This past weekend Curt's friends gathered in the desert. Our time was full of stories, memories, tears and laughter all revolving around Curt. Here's a glimpse...
|The Husky Monument|
Such an awesome tribute! Thank you!
Dear Friends & Family,
Like many of you, not a day goes by without thoughts of Curt. He touched so many lives; whether you met him once or were a close friend, I am sure he somehow made an impact on you.
This is a video of Curt's Memorial Service which was held on December 1, 2012. I hope you enjoy watching it and remembering what an amazing person Curt was.
We are excited to remember and honor Curt in the desert this weekend with many of his friends. Our family appreciates your thoughts and prayers over the past few years and especially this Saturday on the one year anniversary of his passing.
Cindy, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin
Dear Friends & Family,
Whether riding handlebar to handlebar with one of his friends, sitting around the campfire at night or teaching the kids his amazing riding skills; the desert was one of Curt's favorite places. He loved the warm days, cold nights, clear skies and most of all the smell of the fresh desert air. Before he passed away he told me he would like to have some of his ashes spread in the desert.
We will do just that on November 23rd in the Mojave Desert. Some of Curt's friends have designed a memorial of some sort (they are keeping it a surprise from me) which will be dedicated and placed at the Husky Monument. If you would like to join us for the weekend or the day, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We have already heard from many people and are excited to gather together to remember and memorialize Curt. For those who can't make it, we know you love Curt and our thoughts will all be in the same place that day.
Wear your "Curt Shirt"!If you would like to order t-shirts including a long sleeve option please email Lynn at email@example.com no later than November 6th. They are $7.00 for short sleeve and $10.00 for long sleeve and $1.50 extra for 2x or larger. You are welcome to order whether or not you will be joining us!
We love all our friends and I thank God everyday for bringing such wonderful people into our lives.
Enjoy these photos of Curt with his family and friends in the desert!
November 23, 2013 will be 1 year since Curt passed away. We would love for you to join us in honoring his memory that weekend. Bring your friends, family, motorcycles, jeeps, trailers, campers, motorhomes or whatever you have and join us in the desert near Ridgecrest, Ca. This is one of Curt's favorite places! On Saturday, we will ride or drive to the Husky Monument and honor Curt. We hope you can make it! Exact location and details to follow.
Meanwhile, please know that our family cherishes all of you and we thank you for being so supportive and thoughtful!
Many years ago, Curt dubbed our family - Team CZ. At the time, I had no idea how important that term would become to our family. The definition of team (as a verb) is: come together as a team to achieve a common goal. And that’s exactly what our family has done!
Our family has weathered many storms over the years, but none like the three years we spent together as Curt was dying. Although I would take Curt back in a heartbeat, what we went through made our family that much stronger. I love that Curt and I were gifted with amazing communication which lives on through the kids. Clarissa and I have been finishing each others thoughts and words lately, just like Curt and I did. Cayden and Corbin have no problem sharing their thoughts and feelings. We are all on the same page and it has never been better. We are truly Team CZ.
We have had a lot of occasions lately where Curt was truly missing; graduation, Father’s Day, Sports Award Ceremony, etc. The kids and I were able to talk about these occasions before, during and after, which allowed us meet them head on and make the most of these days.
There is not a day that goes by that we don’t miss Curt or talk about Curt. He is everywhere. Mostly he is reflected in our kids as they live their lives graciously and fully as Curt did himself and would have wanted them to do.
We appreciate all your cards, calls, texts and emails of support during the past few weeks. It is encouraging and uplifting to know that you all are still praying and caring. We love you all!
Cindy for Team CZ
|My parents took the kids to Catalina Island for snorkeling and fun!|
|On our way to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary with George, Jim, Ray & Steve-O. |
We all enjoyed our favorite high school hangout - Lamppost Pizza in Rolling Hills.
I forgot to take a photo of the group.
|Los Alamitos High School Graduation!|
|Great job Cayden!|
|Cayden's graduation party! We are blessed to have such great friends!|
|Happy Father's Day! |
We love Ruth's Chris!
|Corbin hanging out with Curt watching TV. |
|Happy Father's Day to the best Dad ever!|
If you live in Southern California, you know about June gloom. If you are not familiar with the term, June Gloom, it describes our weather pattern in June which results in cool, cloudy mornings and progresses into sunny warm afternoons. Emotions sometimes follow the pattern of June gloom. We all have those mornings where things are just not right; they start off cloudy, sad or unsettled and then turn into happy and carefree afternoons.
