All posts by Sunny Bridge

I love travel, seeing and photographing new places, meeting new people, learning languages (focusing on French for the past few years).

April Showers

Yesterday was a rare, welcome rainy day. Drought is a recurrent issue here in Colorado, so as much as I generally prefer sunny days, I loved it. Everything is now so green and beginning to bloom. It really feels like spring is here to stay. Yes, I know we can get freak storms this time of year, like the two feet of snow we had mid-March that did so much damage to the trees and very helpfully revealed a leak in my roof — yippee. My plan is to enjoy each glorious day and not worry about tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes!

One excellent day was Easter Sunday, when I went over to Chelsea and Brian’s backyard (after virtual church — still not going in person quite yet) to watch Beckett’s first Easter egg (etc.) hunt. The adults had shorter attention spans than he did. We kept wanting him to find the next thing, and he wanted to enjoy what he’d already found. Hmmm. There’s a lesson there somewhere. . . .

Beckett’s first Easter egg hunt 2021
How dare he sit and read his new book!
Not a baby anymore!

Another stellar day was Saturday the 10th of April, when Brittany drove up from Denver and we met on Chelsea’s driveway to sample some mocktails, to add options for the wedding weekend.

Brittany explaining the various flavor profiles to us, but mostly enjoying the perfect day
Chelsea enjoying the sun while Beckett enjoys – er, yum? – chewing on a lemon
Beckett getting into the spirit of driveway drinks and yes, that’s the dogs’ bowl

And today, now that I’m fully vaccinated (including the two weeks post-second shot), I actually got to hug my grandson without wearing a mask. Woo-hoo!

Beckett demonstrating that “The Wheels on the Bus” go round and round

So it hasn’t all been rain. It never is here, of course, but sometimes life feels a bit like unending metaphorical rain, with all the challenges so many have been facing for more than a year now. Brittany has just started chemo, so there’s that, but I’m now semi-retired and able to help her more than I could have a few months ago. And I’m going to try to learn from this little one.

He’s choosing happy

No, I probably won’t be sucking on a lemon anytime soon and definitely won’t be drinking out of a dog’s bowl, but I’m going to try to remember to enjoy what I have without always looking for the next thing. And I’m going to choose happy whenever I can. I hope the same for you. If that’s not possible right now, hang in there. I pray you feel the peace and comfort of God and that you find bright moments of joy to sustain you, even if the rain is pouring down. You’re in my heart.

I love hearing from you, so please do comment or reach out to me in some way if you can. I miss my people! Hope to see you soon.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been enjoying the notifications on my phone of photos from past years. Yesterday, the 27th of March, popped up with photos of our first day in France 2014, during our year as nomads, like this shot in Paris of an unexpectedly open door. Seems practically a metaphor for the whole amazing experience.

Private courtyard, Quai Voltaire, Paris

And this one of the Tuileries . . . 

Jardin des Tuileries et La Tour Eiffel

We loved seeing Paris at night on one of our first evenings . . .

Then, since our “year” lengthened to nearly thirteen months, there were also photos of March 2015 in Memphis, one of our last adventure weeks on the road home to Colorado.

Rum Boogie Blues Hall and Juke Joint

It was a bit like seeing the whole grand adventure bookended. Then with it being the 27th of the month, I suddenly realized David had been gone exactly three years and three months. It felt, I don’t know exactly, but sort of important, worthy of note somehow.  But not as painful as the early — even monthly — anniversaries were.

So I’m feeling nostalgic (again), but also optimistic. I’ve had my first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine and will have the second on the 6th of April. We’re all deep in plans and prep for Brittany and Andy’s wedding late July at Lake Sunapee. So even though nothing is back to “normal” and Brittany is still facing months of medical challenges, there are finally not only memories to treasure . . . 

BBQ chez Pascale et Jacky 19 juin 2014

. . . but also plans to look forward to.  

Wishing the same for you!

All Will be Well

Things with Brittany have not been quite the slam-dunk we had hoped they would be, but we do truly believe all will be well.

