The next step in the journey

sunshine1Since my last post, I have had many emails and notes to express concern over my husband’s continued stay in the hospital, forcing the cancellation of our European trip. No doubt you have heard about the TWO approaching hurricanes to Hawaii, and while Carl remains in the hospital, we are happy to just stay put since we assume the hospital has a backup generator in case we lose power. It is preferable to being in the high rise condo with no electricity and no running water or flushing toilets! (P.S. Our building does have two backup generators so that the elevators still run and the hallways are lit.)

Carl has continued to gain strength following Friday’s successful surgery, and is trying to walk the halls four or five times a day. He is up to five double laps down the halls once he is outside his room! As of yesterday, he has graduated to a clear liquid diet and enjoyed chicken broth, cranberry juice and lime jello. No longer just ice chips! And today he just had a popsicle — pure pleasure!

Some of you may know that Carl was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late January, after undergoing many tests. He remained positive about his diagnosis, deciding to move ahead with travel plans and other musical projects. “I’m just going to charge ahead as usual,” was his approach. And, as you know, we did quite a bit of traveling, to the Northwest to visit relatives and to go back to his roots in Port Angeles, WA. We also had a good visit with our son in California. We went a second time to Seattle for Peter Hallock’s funeral and Carl stayed behind to take care of his executor responsibilities. We also were able to attend the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians conference in Portland, OR as well as the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Boston, MA.

On Sunday Carl’s doctors spoke to us at length about hospice, and on Monday Carl signed the paperwork with St. Francis Hospice to initiate hospice care upon discharge from the hospital, the date of which is not known yet. Basically we have agreed to a palliative rather than a curative approach to his cancer, which has now metastasized to his liver and stomach. The goal will be to make him comfortable to elicit the highest quality of life possible under the circumstances.

As it says on one website I found:  It’s important to know that hospice does not mean giving up. Hospice is a change of focus to a different set of goals—comfort and quality of life. Comfort care includes physical therapy, spiritual and emotional support, companionship and even the granting of life-long wishes. Hospice gives the patient and their family the opportunity to enjoy life and celebrate the bonds and memories they share. We will begin hospice at home and move to another facility if we feel we cannot keep Carl comfortable at home.

Carl’s sister, Carol, will be arriving on Sunday, and our son, Stephen will be here on Aug 14.

Thank you all for your prayers, love and support as we make this next step of our journey. We would be grateful for your tributes to Carl in the comments section below, and know that they will be read and much appreciated.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
This entry was posted in Carl Crosier, Katherine Crosier and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to The next step in the journey

  1. Adriane Clissold says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy,
    Craig and I are both so saddened to hear of your illness and want you both to know we would like to support you in any way that might be helpful to you both. Please do not hesitate to call us if there is anything we can do.
    You both mean the world to us.
    You will be in our hearts and our prayers.
    All of our Love,
    Adriane

  2. Kathy & Charlie Hillman says:

    Lord, today my heart will focus on Your greatness and majesty. Everything on earth belongs to You, including all the things which so deeply concern me. I declare that my home, my family, my marriage, and my very life is Yours. And You are over every detail. You are over every situation, every need, every desire. All the power, glory, victory, and majesty are Yours, and I adore You. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

    “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

    Our prayers are with Carl & you as you undergo these next steps. Aloha

  3. Richard Sparks says:

    Katherine and Carl, we’re so sorry to hear about this. You and your family will certainly be in our prayers.

    Richard & Kathryn

  4. At a time in my life when music was not the primary focus, I found Carl and Kathy and LCH. I had run out of money while in college and had entered the Navy to try and rectify that situation. Chance or providence landed us in Hawaii and after a brief search for a church home at which to make music, we were lucky to join the choirs at LCH.

    It was Carl who lit my passion for 17th century Baroque music and first introduced me to the St. Matthew Passion. It was Carl who asked me to do some harmonizations for the Compline Choir. It was at LCH where I found my voice teacher, Vicki Gorman, who would build my voice back up.

    There is no way I would be directing choirs as the collegiate level without my experiences at LCH. Carl exposed me to a wealth of quality literature and brought me back to music after being away for a time.

    I will never be able to repay you, Carl, for your contributions to my ethos as a conductor. I am forever in your debt as a musician. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Kathy, and Stephen. Thank you, Carl and Kathy for your friendship and your music.

