Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Evening with the 50mm

I have been terribly absent from this space and, for my regular readers, I apologize for this. I’ve been remiss in online visiting as well, which is why you don’t see me very often at your space. I took these photos a few evenings ago and they’ve been sitting in this post since then. It’s become one which I’ve re-written over and over again.

It’s time to just say it, I guess.

My husband is not doing well and this is why I can’t write. I believe you may have suspected this and although it’s not my story to tell, it’s a story that affects me in every single way.

 

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This is the chair where he used to sit after working in the garden. I was actually taking a photo of the sun glowing in the trees behind it, but the empty chair is the thing I notice first. He cannot work in the garden anymore and I don’t have that much extra time to do so. Plus, I am tired when I come home.

He was hospitalized last week for several days after I took him to the ER at Johns Hopkins for what appeared to be brain swelling. (I was correct). He is stable now, and this week I began working full time again but only because our son is in the house with him during the day. Our son works 3rd shift and he keeps an eye on his dad, texting me throughout the day. Mostly, he tells me that his dad is taking a nap.

 

 

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I cancelled the trip to Maine because I don’t want him to be too far from his doctors, and it’s just too risky driving with someone in his condition.

I do not know how long I will be able to continue to work, but so far, so good.

 

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But I damn well do not want one bit of sympathy for my life as it is now. I don’t see it as terribly, awfully sad. My husband was diagnosed over nine years ago with a brain tumor that would continue to recur and was given three to six months to live. I read online back then that the median for most people with this particular type of tumor would be to live about 18 months after such a diagnosis. He has had more than nine years.

He has amazed his doctors. They have much respect for him.

And much interest in his case.

 

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We have had nine years to enjoy each other’s company, to appreciate the little things, and to try and live as best we can with the blow we’d been dealt.

It’s not always peachy, but you knew that. Geez – I’m not a freaking saint.

 

 

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We moved to this wonderful old manor house in 2008 and became its caretakers. It has been a refuge for both of us ever since.

 

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I will not continue to write about my husband’s illness,

although you may hear it from time to time.

It doesn’t define who we are.

Who I am.

 

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I am thankful.

I am kind.

I am empathetic.

I am strong.

I am afraid.

(but only sometimes)

I am blessed.

 

 

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Goodnight, sun.

Another day is done.

I did my best.

With no regrets.

 

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Thank you so much for your continued support, your visits, your kindness. All of the photos in this post were taken at dusk with my Nikkor 50mm lens. It lets in a lot of light. And it’s all about the light ~

79 comments:

Snap said...

It is all about the light and may your mind light shine everywhere and be a comfort to you. Wishing you and yours well. Many hugs.

becky up the hill said...

Honestly, I feel like anything I say will sound wrong. Just know many of us out here, are praying for you and yours. We care for you Kate.

Hilary said...

Ah, dear Kate. Yes, sometimes you just have to come right out with it.
A friend of mine said, instead of "it is what it is", she likes "it already is".
Life isn't fair, but sometimes, when we are struggling with the hand we are dealt, there are moments of pure joy.
And you are right, your pain, your difficulties, do not define you.
Like my headache that sucks, but does not define me either.
Just do it one day at a time, and do the best you can.
noone can ask for more.

Linda said...

Nine years! You HAVE been lucky. Both of you. We should all take a page from your book and enjoy everyday. Every day.

Donna S. said...

Not sympathy, but empathy & caring? You have my prayers. I know you are strong & I know you aren't a saint!! Just close...kiddin! You are right, you are blessed with the 9 years and you have to deal with the hand you were dealt. But, by golly, we can "hate that hand". Take care.

jinxxxygirl said...

Kate,

I do not have the right words...but i am sending you everything i have to send..........
deb

Country Gal said...

Every day is a blessing and a treasure . My family went down the same path with my father so I know and understand where you are coming from. We here at the Cove are rooting for you all ! Lovely photos .

Low Tide High Style said...

Your husband's spirit reminds me so much of my friend Dan...both strong, courageous men. And you are all those things you listed and more my friend...not many people can face the unthinkable and do it with such amazing grace!

xo Kat

Karen said...

..and yes.. LET THERE BE LIGHT.

beautiful images here, thanks for taking the time to share them -
You capture the time of day, the winding down, perfectly.

Michelle said...

So beautifully put, Kate, in both words and photos. May I show such grace if ever asked to walk the same path....

