All Posts Tagged ‘pain


My Beloved Wife Marla Passed


My beloved wife Marla passed away on 10/07/20 due to complex complications from Wilson’s Disease. Her Hepatologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center said that it was amazing that she lived as long as she did. This makes me feel that i succeeded rather well at helping her with her illnesses. Marla was very brave and went through a lot of suffering. She was born with Wilson’s Disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder rendering the body to be unable to eliminate excess copper naturally. She had an auto-allergic reaction due to the penicillamine medication that she was on for Wilson’s in the past; penicillamine has a lot of very bad side-effects. At that time, she almost died from ARDS and ended up with only half-lung capacity. She suffered from dystonia — a strong tightening of the muscles involuntarily — and had to have Botox injections deep in her neck every two to three months. Due to the chronic dystonia of her neck, she had to have 8 cervical vertebrae replaced with titanium implants. She then lost the ability to swallow and had to (permanently) eat via enteral feeding (i.e., by a tube going into her stomach area). Before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped, and — for decades — helped with enteral feeding (i.e., stomach feeding tubes) with some of my students; so i was very experienced with helping Marla with hers. Marla then had to have shoulder surgery… and then reconstructive shoulder surgery. She had Elastosis perforans Syndrome, a skin disorder (on her thighs) caused by having been on the penicillamine for years before getting on the better (less intrusive) new zinc therapy. She often told me that she had a low threshold for bearing pain but she was way more brave and stalwart than i could have ever been. Despite her pain and struggles, we had a whole lot of great, joyful times together.

I fell in love with Marla largely because of her warm and compassionate heart. She always put others first and was always thinking of others. She often made things for others, like quilts, fancy embroidery things, and homemade lotions. She was a nurse and often would take her elderly mother to the doctors. Everyone who met Marla loved her radiant, caring personality. I am so honored to be her husband.

Please consider donating to the Wilson Disease Association at

The following is one of the E. E. Cummings poems that i read at her beautiful outdoor memorial service along the Kankakee River:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


The first photo is from our Wedding Day. The second photo is Marla, many years later, with one of our puppy-dogs. Marla always loved dogs.

Our Wedding, November 9, 1985
Marla Pic 2




Most of us avoid and run from pain.  Our habit, as we were taught, is to run from pain and to seek pleasure.  Most of us accept this as the way to react and perform.  Commercials add to this tendency of ours, portraying pain as something horrible to avoid; additionally, they tempt us to go after exotic vacations, possessions, and fancy (though polluting) automobiles.  The relationship that a truly intelligent and wise mind has to pain may be quite different than the relationship that most people have (or do not have) with pain.  As long as it is not too unbearably intense, the intelligent mind may not merely detest it, avoid it, and flee from it.  The intelligent mind doesn’t come to pain with all of the prejudices, judgements, and ingrained reactions that so many face pain with.  Similarly, the intelligent mind doesn’t just approach certain races, ethnic groups, and certain classes of people with (and through) all kinds of preconditioned prejudices and judgements; they are seen simply as they are (without a mere separative viewpoint).  There is much beauty in that; even pain can — and often does — have elements of beauty to it if one looks without mere condemnation.   One can come to terms with pain in an intelligent, harmonious way.

We avoid pain so readily, so quickly, so mechanically.  Avoiding pain goes back eons into our evolutionary past and does have its place.  However, remaining in thought — and the limited (which is what thought is) — as so many of us inevitably do, is (in a big way) a real form of suffering and pain.  It is like a man clinging to shadows and wholeheartedly taking the shadows to be what reality truly is.  It is also like an organism taking a mere tool to be the essence of what it is.  Very many of us cling to concepts, mental images, beliefs, and to our authoritarian leaders (who themselves are as lost as we are).  So many of us have a central authoritarian leader whom we each call “me” or “I.”  Yet this so-called central figure (purporting to be some sort of central authority) is what was conditioned into us (from others with the same syndrome); we continue, day in and day out, to look at the world with separation (yet we think we are healthy).  Distortion isn’t healthy.  Even though it may claim to be fine, it causes suffering and causes havoc in the world (directly or indirectly).  You can’t intelligently come to terms with pain if there is not proper relationship to it and to other aspects of life, both psychologically and physically.  When one is separate from what is experienced or thought, then fear, distortion, and suffering take place.  (Very many think that they are separate from their thoughts, fears, and from others who are suffering.)  When the mind acts without mere dependency upon what others have taught, then physical pain (personally) isn’t always so bad; and then the mind isn’t merely immersed in the pool of psychological suffering that so many accept as normal.  Such a mind transcends (and helps to transcend) suffering.  Such a mind doesn’t mind undergoing a lot of pain and discomfort (and lack of pleasure) in order to help others.  Compassion negates pain (not necessarily in one’s so-called personal self).  If wholeness and integrity aren’t there — they’re not two separate things, by the way — neither is true joy, deep intelligence, and profound bliss.

Feeling Slowly.(1)  Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly.(1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Feeling Slowly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016