Better Together

Dear Friends & Family,

Driving in the slow lane, 55 mph max, easy listening music playing on the radio, I sat in the back seat as Curt drove as he has never driven before. Slow, cautious, and gentle. It was March 5, 1993 we were driving Clarissa, our brand new baby, home from the hospital. It was the strangest feeling to be going home with this precious gift of life, no instruction booklet, no nurses, just Curt & I and what we learned from a couple of parenting classes and books. As the days and weeks went by, we noticed most of our time was spent staring at her, studying her features and listening to the sweet sounds a baby makes. Curt’s driving eventually returned to normal when Clarissa was in the car. We still remember that ride home from the hospital and talk about it like it was yesterday.

Six years later, speeding down a two lane highway towards Brawley, California, I sat in the backseat of a truck we borrowed from a stranger. “Can’t you go faster?” I asked Curt. He said, “I am doing 95 mph.” I swear it felt like we were crawling. Cayden was in my arms, tears streaming down his four year old cheeks, moaning in pain, I was squeezing his finger to stop the bleeding and to shield the bare bone from his view. Clarissa was beside him, trying to comfort him and acting so brave for the six year old sister and second mother that she was. It was a freak accident, while playing with rocks in Glamis, which split his finger apart like a squashed banana. As soon as we saw his finger, we knew we had to get him to the hospital 60 miles away quickly. Our motorhome was wedged in with other motorhomes, motorcycles and trailers; it was not an option for an urgent trip. A friend of a friend offered his truck and soon we were on our way. Curt sped into the Hospital’s parking lot on two wheels; he had barely stopped as I jumped out of the truck and ran into the Emergency Room, like a crazy woman, with Cayden bundled in my arms. Something about the look on my face must have got us escorted right into the examination room, bypassing the check-in desk, triage area, and room full of people waiting. In the end, Cayden was fine, his finger was stitched up and I passed out (literally). Passing out would become my new tradition when the kids suffered injuries, especially if it involved emergency rooms, blood, or broken bones. Curt was always there to help us home and through recovery.

Years later, while staying at a campground in Northern California, the kids were having a blast playing soccer in a huge grassy field. Corbin came crying to us that he hurt his foot. He was three years old at the time. Curt & I gave him some love and then decided maybe swimming would make him feel better. We took him to the pool, but he couldn’t swim because it hurt so badly. We spent the next few days trying to divert him from the pain he said was on the top of his foot. When we returned home from our vacation, we settled back into work, errands, and busy family life. Every once in a while Corbin would complain about pain in his foot. Years later his foot was being x-rayed for a different injury. The doctor pointed to the top of Corbin’s foot and said “I see you have broken your foot before, how did that happen?” My heart dropped to the floor and I felt like the worst parent on earth. He had broken his foot back when we were on vacation and we brushed it under the rug and did nothing about it. Curt and I felt so bad that we had ignored Corbin’s symptoms and never had it looked at.

Whether it is the uncertainty of new parenting, worrying about a child in pain or the guilt of not making the right decision, life is better shared. Love conquers all, and to have the one you love, beside you, united with you, laughing or crying, life is better together.

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

A great day for flying......

A great day for a flying lesson! WOW!
It was fun learning to fly an airplane!

Thank you Mike for the lesson, for taking great photos, and for going along for the ride!

Thanks Pilot Jeff, you are a great teacher and amazingly calm!
Corbin, Nathan, Brandon, Jacob, Beau, and Cayden at the
Monster Truck World Finals in Las Vegas this past weekend.

Happy Birthday Mike!
At Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with Jim, Mark, Kelli, Debbie, Larry, Clarissa, and Mike!

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