    I’m not sure why, but the words of Tennyson come to mind…

    There is sweet music here that softer falls
    Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
    Or night-dews on still waters between walls
    Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
    Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
    Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes;
    Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
    Here are cool mosses deep,
    And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
    And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
    And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

    – Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • Jennifer Lane says:

      Dear Carl and Kathy,

      I have such admiration for you! True worth depends upon one’s spirit of devotion and in this you have no peers. I thank you deeply for bringing me into the Hawai’i Ohana and for all the beautiful concerts we have done together during the past 15 years, beginning with St. Matthew Passion. What you are going through really offends my sense of justice but I know you are already victorious because you have never wasted a moment of your precious life—all that ever matters is this very moment right now. Take good care in rest and peace. I will see you in September.

  5. Lorraine Brugh says:

    Hello Carl and Katherine,

    My prayers are with you as you continue the journey. It was such a pleasure to see you at ALCM and enjoy a great conference together. Wishing you God’s blessings as you transition to hospice. Thanks, Katherine, for keeping us up to date. Peace, Lorraine

  6. Gordon Wright says:

    While growing up Carl and Carol were the main people in our large extended family I looked up to for intelligence, grace and dignity. It never changed. I hope you will believe always that you mattered and created positive influences. Fight on Carl.

  7. leigh ann and richard braley says:

    richard and i send our love and prayers to both of you, kathy – we love you both.

    leigh ann and richard

  8. Dana Marsh says:

    You have both been such perfect friends to me for the past 23 years. I am grateful for all that Carl has taught me, especially early on in our friendship. Always fond memories of our joint performances together during the 1990s. Carl has always and will always be to me a musician of exemplary standards and inspiration. It meant so much to spend time with you both at the time of Peter’s service in Seattle. My thoughts of you and prayers for you in the coming weeks will be constant.
    Love always,
    Dana

  9. Nyle Hallman says:

    Dear Carl,
    I am deeply sorry to hear this news. You are a wonderful friend and colleague and I’ve admired the quality of your work for many years. Your legacy of musical excellence will never be forgotten. You and Kathy are in my prayers.
    Love, Nyle

  10. Sending our prayers and good wishes from California, and hoping for the best outcome possible.

    Peace be with you both,
    David

  11. Anna Womack says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy,

    We are sending lots of love and good thoughts! Thank you for your many years of support — both for our boys’ musical endeavors and for the musicians of the symphony in Honolulu. Please rest well — you have many things yet to do!

    Anna, Don, Reid and Max

  12. Dot Hutchins and Joe Zuiker says:

    For most of our years in Hawaii you have brought great creativity and music to our ears and hearts. We thank you for your mastery and all you have shared with us. May you experience comfort and love all around. Peace be with you.

  13. Debbie Behnke says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy, Please accept our prayers for you at this challenging time. Like so many others, I cannot adequately express the impact you have had on my musical journey. Carl actually thought my voice was worth listening to and he challenged me to grow vocally. Under his guidance, I sang the most wonderful music and I learned so much. Together you provided the opportunity to experience excellence performing the most beautiful music ever written. Kathy your blog is my favorite and reading it has been like taking a graduate course in music appreciation. You are such enormously talented, generous, kind friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you daily. Much Aloha, Debbie and Hal Behnke

  14. This message is from Bud Klein: Thank you so much, Bud.

    On Wednesday, August 6, 2014, wrote:
    Thank you for your steady flow of information. It makes me sad that it’s happening, and makes me glad that I’ve known you both for so many years. You cannot know what an effect you both had had on me, and through me to the Waiokeola choir I directed for so many years. I first met Carl when Dale Fisk was out here for a year and was playing the organ at Waiokeola. Dale brought me to Compline, and that’s where I met Carl and Dale Noble, John and Alan and the rest of the group. Every Compline service was an education in music and an important worship experience. I also took part in the Lenten services and the Advent Procession – awesome stuff. Thanks, Carl. When I “retired” from Waiokeola, I joined the LCH choir and there began another weekly education. I loved the liturgy, I loved the music and the people, thank you again. (And Kathy, how I loved your talents at the organ, thank YOU!) And Carl, you helped me plan Lyn’s memorial service and were so supportive.That meant so much to me. And we talked about my memorial service, you and Kathy are supposed to be part of that – so get well soon! And Kathy, that you’re sharing your talent with my grandson, makes me very happy.

    So rejoice – rejoice because you’ve made such a difference to so many of us over so many years, rejoice that you’re loved by so many. Rejoice, and give thanks and may God’s peace that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds. My prayers go with you, along with life changing memories.

    Aloha,
    Bud

  15. Gregory Peterson says:

    Prayers abound for you Carl and Kathy! I didn’t know this news. I trust you will find peace and joy in the days ahead.

