Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor
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08/07/06
“In the Garden…”
Filed under: General
Posted by: Dan @ 10:00 pm

Sandy died at 3:30 pm today.  She went peacefully and with no pain. I was in bed by her side, holding her hand. Her breath slowed and she gave the softest sigh, and she was gone.

For the past couple of months I had been reading the book “The Secret Garden” to her occassionally. It is one of her favorite books, and I had never read it before. This morning at around 6am I started reading the final chapters to her. Something compelled me to finish the book.About three hours later, we finished — a perfect book for me to read right now. She must have planned it that way — so many messages for us in those final pages. As I read the last words, I looked at her laying in bed next to me. A faint smile passed across her face and then a tear fell from one eye. I knew she had heard every word, and it was her spirit that made me finally finish the book.

There is a line near the end of the book when a little boy discovers the magic of the garden… “I shall live forever… and ever… and ever…”

Sandy shall live forever in all of our hearts.
And she will be gathering our tears to water the garden.

Good night my love… and sweet dreams,
Dan

40 Responses to ““In the Garden…””

  1. Sue Button Says:
    Dan, Thank you for sharing your heart, your spirit, your love and your strength. I have been so moved and inspired by your story. We have never met but I am a friend of Leslie Brown’s. Sincerely, Sue Button
  2. Lorray Says:
    Dan, thanks so much for sharing Sandy with us and the story that unfolded between the two of you. I met Sandy back in September 2003 at the brain tumor meeting with Mary in Wenatchee. My husband died on 2-5-04 at the age of 38 from gbm. We both were able to meet Sandy at that meeting. She was a wonderful person. I was able to see her one other time but that was it. Please take care of yourself. Lorray
  3. HAWM Says:
    Here’s the song from tonight: “I see the moon, the moon sees me; the moon sees the one that I long to see; So God Bless the moon, and God Bless me, and God Bless the one that I long to see. It seems to me that God above, created you for me to love; He picked you out from all the rest; Because he knew I loved you best. I had a heart forever true, But it left me and went to you; So guard it well as I have done; For you have two and I have none. I see the moon, the moon sees me; the moon sees the one that I long to see; So God Bless the moon, and God Bless me, and God Bless the one that I long to see.” - Good night our sweethearts on this full moon. With love, Heather and Pat
  4. Fred Carani Says:
    My lasting memory of Sandy is of her dancing and smiling at the winery concert. Peace and love to all her family and friends. Fred
  5. Janet Says:
    Dan,Thank you so much for all that you have shared.The love you and Sandy had and shared with us is such a good example of what love is all about.I can’t thank you enough for letting us go along on this very special and personal journey with you and Sandy.Talk about being teachers you two taught all of us so many life lessons.I know I am a better person because of the lessons you and Sandy have taught me.Thanks again.Love, Janet
  6. PJ Says:
    Her Light now shines down on us this hospice patient of mine who died today And her flowers bloom in the gardens of her life and home and bring us sad joy that she is finally free to roam
  7. PJ Says:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pjsixft/sets/72157594225551732/ I was Sandy’s hospice nurse and Dan gave me permission to take some pictures of her space that blessed her so. I would like to share them here in honor of her WONDERFUL spirit that has been released to fly higher than her body has allowed her to fly these past many years and months. She was a blessing to my life and my career here as a hospice nurse.
  8. Marshall & Betty West Says:
    Thank you Dan and Sandy for sharing the journey with us. I can only hope that we provided you with some kind of support during this time. I will always remember how full of life she was last June when I saw you in downtown Leavenworth and she was in her jogging suit and getting a newspaper. Someone once said, “It’s not how many days you have in the rest of your life to life, it’s how much life you put into each day for the rest of your life”. That says it all about Sandy! Marshall
  9. Leslie Brown Says:
