Nancy Jones Update
In January 2011, my wife Nancy Jones was diagnosed with leukemia.
This is the story of our journey, told through email updates to our
family, friends and community.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
A conversation on the couch
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The closing (day 49)
I feel cleaned, empty, soft-lonely-grateful-content-quiet. I have one more thing to send to you, as we breathe our sadness, and turn our attention back out to our own incarnations, allowing Nancy's to start to fade from our presence. Perhaps tomorrow.O Compassionate Ones,Abiding in all directions,Endowed with the great compassion,Endowed with love, affording protection to sentient beings,Consent through the power of your great compassion to come forth;Consent to accept these offerings concretely laid out and mentally created.O Compassionate Ones,You who possess the wisdom of understanding,The love of compassion,The power of doing divine deeds and of protecting in incomprehensible measure;Nancy is passing from this world to the next.She is taking a great leap.The light of this world has faded for her.She has entered solitude with her karmic forces.She has gone into a vast silence.She is borne away by the great ocean of birth and deathO Compassionate Ones,Protect Nancy, who is defenselessBe to her like a mother and a father.O Compassionate Ones,Let not the force of your compassion be weakBut aid her.Forget not your ancient vows…
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Sweet dreams, Richard (day 48)
I am sorry to pass on to you an odd counterpoint to Nancy's journey, as we nearly reach the end. Her father, Richard Jones, passed away early this morning at the age of 89.
Dick was ready to go, in a lot of discomfort the last couple of years, and grieving the loss of his wife a year ago, and Nancy, of course. He was a US Army Air Corps pilot in the Flying Tigers in WW II, flew P-40's, P-51's, then all the early jet aircraft as a test pilot. His name is in some history books, his stories were amazing, he was a fierce, tidy, disciplined man. He was a full colonel when he retired, then had another full career teaching, and working for CAL-OSHA.
I remember him talking about practicing delivery of big nuclear weapons in the early '50's using F-86 Sabre fighter jets, about flying a B-26, a P-61, all kinds of amazing planes, about building ICBM silos in the California and Arizona desert, about the time a hot pilot landed too close behind him and chopped his P-51 fighter in half, detonating all the fuel and munitions and burning the magnesium bits in a fireworks display that lasted for an hour. About shooting up Japanese troop trains in China in 1943, about parachuting out of a burning P-40 and getting back to the base with a lot of underground help, just in time to keep his stuff from getting given away. The man was damn lucky he was never killed in action, and saw more adventure in his life than anyone else I know.
Dick, we all love you, and Nancy loved you. May the Tara prayer hold you in your transition to the light.
So sad that he had to see his daughter pass away first. But it's also true that Nancy never lost her father. The light and the dark are ever in balance. See you tomorrow.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Building a house together (day 46)
- Anything concerning the design or appearance of any element of the house, Nancy needed to be involved.
- Anything involving the functionality or energy-efficiency of the house, I needed to be involved.
- We each had complete veto power.
Friday, February 3, 2012
A Backpacking Story (day 44)
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The boiler is out (day 42)
As Doug Adams said, the Answer to the Question About Life, The Universe And Everything Is...Is....42. And here we are, six weeks after she is gone. On one level, nothing is happening, and on another, much.
Metaphysically, I believe Nancy has moved on. I've not felt her in ten days, so the NancyJonesUpdate journey is becoming quiet. I finally have nothing to report about Nancy.
Oh, ouch, I just get to finally feel my complete loss. I've been gifted with ongoing contact with her spirit, easing my transition into my new life, but now she's gone, gone. I pray she's found bliss.
The outer dream of my life mirrors this loss. The entire heating system for the house we built failed yesterday. A Munchkin boiler provides all heating and hot water for our energy-efficient home. Yes this is funny -- was Nancy a Munchkin boiler? And — get this, mystery scholars — the ignitor failed. I awoke to a cold home yesterday, and all is repaired now. But it's still amusing. Especially because the pressure-relief valve on the system also needed replacement too :-)
If Nancy was anything, she was an ignitor. All the stories I hear, all the impact she had on Pathways workshop participants, co-workers, family, and me...all were related to her ability to bring fire, to pop something, to light something. When it came to pressure relief, well, many of us delighted in how much fun she was with a few tablespoons or glasses of wine she had consumed. I'm seeing her life in a somewhat different way today, the pattern of high internal pressure, flipping to pressure relief.
No wonder we were together. I don't polarize like that, I'm pretty steady, a good balancing force for her. Although I must share with you, I found an "archetype test" that she did a few years ago, put myself through the same set of test questions, and found that we are far more alike than different. We both key into pure energies, and have a lot of range, similar range, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Perhaps I've found the ultimate test system for finding our ideal partner, our soul mate. Hmm.
I ran into one of my neighbors and friends tonight. He mentioned how he walks by our house, and no longer sees Nancy out watering the yard in that meticulous way she did. Out come my tears. It's the little things that reconnect us all to our grief. It's all still here, moving us, and moving through us. Let her emails, her notes, your memories of her penetrate you...for our rainbow bridge to her is fading. Soon it will be gone. See you next week, at the memorial.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
An S&D workshop story (day 36)
We were at the ropes course - it was the start of the "Stand & Deliver Round That Shall Not Be Named". We were in southern San Francisco; and it was a very brisk day. It was a new group so we were all still getting to know one another. It was a day full of thick observation and introspection as we mentored our participants towards self revelation, discovery and teamwork. And...I had to pee. As I mentioned, it was a brisk day, Nancy and I were standing so close to each other that we were actually overlapping. We were huddled together as the following conversation occurred.
Heather: Man, I have to pee!
Nancy looks all the way around their surroundings and opens her hand as if to showcase that nearly the entire universe is readily available, and proceeds in a matter of fact, yet simultaneously slightly befuddled, tone.
Nancy: Well go. There are a thousand trees to choose from.
Heather looks around skeptically, and gives a slight grimace of doubt.
Heather: I don't know...
Nancy rifles through her jacket pockets and hands over a tissue that looks as though it had already been used four...possibly five...times already.
Nancy: Here (hands over the tissue).
Heather (takes it politely, still looks around): I don't know, there's people around. Maybe I can hold it.
Nancy (at this point somewhat angrily): Heather, what are you afraid they're going to see?!
Heather: Um, my big fat white ass!
Even re-reading it I'm not sure if it was actually that funny, all I can say is that Nancy and I laughed hysterically for at least a half an hour. We were both in tears, and then we still continued to laugh occasionally throughout the rest of the day. We had to stop looking at each other because every time we did the laughing would continue. It still cracks me up every time I think of it. I'll always have that memory and it will always cheer me up. I am grateful.
I'm also grateful that with Nancy as my mentor, I did eventually pee, in public, with questionable tissue - laughing the entire time - and not caring at that point who saw what.