  16. Mary Fastenau says:

    Carl and Kathy –
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. For once, I am without words.

    The overwhelming thought I have is how thankful I am that you have and continue to share your amazing gifts with so many people. You inspire so many people with your ability to share the beauty of music and life.

    Please know that there are thousands of people who are with you in thought and prayer today and everyday. May you find peace and joy in God’s grace.

    Mary

  17. Roger and Bonnie Smith says:

    So incredibly happy we got to visit with you recently. So many of our early marriage memories are wrapped around Carl and making music in Hawaii. They were such happy times and we think about them often. You and Carl are woven into the fabric of sacred music life in the islands. What a joyful impact you make . Our love and concern go with you and Carl everyday. Our love, Bonnie and Roger

  18. Holly Lindsay says:

    Dear Kathy and Carl,
    When Kathy told me last week that you were considering hospice care, I confess I felt great relief for both of you. While you both “charged ahead” as usual, I marveled at your determination, fortitude, energy, and resoluteness but worried over so many “what ifs.” Making the decision to concentrate on Carl’s quality of life through palliative care hopefully brings much comfort and peace.

    While the next step in your journey means Carl will find simple pleasure in savoring a popsicle, not a Finnish smorgasbord, your friends and family will have this opportunity to write these heartfelt messages and reflect upon the beauty and creativity you brought to our lives. It’s our chance to say, “Thank You!” and reflect on what there is in our lives that we should celebrate every day.

    I’ve been listening to the Ceremony of Carols concert that Carl conducted at LCH with the LCH choir and Melody on the harp only 6 short years ago. That performance was magical. Mark remembers the performances at the Main Library and how rapt the audience was and what a pain Christopher was running around the place like a termagant. (Guess things haven’t changed that much). It also brought to mind the duet you two played to christen Christopher’s tracker organ at our house. Good times, great music, and Carl’s classically dry sense of humor are what we share with all those who have written here. We hope you realize how many lives you have touched and affected.

    All our best wishes and love for the next step in your journey and meeting the challenges ahead,
    Holly, Mark, Melody, and Christopher

  19. Leon Williams says:

    Ugh! I would rather have 75 hurricanes than to have read this very sad news. What an awesome musician and an awesome blow to us all to know that Carl is suffering through this trial. Carl, you are an absolute treasure and will always be on the top of my list of some of the most brilliant and soulful musicians I’ve encountered on this planet. Praying for peace and comfort for you both during this time.

  20. From Randy Castello: Carl, you have been in my thoughts all afternoon and evening since I read this news. So many wonderful and well-deserved have been eloquently expressed. I reflected on the 30+ years that I have sung in the choir under your direction. During that time I have come to know so many of the major sacred choral works in the intimate way that comes from actually performing them. The great Passions of Bach remain unforgettable experiences and I feel so privileged to have been invited to sing the Monteverdi Vespers. When my first and second graders come into the classroom each morning, there is music playing and we sing together every day. I’d like to feel that I am helping to nurture their souls just as my soul has been nurtured – thanks, in part to you!

  21. David Dahl says:

    Dear Carl,
    You have been in my prayers each day. Thank you for the many great memories and experiences of both music making and great food making to which I have been treated thanks to you and Kathy. Most recent was your truly wonderful playing of Mozart on your fortepiano during our visit to Hawaii in February. For me one of the most joyful and spiritually moving pieces of music is the fabulous choral conclusion of the Gloria in excelsis from the Bach B Minor Mass. May this music (along with so many other wonderful musical works) bring you joy during these special days. Your high standards of music making as a church musician have inspired me along with so many others who have enjoyed and appreciated your talents. My deep thanks for that and for you kind friendship.
    God bless you as well as all those you love and who love you.
    With love and admiration,
    David

  22. Alan Landros says:

    The only (and the best) thing I can do is to pray for both of you and Stephen. May the Lord bless all three of you as you proceed on this “journey”. For a Christian the words of Romans 8:18 are comforting I’ve always believed.

  23. Leslie Robb says:

    Praying for both of you and your family and friends.

  24. Sandra Wagner-Wright says:

    Dear Carl — You introduced me to so many musical traditions. You brought me to a deeper faith by sharing the joy of liturgy. You are part of my life in so many ways, and always will be. You never need to wonder if your work touched people — only to look around. Your life continues to be a blessing to us all. You are greatly loved, and will be gently cared for. You and Kathy are in our hearts and prayers.
    Ron & Sandra

  25. Norma Aamodt-Nelson says:

    Dear Carl, your regal carrying of the processional cross at ALCM4 was riveting and memorable. You did it with grace and intention…As you have done so many times in the past. Although I have never experienced the musical experiences others have enjoyed in your parish over the years…I am one more fan from afar. Your work with kathy as your right hand at the organ has been inspiring. You support each other so well. With peace and admiration we share our support and love to you both. Prayers for comfort and strength.

