the kings david (the three kings?)

David – From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning “beloved”.  David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC.  Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine.  According to the New Testament, Jesus was descended from him.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before!  A clown, a minister and a rabbi walk into Myke’s life…

There are a number of men in my life named David, ranging from respected associates, to at least three who would qualify as “secondary fathers,” mentors and spiritual and philosophical pillars in my life.

What all these men have in common are first of all, they are “David”s and not “Dave”s, they are all deep thinkers, extremely grounded and exceedingly giving when sharing of their knowledge, wisdom, guidance, energy and time.

For these traits, I am exceedingly grateful.  In addition to thought provoking, entertaining and inspirational conversation, each of these gentlemen offers me something distinct that I am lacking: 

  • the ability to let go and play,
  • the ability to let go and trust, and
  • the ability to let go and follow.

Having these men in my life is making me become a better person and helping me achieve a potential that I could not normally achieve on my own.  And since DH has passed, they have all stepped up to the plate in ways that have astonished me.  I am honoured to call each of them friend, collaborator, teacher, minister and master in their own way.

myke’s book club

August Farewell – David G. Hallman

As most of my regular followers know, I recently lost my husband of fifteen years to pancreatic cancer.  The journey experienced by Larry and I has been documented extensively through various social media outlets and I was considering gathering them all and publishing them in a coherent memoir.  I have not yet gathered the strength to handle this task but hope at some point it will represent part of my healing process.

I recently met someone who has been able to share his journey as his husband succumbed to this disease after a thirty three year relationship of their own.

David G. Hallman’s August Farewell is an honest, loving and incredibly moving document of the changes and damage that pancreatic cancer wreaks on the patient and their caregivers, as well as displaying how lives lived in love will beget love and support from those who surround them.

Mr. Hallman’s story paralleled mine in that when the final diagnosis was given, there was very little time left and the focus shifted to providing comfort and relief in their last moments together.  The shared vignettes of of Mr. Hallman and Mr. Conklin’s lives together prior to the diagnosis, set the stage for their final moments together.

Given that my husband’s passing is quite fresh, I found solace in that there was someone who experienced the same fears, the same comforts and the same love as I had.  In reading August Farewell , I found equal opportunity for laughter and tears.  Mr. Hallman’s memoir has helped ease some of my pain, alleviated my fears and offered me permission to take time to grieve.

I for one thank Mr. Hallman for sharing his and Bill’s journey with me.  Thank you for this glimpse into a story I know all too well myself.

an open letter…

Dear Cancer,

 You finally did it.  On August 10, 2013 you took the life of the most remarkable man I’ve had the honour to know.  In the process of doing so, you destroyed a marriage which represented fifteen years of happiness and intense love.

Despite your efforts in the past, attacking his liver, which eventually was replaced due to the generosity of a young man from London, attacking his bile duct, which was removed and systematically treated with poisons, you finally went for his pancreas and got a decent foothold.

Not content with just the pancreas, you took the transplanted liver, kidneys and had began working on his lungs and bone marrow when his health proceeded to fail.  You systematically attacked every major organ in his body until the doctors decided they could do no further and he succumbed to you.

What I’m angriest at is that in July we were given six to twelve months, but you got greedy and took him away from me after only four weeks.  That was fucking low and uncalled for.  My main consolation is that you were so aggressive, his suffering was mercifully brief.  I guess I should be thankful for this small mercy but I really can’t be.

What I am thankful for is the army of people who surrounded Larry (DH) and I during these past few months when we began our final battle.  While Larry didn’t survive, I would not have survived without them.  Particular thanks go to:

Mom and Dad
Rev. Doug
Leslie and Jeff
Steve and Dana
Doug and Tara
The 3 Davids (Bartlett, Milmine and Jacobs) – further comments about these kings of men will follow in a future post.
Steve K (the urn is beautiful my friend, I am eternally grateful)
Santa Bob
Jeff and Michele
Alistair and Nicolle
The fabulous Donna B
Steve G, Michael W, Rob F, David R, Rich F and Lorne G from HGMC
Mark M from the Hamilton Spectator for the lovely piece on Larry
Dave K at Mixed Media, Melissa at the Grey Room, the gentlemen at Sealed Art and the ladies of Laidlaw Memorial for making Larry’s memorial something I remember.

Without these folks and the many others who stepped up to the plate with their love, concern and support, I doubt I would have survived these past two months myself.  They made the sheer hell you put Larry and I through at least tolerable for me.

But, guess what cancer?  I declare war on you!  I have already started fundraising to support Princess Margaret Hospital through the photographs Larry and I took during our final battle against you.  While he may have lost, we are going to use these documents in my continuing war against you!

I’m no longer the scared young man, afraid of you!  I will continue to support others who maintain the fight to defeat cancer.  You took my best friend, you took my partner, you took my husband.  I will continue to support the fight you as long as I draw breath.

Seriously cancer, Fuck you!

Your enemy,