    Hi Dan - We are thinking of you especially today and the days to come. Thank you for sharing, what incredible story of love. You and Sandy have impacted me in more ways that you will know. Susie says that she is now with Grandma Ruby having a Gin and Tonic! Leslie and Judd Brown
  10. Margi Peterson Says:
    I can picture Sandy stolling in God’s lush green garden hand in hand with Jesus along the river of life. Sandy was an amazing person and she lives still with the one who created her and loves her with His life. I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to comfort Sandy’s family and loved ones now with His soft and tender peace that passes all earthly understanding. May God be with you in a powerful way during this difficult time.
  11. Anonymous Says:
    Our angel for the underdogs has gone home. We will miss you Sandy. Until we meet again…..
  12. Susie Says:
    We shall carry on and make Sandy proud of us. We love you Dan. Love, Susie
  13. Deb & Don Says:
    Dear Dan, Cameron and your Families, We are so saddened to hear about Sandy. We are thinking of you and wishing you peace. We know that Sandy is once again laughing, dancing and giving us that beautiful smile of hers - just from a different place. We are so thankful to have had her enter our lives - even for a short time. Her beauty, kindness and free-spirit will be her legacy to all of us. Thank you Sandy for sharing yourself to us. We will never forget… All our Love…D2
  14. Anne and Andre Nowacki Says:
    Sweet, gentle, caring, loving, smiling Sandy. Loving family staying with you, and loving husband’s warmth and touching right beside you. A vision of the garden of love, meaning and influence you have planted that will live on and on. It is hard to imagine a gentler passing and we are grateful, for your sake, for Dan’s and for all the people who care so deeply about you.
  15. stephanie and luke Says:
    Dan, You and Sandy will always be together, your love so strongly binding you. The following is something that I received after my sister died and it really makes me think of Sandy and her Friendship Garden. The Secret Garden is my all time favorite book and will now be even more special. God Bless. Love,Stephanie “The earth is my sister. I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved i am. how we admire the strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know. We are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget, what she is to me, what I am to her.” The earth will help us. There is such strength in the ground, the trees, the water. The air we breathe washes over us with new life. Water is drawn into the atmosphere and returns to fill rivers and streams. The mountains rise up, are worn away, and rise again. On the high tundra, tiny flowers bloom unseen. The cycle of the seasons is alive with the promise of rebirth. Creation is a mystery, and so is death. But there are clues, and promises. We are children of God.
  16. Kellee Bradley Says:
    Dear Dan, Words can’t express the mixture of sadness and joy that I feel. Sadness that she has flown away but joy in knowing that she finally met her angels and her light still shines, and I am better person for knowing her. I will remember her not as she was last Saturday when I said goodbye but as I remember her sitting around the fire with a glass of red wine in her hand and that perpetual glow that surrounded her. You were right…her light is in all of us and the light is love and hope. My love to you and Cam, Kellee
  17. Angie Jester Says:
    Sandy’s story has moved me. If I could only possess an ounce of her strength and determination. Her story helps me put life in perspective and once again I’m reminded that life is all about relationships. Thanks for your willingness to share your love for each other. I will pray for you Dan, as a new journey begins for both of you.
  18. Hank & Ruth Says:
    Dear Dan - Thank you so much for allowing us to share this journey with you. While we were reading your entry, a bird flew into the window in front of our desk and we went out to check on it - it’s eyes were open, a little dazed so we picked it up and set it among the branches of the Fir Tree next to the feeder and thought “This is something Sandy would have done…” We will never plant a flower, enjoy a rainstorm, feed the birds or look up into our comforting mountains without thinking of her. She will never be far away from you…. Love from Hank and Ruth
  19. Kathy Bowman Says:
    “Blessings, Dan, in what form they take for you. My sorrow and joy for the beauty of the life you shared and shared with us.”
  20. Tim Gartland Says:
    Dear Dan, Friends of Sandy Beardsley, Gig Harbor Chapter shall remain an ongoing concern, ready to serve the needs and wishes of those she knew and loved. That means you my friend. You and all her loved ones are in our hearts and prayers. Tim and Kimberly
