Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Images from my camera phone

Hello my friends. It’s hard to put into words what I feel in my heart and I don’t want to risk getting all sentimental and teary. I mean, let’s face it: I knew my husband would die from brain cancer. I just didn’t see it coming that particular day, if you can believe that. In the end, he was exhibiting all the end-stage symptoms but because I was right in the middle of it, I guess I chose not to see it.

Know what’s really great? Well, there’s lots of things that are really great, but the two that are most prominent are the fact that no matter what happened at the end, I knew I would have to live with my actions for the rest of my life. I was determined not to get exasperated or frustrated and to do the best I possibly could. I ended up getting a little exasperated and was a little frustrated as well but I did my best for him. I can easily live with myself for how I handled things. The other great thing is that I wrote in the pages of this blog since late 2007 almost daily about the good times, of which there were many. And I can go back and read about how lucky I was and how my life played out while he was either ill or in remission. I am so blessed to have these snippets of our life – complete with pictures.

And I have some advice for you whether you want to hear it or not.

Don’t wait to tell someone how much they mean to you, how much you love them. Tell  them. Show them. Love them every day. Ok? I’ll stop now.

I returned late last night from being away for four days in Maine. I took a family trip with my sons and met my husband’s folks in Bar Harbor. Here are a few photos that I just downloaded from my camera phone. I edited them during the trip while one of my sons was taking a turn driving. Kept me busy playing with the phone. These were all edited using Aviary.



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Going through Providence, RI.




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View from our hotel balcony in Old Orchard Beach
where we stayed for a night on our way to Bar Harbor.




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Ocean at Old Orchard Beach.




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Shaun walking George.




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George and me.




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Cadillac Mountain above the clouds.

I hadn’t been paying much attention at all to current events these past two weeks, so when the government shut down Tuesday morning and the national parks closed, it was a shock to hear. Especially since we’d been there the very day prior. How fortunate we were to be able to see the beautiful Acadia National Park while we were away.

I am still going through the many comments left on the previous posts. I hadn’t been spending much time online and am still only slowly getting back to this new reality of mine. I plan to return to work on Oct. 15.

Hope all is well in your world ~
Thanks for stopping by to visit me in mine.


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A note on George, since so many commenters have mentioned him and asked how he’s handling all of this. George began pulling away several months ago when he realized his master wasn’t quite right anymore. He switched to our son and to me and he basically kept his distance from my husband who seemed to prefer this new arrangement. Hope I’ve explained this properly. But really – George is in a very good place.

77 comments:

Low Tide High Style said...

So very glad you are taking some time for yourself...something caregivers often forget to do, even after their loved one is gone. And how wonderful to have this online journal of your time together, both the good times and the not so good!

Welcome back!

xo Kat

Tammy said...

Glad to hear you got away to a place that you and your husband loved to go. I am positive that you did the very best you could by him and that he appreciate every single thing. We are only human so don't be to hard on yourself. I hope your blog posts bring you comfort and joy while you are healing from such a huge loss. Stay positive and know that your bloggy friends care and are here for you. Big Hugs!!

Ellen said...

It's good to hear from you. I've been thinking about you often and praying that you have the strength to deal with everything. It looks like you are handling things as well as you can. How is George making out. I'm sure he must be missing his master.

We have often talked about meeting up at Longwood and Winterthur. Perhaps we can make it work.

Hugs to you and George.


Andi said...

So nice to see your words again. Continue to think of you, and actually George, every day. I think you can have all the notice and "preparation" in the world, nothing prepares you for the end. You are always so graceful, and grateful, I am sure you were nothing less in the end. Hugs, friend. XO

Nellie said...

Oh, Kate! I am so, so happy to hear that you were able to get away to Maine!

Isn't it amazing how perceptive animals are?

It is great that you took George along. I'm sure he enjoyed it as much as everyone else did!

Prayers continuing for you from here.

Hugs,
Nellie

Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos ! I am glad you are all doing ok .. it takes time . Pets are smart and can pick up on things like this more then we know most of the time they tell us when something isn't right before we even realize it. Thanks for sharing . Hugs to you all and big sloppy kisses to George from Miggs .

Hilary said...

It's funny that you say that. I noticed that Roy was that way...he stuck close while my mother was failing....but when she really got sick, he moved away a bit...and as soon as my mother passed, he took note, and moved on.
I guess dogs are better at a whole bunch of things than we are.

Sweetpea said...

I'm so pleased that you were able to take that trip to Maine, CG, and your phone photos are WONDERFUL & expressive. I've been thinking about you, wishing you a peaceful heart, so it's reassuring to read your words here. Glad you've got that Georgie-boy right by your shoulder ;>]] Love to you.

