As writers, it’s always gratifying when we hear that something we’ve written has had a positive impact on someone. We received this email from Dale Dassell about the post called A Kindred Spirit.
Rob & Trish,
Thank you so much for this uplifting post on your blog. It gives me hope in this time of sadness in our family. My mom has been a cancer patient for two years (diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2014), and she has taken a turn for the worse. The cancer spread to her brain in December, when she underwent surgery to remove a tumor. She seemed to be recovering well (under pain medication) until recently when an MRI revealed the cancer had moved to her spine. A round of targeted radiation treatments were applied to the small spots, and then she became ill almost immediately after. We’ve just spent a week with her in the hospital, and she is now back home with us under hospice care because the cancer returned to her brain again. Doctors initially said that she has about a month or so left, but she is very sedated, weak, and incapable of swallowing (food or medicine), and the hospice people advised us that, realistically, she probably has a week or so left.
Dad and I are trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, just as we always promised her. Mom was always practical and matter-of-fact about her cancer, and has been preparing us for it since the beginning, which is a blessing now because her words have given us strength to carry on amid our grief. She’s been sedated and sleeping since her stay in the hospital, and it’s just a matter of time now. Last night I told her that I loved her very much, and she replied: “I love you, too. I’m so proud of you.”
This afternoon I was outside with our dogs while the nurse was visiting to check on Mom’s condition, sitting on the patio when something flew into my shirt and landed on my chest. I reached into my shirt and found a ladybug crawling on my hand. I’ve always considered ladybugs a sign of good luck and happiness, and immediately realized it as a sign from Mom. I mentally spoke to it, promising that Dad and I would keep her as comfortable as possible until she leaves us, how much we love her, and I asked her to give us a sign when she reaches the other side. The ladybug remained perfectly still on the tip of my index finger (for about 10 minutes while I grieved), then a gusty wind swept across the yard and it flew off into the clear blue sky, carrying my promise away. My spirit is lifted, but it will still be devastating when she passes.
I confess that although I picked up Synchronicity and the Other Side when it was first published, I have yet to read it. But I will be doing to in the near future, I know. Thank you both for reassuring us that life continues beyond this physical plane, and showing how to connect with our loved ones. I received a dream message from my grandmother six months after her death in late 1999, and she told me that she was fine and not to be sad. Now I know that Mom will be with her soon, and that gives me hope and serenity.
Our thoughts are with you and your mom and family, Dale.
Update: Dale’s mom passed this afternoon at 5:52 PM