HOW OUR BLOG BEGAN, in AUGUST 2010: As many of you know, Phil has been struggling with a very complex series of neurological issues for about 5 years. This past spring, the issues became especially intense as a result of an unexpected cognitive decline and a fall on May 15th that resulted in a head injury and further decline. And then, on July 16th things catapulted to unbelievable, as Phil suffered from a severe "electrical storm" in his brain that essentially created a status of brain death for two full days. Inexplicably, the very morning that neurologists and other medical team members were planning removal of life support, Phil began breathing on his own and his brain waves returned to a stable, while still abnormal, level. Since then, each day has been a unique journey. And while he and his body continue to demonstrate a will and capacity to live, he continues to have severe deficits and it is quite uncertain as to the path he will take. As loved ones close in can attest to, it has been tricky to keep up emotionally with all of his changes, and provide the needed support. We can only imagine the hard work Phil has gone through as his brain has taken him through such roller coaster experiences. It is our goal here to keep family and close friends apprised of Phil's ongoing story, and to build connections that honor him.

AND THEN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010....Dad's remarkable journey alongside us culminated in a gentle, generous death.

And so, my goal here now as his daughter is simply this: to record snippets...pieces of his life that my memory offers back to me, pieces of myself as I learn to live without a dad. I hope all who meander by find life, and hope, and peace.

Friday, September 3, 2010

maybe daniel's onto something

so, i check into the blog before heading out to see dad this morning.  i note that daniel's taken a moment to address my sadness that he and jonathan will end up with so much less of dad than cheryl and i had (see sept 2nd "family love, again").  turns out he feels dad's presence every time he goes to class.  i don't know if he's just trying to make me feel better, but it works, sort of.  but still, i think, how does HE know?  you can't know to miss what you didn't have, right?

well, then tonight i run into these photos.  suddenly i'm struck by the sense that maybe cheryl and i don't know what WE were missing.  true, we got a dad who was in the height of his military career, and loving it.  but daniel and jb got a dad who was there everyday, to teach them the little things.  an axe here, a snapper there.  having an older dad may mean you spend more of your adulthood without a dad physically by your side.  but, from the look of these photos, it seems like dad made good use of his retirement time.  seems he treasured these boys, up close.  Hands on.  If time is love, perhaps all of us phil bruce kids are doing okay.

good night all.  xox k.


  1. those are lovely photos! And for the record, I think you *can* miss what you don't know if you see it happening for someone else. In some cases, "Less is more" and "quality is better than quantity." Cliche, but asi es la vida. The Lord gave your father to you all, and gave you all to your father, at just the right times, and only He knows why.

    I guess parent age will benefit their kids differently at different stages in the parents' lives.... Mike is 40 now, and his kids are 17 and 14... and I have thought about his age affecting our being able to be "good" parents... (hi age, not *mine*) but he assures me that being an older parent would be fine, perhaps easier, because of the wisdom and experience. I guess I'll have to have a child to know.

    Either way, if we do, I pray that my kid(s) will have the bonds with their brothers (my step sons) that you have with your little bros.

    Praying that today is filled with love, insight, and peace.

  2. *correction: "HIS age, not *MINE.*

  3. i do know that when dad learned that he was going to be a new father for the second time around (he was 40 at the time), he prayed and asked God that he could live to see his child become an adult. i always thought that was a little strange, as "of course!" -- it's nearly a given that people live well past their 60s these days. Perhaps his prayer is the reason he didn't pass right away when this disease process began 5 years ago.

    i can only imagine that this is a perfect age for you and mike. you both are in such a great place. and you have each other now. marriage takes a few years to get adjusted; now you've passed that. Perfect age. now we just wait for God's perfect time. xox and thank you agaijn for your courage to come visit dad despite your fears that your emotions would carry you away. i could tell dad was glad for a visitor. if only he could know how much you care about him and his medical journey! xox


    Just wanted to share a post I wrote on my blog dealing with some of my thoughts as I process the events of this past summer.

  5. d, just love it. thanks for letting everyone here know about it. definitely worth the all your posts are. can you PLEASE start telling your friends that you're in the blogosphere? or maybe i'll just loan my peop's to you! your writing is just too good to pass up.