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The Last Supper: Pathway Toward Healing

March 29, 2012

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. (John 14:16)

 

In November, I received that phone call that none of us ever wants to get—that call telling you to get home in a hurry because a cherished loved-one is gravely ill.  As soon as I arrived in Maine to support my Mother and Father during Mom’s final illness, I was also aware that I was going to be cooking a fair amount.  I cook all the time, mind you, and love it.  I am also very good at it, and have years of experience behind me making the task one that I can accomplish readily and without difficulty of any sort.  If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you also know that I enjoy even writing about food and cookery.  This time, I wasn’t being asked to cook a holiday meal or even just comfort food for a chilly winter evening.  This was very different.  My Mom explained that my dad had been eating only hospital cafeteria food and fast food for weeks as she received treatment in her fifth-floor hospital room.  She was worried about his health, since he wasn’t eating like he should.  Dad let me know that Mom wasn’t eating right either.  The fact was that she was eating very little in those days due to her multiple infirmities.  No matter.  If we can just get her home and give her some home-cooking, things won’t be so bad.  That’s called love and caring, in my book.  Each in their own way, Mom and Dad both agreed that a varied and well-balanced diet was necessary and something had to be done to right the ship.  But why was this task so difficult for me emotionally.  I can handle serving three square meals.  That isn’t the issue.  It was difficult for me to be asked to cook for my Mom, knowing that in a very real way each meal that I was preparing was a “Last Supper”.

I have been asked on occasion if I have a strange form of sudden-onset Tourette’s syndrome when I am in the presence of bigots, racists and other haters.  My inability to hold my tongue at times is likely why I rarely enter in to discussions on ideas of faith and theology, despite my having regularly attended Sunday school, and even later having minored in religion when I was in college.  In my experience, most Bible-thumpers haven’t ever read the entire Bible, and certainly few have ever read the book with an eye for the history in which the text is steeped.  The more vocal thumpers rely instead on the simple fact that they carry a well-weathered copy with them as cover for the fact that they in essence know so little about the precepts contained therein.

I don’t particularly enjoy listening to contemporary gospel singers, who seem to me to be a new breed of money-changers needing to be cleansed from the temple.  (As a side note, this is the only account of Jesus using physical force in any of the Gospels—and I applaud it.  The narrative occurs near the end of the Synoptic Gospels (at Mark 11:15–19, 11:27–33, Matthew 21:12–17, 21:23–27 and Luke 19:45–48, 20:1–8) and near the start in the Gospel of John (at John 2:13–16)).

My distaste for the falsely pious is only exacerbated by organized religious groups which receive benefits from a tax-exempt status (which of course is a James-funded subsidy) and which preach an ugly brand of exclusionary and discriminatory hatred, evidently sanctioned by God, from the pulpit on Sundays.  Imagine my disgust at the idea of the “faith-based initiatives” of a former President, which were really nothing more than a giveaway to people who had voted for him as way to panse the wounds caused by the other major giveaways made in the tax code!

And, I have serious concerns about how some who claim to follow the Ten Commandments (found most famously at Exodus 34:28 but also at Deuteronomy 10:4) are such obvious sinners but still manage to use religion and piety for their own ugly purposes.  Seriously.  I can’t help but imagine that asking for God’s forgiveness is a bit more complicated than it would appear by listening, for example, to the families of chronic adulterers—men who lived their entire lives uncaringly cheating on their wives and who in their last days, claim to find their way back to Jesus, just in time to be allowed entrance in to Heaven?  Let’s face it.  Jesus must still be able to spot an insincere hypocrite when he sees one!

My biblical epistephilia, a desire and pleasure in knowing about the real world of God, is, I admit, heavily rooted in the ideas of the Protestant Reformation, now only five years shy of its half-millennial anniversary.   With the 1517 posting of Luther’s Theses emerged a new worldview of the relationship of the Church to its people and ultimately redefined what it meant to be Christian—I personally find much comfort in the fact that I can have a very intimate and personal relationship with my Creator.  I don’t need to have a minister or lay leader tell me how to think or how God views me; I can speak with my God myself through prayer and good deeds, and seek answers in His greatness without the help of the Sunday pew warmers.