GailO said...

Maine with family was a good place to be...

I was always very conscious of my actions during my sister's final two years because I knew I had to live with them too...there were only a couple of times that I really blew it:) I was also not expecting her death when it came although I guess I should have. Most importantly we were both very aware of how fortunate we were to have this time to be with each other to show our love. If she didn't have that diagnosis we wouldn't have talked about love or even seen each other as much as we did...so I agree....tell them now that you love them.

Gail said...

My heart breaks for you but as you stated you knew it was coming. Great memories and much love is there.

George knew. Animals do.

May what you need now come to you.

Michelle said...

Thanks for remembering us in blogland, Kate; goodness knows you have enough on your plate. But I'm probably not the only one here who looks to you for some guidance in how to navigate these waters, because chances are we will have to learn to carry on by ourselves sometime as well.

Hugs to you and family, and dog biscuits to George.

Candace Porth said...

I'm happy to see you posting and wish the best for you and your family, furry and human.

donna baker said...

Glad to hear that it all worked out Kate, and going back to work will be very good for you. Take care.

Devon said...

Hi Kate... I'm so glad to hear you doing so well and spending time with family.

I hear your words and know that I am not always great at communicating my affection for my loved ones when times are tough... I have two teenagers!!! But you are right... our time is finite and should not be wasted. So glad you have peace and the comfort of your blog for the memories. Makes me almost want to start mine up again!

Liz McMahon said...

So glad you are doing okay Kate, one day at a time, one breath at a time. Life continues, it is just a new chapter for you...
Stay well and keep your lens in focus..
xxx

Hartwood Roses said...

Friends of mine have a saying ... "Be More Dog" Live in the moment, enjoy the now, and don't fret about the past or worry about the future. Dogs are wise that way.

Your images are beautiful. I especially like the one of you and George.

Em Parkinson said...

Fantastic to hear from you Kate. George must be a huge comfort to you, as well as the rest of your family. So interesting that he withdrew from your husband in that way. They just know. I send you all my love. x

Daryl said...

love you

Deborah said...

Thinking of you and your family Kate in these days.
Sending hugs and love your way.

All my heart,
Deborah xo

A New England Life said...

It brings a smile to my face just knowing you, and the rest of your family, including George, are in a good place. I know you gave everything you had Kate, even on days when you probably felt like you had nothing left to give.

I do hope the trip to Maine was a breath of fresh air into your soul. Maybe you and George should consider relocating? Still wishing I could have met you! OOB is so close! lol! Just me being selfish right there ; )

Hugs,
Sharon

(Do you mean Providence, RI?)

Snap said...

Glad you were able to get away for awhile. Yes, those last days are difficult. I was lucky. Mr. Dragon's daughter was a great help and actually having him in hospice hospital the last few days was a god send for all of us. Head up. March on. I'll be marching with you.

Karen said...

Those images, beautiful.. your husbands spirit echoes in them...

LOVE the image of you and George... all shall be well.

Rain said...

Kate I'm so happy that our Maine was able to give you and family a little rest and peace in your heart....
I did choke up at this post though..... The whole ..... there but for fortunate go you or I....... You are right we all need to appreciate each moment and tell the ones we love...
Prayers of peace and comfort to you and yours......
Fondly,Rain
.......and dogs really do have it right.....
:)

thotlady said...

Beautiful photos as always. One day I will make it to Maine.

Animals, especially dogs are amazing creatures. They know more than us humans will ever understand.

My heart and thots are with you.

Sarah said...

So glad to see you here this morning and to hear that you were able to get away for a while. I actually thought last week about how nice a trip to Maine would be for you. After I had that thought, whenever I thought of you (coming here to check if you were up and about)the thought was filled with light, not dark.

What a lovely thing that was for you and your sons, and George to do. A lovely way to begin your healing.

There are no coincidences. After all the lovely photos and posts on Maine I've seen here in past years and wanting to go to Maine myself, we are finally going. We leave next for Bar Harbor next Sunday.

So thank you for the great photos today. I think I'll check out the Aviary app. They were beautifully edited.

Keep breathing. Hugs to you and George.

MaggieGem said...

Thoughts and prayers with you and your family... No matter how much we prepare we are never ready for the end.

Beautiful photos and great advice to let those around us know they are loved.

Annette {This Simple Home} said...

So glad you made it to the mountain top just in time.

No regrets...during difficult times.

Gayle said...

Sooooo good to hear from you and know that you are OK. You did everything just right. I have a chaplain friend who says "You are right where you are!" So true.

