Saturday, August 30, 2008

THE HORRIBLE AND THE MISERABLE

I’m not a person who remembers a lot of movie quotes, but Woody Allen’s famous one from Annie Hall struck a chord with me, maybe because I shared his neurotic fear of the various abominations that could abruptly intrude on your party:

"Life is divided up into the horrible and the miserable. The horrible would be terminal cases, blind people, cripples. The miserable is everyone else. When you go through life you should be thankful that you're miserable."

When I first heard that quote, I was young enough to wake up every day feeling immortal, young enough that I understood Woody’s “misery” well. Misery was a boyfriend who didn’t call, a roommate who ate my leftover lasagna, or a B on a paper, when dammit, I deserved an A. The horrible--those unspeakable tragedies and illnesses that happened to other people--terrified me so much I tried not to think of them.

Thus, Woody’s quote made me laugh nervously and nod inwardly. Now it feels both insensitive and untrue. We're all terminal cases, and nearly every mistake we make in life, every unkindness we do, every squandered moment can be traced to the unspoken belief that we are the Great Exception.

In the first two days after my surgery, I cried more than I have in months--and not from pain. No, I had become the proverbial person who cries at the Hallmark card commercial. I felt an intense solidarity with suffering people everywhere. Their stories weren’t just sad pieces on the news; they felt visceral; they were my story. When two kids from the Cape died in Iraq and Afghanistan died within two days, I cried as if they’d been family.

I wept for my cousin’s husband who has been in a hospital in Kuwait for three months suffering from multiple myeloma. Once a marathon runner who kept himself in perfect shape, he has wasted to nothing, but still possesses an epic will to live. Unable to get comfortable on my bed no matter what position I assumed, I thought of his bed sores and the ache that never leaves his bones, and I wept. I had to turn off a television special about the suffering of Afghan women because their lives invaded my heart, and spilled into my restless dreams that night. But what troubled me most of all was a report about a local injured soldier. I thought of the surgeries, the weeks in hospital beds. Though the reports of poor care at Walter Reed had enraged me when I first heard them, when I thought of them in my post-surgical state, they left me shaking and sobbing.

Are you okay? my nurse said, standing in the doorway.

How could I explain that yes, I was okay, but some crucial filter had broken down? That I had gone over to the side of Woody’s “horrible” category and I couldn’t escape the view?

At around three in the morning, when it was obvious we were both awake, the roommate I hadn’t felt well enough to speak to yet pushed open the curtain that separated us and appraised me. “So who are you over there?”

I told her my name.

“You sure cry a lot,” she said, with the humor and honesty that would go far to transform my hospital stay.

“I guess I do,” I said. I loved that she didn’t ask why. Nor did I feel a need to explain myself.

In the next few days, we would talk a lot and joke even more, especially deep in the endless hospital nights. She had already been in the hospital for twelve days when I arrived and during that time, she’d missed her daughter’s wedding and the birth of her son’s first child. When the nurse checked in on us, she asked her to pass me some photographs from both events; and I couldn’t help noticing how she smiled as I looked at each one.

She'd suffered a lot of complications, but this hadn’t been her worst hospitalization. Twelve years earlier she’d had a frightening bout of myocarditis. While in the hospital, she suffered a stroke that left her short term memory impaired, and then a serious blood clot that necessitated the amputation of her leg. She was thirty-eight years old, and had two young teenagers at home. Her daughter, a freshman in college majoring in accounting, had been so devastated, she dropped out and came home to care for her mother. (Later, she would become a nurse.)

My first reaction was disbelief that so many bad things could happen to one person in a short period of time, but my roommate told her story with an utter lack of self-pity. When she’d gotten home from the hospital, she’d gotten a small dog that was easier to walk with her prosthesis; and as she depended on her husband to help with her memory lapses, their relationship had become something deep and rare. Their religious faith had also grown. In Woody's world, her life would undoubtedly fall in the horrible category, but she clearly didn't see it that way--and neither do I.

Before I left the hospital, the crying that alarmed my family and left me almost unable to watch TV, stopped. My doctor attributed it to the physical, mental, and emotional trauma from such long surgery, but I think it was something else. I think that I had endured a new level of suffering this time, and that it had made me see everyhing and everyone differently. The good news--if there is indeed something possible that comes from this kind of experience-- is that after you've survived horrible , you're far less likely to allow miserable to contaminate a single hour. My roommate, who left the day before I did, grinning with delight at the prospect of meeting her new grandchild and complaining about nothing, proved that.