This world view has been a saving grace to me in recent months (perhaps years).  At times, I have been simply astonished by the unimaginable cruelty doled out by the hands of “good Christians”, cruelty heaped on in a time of mourning, such as happened to me in recent years.  I firmly believe that those people who claim to know the one and only path to God yet who manage to be so mean to others are likely on a trail leading them to a place they aren’t expecting to go to when their time on earth comes to a close.

I’ve seen my name omitted from an obituary I wrote for my beloved mother-in-law because the “family friendly” newspaper couldn’t accept the relationship I have with my partner.  No matter how the people close to me felt about me, or what they wanted written and included in the oh-so-pricey newsprint eulogy, this “editor” felt it was in her right, nay her obligation, to exclude me from the family in the write-up because I didn’t match her definition of what family should be.  I have listened to a Pastor refuse to read the names of the family members left behind to mourn my father-in-law because he couldn’t bring himself to see that the relationship I had with the deceased’s son was a loving and caring one.  I have to think that God prefers kind atheists and agnostics over hateful Christians, hands down.  In fact, my guess is that He stands squarely behind anyone capable of love.

I have reached out to an old pastor, who I believed was also a friend, asking that he perhaps call my grandmother who was silently suffering through her pain, only to be told that he could not offer me nor anyone else any words of comfort or otherwise because “rules of the church” prevented him from working with former parishioners.  It would seem that pastors from my hometown church are prohibited from sharing human kindness if they aren’t directly “working” for you any longer, even if by your generous tithes and offerings you had sustained in a very real way the Pastor’s own family for years.  I have reached out to a different local pastor who turned me away because I was not a full (paying) member in his congregation.  I guess it didn’t matter that my pain was visible from ten paces.  Get out your checkbook, and perhaps the Church will have time for you then.

In what can only be characterized as undoubtedly the most upsetting conversation I have had with another human being, I was talking with a nonagenarian aunt of my Father after my Mother’s passing.  I was disappointed and quite a lot shocked to hear this woman who has for many years sent me copies of daily devotional magazine and encouraged me to have a relationship with God (she has been assuming, of course, that I had none) talk about the relationship that she believed/perceived my Mother had with the Lord.  My Mother talked about her views of religion even less than me.  It is important to note, however, that my Mother had never made it a secret that she had a problem with some of the people who sat next to my devoted grandparents in church every Sunday.  Mom didn’t appreciate much the raising of the hands and speaking in tongues show put on by the chronic pot smokers and drinkers; the men who beat their wives; the men who got their mistresses pregnant and insisted that the poor girl fend for herself and the child alone afterwards; the ones who would abuse their public office by doing background checks on their neighbors to be sure that they were acceptable to socialize with–the ones who did all the things that their Pastor had told them were sins and yet were the first to speak out against others when the community was invited to “share concerns” during the service.  More notably, my Mother was a Democrat—not the wishy-washy modern kind who couldn’t find his/her way out of a loosely folded over paper bag—but one who believed in the Kennedy and MLK Jr. world where harmony could be achieved if we all worked together, striving to meet a common goal.  Yes, this nonagenarian, religious discourse-speaking aunt sat there in her living room and said to me, “Well, we can certainly HOPE that your Mother made it in to Heaven, can’t we?”—in that tone that made it clear that she had already condemned Mom’s soul to Hell long before we had the chance to talk.  A loathsome act.

Each of these “good Christians” seemingly forgot that Golden rule, that ethic of reciprocity in morality.  In this case, the Golden Rule of which I speak has been traditionally attributed to Jesus Christ: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12, see also Luke 6:31). The common English phrasing, which is what I was taught in Sunday School, is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The Golden Rule also has roots in the two old testament edicts, found in Leviticus 19:18 (“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself”; and Leviticus 19:34 (“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God”).  I have to hope that in one of these “good Christian’s” times of pain that no one treats them as they had me.

I, for one, am grateful to Luther, Calvin and all the others who ‘liberated’ us from having to go through one of these people I describe here, the “good Christians”, in order to talk to God.  I don’t know how I would have made it through the travails of the last few months were it not for my personal and loving relationship with Him.  He is truly a rock.

