There is a field

A parenting tactic, one I really like, is to suggest to children that the coulds, and woulds, and shoulds be removed from the conversation. This is a magnificent way of redirecting the finger often pointing any way other than inward.

I find this to be an interesting parallel now after the passing of my husband. Bruce was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of 2018 and passed in December, a mere 14 months later. Could he have lived longer had I….? He would have lived longer had the doctors done… Bruce should have lived a long and healthy life after all the treatments he endured…. Could I have…

You see what this does. With children, the parental hope is that kids will learn to see that their own behavior affects their lives and has everything to do with the outcome. Playing the victim is dangerous; learning how to understand self and interaction with others matters. This is personal responsibility and has to be learned. With cancer, this all changes, yet there are those who question self.

I won’t go so far as to blame myself for Bruce’s illness. On the contrary; our primary care doctor first thought Sleep Apnea. I refused to accept that and demanded the MRI that diagnosed the cancer. I had become his tireless champion when he could not be.

I pushed relentlessly. I bothered the doctors. I called a lot. I asked many questions. I pushed. Regardless, the nagging thought stays with me, the had I done A, B, or C thought……until I remember that this is simply impossible, that I need to let that go. I WAS responsible, I did take action, I did everything within my power to help and fight for him. I did.

Yet, after, it’s nearly impossible not to relive it all, to ask those questions, and sometimes feel that we or I did not do enough, that my behavior was somehow wrong. And there it is: The word Wrong.

Words from the wise

One evening in November I said again to Bruce how sorry I was that he was going through this. His response was always, “It just happened. It’s life.” I also know from knowing him and understanding who he was that he felt his cancer wasn’t right or wrong. It just was. Period.

Acceptance and moving forward

It has been just a few weeks since Bruce passed. I am learning to navigate my world. One thing I find most helpful is to take life at my own pace, to do nothing more or less than I feel comfortable doing in that moment. I reserve the right to cancel an event or commitment, just because. There can be no other way. Not yet. Here is what that looks like, this February.

It is also about people, and letting them in when I feel least like being social.

It is getting back to what gives me joy. My creative, inner beast is emerging. For now that will be a mention of my handmade journals; posts about those will follow. Stay tuned!

It’s about taking care of my spaces, too. When the weather permits, I’ll pick up branches and tackle the garden, but right now, I’m working on the inside:

If I could post this now I would. Maybe I should…

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

~ Rumi

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  23 comments for “There is a field

  1. Lynne Olson
    March 2, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    your fridge has never been this clean…. great accomplishment 🙂 LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Britt
    February 10, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Beautiful post, thank you. Tyler shared it with me. And as someone who had a ringside seat to the whole terrible journey, I can confirm with zero shoulding/coulding/woulding that you left no stone unturned and no forehead unkissed. You were fierce in love and loyalty. I hope you can set down the weight of the past’s unknowns. Wishing you peace and joy today, Mom #2!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 12, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Thanks so much. That helps more than you know. ❤


  3. Pat Cabbage
    February 9, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Bruce’s passing. Beverly and I send prayers and our most tender thoughts to you and yours.
    May you find peace and comfort as you adapt and adjust to a “new normal” in your as you continue to be wrapped in the ever loving arms of God and your eternal sweetheart, the best man you have ever known.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 10, 2020 at 8:54 am

      Thanks, Pat. I’m hanging in there. This is harder than one might imagine. A few recent leads will draw me back into genealogy, and I do feel more and more like writing about these subjects. I hope you and yours are well. Yes, Bruce was the best person I’ve ever known. ❤


  4. February 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am you are going through this. Even the inevitable hits us by surprise. Then we are left reeling. I’m glad you let us know as I have been thinking about sending a note to see how you were doing. I’ve been concerned. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 6, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you, Marlene. That means a lot. It is harder than anything, but we survived it, somehow. We’re just moving through our days, doing what we need to do. I can’t wait for spring because I want to fill the yard again with flowers, just as we’ve always done. Hugs to you, too.<3

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynne Olson
    February 5, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    cute dinner time note, maybe now you will offer Andrew dessert first, before dinner

    Liked by 1 person

  6. February 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    maybe now, you will offer dessert first…. Andrew may approve

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 6, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Sometimes there is dessert first…but not for the kids….hehehe.


  7. February 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I think you are coping with your grief very wisely! I’m so sorry about your husband, and hope you continue to take care of yourself as you move forward. And learn to truly believe that you did absolutely everything you could to help him, because you did.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy
    February 5, 2020 at 5:19 am

    I hope you find a way to free your mind of any thoughts of blame or responsibility. Sadly no matter what you or anyone else did, glioblastoma is relentless. Now you need to take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 5, 2020 at 8:58 am

      While common sense says you are right, I believe the pain of this situation overrides that and we sometimes feel that there MUST have been something we/I could have done. I don’t blame myself or feel guilt; with glioblastoma there is almost always the same, sad outcome. I’m now of the belief that there is no right or wrong; it just is. I’ll be OK. Thanks for your support. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy
        February 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm

        I know that the irrational side of our brains often just doesn’t listen to reason. Hang in there.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Susan
    February 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    This is so beautiful, and so true. I often tell my kids, “Stop shoulding on yourself.” I know I say that to myself as well. I hope you can continue to relax and grow into your new role in life. A painful transition, I know, but one you can navigate. Much love and many prayers for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 6, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you so much. It is a difficult transition, yes, and I don’t know how but I am moving through it, day by day. I have lots of support and that means everything. I have wonderful friends and family. My kids have been fabulous. Bruce would want us to keep going, so we are doing just that. ❤


  10. February 4, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing the thing you are able to do. Only one who has suffered great grief can understand what an accomplishment it is to clean out the frig. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. February 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    So sorry about the death of your husband. Your words are very wise. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m trying. ❤


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