124 comments:

jana said...

Patry:
Thank you for this post. I had this feeling as I read about your experience in the hospital, and thought about my own recent hospital stay and the traumas and insights that resulted, that it might be a beautiful thing to compile a book of blogposts about illness. For those of us who are bedbound as we get treatment and heal, the internet (and blogs) are a godsend. They help us to tell those tough stories and they help us to feel more connected to the world (it is SO marvelous to stay in a hospital with wireless!). Don't you think it could make a beautiful compilation?

Patry Francis said...

Jana: I've enjoyed and related to your beautiful posts as well. And yes, writing--the opportunity to find meaning in suffering--and the wonderful support of readers makes a huge difference when you're in the hospital. My agent plans to collect all the posts I've written since my diagnosis shop them around, but I would not be averse to contributing to a compilation of voices as well--especially strong ones like yours!

Laura said...

OMG Patry were we on the same wavelength today or what? I've been struggling with my own misery with chronic pain and finally wrote it down to purge the sadness, the fear, and the anger...there's something so healing about writing it down, I can't explain it. Then I had the most heavenly nap afterwards...even tho' my pain is still there, and the emotions tied up along with it have not disappeared, I feel much better, and now reading your post, I had to stop by and tell you that you're absolutely awesome.

Love, hugs, and kisses,

Laura

debra said...

There is something about being so very raw, so very present, that all of our filters are down. There is an intensity that cannot be described, a
sense of such immediacy that everything just IS. After that, most things become inconveniences.
The Universe continues.

Patry Francis said...

laura: Yes, there's definitely something to be said for writing it down. It not only gets it out, but for me, it transforms the negative, and forces me to find something better. Stay strong! xo

debra: Yes! I think you're right: it's the rawness that brings the filters down. We couldn't live like that all the time, but I think it did my ego some good to focus on other people's suffering for a while. It also made me less lonely in my own.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Oh Patry. You are the most beautiful human being. You are open and crying is good and natural--just like babies know. It's all about communicating that which we cannot put into words. And yet you do. You put it into words. xoxo

Lisa said...

You leave me without words. You are amazing. Much love from Denver. xo

Patry Francis said...

Myf: I don't deserve such a generous comment, but I thank you for it anyway. Still hoping you make it to the Cape in September! Seeing you would be wonderful and babies are my very best medicine.

Lisa: Ditto. You are way too kind. Sending love back to Denver, home to some of my all time favorite bloggers. xx

robin andrea said...

When I saw the title of this post on my RSS feed, I wondered if you knew Woody Allen had connected these two words. Of course you do, and I see it as soon as your page opens and there's a photo of Alvy Singer and Annie Hall, and a moving post about the distinction. You have walked such a life path, Patry. Your journey is an enlightenment for us, the ones who have not walked the path yet, but know that in some way it is always there before us. In this far flung community, you teach us the way.

Deirdre said...

Patry, how do you do this? How do you find such wisdom and and distill it so perfectly? Everything you've written about your illness and hospitalizations makes me more aware, more compassionate, more grateful. A good deal of that gratitude is because I've come here, read your words, and felt more connected to the human experience.

I hope you're feeling better. xoxo

Becca said...

The experiences you've shared have touched my heart in so many ways. As Deirdre put it in her comment, you have a real gift for distilling these experiences to their most elemental, so that they speak to our humanity.

I'm glad you've stopped crying :) and that you're feeling better.

Maryanne Stahl said...

you meet the most amazing people! I guess because you yourself are so amazing.

yes, writing is a great gift (and you are especially gifted) "the opportunity to find meaning in suffering" sounds to me like the purpose of not just writing, but life itself!

your compilation will be an incredible gift to others.
xxx

Peter said...

"and the Petty," if you look at what I've been through and get worked up about.

Thank you for some much-needed perspective.

By the way, I love the way your roommate approached your crying.

marja-leena said...

Oh my, Patry, you are such an amazing writer and person. You capture and share so many emotions, your own and that of others, and you teach us compassion and understanding. What a journey! Thank you for your friendship! Hope you are feeling better and stronger each day.

Dale said...

Yeah. People think that letting the suffering in will be overwhelming and unendurable, but really, in the long run, it's trying to shut it out that makes it overwhelming and unendurable.

I don't find that Woody Allen wears very well :-)

Barrie said...