 

With all of that said, I have been left to contemplate much of the larger meaning of the Biblical stories which I grew up with by myself in quite meditation.  The Lenten tale of the last days of Christ have been on my mind as of late, and how fitting given that the celebration of Easter is again upon us.  In particular, I have been striving to understand the meaning of the Last Supper, the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion.  (Leonardo Da Vinci’s 1490 mural in Milan, Italy’s refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie is perhaps the most famous pictorial representation of the event.)

The story of the Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as “communion” or “the Lord’s Supper”.  It is sometimes referred to as a “new covenant” between God and his people—and aren’t we lucky that for a wafer and a bit of alter wine we can be saved through Christ, and not have to suffer some sort of circumcision as the first covenant required.  Whoever thought up that sick and twisted idea is surely burning tonight!

Just to give a frame of reference, the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples is described in all four Canonical Gospels, namely in Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-39 and John 13:1-17:26.  (Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (11:23-26), which was likely written before the Gospels, also includes a reference to the Last Supper, but emphasizes the theological basis rather than a detailed description of the event, or its background.)

The overall narrative of Canonical Gospels share the elements that the Last Supper took place towards the end of the week, after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and his disciples shared a meal shortly before Jesus was crucified at the end of that period. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the disciples present, and foretells that Peter will deny knowing him later that day.

The three Synoptic Gospels and the First Epistle to the Corinthians include the account of the institution of the Eucharist (and this new covenant) in which Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the disciples, saying: “This is my body which is given for you”. The Gospel of John does not include this episode, but tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, and has a detailed Farewell discourse by Jesus, calling the Apostles who follow his teachings “friends and not servants”, as he prepares them for his departure.

 What I think is most important in the understanding of this story is the fact that the Last Supper is a Passover meal, one firmly supported by a sense of urgency and tradition.  In a more technical light, Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Shalosh regalim) ordained in the Torah.  Pesach commemorates the liberation of the Israelite slaves from Egypt.  No leavened food is eaten during the week of Pesach, in commemoration of the fact that the Jews left Egypt so quickly that their bread did not have enough time to rise.  According to later tradition, the Last Supper took place in what is called today The Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, just outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, and is traditionally known as The Upper Room.  This is based on the account in the Synoptic Gospels that states that Jesus had instructed a pair of unnamed disciples to go to “the city” to meet “a man carrying a jar of water”, who would lead them to a house, where they would find “a large upper room furnished and ready”.  In this upper room they “prepare the Passover”.

 

In my quest to comprehend the Last Supper with relation to my own grief and personal emotional suffering, I have been led to contemplate two larger questions:  I first ask myself why Christ’s biographers did not pay homage in the Gospel accounts to the person or people who prepared the meal of which the Disciples were about to partake?  (I am not going to go as far as saying that the Disciples were like my Mom’s sister who was always the kind of person to show up for a holiday meal empty handed, though touting clean Tupperware ready for leftovers, but one has to wonder why they did not express their thanks for the hard work that these souls did on their behalf.)  I have additionally been on a quest to understand the Last Supper as one of those traditions which bind us together in our human experience.  This Passover meal is, afterall, like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter on the American calendar each year, one of those holidays that people go to great lengths to attend.  It is all about traditions.

I guess that the main difference between the work that I did in the kitchen this past holiday season, preparing my Mother’s not-so-many “Last Suppers”, and the work that the unnamed disciples had done at the time of Jesus’ final days resides in the fact that I was acutely aware of my Mother’s situation.  It had been explained to everyone that my Mother’s situation was very serious and that there was nothing more medically which could be done for her.  For that reason, she had been sent home from the hospital with Hospice care.  Her condition deteriorated a bit more each day; the rest of us could do nothing by sit by and watch.  Agonizing decline.