  21. Donna Nylander Says:
    Dear Dan….you and and your Sandy have been an incredible beacon of love and strength to your family and friends….And now…may there be a deep and restful peace for her. Donna
  22. Rose Auvil Says:
    Dan, Thank you for so eloquently sharing the journey that you and Sandy have shared. It is a love story that has touch so many lives. Our prayers rest on you now … for strength. May the depth of your loss be filled with the spirit of love that the two of you shared. Sandy’s smile will always be ever present in your memory for you to visit whenever you need. Please ask for help when you need it — there are many who are willing to give! Thank you for making this a journey of education - Sandy was a true teacher!
  23. jkw Says:
    Dan this has been quite a journey tht you and Sandy have shared with us. I am so humbled to be able to say that I was some small part of it. Remembering the evening at the winery will always be a treasured memory. Of the two of you starting the dancing and of both of your radiant smiles. I wish you, Cameron, and the rest of Sandys’ family and friends peace. Sending you all positive thoughts, prayers and Love.
  24. Barb & Cot Says:
    Our thoughts are with you Dan as always. You KNOW that you made her journey the best anyone could possibly ever hope for. She WILL “Rest In Peace.” For me personally, when I think of Sandy, it’s always picturing her at the garage sale we did together! We were so busy, and in watching, I often thought that she “gave” more than she “got”. She swore she wasn’t going to return anything back inside the house. She was true to her word. As I started to go home on the last day, a lot of the unsold items had been snuck into my car! Now I have to have a sale! God speed, Sandy. We love you.
  25. Carol St.Pierre Says:
    Dan and Cameron, My name is Carol St.Pierre, I have never left a message here before, but tonight I just had to. I first found this website four and a half years ago when my husband was diagnosed out of the blue with a brain tumor. Sandy was my hero, I checked in many times for updates. I laughed and cried right along with you, I am heartbroken for you both….. I know this is silly but I feel like I have lost a good friend. Please accept my most sincere and heartfelt sympathy at this sad and difficult time. Love, Carol St.Pierre
  26. merry Says:
    To Dan and Cameron and all the members of your family, we are grateful for the love and support you have given Sandy. She was blessed by all of you. God give you strength and comfort and fill you with beautiful memories. Know that there are many to hold your hands. Shalom, Merry and Joe
  27. Elizabeth and Francis Brown Says:
    We are so touched and moved by what a courageous and loving family you are. We have never met, but we are friends of Pat and Eric and and we have been following your posts. We have laughed with you and cried with you. Dan and Cameron, our hearts go out to you both, and we wish for you strength and comfort. Blessings, Elizabeth and Francis
  28. Caryn O'Connor Says:
    Since words are just not coming to me right now here is something Sandy wrote in her journal (Chapter 4) about her loving husband Dan. My Rock My husband has helped more than words can express. He has been my rock. He has supported me and held me and listened and been with me through every step. This journey had made us grow even stronger and have an even deeper bond. He took over calling insurance companies when I was exhausted with it all. He became the communicator for all family and friends. He wrote e-mails and helped me create a letter to coworkers when I returned to work, so that they were given accurate information. Most of all he made me realize that I’m not alone. We are a team and though I have to fight some of this alone, he is beside me. Dan and Sandy are angels and now she is watching over all of us from heaven. After hearing this very sad news today my good friend Sue at work went to the book store on her lunch this afternoon and purchased “The Secret Garden” for me. I am going to start reading it tonight. If anyone out there would like to read it after I’m finished I would be more than happy to mail it to you! If I get a lot of requests I will send the list to the first person on the list and then they can mail it on. Please write a message in the book in memory of Sandy. My email is: luv2hike@hotmail.com Good night.
  29. Nancy and Brett, Finn and Stella Says:
