The Good News and the Bad News


Been gone for a long time, as you may already have figured out.

For a while, I just didn’t feel like blogging. No inspiration, nothing new to say, an absence of curiosity.

Then, about three weeks ago, my mother called from California. For seven years she’d been battling cancer, beating the odds several times over, including a rare instance of spontaneous remission.

She said she had good news and bad news.

The good news was that she’d had successful surgery to correct a cataract, and she was able to see well for the first time in many years.

The bad news: she’d seen her oncologist the previous day, and instead of giving her the usual pep talk, he wept as he told her she had two months to live, at the most.

My wife and I spent a few days organizing, calling family, washing clothes, packing, making motel reservations, having the car checked. One week after Mom called, we hit the road.

Last Friday we pulled off the highway in Mojave, California, and gave my sister a call.

In tears, she said, “We lost her.”

Mom had let go of her physical body some time between Thursday night and Friday morning, while we were either in Utah or Nevada. For a long time she’d refused pain medication, wanting to remain coherent for one last visit with her son… but the pain had increased to the point where she was in constant suffering, and her husband, bless his heart, finally talked her into taking morphine. On Thursday the 24th of January, he started administering the drug every two hours, giving her the last shot at about 11:30 p.m. When he found her Friday morning, she had not moved from the position she’d been in the previous night — leading my stepfather to believe that she may have been gone when he administered that last dose.

I’m very sad that I was not able to visit with my mother one last time, but I knew that she was not interested in lingering once her doctors had given up. I also am grateful that she was spared additional pain and suffering simply to chat with me. We’d already said what needed to be said, and had made great strides the past few years in healing old emotional wounds, such that I am very much content with our relationship before she died.

We held a memorial service this past Friday, one week after she passed. Her little Disciples of Christ church was filled past capacity, with many of her friends and family traveling long distances to say goodbye. That’s when I let go of my tears, which had to happen at some point. Funerals are frequently bittersweet occasions, and this one was no different. Bitter because we’re having to let go of a loved one. Sweet because we all come together in expressions of love and longing, bowing to an experience that escapes no one.

If you’re reading this, Mom… I really do feel your presence now and forever.

Thanks for bringing me into this world, and for helping me stay alive all this time.

Thanks also for showing me the meaning of Faith.

As tough and resilient as you always were, your soft heart always beamed out, there for anyone with eyes to see.


19 thoughts on “The Good News and the Bad News

  1. Jeff says:

    My condolences.

  2. Hawk Sr. says:

    Your words demonstrate life through death. Feel our spirits with yours.

  3. Sorry for your loss, Bro.
    We’re sending loving vibes your way.

    Peace Love & Light,

  4. Ogmin says:

    Howdy Michael,

    I never met your Mom but I know something about her through your own kind heart.

    she obviously has planted seeds of great happiness.

    may her transition be ecstatic.


    Craig and Vajra Family

  5. adreampuppet says:

    Jeff, Hawk, RD and Ogmin,

    Thanks for all your kind words and sentiments. There’s nothing like good friends to come along at just the right time — it doesn’t even matter what you say, but that you’re there.


  6. PW says:

    Sad to read the news, Michael. Love and condolences to you and your family.

  7. despite our little differences Michael please allow me to say what cant really be said.Shes moved on leaving this frail shroud behind and she accepted her time in the “Great Scheme of Things”–the Id-Entity in that beloved body will return soon to either a male or female incarnation(as we have all done and will do)The CCBB has her in its “loving embrace” so shed your righteous tears and be glad that by your actions you brought Yoga into her life.May that Id-Entity become a Yoga person and transcend Mind/Conditioned Identity is my prayer for her departure.

    LOVE from Swami

  8. adreampuppet says:

    PW: Thank you, my friend. You really are the best.

    Dear Swami: Your words truly do bring comfort and perspective, and I appreciate you reaching out. Whatever “little differences” we may have had, I continue to respect you and the body of work that is expressed through your book.

    Interestingly, the day that you and I “signed off” from our email dialogue, my mother called with the news that she was terminal. I’ve spent some interesting moments since then, wondering just what the CCBB was telling me through my interaction with you, and through the news of my mother’s pending death. Ultimately, I know that it is a necessary message.


  9. Jim Yeager says:

    Oh, no. I forgot all about your mother having cancer. No wonder I haven’t seen you around. This is awful.

    Man, I am sorry. I hope you’re doing all right…

  10. Fixer says:

    Sincere condolences, Mr. H.

  11. adreampuppet says:

    Thanks Jim and Fixer. Good to see you both here.

    Glad to know you’re still blogging, Jim. I was worried there for a few days….

  12. DBK says:

    I peeked in, just to see what was going on, and this is what I found.

    I am so very sorry. My condolences to you and your family.

  13. adreampuppet says:

    Thanks for the kind words, DBK. I appreciate it more than you know.

  14. DBK says:

    You know it as well as anyone, Michael: every day is a gift. A thousand thank yous for every day of her life.

  15. Maine Owl says:

    Moving story. Many condolences. I lost my mom coming up on 4 years shortly now, and Wed. would have been her 87th birthday. Thank you for posting this.

  16. adreampuppet says:

    Thanks for checking in, Maine Owl.

    I just noticed the other day that you’ve moved to a new blog, so I made the switch on my blogroll at Spontaneous Arising. I’m guessing that’s how you found your way to this post.

    It’s amazing, the number of people I’ve encountered these past few weeks who have recently lost their mothers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, now that I’m in my mid-40’s. I’m meeting next week with the Director of a school that I’m interested in attending in the near future, and she told me that her mother died last Summer. She also said that, whether we’re prepared for it or not, having a parent die almost always leads to Great Change in the child’s life. Personally, I am very much ready for such change. How has it been for you during the four years since your momma’s passing?


  17. Maine Owl says:

    Actually, the biggest change occurred when my dad died in 1996. This year will be the 100th anniversary of his birth. My eclipse photos are for him:

    My dad was a naturalist and loved taking pictures. He never had one be he wildly would have approved of the digital camera. Now I take pictures of little bits of nature to remember that it is fleeting, like life itself.

    I left the corporate world in 1996, partly to take care of Mom. It was a trick too because we really didn’t have tons of money to do it. But we did, and we’ve survived a dozen years. So the passages led me off the treadmill. Not to any sort of money riches, quite the opposite. But to something more important.

  18. Jeana says:

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
    Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  19. youtube says:

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied
    that you shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s