  26. Joan Ishibashi says:

    Many thoughts and emotions are running through me as I take in the news of hospice care for Carl. I first met you in the mid-80s when I was a pastor at Nuuanu Congregational Church and used to look forward to Compline for my spiritual renewal. Lots of Honolulu memories: the beautiful music at LCH which was a big part of my life; wonderful, fun times spent with the Crosiers, the joy of having Stephen in confirmation class; singing in the St. Matthew Passion choir, always waiting until the very end of each service to hear Kathy’s magnificent organ offerings in their entirety. The great contributions that Carl gave to the Honolulu and greater Hawai’i community through his talent and generosity of spirit. And of course the martinis and gourmet food! My prayers are with Carl, Kathy and Stephen. I love you very much and your friendship is one of my life’s treasures.

  27. Heidi Bender says:

    I am sorry to hear about the cancer. We’ve never met in person, but I’ve learned a lot about both you since discovering your blog. Both of you and your family will be in my prayers.

    • Dear Heidi, Thank you for your message and also thank you for writing your blog. It helps me to understand as a teacher more of the challenges adult students face and what can be done. I wish you much success and joy in your organ playing, and please contact me if you ever get to Hawaii. Or maybe I will see you at an AGO convention some day.

  28. Anne Krentz Organ says:

    Carl and Katherine,
    Please know that I am holding you both in prayer. I have admired the two of you for years – not only your high level of musicianship, but also your love of travel. You may remember sharing some information with me a few years ago about the Kings College Lessons and Carols Service . . .
    As soon as I read Kathy’s blog post, the following hymn came to mind. I offer it here as a prayer for the new direction your lives are taking.

    O Holy Spirit, enter in, and in our hearts your work begin,
    and make our hearts your dwelling.
    Sun of the soul, O Light divine, around and in us brightly shine,
    your strength in us upwelling.
    In your radiance life from heaven now is given overflowing,
    gift of gifts beyond all knowing.

    Left to ourselves we surely stray; oh, lead us on the narrow way,
    with wisest counsel guide us;
    and give us steadfastness, that we may follow you forever free,
    no matter who derides us.
    Gently heal those hearts now broken; give some token you are near us,
    whom we trust to light and cheer us.

    O mighty Rock, O Source of life, let your good Word in doubt and strife
    be in us strongly burning,
    that we be faithful unto death and live in love and holy faith,
    from you true wisdom learning.
    Lord, your mercy on us shower; by your power Christ confessing,
    we will cherish all your blessing.

    Peace and blessings,
    Anne

  29. Valerie Ossipoff says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy
    Words fail me. The combined talent of the two of you as well as the demonstrable joie de vivre has awed me since first getting to know you (a little). Thank you for sharing your talent and yourselves with us. I hope this next phase of your life’s journey is as positive as you two have always been.
    With great respect and aloha pumehana
    Valerie

  30. Barbara Bancel says:

    Dear Carl,

    For over 30 years you have been my “rock and my redeemer” at The Priory…Always
    willing to listen, to support and to correct or bring balance when needed. Thank you
    for all that you have done personally and professionally to further the success of IHC
    and to bring an international perspective to the school. You have helped us to touch the lives of many exchange students and government grantees worldwide…..

    My only regret is that I have not expressed by sincere thanks for all your assistance.

    As you and Cathy travel on, know that our love, respect and Aloha go with you.

    Barbara and Philip

  31. David Kayner says:

    Add cancer (of all varieties) to Paul’s laundry list of things that cannot separate us from the love of God. Or — from the love of our friends. xxx dsk

  32. Patsy and Bob Brooks says:

    Patsy and I always enjoyed knowing you and Carl during our time in Hawaii.
    I remember with deep appreciation the few times I was able to sing with Carl and you. Especially think about the time I sang a major Bach cantata and he told me that I was a natural Bach singer. Made me feel good. Patsy and I always enjoyed being with both of you and making wonderful music together.