Your post was exactly what I needed this evening. I've allowed myself to feel miserable over small things today. I don't want to waste tomorrow the same way. And, BTW, I LOVED your book!

Patry Francis said...

robin: Alvy Singer! I almost forgot that name. Thanks for your beautiful words. My path is not one I'd choose, but I've got to believe I'm walking it for a reason.

dierdre: It's strange, but my illness has made me a more grateful person. As the good moments have grown harder to find, I've been forced to look harder. Your visits are among them!

becca: Thanks so much for such a lovely comment. I'm glad I stopped crying, too--though I hope I don't forget the solidarity with the suffering I experienced.

maryanne: You're right. I've met amazing people in my various hospitalizations, but I don't think it has anything to do with me. Most people, when tested, rise to the occasion in extraordinary ways. I am blessed to bear witness.

Peter: Ah yes, the petty consumes so many of our precious hours, doesn't it? I only hope and pray that I don't fall back into its clutches when all this passes. In many ways, it is the most lethal disease of all.

marja-leena: Thank you! I can't say how much your gallery lifted me up when I looked at it last night. The opportunity to share my thoughts with an insightful community has been a real gift to me in my recovery.

dale: What a beautiful, wise thing you said. I thank you for it.

barrie: We all do it! I'm glad my story helped lift you out of it. And thank you, thank you for the kind words about The Liar's Diary. They are balm.

Janet said...

Woody Allen gets so much wrong.

Just having my first baby got me crying over strangers' misfortunes. All those people had been somebody's baby.

Now that I've been through a number of misfortunes myself, I find myself unable to read bleak or horrific things in books, no matter how popular or well-written. I think I prefer being super-sensitive to becoming hardened.

Mary Ann said...

Thank you for sharing. We are all terminal. This is true.

Your posting reminds me of the Holocaust survivor who, speaking at some event for Spielburg after Schindler's List came out, wished for everyone "the blessing of a boring evening at home."

Patry Francis said...

janet: "I think I prefer being super-sensitive to becoming hardened." I agree! To be hardened to the suffering of others is to lose a big piece of our humanity. Of course, we can't focus on it all the time--we're meant to live our joy down to the last drop--but we can't turn our face away either.

mary ann: That's a powerful testimony--and so true. A quiet evening in one's own home with family or friends is one of those every day miracles we sometimes take for granted.

Janet said...

I still read novels that handle difficult events or topics. But I draw the line at explicit rape scenes, for example. I won't read them, especially child rape. Stories that deal with rape are a different matter. Confronting the issue is one thing, traumatizing me with it is another. I learned this lesson the hard way.

RubyGirl said...

i admire you so much patry. thank you for this post.

dampscribbler said...

The intensity, the tears you describe, remind me of my own sensitivity and rawness immediately following the birth of my daughter. It was a textbook labor and delivery, but I touched the quick of life, it was without a doubt the most intense physical and emotional experience I've ever had, and I carried that sensitivity with me and lived with it throughout the early months of raising my daughter. I had whole new sets of fears, concerns, passions -- most of the old ones faded like last decade's newspapers when exposed to the sun.

The raw edges of life -- when it is new and when it is threatened or ending, are mostly hidden from us in our day and age, and yet they can provide the best perspective on what matters most and what matters little. Thanks for your beautiful words. Thanks for writing, Patry. You are such an inspiration to me. I wish you good healing.

Patry Francis said...

janet: I know what you mean. The other night my husband rented a particularly violent movie--well-reviewed, but very explicit. I couldn't watch.

ruby: Where have you been? I tried to get onto your blog, but couldn't. (p.s. Thank you the kind words.)

dampscribbler: Beautiful words. I especially like the phrase "the quick of life." I suppose we couldn't live with such intensity all the time, but if we forget it exists, we lose a bit of our humanity.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
Your perspective is always an amazing reminder to me. Kia kaha.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing such wisdom here. You have been traveling a hard road, but with such grace. And then you bring us there, and let us think about the big stuff and remember the little stuff...It is a gift.

:)

Patry Francis said...

ruahines: The beautiful vistas that you present, and your acute appreciation of them do wonders for MY perspective. Thanks for being here.

amber: Thank you. I don't always feel so graceful, but I do my best to deal with what comes my way--just like you do.

JP/deb said...