    Dear Dan, Cameron and family, Our most sincere sympathy and admiration to you and your family. You have shown grace and strength throughout this journey that is an example for the rest of us to live by. Sandy’s legacy will be a challenge to us all to enjoy life to its fullest, and find grace in whatever comes our way. Thank you for sharing your path, it has been an inspiration to more than you could ever imagine. Thank you for that gift, and hopefully you will feel the support and love that is sent your way. With fond memories and admiration. Nancy, Brett, Finn and Stella
  30. Donna Nylander Says:
    THE WORLD IS LESS BEAUTIFUL, BECAUSE SANDY NO LONGER LIVES……. BUT…. THE WORLD IS MORE BEAUTIFUL, BECAUSE SHE DID LIVE…….. Thank you, Dan
  31. Gail DeGrave Says:
    To Dan and Cameron Blessings and strength to you in these next few days and weeks. You have all lived with such intensity and loving. Thank you again for your generousity in sharing your lives. I think it takes such courage to put yourselves in the open for us to learn and feel your humanness and thus ours. Sandy radiated love and concern and I am glad to have known her the small but impactful amount that I did. To Sandy and you, forever…and ever…and ever. Caring, Gail
  32. Familia Lopez-Medina Says:
    Estimado Dan y Cameron, Primeramente les queremos dar las gracias por dar a otros familias las fuerzas y esperanza. Se que este viaje a estado dificil. Solo uno que lo pasa puede saber lo que es sentir esto. Su familia a tocado a muchas familias. Fue un placer conoser a Sandy Que dios este con ustedes. Nuestro Mayor Pesame! Un dia ala Vez!!
  33. anonymous Says:
    “I believe in the influence of silent and radiant people. Such people are rare. They, nevertheless, give savor to the world.” Marius Grout
  34. Anna and Lee Says:
    Dan and Sandy, To us you are one and always will be, so I have to write it this way one more time. So many beautiful moments shared. May they be as much comfort to you as they are inspiration to us. Our thoughts and hearts are with you. Two strong hugs. Your neighbors, Anna and Lee
  35. BB for MJB Says:
    So many hearts broken with this news and yet peace is with Sandy and her joy remains. You will find it when you least expect it. Her legacy will be courage, smiles, joy, wisdom, spirit and generosity. Her presence may go away for a while but have no doubt it will come back in many ways to ease the void and seek to make you whole again. Godspeed the many hearts healing. Dan,Cameron and family, thank you and so much for sharing your riches.
  36. kmd Says:
    I have followed your journey since my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor almost 2 years ago. Tears fill my eyes as I write to tell you that I have been moved by your journal and the courage and strength Sandy and your family have shown. My thoughts and prayers are with your family in the difficult days ahead. Thank you for sharing your story.
  37. Tracy Ismert Says:
    Sandy, Please say hello to my brother John. and now yours, who is out there in the universe looking after us and helping us to try and live a life with out our loved ones. Dan, please know that you are in my thoughts now and forever. Tracy ( Burlingame CA0
  38. susan peterson Says:
    Dan, Cameron and family– Sandy will continue to be with you and all of us now in the rays of sunshine & rainbows, and in the warmth & caring from friendship and love. Thank you, for giving our family strength and grace to face our own illness and battles. We can Livestrong. You have taught us well, thank you & God bless.
  39. Barb Kelly Says:
    I rode my bike down Wilson Street by your house last Monday, to send my LiveStrong wishes and my blessings. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Near your house I felt a couple of gentle but strong gusts of wind. I thought of Sandy and what a gift she has been to us. It must have been her spirit as it was about 1/2 hour after her passing away. She will be missed but remembered in the gentle winds and the warmth of a sunny day…She will be remembered in so many ways. My heart goes out to all. I also wanted to share with you how much you were thought about at the CoffeeHouse Summer Music Festival. Kellee Bradley and Dan Maher, with audience singback, heartfully sang “I’ll Fly Away”. “I’ll fly away oh Lordie, I’ll fly away. When this life is over by and by, I’ll fly away” Sandy is flying in the wind. Our blessings, Barb, Jayson, Kieran, and Aidan
  40. Ruth Miller Says:
    Dan, I’m so sorry to hear about Sandy. Your website is very moving - such a wonderful way to share. Our prayers are with you. Ruth and Bob Miller.

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