  33. Rodney Gehrke says:

    Dear Kathy and Carl,
    My prayers continue to be with you both in this time of transition. You have both been such positive influences on the musical lives of everyone you’ve worked with. Your dedication to everything you do, from music to culinary arts and more, is incredible. I’m so grateful you brought me to Honolulu in 2012. I’ll never forget the meals, the tours, the liturgy, the recital, and especially the camaraderie and moral support. God be with you now and always.

  34. Cathy Baptista says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy:

    So sorry to hear that the cancer has spread. The St. Francis Hospice folks are the best, and, based on my parents’ experiences, I know that it is possible to live well during this time. My prayers join those of many for God’s comfort, peace, and promise to you and your family.

  35. Dale Burke says:

    Aloha Katherine and Carl,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you for comfort, strength, and peace during these days!
    Dale & Barb Burke

  36. Marsha Schweitzer says:

    “Every blade in the field, every leaf in the forest, lays down its life in its season, as beautifully as it was taken up.” – Henry David Thoreau

    Carl, as my life was changed by your life, glowing in brilliant, verdant summer green at its productive height, so your death is transforming me with its beautiful autumn splendor. Thank you for being, for being a lamp of God’s light in this world.

    “Death is not extinguishing the light, but putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” – Rabindranath Tagore

  37. Hans Aschenbach says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy,
    Norm & I started off last Saturday, as we often do, listening to your beautiful recording of the Bach Chorales. We are sort of in a frenzy now getting ready for the reception so we were reviewing old photos that we might display. Serendipity put my hands on the few photos that I had of Carl from our college dorm days. One is of his nose as he dropped his head [he always refused to pose for photos 🙂 ]; the other of his bodiless head as he ducked out of the photo aperture. I’ll scan them and send them along to bring back some smiles and memories of oh so many years ago.

    Then after all the beautiful Crosier music and the picture fun, we received your mail and read your sad blog and I’ve been in shock for the past week.

    I don’t know if I ever told Carl but I’ll say it now– little freshman me, back in 1969, felt so blessed that in my first year a UW, I could score such a sophisticated and debonair roommate as senior Carl–& IN THE DORMS. Carl raised my ability to appreciate great art to a level that has given me a lifetime of beauty and quiet satisfaction. He turned me on to Moffo, Sills, Bachauer & so many more great artists including himself; he once played his recital piece for me alone. What joy he gave to a kid from the stix. People actually envied me my roommate. Well you two have had the same magic, I know, for the past 40 odd years. We could see that when we got together with you in Honolulu. And experiencing the St Matthew Passion with you in March was another treat that will never be forgotten. Always classy, Carl never let on that he had received such a painful diagnosis just a month before.

    I have reread you blog and find some hopeful notes that you may still experience many more months, if not years together with a reasonable quality of life.

    If you can draw strength from our thoughts, you will be overwhelmed with the bounty of love and respect the we feel for you both.

    love, Hans & Norm

  38. Donald K Johnson says:

    Dear Carl and Kathy.
    Life goes on. The journey is good. I know the opening verses of John are true, “ In Him is life and the life is the light of all people, the Light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” Christ’s life that you have caught and reflected to so many with your life and your music will continue to bless beyond this momentary darkness. I pray our Lord’s rich blessings on you in this time of transition. You are in my prayers and reminding me of the profound blessing you and Kathy have been to so many. Carl, I am not just grateful for your musical gifts that you shared with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, but I have always known you as a man of faith and a gifted churchman. Then of course there is your delight in hospitality and creating artful food. Then too there is your tenacity and your ability to do the planning and details. I also have a memory, which no one else could have, of you at six thirty Sunday mornings crawling through the pipes in the newly installed Von Beckerath organ coaxing the reeds into tune. It was not only your music that helped shape our community of faith, but your leadership in Church Council, finances, and liturgical arts. I join the many who hold you and your work among us with thanksgiving. May your journey be filled with peace and the love of your family, friends and Savior.
    A Coworker with you in Christ’s Kingdom,
    Pastor Don Johnson

  39. Sissel Irene Sodal says:

    Dear Cathy I got these sad News now, and I want to give you my sincere condolances and I send you all my love from Norway! I will forever love Carl for all his wonderful talents that he so willingly shared With all of us. Music was so easy for him, for me it was difficult in so many ways, but he was so calm and confident and I always felt encouraged singing for him. He helped me become a proffessional singer and I will always remember him With joy and gratefulness. His fantastic productivity and unbeliveable energy will remain much like a divine inspiration to all of us Music lovers. Aloha and thankyou always for such musical beauty that entered this world through Carl! I can’t deny I picture Carl conducting heavenly choirs, in which I hope to join in someday! Lots of big hugs to you from Sissel!

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