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Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

In case you don't read my posts on MovableAssets (um . . . why not? 😉), I wanted to be sure you had the link for the slideshow that was shown at the Celebration of Life for David. Plus, we added the goofy videos of David, which we showed along with the slideshow at the reception at our house. It's a YouTube video now, thanks to Matt Anderson, worship pastor at our church: https://youtu.be/z0MdVu9fkqI Thanks, again, Matt!

Be sure to keep watching at the end of the slideshow. There will be twenty seconds of the last photo (black and white). Then the videos will start right after that. You'll have to read the latest MoveableAssets post for more explanation of the videos. Some people read both these posts and those, so I don't want to repeat myself here.

A big warm thank you to everyone who has sent cards, emails, messages, blog comments, and especially many, many thanks to all who were able to come to the Celebration of Life, whether or not you were able to join us at the reception. I couldn't believe how many traveled from so far. I and the rest of the family felt so loved and supported. We were touched by your presence, your memories of David, even the blue you wore at my request in honor of David and his fabulous, cheerful blue shirts. It was an evening I will never forget. Bless you!


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Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

Just a reminder: The Celebration of Life for David will be 4:00 p.m. on Friday the 19th at the Council Tree Covenant Church, 4825 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins, 80525, with reception to follow at our house. Thank you to all of you who have let me know you're coming. It's not too late, and I promise it is helpful to me, so please click here http://davidcelebrationoflife.rsvpify.com if you haven't already. 

Also, I was told out-of-towners know five more rooms have been added to the Bridge block of rooms at the Marriott, in case you tried and they were all taken. Also, I have had a number of offers of guest rooms in friends' homes. If you prefer that option, let me know and I'll get contact info to you. Here's the info and link for the Marriott:
Bridge Memorial

Start date: 1/18/18
End date: 1/21/18
Last day to book: 1/17/18

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

·  Fort Collins Marriott  for 79.00 USD  per night
Book your group rate for Bridge Memorial  

Last, but certainly not least, my apologies to my Council Tree church family. I know I was a hot mess Sunday. It was really too soon for me to try to be among so many people. I'm afraid I felt a bit like I showed up without my skin--too fragile, too raw--so hugs were torture and even eye contact was awkward. I hope you didn't feel too rebuffed. I know you all meant well and I really do appreciate your kindness. 

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

The obituary for David is in today's (Sunday) Coloradoan, and a number of family members have mentioned they'd like a copy. If anyone (here in Fort Collins, obviously) happens to have today's Coloradoan and can pass it along to me when you're finished, it would be appreciated. It's also online at coloradoan.com for those who are not local, but I do understand the desire for the physical copy when possible, so let me know if you can pass yours along to us. 

Thank you in advance!

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

Since David made me promise to do this right, it would really help to get a preliminary count. If you could click on this link to leave us an RSVP, we would really appreciate it. If in doubt, say yes. We'd much rather have leftovers than not enough.


That said, please do feel free to come even if you discover at the last minute you are available, even without an RSVP. Thank you once again!

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Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

Just wanted to make sure everyone had the info they needed for booking lodging for the celebration of life. Also Courtney suggested I mention that if you prefer not to rent a car in Denver at the airport, Green Ride runs a shuttle from the airport to all the Fort Collins Marriotts. The one you want is "Full Service," the one at 350 East Horsetooth Road (not the Marriott Courtyard or the Marriott Residence Inn). Then you can Uber to wherever you want to go in Fort Collins.

Here's the link. Again don't be fooled by the great price. This is a nice Marriott, I promise. 

Bridge Memorial

Start date: 1/18/18
End date: 1/21/18
Last day to book: 1/17/18

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

·  Fort Collins Marriott  for 79.00 USD  per night

Book your group rate for Bridge Memorial  

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

I wish I didn't have to tell you that David took his final earthly breath just before 4 p.m. yesterday, the 27th of December. His struggle is over, and as wrenching as it is to be without him, I have to be glad for that, as the final couple of nights were distressing for him. Fortunately, his last day was very peaceful, with soft piano and guitar Christmas music playing, and dear ones in and out all day to remind him how much he's loved, and of course I was with him all day. Where else would I be? In classic David style, when it was time to go, he didn't linger. A couple of irregular breaths and he was gone.   