As I arrived in Maine, without my suitcase due to some mix up at the New York airport, I prepared myself emotionally to make a second batch of my mother’s favorite cookies, a raisin-filled cookie.  They are messy to make and take quite a lot of time, but she enjoyed them above all other cookies, so I was determined she would have them.  She enjoyed two, over the course of several days, and kept speaking of just how moist they were.  She talked about how her mom used to make them for her when a special occasion presented itself on the farm.  She assured me too that each of the times that I had made them and mailed them to her, she had been a good girl and frozen them to enjoy over a longer period of time—as though that would make me feel better about sending cookies to a diabetic!

Since my Mom’s final illness corresponded with the holiday season, I also tried to create the sense of a “normal” holiday, despite the fact that Mom was confined to her bed in the bay window of the living room because of the pain she was suffering.  I told Mom that we could bring a table down from the attic and set it up near her so that she could be with us for the whole meal, and not just the few minutes that she could tolerate at the kitchen table where she had always sat.  She originally, in a sign of bravery, turned down the idea, but later recanted.  Dad and I set up then the 1890 oak table which her great grandmother had used in her lifetime, and we enjoyed Thanksgiving in the living room, right by her side.  (I also put together a cranberry raisin pie, also her favorite, for Thanksgiving, though by then she was too ill to actually eat any of it.)

My Mother had designed a galley kitchen for the home where she lived since 1984.  Everything that she needed was so close at hand that you only need turn around to reach it.  The cabinets which Dad built for her were extra tall and deep so as to hold everything she wanted.  Mom’s kitchen was a perfect cooking triangle for one, not for a crowd, and that is how she wanted it.  She didn’t design a large kitchen with an island for entertaining as she cooked; she had a dining room right next to the kitchen for the free exchange of laughter and merriment.  “Come in.  Sit down.  Share a story as I finish up”.  And her laughter was infectious, and inescapable.  Between the living room and the kitchen, Mom had a window hole framed in so that even if you were to leave the dining area, you could still be a part of the fun.  Her kitchen was created to be functional, and it was, superbly.  Her dining room was for celebrating the family, and if you were invited to eat with her, you were just that.  Family.

I never felt alone when I was cooking in my Mother’s kitchen.  It was designed to be intimate, and when she and I were in there together, it was also a loving space.  While I managed to be in the kitchen and make the things that she requested each day, from a simple egg salad sandwich to her cherished spam, egg and pickle sandwiches, to a full Thanksgiving dinner for everyone, I never felt more alone.  Silently I stood at the sink and cried at times, trying not to make a sound which would upset Mom in the other room.  She was trying so hard to be brave; I felt I had to do likewise.  The part that was missing in my experience in the kitchen throughout this awful period was Mom.  She wasn’t able to be there herself, to give helpful tips on how to make the dish come out just right.  She wasn’t there to share in the story-telling that accompanied each dish we had ever made together in that space.  Something was wrong.

I had learned how to cook by Mom’s side so many years earlier; we shared a passion for the art of the kitchen.  I cook all the time and it always seems like the task is autonomic, even when I am trying out new and creative recipes.  Yet, during my Mom’s final illness, it felt like an almost impossible task at times, and certainly a thankless one.  I can’t begin to show my appreciation to the friends like Joanie Tilton who stopped by with a custard for us to share with Mom, or her thick and rich turkey soup with large chunks of potatoes and carrots.  My Aunt Sheila brought soups for Dad and me, and a few fruit salad creations which Mom had every morning for her breakfast because they were cool on the palate.  Or the meal that my Dad’s cousin Merilee and her husband Blaine brought just to ease our burden one day.  A pal of mine from college, Kristin Hanson, write a blog about food and wine pairings—though she couldn’t be near, she even included my culinary skills in a post she penned, just to let my Mom know how well I was thought of in my circle of friends.  My father’s best friend, Barbara Farren, brought Dad and me a generous helping of lobster meat one night—we ate it for two days, each and every finger-licking piece.  Nothing tasted as good as the dinner our neighbor Chris McCorrison made for us on the day that my Mother died; or that meal we shared among caring new friends at Wendy Valenzuela’s house after the funeral had taken place.  I cook all the time, and love it, but I am at a loss as to describe how grateful I am for the help in those days.  Somehow these generous souls saw that I needed the assistance with this routine task, stepped up and provided some very much needed relief.