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

We only have today. And sometimes an extra nine years of days. For a while, I knew that I was someone whose husband died of cancer. I was a widow. And those things made sense to me because they were my reality. But then, slowly, a new life began to make sense. We turn the pages and write new chapters in our book. This is a chapter in your book and you don't yet know what the next one looks like. Peace and comfort to you both. Oh yes, and hugs.

Gayle said...

You and yours are in my heart. Your words and photos say it all. Know that many, many of us have you in our hearts and will continue to hold you there, gently.

Tammy said...

I've been feeling the grief and solitude in your posts of late. I figured your husband wasn't doing so well. I was so sad to hear that you couldn't make it back to Maine, that you had to cancel. It's okay to write about how you feel and about what is going on. We read your blog because we like what you put into it, the good the bad and the fantastic photos and George. Share for your own way of letting it out, you need the outlet. Two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, lost my kidney and it's in my bladder. I haven't written about it a lot, but when I need to vent or to share the struggle and strain of it all, it helped me. I only have a few readers, but it helped me so much and they lifted me up in some despairing times. We are here for you and we care!! Hugs!!

Nellie said...

What beautiful work you have done with this post, Kate! There are many of us out here who follow your blog who are sending you the very best, and that includes me! Hugs, thoughts, and prayers are with you as you travel along this road!

mollie said...

It has been a while since I have checked your blog, Kate . . . this beautiful and poignant post shows your love and strength. I must tell you just how much I admire you . . . I have loved your photography and writing for a long while and will continue to check in from time to time. ((((hugs))))

JaneK said...

Kate, your decision to focus on the 9 years you shouldn't have had instead of letting yourself be too overcome but the situation at present is beyond inspiring. I'm sure you have your moments, and maybe many of them, but your overall approach to this world and the the yucky things in it is something we can all learn from. And I love that you are determined that this is not going to define you. Blessings, dear friend, and thank you for sharing with us.
{{{{{hug}}}}}

newmexicomtngirl said...

The light is where it's at.....
and you have it dear woman.
prayers of healing and health and well being.
peace, love and light,
CheyAnne

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

It's good when he sleeps. Just to know he is in no pain and not worrying about anything. This is good. :) Warm thoughts, Kate. xox

Navigating Northward said...

So happy that you had at least 9 years longer than expected. Happy years, by the sound of it. Nevertheless, I am thinking of you often, and wishing you both strength.

Tyra said...

I found your blog years ago because of our shared brain cancer experience. I think of you and your husband often, and I will continue to pray for you both.

Tug said...

I RARELY comment, but read every post & have followed you since we both entered photo contests on Kaycee's blog.

Sending prayers. To you, hubby, and your families. Many prayers.

themoose53 said...

((((((Kate)))))) <<--those are hugs.

Not sympathy ... but understanding. I was with my Mom during her next steps. Hard, I know. Do and say everything that you need to with your husband. It will bring you comfort later. And you'll be blessed for what you two have accomplished over the past decade.

I'm glad your son is there now. Good for him. Good for his Dad.

Bless you all, Kate. Hang on tight. We've grown to love you and yours in our own special, "internetsy" say.

Barb

donna baker said...

In health situations, the old maxim, take it one day at a time, becomes a mantra. We really are all in this together. Blessings to you and yours.

bv said...

Yeah...9 years..what a gift. As you may remember our son had a heart transplant at 20....15 years he had....and now he is at peace...all a gift. You have much support..I hope you can feel it...bv

Cindy said...

Sending good thoughts, wishes and prayers. ~Cindy

Sweetpea said...

CG, this post leaves me a bit speechless ... please know there's a whole lot of this *** ❤ *** headin' from here to there.

'Tis about the light. All of it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hang on in there Kate. I do know what you are experiencing as I went through the same kind of thing with my first husband. Savour every single minute together. My thoughts are with you.

Lizzie said...

I know I don't say much around here Kate but thoughts are with you right now. Take the gift you've been given and live with no regrets, take care of yourself too...
XXX

Hartwood Roses said...

Kate, dear, your ability to focus on the positive aspects of your situation is so uplifting. Being thankful is the perfect way to deal with stress. Please know that you and your husband and sweet, sweet George are loved by so many people you will never meet. (Your images, as always, are beautiful.)

Hugs to all of you.

Allison Lizer said...

I have no words to say that could help in your situation, but I am glad to know you had "extra" time together. We're all here in support of you and your family.

Cheryl said...

No sympathy. I still cringe when I get "those looks". If you are at all like me, you are putting one foot in front of the other, hoping not to trip. Not knowing whether to go straight, left or right. Blessed in many ways, and yet.... continue on. He is with you. Enjoy the moments, no matter how fleeting, that you can.
~Cheryl

Merisi said...