I am so grateful that he was still here with us for Christmas and gifted us with a few treasured smiles. Best of all for me, David and I had a few perfect moments together on the evening of the 26th. During this entire sixteen months, whenever I didn't know what to say, I'd say, "I love you" or "I love you to the moon and back" or "I love you to infinity and beyond" or "I will love you forever." Even when his voice was a mere whisper, he would say back, "Love you." Until the 26th. He was finally comfortably installed in the hospital bed and it was just the two of us quietly together. Even though he was clearly listening and I felt he was very much with me, he was not replying. When I got a bit teary and mentioned that he wasn't saying "love you" anymore, he immediately tipped his head up, opened his eyes wide, looking directly into my eyes, and said, strong and clear, "I love you very much, for all time." It was the last complete thing he said. 

I have spent my entire adult life to this point with this dear man, so he is forever a part of me, and our daughters as well. He touched lives far and wide. He will be remembered. And we believe we'll meet again in God's perfect presence. So we say to David, Beloved, "Au revoir" as the French say, until we see each other again. Never good-bye. 

**If you can, please join us for a Celebration of David's Life on Friday evening, January 19, 2018, at 4 p.m. at Council Tree Covenant Church, 4825 South Lemay Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525. I'm hoping you'll wear blue if you can. Wonderful, bright, cheery, tropical blues, just like David loved wearing. No pressure, but what a treat that would be in the middle of January, as we celebrate the joy he brought to our lives.

There will be a reception at our house directly afterward (just a few minutes from the church--address/directions will be available at the service and a shuttle will be running back and forth from the church for those who don't want to try to park on our tiny street). I can assure you there will be lots of food and wine, just as David made me promise to do. Ever the consummate host.

For any coming from out of town, there are discounted rooms available at the Marriott, 350 E Horsetooth Rd, Fort Collins (also quite close to our house), 970-226-5200. Ask for the Bridge block of rooms, price should be $79. (One of Chelsea's good friends is a manager, so she's very kindly giving us a great rate for a very nice Marriott. Thank you, Kasie.)

Hope to see you in a few weeks. Until then, thank you once again for . . . well, everything. You lightened our load. You brightened our days. You lifted us up. Many, many blessings to all of you. 

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

Thank you, thank you to the many kind volunteers for the bed-moving project, but we were able to manage it with family muscle and ingenuity. The hospital bed arrived just in time yesterday. David has declined over the past few days, in both strength and mental clarity, and last night took a dramatic turn for the worse. The hospice nurse was just here and predicts only one to three days more, but says he actually could go at any time.

As of this morning he will have liquid meds every two hours around the clock, which should be easier to administer and keep him more evenly medicated. The pain has been well managed, but the agitation coupled with confusion has been troubling the past couple of nights. He is resting peacefully at the moment, so I wanted to give you this update and release those on call for the furniture shifting.

Our daughters are here, and David's brother Doug arrives within the hour. So I have all the physical help I need, and a great deal of moral support, but would really appreciate prayer support. It is a heartbreaking time. At the same time, for his sake, I would not wish this stage prolonged.

Just received a text from a friend with these words, "Praying that our God and Savior will plant the peace that passes understanding deeply within all of you as the veil between this world and His Kingdom thins for a homecoming for David. May His presence be astonishingly noticeable." I didn't even know this friend had my cell number, as our paths cross rarely these days, yet these were the exact words I needed to hear at this moment. I love how God works. 

Aside from the obvious injustice of cancer cutting a beloved life short, in another blessing, the timing is as good as it could be -- family here for Christmas, and this is the week (between Christmas and New Year's) that we always close the business, so all my attention can be on David. 

I do not expect to write another update until he's gone, so for now thank you dear ones for all the support in so many ways throughout this sixteen month odyssey. You have been the hands and arms and feet of God to us. Bless you.

