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.

March 2013

My parents are amazing!!!
Redondo Beach, Easter Sunday

CZ Cares - The Evert Family

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: theeverts@hotmail.com.


The Evert Family
October 2010

June 2012

Russell Dennick

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
May 2011