The summer of 2009 we vacationed at one of our favorite places, the Adirondacks in NY.
We went tubing through a really cool chasm, slept in a tent in a pine forest, hiked the breathtaking chasm, relaxed several days on the shores of Lake George, kayaked for the first time, hiked a 4,000+ mountain together and just enjoyed family time together.
Fast forward to this past summer as the kids and I spent a week together in the Adirondacks. The kids hiked a 5,000+ mountain, we swam in a creek, the kids went cliff jumping, we rented a boat on Lake George, relaxed at the pool, drove up Whiteface Mtn, we kayaked & paddleboarded, we embraced the fresh air and natural beauty of the area. Once again we enjoyed family time together at one of our favorite places.
While in the ADK’s this year, it occurred to me probably for the first time…… Curt knew.
We drove up Whiteface Mtn and I got to the top of mountain and was looking out over the beauty of mountains at the shores of Lake Placid I realized……..he knew.
Back in 2009 before we knew the horrors of dealing with Alzheimer’s, Curt had an inkling of the storm to come. (He was diagnosed Oct. 2010)
He would pause on that 2009 ADK trip to cherish and take in the beauty of it all. He teared up a bit while touring the chasm astounded at the beauty of it all. He reflected on it’s majesty comparing it to heaven and telling me how he longs for that day to be with Christ in the heavenly realms. He would remind each of us that day to slow down and reflect on all that God created, and savor it.
I on the other hand remember thinking to myself……Geez Curt aren’t you being a little dramatic, this isn’t like you to get all emotional about this stuff…….. I agreed with him in word but really didn’t give it much of a thought………until our recent trip to the Adirondacks.
As I stood at the peak of Whiteface Mountain looking out and embracing the vast majesty of it all, I remembered Ausable Chasm and Curt’s words of wisdom and insight. He was tuned into hearing God’s voice and striving to make the most of his time on earth. I on the other hand continued rushing through things, planning the next event of vacation, figuring what to eat that night for dinner, my mind was constantly going. But I was not taking the time to pause and reflect on the things that truly matter.
Curt knew……he kept encouraging me to slow down in that lovely Chasm to pause amidst my busyness. To keep Jesus at the forefront of it all, to see His majesty in the natural beauty, to yearn for the things of Christ.
But I would meekly protest that dinner had to be prepared around the fire, the kids had wet clothes from tubing we needed to get back to the car and change right away, it was getting cold and they were wet……yet he persisted with dawdling behind and just taking it all in.
He knew spending time with the Savior was what really mattered. He knew a storm was coming, he wasn’t totally sure what it was and that would take hold of his brain and totally transform it….but he knew his time on earth was short. He even at one point told me he felt his life would be cut short and he was at peace with it. I remember saying something like, “Oh honey how can you know for sure, really don’t worry about it.” Yet he insisted that he felt an inkling that his life would be cut short and he wanted to honor Christ.
The day he was diagnosed, he was stoic, non emotional and proclaimed with confidence he was ready to meet his Savior. He knew and was prepared for that day he would pass from this life to the next. When the diagnosis came, he was prepared and at peace.
I am thankful for the reminder of a life lived for Christ by my husband!!! He was prepared when he received a horrible diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, he was at peace with it because he was prepared.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
John 11:23-26 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Yes Curt worked to live a life for Christ.
Update on how he is doing
We moved him to a Memory Care facility on July 2 it was a rough first week or so. But I am so thankful he seems to be adjusting. He enjoys the staff at the facility and feels comfortable and cared for there. I start school on Tues. this week and despite thinking the best time for Curt to move to a full time memory care facility would have been mid August…..God knew better and July 2 was the perfect time. He is now well adjusted and I don’t have to carry that worry into the school year with me! He is eating a little better and I bring him plenty of Burger King, ice cream, Oreos and Snickers Ice Cream bars to keep him happy. He still knows me as his “honey” and is always asking when I will get there! He continues to struggle with communication, it is get so much harder to understand his expressive language ( what he is saying). Yet he seems to still have a strong receptive language ( understanding of what he has heard). I notice him starting to interact with the other residents and that warms my heart to see him care for them. Here is a pic of him sitting on his bed in his “man cave.”
Sandy, I am always in awe of your strength, and yet I know Curt has given it to you for so many years through a life filled with the love of Christ. Your family is amazing and I feel very blessed to be your friend. I am looking forward to walking next week with you (if your knee is okay) and in the future when we will need some exercise and down time from school. I’m so glad you had a great trip with the kids, you all deserve some time away and it’s wonderful knowing that Curt was with you in spirit.
I sense that Jesus was right there with Curt coaching him! How powerful! I love that he calls you his honey! He is a great guy! I am thrilled that you can start the school year with fewer worries! have a great start! (we started a week early this year due to construction)
My sweet friend, I always love reading these. And I always wish we could spend an hour or three together and share in person! Big hugs.
This was posted at just the right time. Isn’t God’s timing just so very perfect. My husband is getting very close to placement (diagnosed at age 56- 5 yes ago). I am getting very weary and now the huge ” bag of guilt” is also something that I am dragging around with me. Thank you for your inspiration. It gives me a little life to help get me through yet another day. Blessings on your school year. PS…who are you on Joan’s site? I am pretty sure that is how I stumbled onto your blog and began following.
Sandy, your positive attitude, your grace and strength in Christ astound me. I am SOOO glad you got to experience my beloved mountains……and that Curt did too…..and I’m so glad he lingered over all the special areas up there….I do still pray for you and your family….and I enjoy reading about how God is giving you the strength and peace to walk this journey. Thanks for sharing this!! God bless you.
This post brought me to tears. I don’t even know what words to say. What an amazing relationship Curt has with the Lord and what a testimony that he listened and slowed down and appreciated while he could. That really spoke to me. I’m glad you got to go back and enjoy the area once again with your grown kids.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve commented but I was around more frequently (thanks to FFF) when you just got the diagnosis. From time to time I look up your blog to see how your family is doing and pray for you all. It’s always good to see an update.
Just a note to say that even though some of us are just “watching” and not necessarily commenting, we do care and are praying – even if we don’t know you in real life! Your journey comes to mind frequently and encourages me in my own life. Figured I should probably leave a note every now and again to say so!
I’m so glad you took the trip. I know I haven’t visited your site for a while, but I still think of you and your family often. And when I do, I pray for each of you. I love Curt’s man cave, btw. 🙂
I just saw your face book link. Maybe I’ll do a better job of keeping up with you through that avenue.
My daughter, Megan from Dr. Berg’s office, introduced me to your story so that I could pray for you and your family. I am amazed by your faithfulness to the Lord, remembering that His ways are always good even though we don’t understand. God certainly prepared Curt in a beautiful way for what is ahead now and for eternity. I pray for peace and love for you all as you partner with God in helping Curt through this difficult time before the glorious.