On March 9th, 2016 at approximately 2:45 AM, I said goodbye to my husband and best friend, Bruce Sanderson. He was my friend for over 22 years and my husband for 12. Without going into too much detail, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August of 2015 and while being treated for that, another cancer had taken hold and was working aggressively in the background. He was admitted to the hospital on March 1st, and was sent home for Hospice care on March 7th. The hospital bed that had been brought in sat square in the middle of our living room. As much as I would have liked to have put it in his ‘man cave’, it unfortunately would not fit.
During the time he was home, it was my responsibility and privilege to take care of him, administer his medication and watch over him. On the first night, I sat with him, alone in our living room in the wee hours of the morning, watching him sleep. Several thoughts came to mind during that time of quiet reflection and on the days that followed, so I decided to write them down. The end result is a compilation of the things I have learned about myself and life in general over the past two weeks.
I’ve learned that . . .
We may think we are not capable of doing certain things, but when God puts it in front of us and, if we pray first, He will see us through it.
Love is a strong bond that will cause people to go beyond what they believe they can do.
There is something besides an eight hour day. Sometimes days are measured every four hours around the clock.
The simplest things, like a dinner out with your husband and coffee afterward, are precious shared moments that are too soon gone.
What was once considered a daily routine can, under different circumstances, amount to a great victory.
Holding your loved one when they leave this earth and pass into eternity is a cherished and rare gift.
The prayers, love, support and encouragement from family, friends, and even those you don’t know, really do work.
Dogs feel the loss just as much as their humans do.
God will always find a way to speak to you and comfort you, be it through loved ones, strangers or a random turning of a page in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
2 A.M. messaging with one of your many ‘adopted’ children is a great comfort.
Even during the rawest moments, your children and grandchildren bring joy to your heart.
No amount of ‘if onlys’ will bring your loved one back.
Clearing out your own things is a lot easier than going through your loved one’s things and it is okay to wait as long as you need to.
I find myself still reeling from this sudden loss, expecting him to walk in the door or call at any time. Others are feeling the loss as well. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandpa, brother, son-in-law and great friend and he will be missed.
While at church on Palm Sunday, a sister in Christ came up to me and told me that there could be no better place to be than in Heaven during this Holy Season. This simple statement brought it all home. I know Bruce was a believer in Jesus Christ and he believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that is where I draw the most comfort of all.
Bruce is in a beautiful place where there is pure joy, no more pain and no more tears. My prayer for all of those who loved him is that they will come to know Jesus, start a relationship with him and develop and nurture that relationship. Then you can be certain that you will one day join Bruce and walk with him again, among the clouds.