I believe you met your hospital roomate for a reason ... people come into our lives, sometimes for a few moments - sometimes for a lifetime - but always for a reason. I love the analogy to the Woody Allen quote. I'm glad you transcended the horrible space you were in. Peace, love and light, JP/deb

i beati said...

profundity sandy

Kay said...

As always, wise and beautiful words. I think you should gather these posts you are writing into one place - a book. It would be inspiring.

Jean said...

What a wonderful essay, and what a place in your open heart it comes from. I feel really privileged to read this. I don't under-estimate the deep, deep pain of tears, but your floods of tears strike me as entirely healing and necessary to be welcomed.

All my best wishes, as always, Patry.

ainelivia said...

So great to see you are writing again patry.

I'm a great believer in the healing power of tears. And writing. A wonderful window into your world right now, thank you. Big Hug, you are in my thoughts a lot.

Susan M said...

I was thinking that a woman who had four children and some number of grandchildren had without question heard, soothed, and shouldered almost unimaginable quantities of crying over the years. And that this same woman, who was once a baby and a young child herself, had somehow, years ago, gradually managed to submerge and manage her own crying, and the pains and troubles and discomforts and fears that caused it, as we all must do to function in this culture, which encourages strength over displays of emotion. But I was also thinking that all the submerged crying, and the listened-to crying of others, and the old urge to cry must till exist somewhere inside. And what about all those years of having to be strong so that others could cry and be comforted? What about all the absorbed crying of others?

Coll said...

Oh Patry your words are filled with such insight and honesty. I always leave wanting to be a better person and feeling thankful for your message. This post brought to mind a poem I found shortly after my Dad died.

I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chattered all the way.
But left me none the wiser for all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow and ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her when Sorrow walked with me!"
~Robert Browning

Patry Francis said...

deb: All of my roommates in the hospital have taught me something--even the one who wasn't so pleasant.
Blessings are everywhere!

sandy: Thanks for being here!

kay: Thanks so much. There is some talk of a collection...

jean: I didn't think of the tears as healing until I read your comment, but now I realize they were. Thank you for all the support you've given me.

ainelivia: Writing to you all and reading your wonderful responses has kept me going. Thanks for the good thoughts.

susan m: I'm so glad you left this beautiful meditation here. We mothers absorb so much. Where does it go, and when is it released?

coll: When I write to you all, I want to become a better person myself. Readers who leave kind and frequently beautiful comments, or amazing bits of poetry--like the Browning, which I don't remember reading before--give as much or more than they get. Thanks for being one of them.

Annie said...

You never cease to amaze me. Beautiful post. Sending much love to you today.

Aimeepalooza said...

Ah when the filters are down we feel everything, huh? Sometimes it's easier to feel for other people than ourselves.
I'm glad you had a great neighbor to help you through.

Patry Francis said...

annie: Sending love back to you.

aimeepalooza: A good neighbor changes the landscape no matter where you find one!

rdl said...

oh you poor thing, i hate to hear of all your suffering!! But as always you are so open to the wisdom - thanks for sharing.

Rebecca said...

Hi Patry,

I've recently very much enjoyed reading your THE LIARS DIARY (which I found out about through blog-reading and bought from amazon)and have been lurking at your blog ever since.

I just found this post so beautifully written - so true and right and good and wonderful and inspiring and generous and lovely - that I had to de-lurk and say so.

Best of bestest wishes.

Rebecca

floots said...

yes - hospitals have a lot to teach us about ourselves and others
those night-time conversations with intimate strangers are some of the most honest talks we will ever have
(i still remember mine)
thank you

Jay said...

I don't much like Woody Allen and never have done - not that I've met him. I'm just talking about the Woody Allen we're allowed to see. ;)

I think you, however, are a person I would like. You clearly have a lot of empathy and the capability to learn from what you feel. These are invaluable qualities, if distinctly uncomfortable at times. The good news is that (according to my beliefs) we are in this life to learn, and it's always a positive experience, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

This crying jag would have been cathartic, and I expect it has subtly altered the way you deal with other people's suffering. At some point this will be useful to you, or to other people. You have grown, spiritually, as a result.

I have no idea how I found your blog. I was rambling through the interweb last night and left it open on a tab to read and answer today and I can't remember how I got here! However it was, I'm glad I did.