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

As of today, it has been six weeks and one day since home hospice began, so we are celebrating David outliving Dr. McFarland's prediction that David would last four to six weeks. David is still not quite ready to throw in the towel. It now seems probable that he will be with us for Christmas and not that outrageously optimistic to think that he will be with us to see the new year. What a gift every one of these extra days is!

He is certainly getting weaker and his steps are small and slow, but he's not bedridden. The other day he expressed an interest in getting out to see some Christmas lights, and at first, it seemed too ambitious, but I finally decided I'd be brave enough to attempt it as long as I had someone with me. Chelsea came over, and we slowly, carefully got him as far as the living room and onto a rolling desk chair. We were wheeling him toward the front door, again slowly, with many requested stops, when he decided he'd rather just appreciate OUR Christmas lights and not struggle to get out to the car. We helped him to one of the couches and put on some Christmas music at his request and had a truly lovely evening. It didn't even feel like failure. It felt like victory, because we'd figured it out and could have gone, but he was even more content being home, and what a treat it was to be able to sit on the couch with him, holding his hand. A year and a half ago, I had no idea how much I could appreciate something as simple as that.

He still prefers to spend the bulk of his day in the wing chair next to the bed rather than in the bed. We both understand the next step will be to bring in a hospital bed, but for now our bed is a crazy mountain range. There's a large wedge to allow David to sleep semi-upright to help with his breathing, and a smaller wedge to elevate his swollen feet and ankles, and in the past few days even the level spot between the two has been a bit too high for him when he tries to get into bed. So I took the 2" memory foam from his side of the bed and folded it over onto my side, which means I now sleep on a high butte of 4" of memory foam overlooking his hills and valleys. As long as he can get in and out of bed unaided we won't have to make the change, but it is probably not much more than a week away, if that, so I am savoring being able to reach out in the middle of the night to touch his shoulder or hold his hand.

We'll take advantage of some family muscle right after Christmas to shift a few things a bit in preparation for the hospital bed. We may need a few more hands if we're going to budge our massive king bed without taking it completely apart, so if you happen to be local, extremely buff, and willing to help for half an hour or so, do let me know. 

I loved these closing lines from some friends' Christmas letter, so in case you may too, I'm going to offer you the same blessing: "May the God of hope, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, illuminate your hearts this season and ground you and yours with the peace, hope and love that was born unto us that Christmas night so long ago." 

Wishing all you dear ones the very best this holiday season!

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

As of yesterday, it's been five weeks since home hospice began, and David is still reasonably stable. He's a bit less steady on his feet and continues to sleep much of each day, but we are able to enjoy a few moments together here and there. We have temporarily moved a small TV into the bedroom, and sometimes in the evening we'll watch Hallmark Christmas movies together, something for which he would have had ZERO patience or interest before. But since he doesn't have breath to talk much, it is at least some time spent together. If I just sit and look at him, I tend to end up weeping, so improbable plots and happily-ever-afters seem a better option.

Since he is still strong enough to get himself out of bed and into the chair or occasionally into the next room, and he is still eating and drinking (mostly Ensure and the occasional Harry & David super-ripe pear), the hospice nurse agrees that he does not seem to be in his final days. Final weeks, yes, but he may actually once again outlive expectations and make it to Christmas. No guarantee, of course, so we stay focused on and grateful for each new day.

I've always hated when terrible things happen at Christmas, but in the midst of a time of prayer and meditation the other day, I had this realization: I actually really appreciate the fact that at this difficult time, I'm in the midst of twinkling lights, holiday cheer, timeless music, and heartwarming movies. So I'm going to soak them in and savor every minute I can. 

As always, dear ones, we are also so very grateful for all of you -- the cards, the comments here, the food, the errands, the flowers, the group of carolers! What a touching treat that was. Bless you all! Thank you for continuing to keep us in your hearts and prayers as we travel this hard bit of road together.

