Dear Friends & Family,

I don’t like mushrooms. I never have. I think it may have something to do with the fact that mushrooms grow in dark and damp places. It doesn’t seem right that something should grow without sun. We don’t eat mildew, moss or stalagmites, why should we eat mushrooms? I have spent a lot of time picking mushrooms off of salads, pizza (I hate when they hide them under the pepperoni), and out of pasta dishes. Curt loves mushrooms, so luckily there is always somewhere to discard those nasty things; right onto his plate. One of our favorite “mushroom” memories was a time we were invited to a neighbor’s house for dinner, we were young and newly married, the hostess was a single older woman. We sat in her formal dining room as she served us mushroom soup, beef stroganoff with mushrooms and green beans with mushrooms. Curt looked at me like “How are you going to handle this dilemma?” I pushed the food around my plate until she would get up to go to the kitchen, which thankfully she did several times, then I would scoop up portions of my food and quickly place it on Curt’s plate. We were laughing in our hearts the entire meal. Another mushroom story takes place each time we go to one of our favorite restaurants; The Bottle Inn, in Hermosa Beach. We have been dining there since we were in high school. My favorite dish is chicken imbotito, which is chicken stuffed with prosciutto, swiss and mushrooms. The waiter has been there for over 30 years and he knows our standard orders. When it is my turn to order he says “Imbotito with extra mushrooms" (meaning he remembers no mushrooms) we all laugh. Then he brings the salad and usually forgets to forgo the mushrooms, so I patiently pick them off and add them to Curt’s plate, all the while laughing.

Yesterday an early morning phone call woke Curt before his usual time. He lay awake in bed while I was gone taking Corbin to school. He said he tried to move his foot for 30 minutes. Not for any reason, he just wanted to be able to move it. He tried and tried with all his might, strength and will. He could not move it. As he told me this story last night, I felt so sad for him. He used to be the strongest man, full of determination and able to do anything he set his mind too. Now all he wants to do is move a foot and he can’t. I wish I could give him some strength. All I could do was assure him that I will always be here and happy to move anything he needs moved. He thanked me for being his cheerleader. I wish there was more I could do to ease his struggles. We snuggled in his hospital bed for awhile and I went to bed feeling sad.

This morning I watched him as he slept. His breathing was shallow and quiet, his mouth was slightly open and chin was dropped back; he looked fragile. His frame is tiny, his shoulders and torso are barely protruding under the blanket. He seems so small. My man is slowly fading away. Shrinking before my eyes. I think about the last two and half years (since his diagnosis) and how amazing and brave he has been. I have always felt blessed, but now more than ever. I can’t imagine life without him, even in this state. I wonder if denying a ventilator and feeding tube (which would prolong his life) was the right decision. But I know he is suffering, he doesn’t want to be trapped in bed hooked to machines. I bring myself back to the moment and remind myself to make the most of today. I wake him with a kiss and thank God for another day together, being together is what is most important, mushrooms and all!

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

Thanks Jeanno for the giant sourdough Crab bread! We invited our neighbors
Larry & Debbie over and had a soup dinner while we tore into the crab!

Saturday night with Bernie & Lori!

Enjoying a beautiful day outside Sunday!

Cayden spent all day re-vamping this mini bike that was given to him. Looks great!

Clarissa, Stephanie, Jessica & Julie off to the Zac Brown Concert!

Video: A glimpse of our Sunday afternoon!

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