Blind Curves

IMG_0616Oftentimes, my blogs compare travel routes to life experiences. Today’s is just the opposite.

Yesterday was a blind curve in my little trail in life. It started like every other: the morning ritual of rising,  Jim feeding the dogs, while I prepared a simple breakfast. Before the toast was all eaten or the first cup of tea finished, I was responding to his wordless, ominous stomping in the back hall: his alert to what proved, some hours later, to be an aortic aneurysm.

Within hours, breakfast chat about installing cove molding and dinner guests gave way to mid-day, potential final farewells. The aneurysm had effected a life-threatening dissection of his aorta. The detour resulting from that blind curve suddenly put us in a dark tunnel which permitted no luxury of space or time to let emotions veer right or left. Just make decisions. Take care of business. In the doctors frank words, death. Jim’s physical condition and need for surgery usurped all other thoughts or feelings begging for an opportunity to reel in my mind. Transferring to Cleveland for the surgery might be the last stop on our twenty three year journey together. Some day, of course. I know it’s part of the deal.

But today?

By midnight, after he had not only miraculously survived a weather-delayed transport to Cleveland Clinic, but also a four hour surgery, I confided to our dear friend, Sue, that sometimes the feelings are just too powerful to begin to face them. Right now, it’s all about him. How grateful I am that, as a young, artistic spirit, I was taught to be a stalwart son. Though weak or lacking in some virtues, gaining a degree of that one has seen me through the impossible precipices of the darker side of life. And love.


42 thoughts on “Blind Curves

  1. We are praying for Jim and sending our love- Lots and lots of love! Bruce, please know that we are thinking of you and your family right now. Please let us know when to visit and where he is located. Love

    • Thanks, Effie. He’s doing well now. I’ll tell Jim when her awakens from a nap. The best thing to do is call the Cleveland Clinic as he’ll be moved from one area to the next. Visitors or calls in a day or so will be welcome, I’m sure.

      • Bruce- our love and prayers are wtih you and Jim. please know we are here for you-Desiree

      • Oh my lovely, Bruce & Jim! My thoughts and love and most positive energy are with you. I’m so thrilled to read your post below that Jim is already doing better. I have to admit to choking back tears as best I could until I reached the end of your message – and saw a bit of light. Please give Jim my love. I see you both as these wonderfully creative father figures who opened my eyes at a young age to the beauty of art and music…our world needs you BOTH!

    • Bruce, – I am stunned. All of our prayers are with you. I believe completey in the power of prayer, as I know you do…you and Jim are truly lovely people, friends.. Thank God you are in the best place possible… Love, love,love Liz and Steve Arn

    • Bruce — I found out this morning from Sue — I have been thinking about you and Jim all day. What a shock – Steve and I send our love and prayers. Let me know when I can call – Love you both so much. xoxoBecky

  2. Bruce, while I don’t know YOU well, I definitely know the beauty of your soul and heart. You are one of the kindest, dearest people that I have ever known. And, of course, I think of you in every room of my house, as you touched each room to varying degrees. I have only met Jim once or twice, but it was clear how special he is – to you and, therefore, to us all. My prayers are with you and him. Know that I am sending love with each breath.

  3. Bruce, Jim and you are in my prayers. I had the privilege of singing under Jim when he was the conductor of the ASC, and I know what a wonderful man he is. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  4. Thank God Jim’s surgery went well and he is on-the-mend! Mike & I are praying for you both as will the entire congregation, together, tomorrow morning.

  5. Thinking about you both and praying for speedy recovery. We love you. Give Jim an extra hand squeeze for us.

    Em and Aaron

  6. Dear Bruce,
    I just wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Jim today!! Hugs to both of you!! Please keep us posted!!
    Pat Lehnhart and all your friends at Children’s Concert Society

  7. Just letting you know I am thinking about you two and send positive thoughts for a successful recovery .

  8. Bruce you express these profound truths so clearly and beautifully. Anyone who has been faced with this situation can instantly relate to your experience. God bless you for your strength of spirit, unflagging loyalty, and care for our beloved Jim.

  9. Bruce, I pray God will give you the patience to allow Jim to heal in His own time, not ours, and that He will grant you both the grace and strength you will need together through his recovery. My prayers will be with you both.

  10. You have all our prayers and all our love. This is such a shocking event. If there is anything we can or could do, please let us know. I will visit Jim as soon as he is allowed to have visitors.

  11. Bruce…we just read this and we are praying that Jim is going to be o.k. if there is anything we can do…please let us know…we will be keeping you in our prayers

  12. HI Bruce.
    wishing you strengths to bear this, I know what you must be going thru. Give Jim a big hug from me and mine.
    Sweet regards Jonna

  13. Bruce, please know that Katharine and I are both praying for you and Jim to get through this very serious illness. You are both in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. Beautiful words of art that remind us all to love more and appreciate each day given. Bruce and Jim are in the hearts and minds of the Firestone HS Choirs. Much music yet to be made!

  15. May God grant you an amazing peace in knowing that He’s got His hand in this situation. I pray that Jim heals quickly and that his health will be better than ever.

  16. Bruce: What a great picture of Jim! Sending warm wishes for a speedy recovery.


    Dave, Mary,Julie and Katie Borovicka

  17. Bruce & Jim,
    Peace, love and wellness to both of you in mind, body & spirit as I join your other wonderful and loving friends and family in prayers and meditation.

  18. I came into this in a way which felt like your “blind curve,” Bruce. I was having a lovely chat with Marya and the air chilled when she said, “You haven’t heard about Jim?. . .” Thank the gracious Lord that Jim is safe and you are generously sharing the news we so eagerly long to hear — even during your own challenges, Bruce. Know that our thoughts and prayers are supporting you both with MUCH LOVE! Suzanne

  19. Bruce,

    Our thoughts , prayers and quiet discussions over the last day have been filled with you and Jim. The speed at which a seemingly normal morning can turn into a life-threatening situation never ceases to alarm and awaken us to the fragility of life..our hearts are with you, as always

    R & L

  20. Bruce…a moment passes to the next and dreams are transformed into reality, and often in the next moment we are no longer in that dream, but standing in the stillness of our mortality. The love is the key to unlock the door from these dreams, the love which is eternal and connects you both here and beyond. Perhaps his journey will turn that corner first, or maybe yours. I know his spirit, and I have seen yours in your words and your work, and both are as real as the dawn’s rising, and as bright. Love is all that matters, and I am inspired by you both, and by your love for each other…Please give that big galoo a hug for me….I hope to be in your neighborhood this summer and would love to visit you two….peace and love to you both.

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