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

Just a quick update to let you know David continues to do reasonably well and provides joy to all of us more often than you would expect. Our girls, plus one fiance, plus David's mom, plus two brothers and one sister-in-law began arriving last Tuesday, and the final few head home tomorrow. It has been a bittersweet time, but very good to be together.

Tomorrow be will three weeks since home hospice began (with the doctor's estimate of four to six weeks left and the hospice nurse's first impression of two to four weeks). But my impression is he's actually been doing better these past few days than a week ago. Although he spends the bulk of his time either in bed or in the chair next to the bed, he actually managed to come out to the living room the other evening and had us all laughing, as has been his way for as long as we all can remember. What a gift that was.

The hospice nurse agrees that he's currently doing better than she expected, but of course, we are taking it one day at a time. As always, we are so grateful for every single day.

Thank you, thank you, for all the touching comments here on CaringBridge, not to mention the cards arriving in the mail, the emails, the flowers, the wine on the doorstep, the Hello Fresh meals arriving to keep me from going hungry, all so very much appreciated. You are all treasured dear ones to us both.

Journal entry by SUNNY BRIDGE

I know it says, "David Bridge: Author" on the home page, but for now I'll be doing the authoring. I will see if I can get David to add a message now and then.

In case you didn't get Thursday's email, our life of adventure has taken a sudden and difficult turn. Here's the preliminary background info, which was originally part of an email sent to the prayer chain at church:

Some of you may have heard that David is in the hospital. Scary as the threat of blood clot(s) that sent us to the ER Wednesday evening, the actual news was even worse. Yes, there are multiple clots in his lungs and in his lower legs, but during the CT scan, other even more serious problems were noted. His pancreas is enlarged, and is possibly the origin of a metastatic cancer, multiple lesions were noted in his liver and various other places--we're not completely clear about everything yet. Anyway, not good.

The clots are being managed, and a needle biopsy of one or more of the lesions in his liver was done midday Thursday. Latest word is that the cells do appear to be cancer cells, as expected, but the origin of the cancer and the stage are yet to be determined. We expect to hear on Monday. Crazy as it sounds, we're hoping for colon cancer, since that's the most manageable of the three probable diagnoses. Or if not that, then the "better" version of pancreatic cancer. We'll let you know.

David was almost allowed to go home this afternoon, but he had some pain near the biopsy site after his first hallway stroll, and it was decided to keep him in the hospital for another night, just to be sure all is well, and the transition from the IV blood thinner to the injections has been managed. Since they are 12-hour intervals, it has actually worked to our advantage to delay until 6:30 in the evening. The original 2 p.m. / 2 a.m. schedule was not terribly appealing. Anytime you can avoid having to set an alarm to wake up and inflict and/or experience pain, that's a bonus. We're appreciating bonuses wherever we can find them at the moment. 

Another bonus is that the doctors, nurses, and support staff have all been wonderful. David, most of the time, has been able to be his usual joking self, and we already feel we have friends here at the hospital. We are certainly aware that this will be a whole new journey and we are just getting started. Your continued prayer and messages of hope will be very much appreciated.

Specifically, please pray for the doctors’ skillful diagnosis and attention to detail, wisdom for all of us to know the best next steps, healing for David, of course, and peace and comfort for all of us, including our daughters, Courtney, Brittany, and Chelsea. 

Thank you for your overwhelming love and support. We've had so many warm and encouraging emails and texts, we can't begin to answer them individually. We are trying to stay in the present moment, and not waste a lot of energy fearing the future, but we are still not quite up for phone calls or visits. Thank you for your continued understanding. -- With love and gratitude, David and Sunny


DAVID’s Story
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. In short: After some weeks / months of low energy, increasing shortness of breath, and lingering discomfort, a blood test revealed an imminent risk of blood clot which sent us immediately to the ER.  While there, a CT scan revealed multiple clots in his lungs, an enlarged pancreas and multiple lesions in his liver and possibly other places as well. This has now been confirmed to be stage 4 pancreatic cancer, specifically adenocarcinoma. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.