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Hi everybody. I have been lurking a little recently, but they shut down Becky's internet connection with the university, and so getting online has been more complicated than usual recently.

Katie and I are moving to San Antonio this summer. For those of you who don't know, I have been working this year on my PhD in accounting so that I can become a professor as well. That was always the plan; I got a real job several years ago since life is hard on two grad assistant salaries, then when Becky finished and got a real job I could go back. There is no PhD program in Nac, so I investigated going to school at UTSA in San Antonio. When July came around, six months after her diagnosis, I was willing to stay in my job though I didn't like it. Becky basically told me that either the treatments would work and she would be fine, at which point I needed to go back to school right away so that I could be done travelling before Katie was in school. Or the treatments wouldn't work, at which point I needed to go back to school because there was no way I could work in tax season and be a single dad. So for the last eight months, I have been commuting 250 miles each week, leaving Becky and Katie on Monday night and coming home Thursday afternoon. So while teaching full time and battling lung cancer, Becky was effectively a single mom three days a week. We often had family come over to help out, and sometimes I took Katie with me, but most of the time it was just the two of them.

So anyway, the commute to San Antonio is now unmanageable from Nacogdoches, so we are moving to SA. Becky and I had talked all of this through months ago. Also, by the way, while I am telling stories of how incredible Becky is, in December she was organizing our file cabinet, putting together all of the medical records, tax returns, bank statements and so forth the way she did at the end of every year. I didn't think much of it. But when it was time to call social security last week, I went onto the website and got the list of all the documentation I would need for the interview. Marriage license, birth certificates, etc. So I pull open the file cabinet, and the first file in there is entitled Social Security, and it had the list I had just printed out and all of the documents ready for me. She spent the whole battle believing she would lick this thing, but also preparing me as well as she could in case she didn't.

So on Monday, I put the house in Nac up for sale, and yesterday sold it. Five days. That puts a little more pressure on me to get moved; the contract specified May 27 as the close-before-date. My summer school schedule is very flexible; I was so excited about it because it meant I only had to be in SA two or three days once every four weeks and could spend the rest of the time home with the girls. So when Becky died two weeks ago, I thought I would be able to have a lot of flexibility as to when to move, not needing to get out for sure before the start of the fall semester. But my greatest fear financially anyway was that I would spend a few months making two house payments, and now I know that won't be the case. So tomorrow, I start house hunting in SA. One of my classmates is going to go with me. When Becky and I were shopping for our house in Nac two years ago, my responsibility was to make sure that I wouldn't walk into any ceiling fans - I am 6'5" - and that the shower head was high enough to take a reasonable shower. Now I am investigating which are the best elementary schools and daycares in San Antonio, and trying to get into those neighborhoods. And trying to finish the semester. I haven't thought a minute about my classes in two weeks, and everybody has been very cool at the university, so I will be able to take incompletes and finish over the summer as I have time. But I don't want to get too far behind. And I love school; it has been a pleasant distraction for the last year.

Anyway, that is the news from here. We are hanging in okay. Everyday Katie shows me her wisdom is in many ways greater than mine. Last night we were talking about my sister-in-law going back to school to teach her kids, and Katie said, Mommy can't teach her kids anymore. I said that's right. Katie then said, I guess they are smart now. I don't believe that; I know she had so much more to share. She maximized her time here for sure, but somehow I think Katie's wisdom is on the money too. We got what we needed from Becky while she was here; she left us prepared to carry on. So maybe I am smart enough too. I sure don't feel like it, though.

Curtis

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Dear Curtis,

Thank you for the update on you and Katie. You have both been in all of our daily thoughts and prayers.

I am at a loss for words now that I realize how much more difficult life was for you, Becky, and Katie over the past eight months given your commute. My gosh...

I am not surprised a bit that Becky left all the papers in perfect order--although I did not "know" her, it seems just like the kind of thing she would make sure was taken care of. She truly was an amazing person.

I feel compelled to address your comment that you don't feel very smart right now: a) you were smart enough to grab a prize like Becky, marry her, and have a beautiful child with her B) you wouldn't have been able to "win" Becky if she didn't think of you as her equal and partner in life and c) you are juggling 101 tasks at one of the most stressful times of your life with efficiency, rationality, humbleness, and grace. That's better proof of genius in my book then a Rhodes Scholarship or a Nobel Prize.

I am glad to hear that you won't have to worry about making two house payments--but know how stressful moving can be (esp. trying to find a home in a good school district!). I hope you have someone (preferably, many people!) to lean on and help you out. At least the University is treating you humanely.

I wish I knew something about (or someone in) in San Antonio--but, alas, I am a New York City gal. That being said, if there is ever anything I can do to assist you and Katie from this corner of the country--simply PM me.

Thank you for staying in touch with us--we wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Melinda

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Dear Curtis,

I am amazed as usual with Becky. She was a wonderful person and has meant a great deal to me as I joined this board. I know it was hard for you to post but we all appreciate it so much. She had so much on her plate but handled it all with grace and all the stamina she had. We all fell in love with her. I will be thinking about you and Katie.