Brittany and Andy – October 2020

She is strong, courageous, and still keeping us laughing, even while facing both chemo and radiation. Her posts on CaringBridge tend to include bits that could legit be the basis of a stand-up routine.  I especially liked her R.I.P. to her old boobs, written just before surgery on February 3rd.

Since I go pretty much NOWHERE EVER, I’m the perfect person to be on call for transportation on days Andy shouldn’t really need to miss work. I was able to pick Brittany up from her latest surgery and spent a couple nights with them last week. It was great to see them in person, and I am very glad to be able to help. I’m still super committed to mostly staying home and NOT being inadvertently part of the spread of the wretched virus, especially when it costs me so little to stay home, but Brittany’s needs are and will continue to be worthy exceptions to my self-enforced solitude. 

Since I have barely left my home in a YEAR, I’ve been enjoying the notifications on my phone with photos from years past. Like Folly Beach, Charleston, and environs . . .

Middleton Place – Near Charleston, South Carolina – December 2104
Folly Beach – January 2015

As well as Key West, where we spent February and the first week of March 2015 . . .

West Martello Tower – Key West – 2015
Key West – February 2015

. . . especially these of David, taken one afternoon upstairs at Louie’s Backyard, one of our favorite Key West restaurants. Ah, the many expressions of David, possibly hamming it up extra for the camera. Such great memories . . .

We loved Key West. Click here, if you want a bit of warm vicarious travel. It’s the first post of the five weeks on Key West.

So yes, we are all to varying degrees on a hard road right now. May the memories of past joys, hope for the future, and gratitude for both warm your heart and see you through. 

Sunset – Key West – 2015

 

David Keeps Giving

In case you haven’t heard, my family has been hit with another cancer diagnosis, but fortunately this one has an excellent prognosis, thanks in no small part to David.

David and Brittany 30 September 2016

Brittany was diagnosed, not quite two weeks ago, with invasive ductile carcinoma — breast cancer, fortunately still stage I. The doctors say it is fast growing, with 94% of the biopsied cancer cells in the act of duplicating, so they aren’t messing around. Surgery will be this Wednesday, what Brittany is calling “out with the old and in with the new” — a double mastectomy and reconstruction all in one go. She doesn’t yet know if post-op chemo will be required, but overall we are very optimistic. (Updates on CaringBridge.)

David and Brittany 1985 or 86

David comes into it because it is nearly certain Brittany would never have discovered this fast-growing cancer in time, young as she still is, but due to David’s cancer and subsequent genetic testing, we learned that he and Brittany shared the same BRCA2 gene mutation, so she has had careful screening ever since. If you knew David, you know he would have laid down his life without hesitation for any one of his girls. That’s just who he was. In a way, it seems he did. 

So even out of the ashes of loss and in the face of current uncertainty, we are grateful. For the warning Brittany received, certainly, but also for who he was and how he continues to impact our lives. I still often hear his words of wisdom, his perspective-shifting observations, even his slow teasing, “How’s . . . that . . . tea?” when it’s obvious I’ve let it grow cold in the mug yet again. Poor beverage management, he called it. How he could make us smile. He still does.

I think Brittany got her sense of humor from him, and it is serving her well at the moment. Here’s an old favorite shot of the two of them, matching dimples and all.

Brittany and her Papa – 1988  I’m guessing

And a few more, just because . . . 

Brittany and David – Disneyland – September 1988
Chelsea, Brittany and David at the top of Trail Ridge Road – 1991
Sunapee 1986 – Brittany holding the treasured Campfire marshmallows
Mexico 1996
David, Courtney and Brittany – Sunapee – September 1986

What a dad. What a man. 

At first I was thinking I should apologize for the poor quality of these ancient snapshots, but who cares?  They’re just place holders for the real memories, flashcards that bring up not only the facts of our shared life, but also a deep resonance of togetherness that doesn’t end when life on earth ends. How I thank God for that! 

*I promise to pass along any messages of support for Brittany you leave in the comments. Or you can look for her page on CaringBridge.org. Your thoughts and prayers are — and will continue to be — very much appreciated.