My guess is that the Disciple-biographers of Christ didn’t take the time to say thank you in their recounting of the Lord’s Last Supper to those who had prepared it because they, like the cooks themselves, were unaware at the time that the meal would be the last one shared with Jesus.  It is so easy to take for granted those simple acts that we do every day.  I, for one, have a renewed appreciation for all the hours of work my mother performed in that kitchen of hers, and for the kindness that these others showed Dad and me when the thought of being in the kitchen to cook was an overwhelmingly emotional one for me.

Now that I am back at home in my own kitchen, surrounded by the tools, pots and pans which are all arranged just the way I like them, making the task of preparing a meal as easy as it can be, it has seemed to me even more recently that I have been communing with a Memory, a link with a past that I pray won’t rapidly recede beyond memory.  My mom and I shared a passion for the kitchen.  She rarely spoke of cooking, a term which she felt resembled work, but rather of the kitchen, which to her was synonymous with hearth.  The kitchen represented the heart of the home and the work one did there was nothing less than the work it took to keep the family well-maintained and content.

If ever I could redesign a room in my home, the kitchen would be the first to get a makeover.  There’d be a built-in space for the cookbook collection that my mother was always adding to as her own grew.  I’d include a more expansive pantry space and storage for all the little kitchen gadgets which I only use once a season, many of which were gifts from Mom.

What I wouldn’t change though is the fact that in my kitchen, there is a dining area into where guests are ushered and encouraged to share laughter and a good story.  When my friend Henry was still alive, he had used the space where my piano sits as a formal dining room.  Whenever we visited and shared a meal with Henry, there was always a significant amount of time spent going between the kitchen and the dining area to fetch things.  Someone was always being left out of the fun.  While we continue to use the table that Henry had, I am glad that his table now sits right in the heart of the action.

What we don’t perhaps realize, in the retelling of the Last Supper, is that Jesus was really outlining a pathway toward healing.  The multiple versions of the Biblical tale are in essence a “self-help” book of the first order.  In this story, Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the disciples, saying: “This is my body which is given for you”. John goes a bit further and tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, an act and ritual of intense kindness.  What is really being outlined for us in this story is that by keeping tradition alive, by continuing to celebrate those life events that were important before someone dies after his/her passing, that we are ostensibly opening up our hearts to let the person continue to join us in our daily lives.

My German friend, Maya Helmich, wrote of the experience of losing her cat a few years ago.  She stated, “We have found out that tears are a healing reminder of a loss, even if they well up months or years later.”  Tears really are therapeutic and should be welcomed, especially in grief.  The people I know who bottle up their pain and never let it out don’t seem to understand that the pain eventually finds its way to the surface.  I prefer to just have a good cry, remember and rather than “moving on” alone and without the person or kitty lost to the ages; I invite the spirit to continue with me on life’s journey.  Of the few words I know in German, I am fascinated by the word Lebensgefahrte, which means “the one who shares life’s road with you”.  Who wants to be alone?  Why not encourage even those who have passed on to hop on board and ride along beside you?  I am always happy to meet people sharing the road of life with a loved one (no matter what others might think of the relationship)—sharing that journey not only with each other, but also with me.  It is all about tradition.

As I gathered up the ingredients the other day for a Pear Salad, which my mother enjoyed so much, I sensed my Mom’s presence.  In a conversational tone, like Mom were picking up a story that had been interrupted in telling, I hear her voice that was once common to me speak in a way that I hadn’t heard it speak to me previously.  I feel her thanks for the time that I was able to spend with her in her final days.  I answered her now far-away voice with an emboldened “I love you”, and chopped the vegetables that I needed for my soup, already in progress on the stove—my way of letting the guy I love sitting in the other room typing away on his blog know that it was going to be a bit more crowded on that shared road.  I have several Lebensgefahrte, and he’d better get used to it.  Soup’s on!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2012 5:35 am

    Beautiful James… So much love… Thank you so much for sharing your memories, for in them I found some of my own… Wish I could have met your Mother, she must have been a remarkable woman.

