In October, 2004, my mother nearly died. All her organs were failing and it seemed unlikely that she would last more than a few days in the hospital where she had been for several weeks. I remembered a friend of mine was a volunteer at a wonderful hospice, Jacob Perlow Hospice at Beth Israel Hospital, and I called my friend to ask how to get my mother admitted for hospice care. It seemed crazy to think about moving her at that point, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that normal hospital procedures were torturing her. If my mother was to die, I wanted her to die in peace.

The doctor who came to the hospital to examine her called me afterward and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone more in need of hospice care. She is going to be transferred immediately.” Read More →

The interesting thing about pain is that one day you can be feeling awful and sad and then within 24 hours, you can have a better day and feel good. That’s the kind of day I had today.

I picked up the postcards for my solo show at the Midtown International Theatre Festival and here is the link to buy tickets:

And I went to see someone to help me re-write my resume and she was great. She talked even faster than I do and the place I went to is called Fegs, which is an agency that helps people with all kinds of services, including career questions. I was floored by how many ideas she had for me and how she started re-writing my resume and I realized that I had many more skills that I hadn’t even thought were marketable.

We set up another session for next week (did I say this was all free?) And as I left the building I checked my messages and found that I had a voice message from a producer who is doing a workshop of my play “Scrambled Eggs” up in the Berkshires. I wish I could go, but unfortunately it’s exactly the same time as the solo show, the day before. I don’t think I could handle seeing the workshop and then rushing back to town for the performance. That’s disappointing, but great that it’s happening.

One piece of sad news – I just read that Walter Cronkite died today. One of my friends recently told me that she went to his office for a meeting to talk about a project that he was interested in. I was surprised that he was still working, but I remember seeing him a few years ago at a restaurant on Madison Avenue and he looked very strong and alive. He lived to be ninety-two years old – another good long run. Most of us who are over forty or so will remember him as being such an important voice at CBS for so many years.

Anyway – life goes on and it’s always bumpy, occasionally horrible, frequently exciting and totally unpredictable.

Okay, so now besides the separation I just got a call from my mother’s nursing home. She fractured her leg (probably when she was turned in her bed, because she can no longer walk) – and she has severe osteoporosis. So they gave her some pain meds tonight and tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. they will send her to the E.R. for treatment.

They can’t operate on her, there’s no point in putting a pin in her leg because the bone would shatter, that’s how bad the osteoporosis is. They will probably put a splint on, but they have to bring this poor 95 year-old woman to an E.R. to treat her leg. It seems crazy to me that they can’t do this at her nursing home, but they can’t.

I have to remember to breathe.

Recovery from envy: turn it over. You can call it what you will…praying, letting go, whatever you want, but it works.

When I went to bed the other night that I was feeling so much envy and desire for a Ho-Ho from Bucheron Bakery and I woke up at 3:30 am because Lucy (the beagle) had to pee and was wandering around nervously. I got dressed and took her out and she peed around four times. We think that she may have diabetes incipitis (sp?) and she needs more antibiotics because she still has a UTI. Anyway, that’s not the point of the story. The point is that I could not fall back to sleep and it was a miserable night.

All I could do is think what a failure my life has been, terrible mother, terrible writer, terrible wife, person, etc. etc. Stinking thinking, monkey mind, call it what you will, it was out of control.

So when I woke up a little voice said, “Read Eckhardt Tolle” and so I picked up “A New Earth” and the first chapter is all about flowers and rocks and something else…and it’s about seeing the ego, the externals, the stinking thinking, which is dysfunction – it’s called dukkha in Buddhism, sin in Christianity and something else in Hinduism. And it means suffering essentially, failing to live a higher life. I’m rushing here. It’s that we as human beings focus on the externals, money, success, consumerism, rather than the internal, the human, the important parts of who we are, and in that I’m not so horrible. Really. I’m not.

So now I feel better and the thing that I was envious about is actually moving in a new direction. Whether it works out or not (I will let you know), but I feel much better and I’m off to enjoy a beautiful spring day and I hope, wherever you live, it’s a wonderful day (rain or shine.)