As we transition into new routines - Cayden prepares to graduate high school tomorrow evening, Corbin is in his last week of school and Clarissa has begun working - we are all experiencing different emotions. Add to that Father’s Day (our first without Curt) this coming Sunday, and you can say June gloom is in full swing in our family.
Thankfully, we are able to communicate openly and honestly as a family about our feelings, emotions and expectations. I am so thankful for our kids who are so mature and devoted to keeping our family functioning despite the huge hole in our lives. We talk about Curt (Daddy) almost daily, yet we are able to move ahead and go through our days and plan for the future. Curt was an amazing Dad, and it is so cool to see him live on through the kids. Being with the kids is like being with Curt. Thank you God!
Once again I want to thank all our wonderful friends and my mom and dad. We are so lucky to have such an amazing group surrounding us, praying with us and walking beside us throughout this journey. Thank you for helping to relieve the “gloom” and brighten our days. We love and appreciate all of you!
Dear Friends & Family,
Safety, security, strength, encouragement and validation are some of the things I miss about being married. More than anything, I miss the sparkle in his eye whenever he would look at me. Today would have been 25 years. They say when you are married you become "as one." I knew that was true when we began finishing each other's sentences and thinking the same thoughts. I wouldn't trade a day of our life together for anything!
Miss you and love you forever, Curtis Mitchell!
|June 4, 1988|
Dear Friends & Family,
Tragically, while sleeping in his bed, a Florida man was swallowed by a sinkhole last month. He had no warning, no time to run, no time to say goodbye to his family; the earth just opened up and swallowed him. They never found his body. I can’t say that I can relate, but I kinda can.
It has been 5 months since Curt passed away. These months have been filled with ups and downs, changes and adjustments. December was full of trips and busyness, while January and February were dedicated to remodeling our house, as Curt and I had planned. There was a lull in March - not much going on. As the sinkhole incident was happening in Florida I was well aware of a sinkhole that has been next to me for some time. The hole follows me, always trying to get my attention and waiting for me to fall in. There are times I want to jump in and be swallowed up, there are days I fight to keep the edges from caving in and consuming me but then there are days I feel unthreatened by the lurking sink hole, as if I could fly over it if I needed to.
There is another hole that has been with me since the day he passed. The hole is located in my heart. It hurts almost constantly. If by chance it is not hurting, it only takes a memory, a sound, a smell or his resemblance in my children’s faces to make it begin hurting again.
So I carry one hole with me each day, and I dodge the other hole that is trying to swallow me. I am lucky to have amazing friends who check in on me and fill my calendar with activities and trips and I’m blessed to have my kids whose laughter warms my heart and eases the pain. I am so lucky to have amazing people around me, people who share my journey and support me and the kids. My parents have been amazing with their support for the kids and me. Even though they are sad and missing Curt, they put that aside to encourage us in whatever our plans may be. They are with us through the sad times and the happy and help us plan fun trips and activities. The kids and I count on my parents for solid advice, help around the house and family traditions.
I spend a lot of time counting my blessings and giving thanks. I take time to feel the warm sunshine (as Curt would), and I pray continually. With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
The love I see each day in my children is what keeps me going. They are each so smart, strong, lovable and fun. Looking at them is like looking at Curt. Being with them is like having a piece of Curt with me. They are each so much like him, I feel he is with me through them. I tell them when they act like their dad or express themselves like him. I am glad we can communicate openly and talk about Curt at any time.
Thank you God and thank you friends for making it possible to continue on. Thank you for the past with Curt, the present with family and friends and the future full of possibilities.
|My parents are amazing!!!|
Redondo Beach, Easter Sunday
Dear Friends & Family,
The journey our family endured would have been pointless if it does not help others. Curt was all about doing what he could for people both when he was healthy AND when he was sick. After he passed, in lieu of flowers, we chose to have people donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The American Motorcyclist Association or to CZ Cares (to help other families with ALS). Curt was very much a part of choosing these alternatives. Our friends and family donated $2,300 to CZ Cares.