Patry Francis said...

r: Thanks for all the comfort you brought the other day...chocolate and tea and candles...Life is good!

rebecca: I'm so happy you decided to de-lurk--and thrilled that you enjoyed The Liar's Diary! Thanks for such a lovely comment.

floots: I think I've said it before on the blog, but if I could afford to choose, I'd ask for a private room. And yet, invariably, the roommates I've had have been a gift. Funny, isn't it?

jay: I don't know how you found me either, but I'm glad you're here! Thanks for adding your wisdom to the discussion. There's a lot about this experience I can't wait to put behind me, but I hope I don't lose the sensitivity to suffering I experienced in my crying jags.

Sustenance Scout said...

Hugs, sweet Patry! Many, many hugs. K.

Ellen said...

Your writing could kickstart a stopped heart, Patry. You are astounding.
xo

Patry Francis said...

k: I only wish you were closer to give them in person.

ellen: Wow--thank you! Being able to write is sometimes the only thing that kick starts my own. (Love the new photo.)

Karen Maezen Miller said...

Woody is good for reminding us that clever cynicism is but a shallow laugh.

Beryl Singleton Bissell said...

Patry, this post so radiates with compassion and deep wisdom that I am actually thanking God for the enormous grace your suffering has generated. Not just grace for you, but grace for all of us who read your words and love your spirit.

Peace dear friend. Get well. And keep sharing.

P.S. Yes. Finding Time for God is a new blog. Road Writer continues as well.

Lorna said...

I've spent what seems like hours reading your posts and all the comments. I've been laughing and crying, scared and soothed, heartbroken and inspired. I've made a dozen resolutions and abandoned some things I thought were dear to me, and I'm so glad to find myself in the company of such a Pollyanna---my Pollyannaness, for all that my friends and family wish I would lose it, can't hold a candle to yours but, there's always tomorrow...

Patry Francis said...

karen: A deeply insightful comment. Thank you for leaving it--and for leading me back to your place.

Beryl: I hope to reach the point where I can be thankful for all things. I'm not there yet, but as Lorna says, there's still time! So happy to have discovered your new blog.

lorna: I'm so happy to see you here again! That must mean that things are more settled in the new apartment. Your words, as always, mean a lot.

tinker said...

It says a great deal about the shining hearts and souls of both you and your roommate, that you were able to find the positive in such devastating experiences, Patry. May that cup of bliss of yours, be filled to the brim and more - overflowing with blessings for you!

Therese said...

Amen, Patry.

Empathy may well be one of the most powerful emotions we have.

Victoria Cummings said...

Patry - So glad that you're home and healing. You inspired me to make a blueberry pie - my first, and very yummy. What a great tradition! There's one good thing about the experiences that you've just had - it makes for excellent writing material. And we're all out here, waiting to read what you write and learn from it.

Tish Cohen said...

"We're all terminal cases, and nearly every mistake we make in life, every unkindness we do, every squandered moment can be traced to the unspoken belief that we are the Great Exception."

This is so true it hurts, especially as it relates to unkindness. It's really the root of callousness, isn't it? And we've all felt we were the G.E. at some point in our lives, haven't we? I'm ashamed to say I have.

I don't know what to say anymore, Patry. You've moved far beyond wise--I wish the entire world could hear your words. Thank you.

And please know I love you, sweetie. I'm just sitting up here loving you and hoping for you.

Patry Francis said...

tinker: Thanks so much for remembering my cup of bliss. There have been a couple of times when I couldn't find that cup anywhere, but it always shows up, and sometimes in the most surprising spots.

Therese: How would we ever write novels without it? Good to see you here.

victoria: I'm so glad you made the pie! Thanks for reading along with my misadventures, and for all your kind words.

tish: Now you've got me crying. Your friendship, support and love have gotten me through so much--from book publication to sickness to those all important fashion decisions. (Still waiting for you to redecorate my house though!) Even after everything I've been through, I still catch myself thinking I'm the G.E. at times. As you say, the first signs are those little lapses in kindness. These days, though, the delusion usually passes quickly.

Annie said...

hey, annie here, just checking in on you. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog.
Sending many blessings and love your way.

musing said...

Thinking of you.

KG said...

You describe that "crucial filter". Such an apt description! It sounds like the intense surgery almost knocked it off of you. Or that it underwent some transformation and you molted off an old layer to replace it with something new (and, after more healing, something that will be stronger).

Sometimes I just laugh and shake my head in disbelief. Life can be so WEIRD and surprising! Other people's stories never cease to amaze me. Your hospital stories are so insightful. There is so much truth to these phrases: "Truth is stranger than fiction." and "Folks, you just cannot make this stuff up!"

