Behind The Smile

Dear Friends & Family,

I can’t say whether it was his strong build, his subtle air of confidence or his amazing smile that attracted me to him when we were both 16 years old. There was something about that smile that was different than others’. Behind that smile there was confidence, a little bit of mischievousness and definitely a sweet and tender boy.

As the 16 year old boy has turned into a 45 year old man, that smile has never changed or faded. Even as he is fighting for his life and for every move he makes, it’s the smile that speaks to me, shows that he loves me and continues to encourage me and lift me up when I am down. We used to communicate so well we would finish each other’s sentences, but now that speaking is tough, we communicate through expressions, nods and smiles. Through all his frustrations and all the sadness that surrounds our family in dealing with this disease he can still manage to smile every day. And that smile tells me that he is going to be ok and we are going to be ok. He still has confidence in his smile and that is what gets me through each day. The fact that he is not afraid, the fact that he just takes it as it comes, the fact that he is living a horrific nightmare and can still smile. I wish I could put into words just how awesome of a man he is. Honestly, the courage, the character, and the love he shows for everyone, everyday, is the same as before he was dealt this disease.

Up until this point, we have taken this disease as it comes, one day at a time. We haven’t asked questions about the future or what would be coming up. But lately Curt has been very weak; his legs can no longer support his body, he slumps in his wheelchair as his core muscles are weakening, his speech continues to decline and he spends about 14 hours in bed each night. I can see him getting weaker and deteriorating by the day. I know for sure this will be our last Christmas together, will he make it to Easter, Clarissa’s birthday in March, and so on? I couldn’t take it anymore and called the Doctor last week. He confirmed what we kind of already felt and knew. Curt will most likely be bed-ridden by the end of the year and he will have to fight to make it to his 46th birthday which is February 18th. Curt said “I never expected to make it this long, last spring I never expected to see this winter and here I am in winter, so this is a gift.” Then we cried together and held each other all night long. My mind raced throughout the night; our last time decorating for Christmas as a family, our last Family Christmas Photo, how many more weeks do we have, how many more nights do I get to snuggle next to him, how many more goodnight hugs for the kids? It seems the clock is right above his head, large and loud, ticking faster than ever before.

I used to say that this was such a horrible disease because it takes all your physical strength away including your ability to move, eat, swallow, and breathe, yet leaves your mind fully intact. Now I am thankful that his mind is fully intact because that is what supports his attitude and smile. I could live without his muscular build but I am praying that his smile will be with us until the end, because with his smile he can speak 1,000 words and melt my heart!

The last few days Curt has been lethargic and tired and can’t seem to snap out of it. We thought maybe it was dehydration, but increasing his water intake has not helped. Today the home nurse said his heart rate and blood pressure were low. She didn’t seem too concerned (she was a substitute nurse and doesn’t really know Curt’s history), I will call the doctor tomorrow. Meanwhile he is really struggling to make it through the day. Please pray for him.

Corbin fractured his hand on Friday at school punching a binder to see how far it would fly across the room. Today the Doctor had to reset his broken bone. My heart was breaking as I held Corbin while two doctors struggled to manipulate his bone into place. They formed a cast around his hand and x-rayed it to make sure the bone was straight. It was a long painful procedure. Corbin tried so hard to be strong and brave. He did ok and although he is in a lot of pain tonight, his spirits are good. Please pray for him. He is upset that he is going to miss out on football and other activities. He is amazing and brave just like his dad!

Thank you for continuing to support our family with your thoughts and prayers. Curt would love to hear from you, feel free to send an email any time:

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

Thursday: Ready for the Jason Aldean, Thompson Square, & Chris Young Concert
Jessica, Paige, Cayden, Clarissa & Katie

Off they go!

Friday: Happy Birthday Lisa - Brunch at Lisa's house in Acton
Carolyn, RaeLynn, Lisa, Jaime & Margie

The guys came in the evening!
Paul, Ray, RaeLynn & Bill

Sunday FunDay!

The Pumpkin Carving Contest Begins!

Our perfectly drilled pumpkin.
Curt figured out how to make me use power tools.

Corbin & Grandma had an interesting pumpkin!

Cayden & Paige's was very creative!

The Coyle Family's Haunted House Pumpkin

Clarissa worked hard on her CZ pumpkin!

Mark & Kelli were the winners with their traditional pumpkin!
Thanks Dennis for being the judge.

What an eclectic group!

Corbin & Lauryn at the Fall Festival on Halloween.

Saturday: Urgent Care, Corbin is showing how swollen his right hand is and praying that it is not broken. He didn't want to give up football.

Tonight: Leaving the Fracture Clinic with a reset broken hand
and smiling while in serious pain.....just like his daddy.


Amber said...

Wow. That post brought serious tears to my eyes.
Keep your head held high and be so thankful for the time left.
I will pray for your family every day. I hope He brings you peace, comfort and everything you need in this time.

Jim and Vicki said...

You and your family are so blessed! You have such strong spirits and strength.
What fun you all had for Halloween!
Hugs to you all!