A Roller Coaster Ride Thru the Fog

Dear Friends & Family,

After tossing and turning all night, fighting insomnia, I stared at the clock, it was 5:00 am, and I had not fallen asleep yet. Thinking about having to get up in 2 hours I prayed for an angel to come and take Corbin to school. Taking him to Lakewood and then back home takes 45 minutes, there is a lot of neighborhood school traffic to get through, and I was in no shape to be driving. As Cayden was headed out the door on his way to school at 7:15 am, he looked back and said "Mom, do you want me to take Corbin to school this morning?" Wow, Cayden had never offered this before and suddenly I realized he was the answer to my prayer. At first I said "No", because Corbin can not be dropped off until 7:45 at the earliest, therefore it makes Cayden late to Los Al. But as I tried to focus my eyes and he gave me a look of enthusiasm, I changed my mind, sent them off, and happily went back to bed for a bit. God answers prayers!

I wish I had recorded our conversation the other night. Cayden had just put Curt into bed, Clarissa and I laid down on my bed and Cayden sat in Curt's wheelchair at the foot of Curt's bed. We began talking at 9:15, we talked candidly and openly about how much longer Curt would live (Curt began that discussion), different options of speeding up his death, what it would feel like to starve to death or die from not breathing, cremation versus burial, a song Curt would like played at his Service (totally inappropriate song, you won't hear it), sex, sex before marriage, sex after marriage, dating, making significant others feel special, always doing your best, Heaven, cars, trucks, trips, mourning. 3.5 hours later we went to bed. It was one of our many great family discussions, I wish I could remember it all.

There is so much I wish I could remember lately. Sweet things each of the kids say, tender moments here and there, meaningful things Curt says, what we did last week. It is all a fog. More than that it is like riding a roller coaster through the fog. I am trying to see where we are going but nothing is clear, I try to look back but the tracks are invisible, hidden in the fog, I have no idea where we have been. The ups and downs are incredible. Day by day and even hour by hour, the emotional highs and lows make me queasy. The sharp turns from Curt having a great day to a couple of really bad days. Sometimes a rough morning turns into a great afternoon, sometimes it is just rough the entire day.

The kids are asking a lot of questions. Corbin's questions focus mainly around when "it" will happen and if Daddy will still be around for certain upcoming plans. Cayden is focused mainly on sucking all the knowledge he can out of Curt. Questions about trucks, Curt's memories of his teenage years and how things work is mostly what he asks of Curt. Clarissa is about coping "after". What will I do with Curt's clothes, will I sleep with them, what will I do with all my spare time, what she and I will do together.

Curt can't get comfortable. He has no strength to sit up by himself, this morning he said he felt an itch on his back for three hours last night. His eyes burn, his mouth is dry, he's not hungry but when he does eat he struggles to chew and swallow. He enjoys quiet times when he can reflect on his life. He says he has had an amazing life and has done more than many people much older than him. He says it is hard to be him right now, he is tired of not being able to do anything.

The music was playing a bit loud from the bathroom when I went into the bedroom to wake him. It was a Christian song being sung by a choir, I was dressed and ready to leave for work wearing a sunny yellow top. I had gone into the bedroom earlier to wake him and he was completely silent, I couldn't even hear him breathe (normally he breathes audibly), his chest was not moving, his face had a peaceful look on it, almost a bit of a smile. I wondered if this is what he will look like when he passes on, then I panicked because really...his chest was not moving. I put my face close to his mouth and felt his small breaths on my cheek. I paused for a moment and prayed for more time with him. Then I began to try and wake him again, I usually try to be pretty spunky for him so, with the choir singing in the background I said "Good morning honey, you are in heaven, the choir is singing and your angel (me) is here in front of you, time to get up." He would not wake, so I gave him a few more minutes. When I was finally able to wake him, I asked if he thought he was in heaven (jokingly), he said, "No, my legs aren't working." He is so ready to be able to move his arms and legs again; ready to run, to stretch, to scratch, to hug.

Please pray for his comfort. Please pray also for comfort for our friend Andrea Fowler (and 2 daughters) who lost her husband Tim, 34, last week, to spinal cancer after a year of intensive treatments and pain. Andrea has been a great encouragement to me as we emailed each other often about our journeys.

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

Wine Tasting and Dinner at Bill & Carolyn Melanson's Home

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