Throughout our journey I have met, corresponded and talked to many people affected by ALS. Their stories are each unique and filled with strength, courage and heroism. One family I have come to love is the Evert Family from Loveland, Colorado. Dan Evert was diagnosed with ALS in May of 2010 at the age of 45. He has been married to Janelle for 21 years and has a daughter Leslie (15) and a son Devon (11). They lived and met in Oakhurst, CA, the birthplace of The Pizza Factory (my favoite pizza place and theirs too!), before moving to Loveland. Dan was recently forced to retire from the Embassy Suites Hotel as Chief Engineer. He was dedicated to his 8-12 hour a day job which required him to walk 2-6 miles around the property. His boss bought him a scooter when he began having difficulty walking. He also had problems working with tools, climbing ladders and lifting. They are currently in the process of remodeling their home to make it more accessible for Dan.
In May, Dan and Janelle will be traveling to Washington DC to be part of the ALSA advocacy conference and summit to help try and get more research funding from the government to continue to try and find a cure for this disease. They will be carrying Curt's photo with them. They are also thinking about planning a road trip with the kids to see Mt. Rushmore this summer.
After hearing about all they are doing; their house, their advocacy and a proposed family vacation, I knew Curt would want to help them as much as I do. So I added to the CZ Cares fund and sent The Evert Family a check for $3,000 to help make their life a bit easier and assure them that they can take that family vacation! Thanks to all of you who donated to CZ Cares!
Please join me in praying for this special family. They are truly good, hard working and fun loving people. If you would like to offer support or words of encouragement to Dan or the family, their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The Evert Family |
Dear Friends & Family,
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others remains.
Curt & I met Russell and Kristina in February of 2011. Russell had been diagnosed with ALS in October of 2008, one year before Curt. They came to our house for drinks and appetizers. Curt was in a wheelchair, Russell was barely able to walk to the backyard. Curt held his own beer glass, Russell couldn't use his arms at all. Curt's speech was slow and slurred, Russell's was normal. That's how the night went; comparing strengths and weaknesses, struggles and surrenders. While the guys talked and laughed about their lives, Kristina and I kept busy with straws, jackets, refills and whatever else our men needed. She and I had met before and would meet often after this evening, without the men, to discuss our own struggles with caring for our dying husbands.
Russell and Kristina joined us again in May of 2011 for dinner. By this time, Curt could not use his arms at all and Russell could not walk. So with both men in wheelchairs and unable to feed themselves, they sat in the backyard on a warm evening being fed spaghetti by Kristina and I. The guys were comfortable together. Talking and relating to all they faced each day. They understood each other like no one else could. We left them alone for awhile so they could talk openly and honestly. After they left that night, Curt said he really, really enjoyed visiting with Russell and felt they understood each other so well.
Russell, Kristina and their son Mitchell (6) moved to Oregon that summer. Although Kristina and I kept in touch, there was no way for our men to communicate. Before ALS he was a tall, strong man, a hands-on father and a loving husband. The disease took its toll on him, as it did Curt, ending his life as he struggled for each breath. Kristina and his parents were with him as he passed away 10 days ago, March 28, 2013; 4.5 years after being diagnosed and a week after turning 50.
Kristina and I know that our husbands are no longer suffering. We are thankful for our friendship and communicate often as we try to find our new place in this world. Please pray for Kristina and Mitchell and their friends and family.
|Russell & Kristina |
Dear Friends & Family,
If you know me, you know I love to celebrate birthdays! Honoring people on their special day is a great way to say how much they mean to me and to the world. Buying gifts for people brings me joy. Celebrating with friends is always fun and a great reason to get together.
Today is Curt's birthday. He would have been 47. We would have been celebrating. We would have had birthday parties, dinners and special plans for the next week or two. The kids would have thought of special ways to honor their Dad. It would be a time of celebration.
Today it is just a day of emptiness; as it has been for the last three months. Empty heart, aching stomach, tears falling at any given moment. I will remember his past birthdays, our friendships and the sparkle in his eye, as my heart aches for his presence.
Thank you all for the sweet texts today!