Sending you positive vibes, as always, on your continued path through healing.

sue said...

Catching up... this was a great post (as usual) and reminds us all of what we really do have to be thankful for.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
Just stopping by to wish you a lovely day. Kia kaha.
Rangimarie,
Robb

paris parfait said...

You write such fascinating pieces about these little milestones of illness. Your writing is always inspiring, Patry. I hope you're feeling worlds better these days. xo

Wenda said...

Patry, Just noticed that I didn't leave a comment last time I checked in on you. Hope you are feeling better. I've been wanting to let you know that I bought and read 'Liar's Diary', enjoyed it very much and will be recommending it to my book club when it is next my turn to select a book.

MB said...

Humor sometimes works as a double-edged sword and which edge you feel depends on where you stand. Yet we need humor, desperately.

I've known what it is to lose a filter. Thanks, as always, Patry, for your thoughtfulness and the love you put out into the world.

Kenna said...

I have been woefully absent from your blog for awhile, Patry. I see it's about a month old, and I hope you're still doing OK. You're an inspiration to so many people, including me.

My thoughts are with you!

Sky said...

missing your posts and hoping you are feeling better as each day arrives. also hoping the storm passing by didn't blow you all away! just wanted to stop by on this early septenber morn and say hello. can you believe tomorrow is october?!
big hugs, friend.

Jenny Jill said...

Our clever feathered friends do not complain. They know they have no right to. They do not sit around the bird feeder, like the the characters in our local coffee shops, complaining about the weather: too rainy, cloudy, sunny, hot, warm, cold. They are popping from food source to food course and doing something about their condition.

A beautiful and thoughtful post.

Annie said...

Checking in. I hope you are well and getting better every day.
Miss you. XOXO

pmrussell said...

I really admire your candid insights. I know that experience can translate well on the written page. You seemed to have done it with great panache. Having come across your blog through another writer's blog was rejuvenating.

Carleen Brice said...

This is how I felt when my mother died--I noticed the pain everywhere. In the midst of the horrible it's a small blessing to feel, really feel, empathy with others, and to have the veil lifted and see our own fates. Thank you for sharing this!

LitPark said...

Was thinking about you. xo

Laura said...

My Fred and I are thinking of you, and we hope you are well.

Best wishes,

Laura

Leslie Rose Watson said...

Hey, Patry, just wanted to stop by and send some love your way. The Open Awards Anthology is going to press this week. Thanks again for judging. I'll make sure sure you get one of the first copies.

Kevin

robin andrea said...

Hi Patry-- Just checking in to say hello and send good wishes your way. Hope all is well there. Miss you.

Bill said...

Catching up after a break. As always, I'm moved by this.

jone said...

Patry, just checking in and hoping you are okay. Our book club is meeting next week to discuss Liar's Diary.

tinker said...

Hi Patry - just checking in to say hello, I'm thinking of you~xo

Fred Garber said...

Patry...Been awhile. I miss you!

rdl said...

Hey you - stop by my place for an award.

From This Moment to That said...

Hello, I'm new, I've just read some your blog and I love how honest your writing is!! It's SO BRAVE and very rewarding to read your daily triumphs, yet it makes my heart break too. It's been a while since you posted and all of us people,(I'm sure I can include everyone here in this!) are sending you more strength and good wishes from each of our respective parts of this world. We can each look up at the same old moon and stars and send you our love and hugs... you deserve them!! :)
X 0 X

Mary Ann said...

Just checking on you. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather. And that you're ok. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Just dropping by this late October 28 evening to say I am thinking of you and sending you strength and plenty of warm energy. I miss your beautiful blog posts, the most moving blog I think there is. Hope you will be back typing away soon!
xo Alexandra (in Portland, OR!)

Deirdre said...

Just checking in. You've been on my mind all day. xoxo

rdl said...

Hey where's that piece on "our guy"?. we don't want the horrible(mccain & Palin) cause then we will surely be the miserable.

Beryl Singleton Bissell said...

Hi Patry. I'm so glad to finally be back online and able to check your posts here. You've captured the world trauma and suffering introduces into our lives -- the visceral experience of being one with all those who suffer, the intimate knowledge of the "suffering with," which is the essence of compassion. You share so much and so deeply and so simply and well. Thank you for your gifts to us.

Julie Korzenko said...

Hope you're doing well, Patry. You're in my prayers. Never stop the fight!

ainelivia said...

