Posts Tagged ‘mother’

Michiko and Kimiko: A Love Story

February 17, 2013

Not long ago, I was reading a free weekly newspaper at Swami’s Cafe in Encinitas, California, when a photo jumped off the page and into my heart. The photo, which is at once both beautiful and heartbreaking, showed Michiko Lindsey cradling her cancer-stricken child, Kimiko. The accompanying story told of Kimiko’s battle with cancer and of Michiko’s battle to stay sane and strong in the midst of her fear and grief. Deeply touched by what I read, I contacted Michiko and asked her to tell me her story from the beginning. So here, in Michiko’s own words, interspersed with actual journal entries from her CaringBridge journal, is her love letter to her precious daughter.


Michiko Lindsey and Kimiko Lindsey-Schroder


I named my daughter Kimiko because in Japanese, “ki” means precious, “mi” means beautiful, and “ko” means child. She may be only one-quarter Japanese but she is a full-blooded precious, beautiful child. I’ve loved her ever since I first dreamed of her when I was fifteen years old, twenty-five years before she was born.

Kimi’s nurse practitioner had pronounced her perfectly healthy at her annual physical on July 29, 2010, a week after her fourth birthday. Six weeks later, on September 10, her daycare provider called me to say that Kimi was crying because her back hurt. I picked her up and took her to Urgent Care, where I was told that she probably had caught a flu bug. Since we were leaving for Japan later that month, I made an appointment with her pediatrician for September 17, just to make sure. On the 15th, I was thrilled when Kimi called from her dad’s to say that her back pain was gone. But later that day, after going to the movies with her Aunt Dee and Uncle Chris, her leg hurt so much that she couldn’t walk. When Chris called me, I said, “I’ll meet you at Urgent Care.”

Thank God that Chris had e-mailed me the night before. After doing some online research and talking to a doctor friend of his, he had recommended that I ask her pediatrician for a CBC (complete blood count) and MRI. He may have saved Kimi’s life because if (more…)

A Saint Helps My Mom Cross Over

February 13, 2012

This moving story by my friend Judy is both a reminder of the promise and power of prayer and the infinite love and compassion of those to whom we pray. Even when prayer doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything, the loving energy you transmit may ease the recipient’s pain, comfort their soul, and bolster their strength and resolve.


“The hospice nurse was just here,” my sister told me over the phone. “She said Mom will probably last another month.” As a public health nurse, I knew that hospice nurses were skilled at recognizing the signs and symptoms of approaching death and predicting how much time a patient had left.

My mom was two thousand miles away in St. Louis and there was nothing I could do to help her. She lay suffering, short of breath and wheezing. She had always told us that she could not handle being “an invalid.” Even the thought of using (more…)

A Hug From Richard

January 12, 2012

In her book, Heart Prints; Walking on Holy Ground, Julie Ireland Keene starts off a chapter titled “The Faces of Angels Among Us” with a heartwarming story about her son who died far too young. All the elements line up so perfectly that it would be a stretch to attribute it all to coincidence. You make the call.


The wise words of Rumi: “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment” apply to an experience I had several years ago that remains vivid, consoling, and bewildering. For quite some time I had been focused on releasing the grief concerning my son Richard’s sudden death at age nine. For far too long I had carried the hundred pound weight on my heart and with the help of my dear friend Ione along with spiritual teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Stephen Levine, Ram Dass and others, I made great progress. I took care of my unfinished business with him, dealt with guilt over not being a perfect parent, and was able to see the wonderful gift of having this dear loving soul in my life for nine years.

I had always dreamed of Richard in his nine year old earth suit. However, after I had gone through the process of releasing the pain but keeping him close in love, I had a dream of him as a (more…)

My Mother’s Hands

February 24, 2011

Lori Anne Yang

I was impressed with this post by my friend, Lori Anne Yang. In it, she poignantly shares the very different perspectives of a mother and her daughter.


I had always been very self-conscious about my knobby-knuckled, hard-working hands. Then I was given this poem. It was written by my then twelve-year-old daughter, Piper.

Though this poem was written to me, it is really a love letter to everyone who lifts children up, supports them in fully becoming their truest selves, and creates a soft spot for them to land in troubling times. We may not always hear it expressed in this beautiful way, but it is how our love is received more often than we know. There is truly so much divinity in the everyday.

by Piper (at age 12)

Soft and (more…)

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen Meets Her Departed Grandmother

November 18, 2009

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

It was a great pleasure to interview Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Although Rachel had included this profoundly moving story in her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, I asked her some questions so I could add more detail to the story. Here is an excerpt, beginning with her bio.

Dr. Remen is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, a co-founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, and the founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal. She is an internationally known teacher, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. Her course for medical students, The Healer’s Art, is currently being taught in fifty-three medical schools nationwide. Click here to visit Rachel’s website.

When I was in my middle forties, my mother, who was almost eighty-five, elected to have coronary bypass surgery. After surgery, she was wheeled to the coronary intensive-care unit. For the first week, she was unconscious, peering over the edge of life, breathed by a ventilator. As I sat with her, I remember feeling awed by her will to live and by the capacity of the human body to endure such a massive insult at such an advanced age.

When she finally regained consciousness, she was profoundly disoriented and often did not know who I, her only child, was. The nurses were reassuring. They told me they saw this sort of thing often. They called it (more…)