. Ever since Corbin saw a travel poster for Fiji in the AAA office, he has been wanting to go there. Maybe Christmas in Fiji would be a way to skirt out on the sadness that would be sure to fill our holidays if we were to remain home. Once again, I felt guilty for escaping the here and now with Curt to plan for a future without him. Shouldn’t my mind be focused on today and the time we have left together?

Still, my mind wanders. I look ahead to spending more time with each of the kids. Right now, my focus and energy is on Curt, he needs it most. That doesn’t leave much for the kids. I will be careful to not invade their lives or expect them to spend time with me. However, I will be more available for pedicures and workouts with Clarissa, shopping and exploring with Cayden, and walks on the beach or bike rides with Corbin. I will listen more intently and be more focused, I will encourage and support with more energy. Once again, I feel guilty, why I can’t I do this now? Why does it have to be after Curt is gone? Why do I feel so drained and unable to move?

At first I didn’t tell Curt about my mental escapes because I felt guilty. Once I told him and he assured me they were normal thoughts we began to plan together. We are currently planning to remodel our kitchen once he is gone. The cabinets and appliances are getting kind of beat up from his wheelchair and equipment. We talk a lot about styles, layout and how the kitchen will be used. He is totally supportive and has great ideas. We also talk about relationships, financial decisions, his memorial and other things that will happen when he is gone. It is a way for us to connect today while preparing for the future. It is also a mental escape from the horrible reality of the day to day struggles of this disease.

We had a great time in Oregon. My parents worked hard to have everything prepared and accessible for Curt. We stayed in the log cabin next to their property and were super comfy and cozy. We went to the movies, shopped for school clothes, dined at nice restaurants and enjoyed being together with my parents. Clarissa and my mom worked on a puzzle while Cayden and Corbin shopped for hatchets and knives with my dad. Although we were physically unable to take advantage of all the activities available in Oregon, it was a great change of scenery and good to get away as a family.

As always, thank you for praying for our family. We appreciate your love and support. We love your emails, cards and etc.!

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Curt

Taco Tuesday

Dinner at the Tilted Kilt

Ready to hit the road for Oregon in the Cherry Bomb soon to be known as the Mini Can!

Dinner with Cousin Alyson, Jeanno, Erik, Dominic, Ethan, Aunt Arlene, John, and our family
 in Sacramento on our way to Oregon.
Puzzle Time!

What a view!

Curt sunning by the river!

Just relaxing!

Clarissa and Papa ready for a ride!

Our cozy cabin for the week! Thanks Steve!

It's good to be together!

Time to leave Oregon.

Back at home tonight with Larry and Debbie and Mark and a little wine!

1 comment:

Tina said...

Your Family Heart

Every time I read your blog, it reminds me that our family does a lot of the same things yours does and it makes me really think, and challenges me to appreciate life, every time I think how lucky I am to just be able to get around effortlessly, when I find myself down I think (snap out of it stupid)

I recently got back from a trip to China. What an eye opener; how truly lucky I am to have my freedom, independence, space, a good dentist; but mostly when I was on the subway with hundreds of other people I had a thought that my heart beats the same as everyone else, your family’s heart beat is the same as our family’s.

I hear how your family keeps on going and still has fun, and enjoys life, I think the strength of your family’s heart is remarkable, and I spread the word when I hear someone complaining about something trivial.

Your web site hits everyone in a special way; I just thought I would tell you where it hit me today.

I am speaking on behalf of my strong family heart

Tina Harding