Sending you my love and warm hugs, Kate!
You are in my thoughts,
Merisi

Em Parkinson said...

You must be exhausted Kate. You live with the knowledge of the inevitable every day and are an inspiration with your positivism. I'm sure you get really, really down sometimes but, from what I know of you from your posts, I imagine you don't let your husband see that. With you, he is a very lucky man. My thoughts float over the pond to both of you, and your son of course - It mast be really hard for him too. x

Daryl said...

nuff said xo

Missy said...

Thank you for sharing. You are in my thoughts for this next season of life.

TSannie said...

xoxoxoxoxo

Suzette Simmonds said...

I'm here every day, supporting you in spirit, although I never say anything. There must be a lot of people like me. I hope our energy finds its way to you somehow. We are with you.

WPgirl said...

You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.
Lynda in Michigan.

Kerri said...

Sending LOTS of LOVE and HUGS to you and your hubby!!

anne said...

thinking of you...

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

I will admit I started crying when I was reading about your husband. Because I admire your strength in dealing with this. Your words of loving for having the time with him that you could have been denied.

You are in my thoughts.

thotlady said...

Light is good. I am thinking of you. Live each day. That is all any of us can do. Take care.

Jan's camera said...

Hi Kate,
Thanks for sharing your photos and your thoughts. Sometimes you just need to share your feelings.

JC said...

Lovely photos, like you always share with us.

The empty chair is sad but it has such memories.

Know that I am thinking of you.

XO,

JC

Tracey from Haiku.You.Do said...

That one thing that I love about you since the first time we met is that matter of factness of yours wrapped up in the ability to see the blessings through the muck. No rosey glasses, but no doomsday. I love you, Kate, and your heart. <3

Sending prayers and blessings from just down the hill.

lisa pfab said...

I am so very very sorry. I just lost my best friend to a brain tumor. A terrible glioblastoma. He made it 13 months after diagnosis. I am happy that you have had your husband so long. Blessings to you.

Woman Seeking Center said...

A difficult pattern life has given to both you and your husband to weave Kate..

One thread is the comfort of the additional years, the memories made in the time that you didn't expect to have together.

One thread is the angst, anger, unfairness at having to face this situation and outcome at all.

One thread is keeping your heart and sanity afloat thru all these years. And what this time, now, requires of you.

One thread is he, who you love, doing the same ~ as best he can.

Then there is the care, worry, and weight of watching the others you love - your son, your husband's parents. I know you worry as much (or more) for all of those hearts too ~ as much as you do for your husband.

If there is any truth to be seen, if there are any answers to be found, I confess both elude me.

The only thought I've to offer is that you and he have, thru all your years shared (the good and the ghastly painful)woven a pattern of love, sharing, caring, laughter, tears, honor, honesty and strength that is without doubt inspiring. Touching. What all love should strive to be.

And that is something to be proud of ~ something that you will always be able to pull tightly around your heart... That is the tread of gold that runs thru the weave of it all.

Hugs to you both
Issy

beth said...

even knowing everything that's been going on with andrew, reading your words here made my heart stop a little bit....

i adore you and strength !!

prayers to andrew as always and of course for you, too.....xo

Country Girl said...

lisa pfab,
I tried to write you back but your e-mail was blocked. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend to a glioblastoma. Only 25% of patients with glios live past two years. Blessings.
~ k

Mary Lou said...

Kate, I have not been to visit you in quite some time. Now I see why I did so today. Blessings of all kinds to you,
Kate.

Ellen said...

Sending love and good thoughts your way.

Elephant's Child said...

Hi, I am visiting from Cindi's blog. This is a truly beautiful and very moving post. I love your final lines, and it sounds as if your best is spectacularly good. Warm wishes from my corner of the blogosphere have been added to your pile.

Di said...

I don't seem to comment very often but I so enjoy your blog. I had a feeling you may be going through a hard time. I have been thinking about you and your family. Prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family.

Christie - Fine Lines said...

Kate - I hope you know that your readers care. I don't have words that would make a difference right now, but sending you and your family prayers and a big "cyber hug."

Annie said...

Thinking of you Kate. And crying also. What a shame about the Maine vacation.

God's blessings on you all each day. I am so glad you have your son with you.

It's been 30 years since my husband died. !5 since all the kids got married. And I've finally just moved house. What an effort. But good to have finally done it. Lovely to be closer to the little family here at the Coast, and able to see the grandchildren more often. Still unpacking boxes. It'll probably take forever.