Hi Patry, just to say that you've been on my mind a lot, so I thought I'd just pop over here and say, big hugs [[[ ]]], thinking of you.

LitPark said...

Bet you're writing something real good.

xo

tinker said...

Thinking of you, Patry. Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving~XOXO

Amber said...

I hope you are well, and had a happy Thanksgiving.

love.

:)

readingwritingliving said...

Patry, I've been thinking about you and missing your blog posts. I hope you are well.... sending best wishes.

Becca said...

Patry, thinking of you during this season of Thanksgiving and hope...and hoping you're doing well :)

kate said...

. . . thinking of you . . . wishing you well . . . wherever you are drifting . . . wherever your energy is flowing . . . sending you hugs and well wishes . . . you are so gorgeous! :)

Sky said...

i am hoping for a new post for christmas...i already asked santa.

hoping the NE storm didn't affect you guys...have to check to see where it hit. stay warm and know we send our love. hope you have good holidays with your loved ones.

we are expecting a storm here and temps in the low teens (unimagined here!) and snow all weekend and 3 days next week (the number of snowfalls we normally have in one entire winter!) sounds like the whole country is making weather news.

merry, merry...and peaceful days to come.

musing said...

Hope all is well. You're in my thoughts.

dampscribbler said...

12/14/08
Patry, I hope you're busy writing and getting well, end enjoying the holiday season. This is not an easy time of year, even under the best of circumstances, but it can be nourishing and joyful, and I hope it is exactly that for you. Best wishes, dear.

liz elayne said...

sending you peace and blessings and light this evening dear girl.

nova-san said...

Just checking in to see how you're doing. Hope Santa is good to you this year.

Best,
Nova

Ric said...

12/22/08
Hope everything is going well. Looking forward to your wonderful commentary returning.
Merry Christmas and my prayers are with you.

Maryanne Stahl said...

happy christmas and all best wishes for a HEALTHY, happy and productive 2009.
xxx

Tinker said...

Thinking of you, Patry - wishing you blessings and bliss everyday, most especially this holiday season. Love and light to you, my friend~XOXO

Amber said...

Merry Christmas, Patry. Happy New Year. I hope all is well.

ox :)phing

marja-leena said...

Dearest Patry! I keep coming back here, hoping to see more of your lovely words. I hope you are well and have enjoyed a lovely Christmas with your loved ones. Hope, light, love and happiness to you in the New Year, my dear friend!

Laura said...

Happy New Year, Patry!

OXOXOX's

Laura and Fred

Perfect Virgo said...

Happy New Year Patry. How lovely to receive your kind wishes about Deebie. Now I am back in Englkand I am missing my life and love in Canada so who knows what the new year will bring.

dampscribbler said...

01/04/09
Patry, please complain. The silence here is deafening.

KG said...

Happy New Year, Patry. :)

Sky said...

happy new year, patry and ted. we were snowed in here for 10-11 days, depending on how risk-taking one felt in driving! another light snowfall on jan 4th! beautiful snow, but we were ready for it to melt. now it is flooding all over western WA. thankfully we are safe on our small mountain.

realizing as i visit here that it will soon be 4 and one half months since you posted i am in serious need of a patry fix. hoping you are doing well and will soon be able to take a break from the novel to give us a few nibbles.

hugs across these miles. :)

A said...
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A said...
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Anonymous said...

Yay! You're back to blogging! I saw your comment you left for Laini and just wanted to leave you a note to say hello andhappy new year. I have checked regularly to see when you will be posting next! Please do soon for your writing is greatly missed!!!! Hope you are feeling stronger with each day again Patry.
xo
Alexandra in Portland

Annie said...

I keep checking to see if you are back, miss you and hoping you are well. Happy new year. XOXO

David said...

praying for you today, Sunday
Shalom!

Anonymous said...

Patry - Just checking to see if you've posted. I check every week. Your writing is such a treat, a gift, a blessing.

I hope you are well and resting...I will keep coming back to make sure I don't miss your next post.

Love, Susie

The Life of Mel said...

Been checking on you every other day. Hope you are doing ok!

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Mary Sheehan Winn said...

That 'crucial filter' thing just hits me where I live. I can so relate.
Hope you are feeling good today!

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marja-leena said...

Oh, this is amazing, awesome, so full of wisdom that it's shaken me to the core. I will remember this forever. Thanks for being you, Patry.

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