Nina,

aka Nushka

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Hi Curtis,

I am so glad to get this update.I have been so upset since her passing.Everytime I look at the photo and think of my daughter it just brings tears.Sounds like you are handling this better than I am.And what a tribute to her you gave in this post.I had no idea about the commute.You both have certainly been an inspiration to me and I thank you for sharing this.Looks like many prayers are being answered as far as the house and move and all goes.I wish you the best and please let us know how y'all are occasionally.You and Katie will be just fine and I know that Becky is so proud of you both.TBone

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Curtis,

I am not a crier. But I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Your whole family is incredible and the loss of Becky is unfathomable. The strength and wisdom in a woman so young. But it appears she married a man with equal strength and wisdom.

I wish you good luck and good fortune as you and Katie continue your journey. Please keep us updated as we consider you both members of our family.

Ginny

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Curtis,

Unfortunately, I didn't get to know Becky because I just joined at the time of her passing, but I have read many of her posts before she died, and all of yours and everyone else's since she died. I wept as I read those posts. I regret that I didn't get to know her and I can't imagine how much you must be suffering. I'm so glad you have your darling little daughter to focus on, and it sounds as though you are a very strong young man. I wish you all the best in the future and ask God to pour his blessings of comfort upon you and all that knew Becky.

Much love,

Peggy

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Pass the Kleenex Ginny.

I don't know what it was but the part about her having the social security file all ready sent me over the edge. What a wonderful woman to have thought of a way to help you even after she was gone.

Thanks so much Curtis for updating us on how life is going. I wish you and Katie all the very best in San Antonio. Please keep checking in periodically and best of luck in grad school.

Rochelle

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Guest Karen C.

Curtis,

I think about you every day, thanks for the update.

Who would have known what you guys have been working so hard at this past year - both you and Becky are amazing people. I can't say "were" about Becky because I think she is still with us - with you.

Curtis, you are an amazing person yourself. You are so strong and I know Becky is very proud of you carrying on your life just as the two of you talked and planned.

I am just speechless about how prepared and organized Becky was, but not surprised. She seems like that kind of person.

When Dave was first diagnosed we were scared to death but immediately started talking about what I would do in case he didn't make it (selling the house and moving from our dream place in the country into town for one thing). And I have lived with that fear for the last year. You are so brave to be forging ahead with your plans.

And how lucky you are to have Katie in your life. What a precious little old soul she sounds like.

God Bless,

Karen C. (David C's wife)

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RY, pass them over to me when you're done.

Curtis- thank you for the update- we've been wondering and praying for you and Katie. I agree with Ginny about your strength. You are amazing.

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Curtis,

You are a man of so much wisdom and maturity. I am so inspired by all that you and Becky have endured and your strength. God truly blessed both of you and continues to do so. I pray that you and Katie have the best there is out there for you. Words cannot express the feeling in my heart for you and your precious Katie. I will always keep you and Katie in my prayers and think of you both each day. I am so happy that things are going so well for you and that you are able to get the things done that are necessary. Becky is so proud of you, watching over you and Katie and smiling her beautiful smile. Her and Katie's picture is imprinted into my mind with beauty. She will never be forgotten....

Please let us know how you are both doing and we are family here for you.

God Bless, special prayers and gentle hugs,

Karen in Southern California

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Curtis, I much enjoyed reading about you and Katie. Couldn't help but think how proud Becky would be of you two. I am glad you are going to pursue your doctorate and teach. From your enthusiasm for it, I know that is what you should do. I went back to graduate school after being out 4 years, and got my doctorate in chemistry, and though I didn't go into teaching, I went into research and loved it. Good luck, and please keep us posted. Becky is with you in spirit and will always be there for you two. We are here, too. Don

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Curtis,

Thank you so much for the update. It means so much to us to know that you and Katie are doing as well as Becky would have hoped. The more that I know about Becky the more my admiration for her grew. You yourself seem to be as strong as she was.

Good luck on your doctorate and please give Katie a big hug from me.

Best wishes,

Theresa

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Curtis, thank you for the update. Becky is amazing. I'm glad to hear that you and Katie are moving to San Antonio...It sounds like a lighter commute will relieve you from so much stress. I laughed when I read about Becky telling you to watch out for fans. My husband is also 6'-5" and everything we buy revolves around his heigth. Sounds like your housing market is like ours here in Sacramento. I'm putting my house on the market this week, I hope I can sell it in 5 days!

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Curtis,

Am so happy for you and Katie. I know the move will not be easy with a small child to have to worry about but I feel everything will work out good for the both of you. You have diffinately got a great head on those shoulders. Come back and lets us know how you two are doing off and on.

Ladies, just spill some Tide on your blouse and it will wash itself. No need for kleenex's. Buy stock in P & G, - - not the water company. We manufacture our own water....

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Curtis-

Thank you for the lovely tribute to Becky and the update about what is in store for you and Katie. I have faith based upon your message, that you two will sustain each other and things will work out for you. What a dynamic family the 3 of you must have made; now it falls to just the 2 of you to continue...Praying for God's blessings for you.

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Curtis - lots of plans and lots of changes. Good luck with it all. I'm sure in a sense you will be glad to have something else to focus on right now. I'm glad that you and Becky had time to discuss and plan for some of this. You are right, she really was looking out for you. You 2 had a very special relationship. I am very saddened to hear about what happened, and wish only for the best for you and Katie now. I had just emailed not too long ago w/ Becky regarding teaching. Its good that you and becky were able to put together a plan so that you will be able to be there for Katie. Kids are so precious (I have 2 little ones at home) and making time for them is so important. If I can provide any help to you regarding questions to ask re daycares, etc, please let me know ..

Paula

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