Love your photos, as always. The one with Shaun and George is beyond wonderful!

Donna Boucher said...

God bless you.

Cathy said...

I have been thinking about you so much. It is good to hear your words. Take time... and animals are so grand.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Maine.... your favorite place and a great place of healing. Love to you, your sons and George. Thanks for sharing the photos and the words today, Kate... Hugs.

Kerri Farley said...

I know how much Maine has meant to you and your husband .... I'm glad you were able to get there again.
I have been thinking of you a lot - and never seem to have the right words to say ......
Please know you are in my thoughts.
((Hugs))

Steph said...

Good to hear from you Kate. Glad you got away with your family and that George is good. Thank you for the reminder to tell my loves they are loved today and always. Peace to you...xx

Sarah said...

Good Morning Kate,
When I first found your blog I read through it from the beginning and what struck me was your strength and commitment to what was happening with your husband and your lives. I'm sure it made him feel so loved. I can't imagine what you're going through but I'm sure it's very tough. Enjoy your family and take care of yourself. xoxo

Show-Me Sooz said...

Good to hear from you, Kate! You sound good. Thank you for being candid. This post is so satisfying to read; thank you for covering our concerns. Thank you, also, for the gorgeous pictures. I think I'll replace my computer desktop with the ocean or Cadillac Mountain. It's nice to live vicariously through you!

it's me said...

you did well---

Maine the perfect place to say good bye

both my parents' deaths caught me unaware and I still regret so much that I didn't say or do

JC said...

Good to see that you are out there talking to everyone.

Thinking of you, like I've been doing since I met you.

Give George a pet from me.

xo,
JC

Jeanne Walker said...

Hello, sweet friend! I wish there was a [Like] option on these posts as I would have 'liked' them all. It can only image how hard it is to cope with and to be in that place with someone who has a incurable disease. I have not walked in your shoes, but I pray that I would do the best I could under the circumstances just as you did. We are only human and are not perfect...we should just aim for kindness, gentleness, love, and as much patience as we can muster so that we wouldn't have regrets or second guess ourselves. I love that you, George and your family were able to spend time in a place that brings you so much peace and joy! I love that photo of George and you...my take-away from this photo is that George has your back. What unconditional love our fur babies give us! If only dogs could talk! As always, y'all are in my thoughts and prayers!

Bluebird49 said...

Glad to see your post, Kate, and so happy you, the boys and George went to Maine. Even we "know", in certain cases, a loved one is going to die imminently----I don't think we're ever prepared for "that" moment. It is something we can never know. I wish you many, many good days ahead while knowing there will be a grief process that will continue. Even though I'm older than you, how I aspire to have your wisdom and ability to bounce back, and to take every bit of life head-on with that wise heart of yours! Blessings, Kate. Trudy

Pam said...

Bless you. You are a gracious person. And could you give George a snuggle for me?

Kay said...

I was going to ask about George, but glad you added that thought of how he is getting along. He seemed to have lost his spunk in that picture with you, but know he and you and boys will all be okay. So glad you went on the little trip to your favorite place. Love and hugs to all of you from Oregon. It is a gorgeous fall day today...just awesome... Kay

Jo Barnes said...

I'm sure this will embarrass you but you're inspirational in such a quiet way. Wish I could be so centred, reflective and satisfied with my lot. Love to you, George and your boys.

Jo Barnes said...

I'm sure this will embarrass you but you're inspirational in such a quiet way. Wish I could be so centred, reflective and satisfied with my lot. Love to you, George and your boys.

becky up the hill said...

I'm glad you posted. Though I can't imagine anything you've gone through..really. Just wanted you to know that one more friend was thinking of you and relieved to hear from you, also that you don't owe anyone anything.

JaneK said...

So glad to hear from you and so glad to see some of the pics from Maine. What a wonderful place for you to go and begin your healing.
Sometimes we choose to not see what we know is right there at us. It is often how we survive through hard times.
Your decision to choose to find the bright times and the happy memories is amazing. You have an amazing perspective on life that is inspiring. Not pollyana or some sort of weird denial but just a decision to not let the hard stuff pull you under and let the good stuff be your float.
anyway, I am rambling. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

beth said...

sending you an email....xo

Reena Walkling said...

Perfect ....

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

Good to hear from you and glad you got to make the trip.

George is a sweet boy and he probably knew what was happening and that made it easier for him to bear the loss.

Carolynn Anctil said...

It's so good to "see" you here. Be gentle with yourself, my friend.

Thank you for the update on George. They're wise souls, our animals.

Much love,
Carolynn

shirley said...

