A Small Thing

When Bob was undergoing his first chemo in the hospital, he had a psychotic break caused by a severe reaction to high doses of one of the drugs. The end result was an unbelievable high. I write about it in Life With A Hole In It. He fell in love with life. He didn’t know anything but joy. He lay there ruined by his fatal disease grinning from ear to ear.

The cheer cart stopped in the hall outside of his room and I went to see what they had to offer. I bought him a tiny soft brown puppy and paid five dollars for it. I gave it to him and the flood gates of light opened even further. Bob, an executive male of his generation, an alpha dog if there ever was one, now looked on this gift as God Himself. That is what happens in hell when you have accidentally slipped its bonds and gone directly to Heaven.

He would spend days so in love that he couldn’t smell his own shit. And it was considerable. I gagged when I found him sitting in it happily. He tried to leave the hospital so he could walk home to see me. He found it necessary to rip all of his lines out that were delivering him various and sundry medications.

You can imagine how I was reacting to all of this. He was in heaven and I was in hell. Both of us were out of it. He lived a little over four years after he left the hospital. I am still here, still pounding out essays that shock and awe me with their residual feelings.

I feel that he is watching over me. The little brown dog is in a drawer in my kitchen hutch. The memory is in my heart. Often we forget which is more important, things or people. We forget that light can penetrate the darkest night, but only when there is no more human hope. Human hope is a deadly disease, deadlier than cancer. We should be hoping to transcend it and rise into the light of God’s will. In His Will is our peace.

A Guru in the Guest Room will be out very soon. It is built from bits and pieces of light that managed to work their way through the darkness. Swami Z knew what he was about when he moved in with me. He knew that Vicki needed a break. Truer words were never spoken.


  1. It was profound subject matter; that is why. I love sharing the book with readers because the light
    does get in through all of that darkness. Not an easy journey but an inevitable one.


  2. Hope is not good.False assurance no more good.But for a soul that nears its final adieu, there is a hope. Call it aspiration or faith.Still,on every step,one prunes the mind off its false growths and privileges.Keep the stem, trim.The growth is deep and downward. Here,your critics give you better chance to hope,to aspire than your admirers.Since,you had been listening all the way to the applause of your own shallow self.Perhaps, even now. Materially, live in a mansion. In a room with a view.But spiritually, always in a cave. If you said wet logs will get fire, you have exaggerated. ‘Keep the cloth folded, Bodhi rajakumara.’ ‘Yes, Blessed One.’


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