Always regret missing meeting you that time with Daryl in NYC. Thinking of you lots.

Devon said...

Saint or not, you are still inspiring. Thank you.

Still praying for you all. :)

BUSH BABE said...

Darling Kate... I will not give you the sympathy which you wish to avoid (I completely understand that). Instead, please have my small offering of empathy. Life is filled with highways and byways - and you of all people have showed us all how to savour those byways. Sadness is often a pretty amazing filter.

Much love from afar.

BB

Jill of All Trades said...

Just here to be here. Take care.

JMCD said...

You and your blog are an inspiration of life and beauty to so many. I wish you peace and comfort.

Deanna said...

I know somewhat of what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago and we felt blessed to spend 12 years together before I needed to put him in a memory care facility for his safety and my sanity. Blessings to you both...may you continue to enjoy your days together.

Linda said...

So sorry to read about your failing Husband. I hope your days together continue to be peaceful and full of light.
you have extraordinary strength.
xo

thecatalanway said...

hello kate i have just seen this....sorry i too have been off line for a while and so i am here late. thank you for telling us what is happening in your lives although i can imag.ine it is hard hard hard to do so. if sympathy is feeling for you then i'm afraid i cant stop it! i sit here feeling sad with you but i promise it is nothing to do with feeling sorry for you. as you say, a wonderful triumph to beat the odds and havethe gift of time together. i send you all my best wishes for this part of your journey together and you are in my thoughts. kate x

Mary said...

It's so hard to know what to say, Kate... So I will just send some virtual (((hugs))), and tell you that you are loved. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to ask.
xoxo

Jeanne Walker said...

Hugs, love and prayers....

Reena Walkling said...

Only a lot of
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

No sympathy. I hope I could do this with your strength and grace.

mrs mediocrity said...

The light keeps us going sometimes, just when things are so dark.

And even though you have been blessed with all these years, still, it must be hard.

Sending hugs to you, and more light.

pam said...

your blog is inspirational during good and bad, light and dark, up and down. Your readers are loyal and we all wish you well and the best that life will give. pam

sharon said...

What a beautiful place to rest and soak in what nature has given you. You are truly blessed to be in such a haven and to call it your "own" for right now. Enjoy the memories because sometimes memories are all we have to hang on too.

Hilary said...

I'm glad you are able to find the many joys in your life rather than frequently dwell on the difficulties. I'm sorry that your husband is not doing well. I wish I could give you a huge hug. You're a lovely person, Kate. And your best is pretty damn impressive. Hugs, my sweet friend.

spindrift,maine said...

Sending you my love, Kate. Your photos are beautiful. Reflective of your spirit. xo

Kay said...

I am wrapping my arms around you and hope you can feel it. I continue to think of you and your husband daily. I was down at the ocean today (Bandon, Oregon) and it was beautiful, just like the pictures you take and especially the ones on this post. May your lights shine just a bit longer !! My thoughts to you. Kay

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Kate:
I've been away too long, recuperating from my own unexpected surgery, but tonight I have been slowly going down my blog roll to catch up with my favorite online friends. (I'm doing great, so don't worry about me for one second.)

You and your husband are an inspiration to more people than you know, my friend. You face your days dealing with whatever your given. All of us could live better lives if we did this.

I am sorry that your plans changed for Maine this year. I know how much you appreciate going there, but I also know that plans change and it's more important to take care of each other, no matter where that is.

You'll be in my thoughts and both of you will be in my prayers. You have many friends who care...me included.

Sending long-distance hugs,
xo
Donna

GailO said...

Love you dear:) You are indeed a lucky woman and your husband is a lucky man to have had this time with you.

Muhammad Khalid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bluebird49 said...

Just sending love and light. {{{hugs}}}
AND--what's going on with the comment above me. Ugh--there are no bounds to the lengths some "people" will go to advertise!

Egghead said...

Kate this is well said. I know exactly how hard it is to live this AND I agree you are very blessed to have had this nine years. We always say we were so blessed to have had 4 lucky years with our daughter once she was diagnosed and it is true even if it was shorter than we wished. They were very good years and I treasure each memory...good and sad. Huge hugs to you and your hubby. You are in my heart and I think of you often.

Lisa Gordon said...

Bless your heart, Kate, and stay as strong as you are. xo.

{B} said...

Im a reader who loves your blog, your photos, your dog and your beautiful soul! I'm envious of your style and grace in the face of adversity....and truly admire how you step up to play the cards you've been dealt. Thank you for the reminder I very much needed to live each day. Prayers to you all....and may you find some light in each of your days.