    • jamesrwilson permalink*
      March 29, 2012 5:39 am

      Thank you for your kind words. My Mom was pretty incredible. I don’t recognize your moniker, Smokey3, but I appreciate you taking the time to write to me with your thoughts. I am also touched that you found some of your own memories in reading what I wrote.
      Fondly,
      James

      • March 29, 2012 6:24 pm

        James,

        Gregory can tell you who I am – we grew up in the same little town in central Wisconsin.. when the world was much more relaxed, neighborly, and where life moved slowly enough that everyone could take time to know their neighbors, lend a helping hand when needed, smell the roses, and sit on the neighbors porch and enjoy a glass of iced tea and some cookies hot out of the oven (many of which were wood fired back then.)

        Anyway, thanks again for your very heartfelt and meaningful post.

  2. Mindy permalink
    March 29, 2012 1:45 pm

    Beautifully written, James! As I began to read I was thinking, “Oh boy! Another yummy recipe!” As I continued to read, you took me on a journey that had moments similar to my own: the loss of a beloved mother; the exploration of the world’s religions’ and especially the part where others are continually trying to impose their “religion” on me, ASSUMING that I have no religion, which has always been a private matter to me. John Irving once wrote the following words:

    “Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be able to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else’s religion practiced on us.”

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I loved the part where you brought down the antique table down from the attic. What a lovely and intimate gesture and nod to your mother’s influence and her traditions. I could see a short story evolving in that moment, I also loved the part where you described your mother’s love for the “art of the kitchen”. I’d buy a book with that title!!!!!

    Bravo!
    xoxoxo

  3. Justin permalink
    March 29, 2012 8:12 pm

    James,
    Sincere condolences for your mother. The fact that you love your parents so much tells volumes about their characters, so I trust your mother is in heaven. The parts you wrote about the family, your feelings and the support you received were beautiful. I know you wrote this in an emotional state so please forgive the following observation as it is not meant to detract from the beautiful parts of this post.
    I wish you had edited out some of the angry observations you made about others. The piece would be much better without that and for me took away from the overall beauty of this dedication to your mother. IMHO.
    As to who prepared the passover, it appears from the text that the disciples did: Matt 26:19…and they prepared the Passover. Mark 14:12 “Where will you have us go and prepare the Passover”. Luke 22:8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying “Go and prepare the Passover…”. So I would say the disciples themselves prepared the Passover – did they have help maybe but it isn’t too complicated. I have attended a Sedar meal with a Jewish friend several years back.
    Finally, I think you should revisit Catholicism. Luther made some fine points but his “Faith and faith alone” idea was to have been taken up by a Church council. Luther did not intend to start a new religion but felt the Magisterium would come to accept his interpretation, mostly of Paul’s epistles, which they ultimately did not. This has been fortified by discoveries in the Dead Sea scrolls which also used and helped define what Paul meant by ‘works of the law’ a phrase which only occured in Paul’s writings until the Dead Sea scrolls were recovered. It sounds like you have studied the scriptures, and hopefully the early Church writings and therefore see the unity of the Church. It certainly isn’t perfect but it is the one founded by Christ Matt 16:18. It is good you have a personal relationship but Christ also wants you to share a community relationship. I hope you’ll consider it.

  4. Pamela Matheron permalink
    March 31, 2012 9:24 am

    Hi James,
    I’m not too into FB, but Mindy suggested I should read your article. She was kind to do so because I loved it – the whole thing. The cutting remarks are decisive like those of Oscar Wilde, and they bring out the truth and depth of your loving relationships (like a pinch of salt in a sweet dessert). I felt very close to your thoughts, having had similar ones myself. I’m coming to believe that life can be a ‘cross to bear’ or a beautiful journey – the choice is ours. Choosing to carry our loved ones along in our hearts as we continue to grow, discover, and enjoy makes the voyage worth the doing.
    Bisous,
    Pamela

  5. Billee permalink
    March 31, 2012 1:20 pm

    James, I feel so fortunate to have read your beautifully written account of your experience with your mother before she died. What an incredible blessing for you to have shared the pain, the joy, the memories, and the journey of the last supper. You have my sincerest condolences. The philosophies throughout the story also strike home with me and I thank you wholeheartedly for writing them down and sharing.

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