Your advice is so spot on. Thank you for the reminder to show love as much as possible.
I love Cadillac Mountain and I am glad you got to go before it got closed in all this mess.

Continued blessings.

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Lili said...

Love you Kate.

Hilary said...

New normals are tough to get used to but you get there eventually. George and others like him just seem to understand that so well. Hugs to you.

Lee Owenby said...

Good to hear from you and to see your pal, George. I think of you often and wish there was something I could do to help. But, having been down the same road as you, I know it's just something you have to deal with in your own way.

Love the photo of Cadillac Mountain.

Donna S. said...

So glad you posted. You have a lot to go through & many changes coming up but I know you will handle it. Getting back to work & a routine (even though it will be a new routine) will probably be good for you.

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Donalyn Ketchum said...

Good words, Kate & really good advice. I doubt you realize how much of a blessing you are to others, but it's true.

Cindy said...

So glad you got away for a while. I'm sure it helped. I know I could use some time away but unfortunately that's not possible. Today is my Dad's Memorial Service. It's hard dealing with the everyday things now. I'm not exactly sure what to do with myself. The days are long and if I let myself I start thinking about all the things I should have done or the things I should have said. I think constantly about how I should have been a better daughter to my Dad and Mom. I never saw that day coming when they would no longer be here with me. Life right now seems odd, out of whack and surreal. I can't believe what has happened. Maybe you feel that way too. Maybe it's just me. I hope you find comfort and peace in your family and friends both there with you and online. You really have touched and inspired a lot of people. Take care and I wish you well.

Flat Creek Farm said...

I'm always slow, but had to come check on you. Very sorry to read the news... and so thankful you are taking some time for you. I absolutely adore the picture of you and George ♥ Hugs from MO.. keeping you in my thoughts, Tammy

Debby said...

It was comforting to see you taking a trip. I like also that you are looking at things and accepting your imperfections during an impossible time. Sometimes people eat themselves alive w/ 'woulda's, shoulda's and coulda's'. I am glad that you are not.

Patsy said...

God bless

Hedy King said...

I, too, took a trip with our kids after my husband passed. We took some of his ashes to a mountain top he loved. It was such a healing experience for all of us. Nearly eight weeks have passed and I am still listening for the sound of his voice. I wonder if that ever stops? I am OK, just different. How can losing your life partner leave you the same? Be gentle with yourself. Bless you and your family. I enjoy the pictures, happy you shared them with your followers.

Tug said...

Sending you many prayers, always.

His Song to Sing said...

Kate, I started following you right after I discovered BlogLand several years ago. I've told you before how much I appreciate your honest portrayal of a blessed yet far from perfect life. To me your greatest gift to your readers is how you somehow manage to make strangers like me feel so closely connected to your story. My heart aches for your loss but I already know you are going to be okay. So glad you got to enjoy a getaway, and, yes, I was glad to hear that George is okay also. Praying you and your sons find peace and joy on the road ahead.

sharon said...

Okay, you make me want to go to the East Coast even more! I've always dreamed of going to the east coast but have yet to make it. Good to see you enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful beach. Hope you have a good week and are enjoying your boys.

Ellen Reed said...

I am so very glad that you have time....to see family, be with George, travel, be with your thoughts.....I spend little time on blogs as of late, but everytime I check, I think of you and search out the latest post. Kate, you are so good at observations of life, I hope you will return to it some day. Smiles!.....E

Jan's camera said...

Hello, Kate. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. Thank you for the advice about telling people how you love them. So many times I want to say something but I don't. Take care. Thinking of you.

Annie said...

Thinking of you Kate. And thanks for being real, and reminding us of what's important in life.

Having lost my husband unexpectedly quite a while ago, I know how important it is! So glad you have been to Maine. It certainly is a surreal time after someone dies.
I remember someone encouraging the kids and I to find little things to be thankful for every day. It helped. Just as you do, and have done, with your camera and blog.

One day at a time. Prayers and blessings for you and your family

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Been thinking about you--animals give us such comfort--I believe they are "sent" to us.
V

Thistle Cove Farm said...

one of the best gifts I've ever given myself was my blog in paperback. I've not caught up, still have to have printed the year Dave died and last, but those other years, now in paperback, are such a joy! I read them, they birth other memories and I revel in our life together, all over again.

Gail said...

Life does go on...differently. I began following a long time ago and share many of your lovely memories.

George knew. Our dogs knew when my sister was sick and now she's cancer free. Two dogs are with her constantly on her morning rounds.

I can not even imagine how you feel. It is a great blessing that you have your sons.

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