The Bread Man Strikes Again

I’ve shared before about how my father maintains the charmingly odd practice of buying bushels of bread, cake and doughnuts to distribute to friends, animals and strangers.

We all need something to keep us out of trouble.

Yesterday Hospice came to talk with my mom about her life and death. She has decided that although she has trouble swallowing due to her cancer (or the cancer treatment) she will forgo tests and treatment and let things take a natural course.

I have been with my parents since last Friday spending quiet afternoons on the porch.

We all have our ways of coping. These days I turn to the Internet–blogging, YouTube (Cher did a music video with Meatloaf in the 80’s!), e-mails. I used to turn to Oreos, but with my new raw foods diet (two weeks!) I changed my eating patterns (Oreos? vegan? I used the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of veganism on them during much of my mom’s chemo.)

I have learned a new trick that helps distract me a bit from the pain of seeing a loved one suffer. Eyebrow Plucking. Yeah, one must be fully present to pluck one’s eyebrows. It provides the right amount of pain to enable a person to snap back into this world and usually a worthwhile product. Warning: Don’t pluck too much or too often or you will look like a mole.

I’ve also taken to leaning against old trees, resting my back on them and being quite still, pleased to be fixed to the earth while my heart opens to the Spirit which comforts me.

My dad continues his bread frenzy as evidenced by the photos of his latest gathering excursion. He has also taken to painting. Not art, but simply painting any surface that can be painted. His newest drug of choice is latex paint.

God is present or can be present in all these things. And indeed, we welcome God into our family, (but I’ll abstain from the bread and doughnuts.)

This post has 16 Comments

  1. Jimbo on August 17, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    I have an abiding memory of a live TV performance (way back in time) by Meat Loaf and Cher of ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ – let’s just say it wouldn’t get shown in church.

    Your Dad sure takes his bread seriously – though I can understand the need for occasional diversions whilst things are so intense at home.

    Thinking of you all.

  2. Anonymous on August 18, 2006 at 1:20 am

    Wow. That is a lot of frickin’ bread!

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom. It’s important now for she and you to just… enjoy your time. It sounds like you’re doing that….

    Tom D.

  3. Joe G. on August 18, 2006 at 3:40 am

    I’m glad to read that your mom and family have made some choices about treatment and hospice services. It’s a solid and good step.

    When both of my parents were in similar situations I learned that such periods were some of the most loving and deep moments of my life.

    Kisses to thee!

  4. CrackerLilo on August 18, 2006 at 4:50 am


    I don’t know what else to say.

  5. quakerboy on August 18, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I had no idea about you Mom. As an only child with aging parents, my heart goes out to you.

    Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Lots of love your way bro’,

  6. Bruce Garrett on August 18, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    I’m so sorry about your mom Peterson. I think I told you that I’ve lost both my parents, dad back in the 70s, mom just a few years ago. I know how it can be. You and your dad are in my thoughts. Take care of yourself. Things can seem overwhelming at times but just let whatever happens happen.

    Sitting with the old trees is probably better then the brow tweezers. After my mom passed away I began subconsciously to do everything I could to ruin my health. I’d lost about forty pounds and it took a visit to the ER before I finally snapped out of it, yet I thought I was being rational and taking care of myself that whole time and I wasn’t.

    Keep some close friends up there nearby. And…you know that place of inner peace better then I do, but I think the forest is your better bet then the tweezers.

  7. kurt_t on August 19, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    I think this is the first I’ve heard about your Mom. Sounds like she’s approaching things on her own terms, and the family is respecting that, which is great, all things considered.

    My partner’s Dad died of lung cancer last December. Fought it all the way. That’s the way he wanted it, and we let him do it his way.

    I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  8. Jennifer on August 20, 2006 at 5:30 am

    It’s nice to know that your dad is still up to the bread buying.
    Sorry that your mom isn’t doing so good! My mother-in-law has cancer also and was in the hospital last Friday and Saturday. I’ve gotten to know the routine a little too well now too. Hugs from me to you! 🙂

  9. Liz Opp on August 20, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    I am holding you and your family in my heart… What a tender post.

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

  10. Teri on August 21, 2006 at 4:26 am

    Did your family once own Toscano Breads, now owned by SF Bread Co?

  11. grace on August 21, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve been so wrapped up in my own circumstances I hadn’t known this was going on with you. I’m sorry….and yes….my prayers are with you as I know your are with me.
    love you!

  12. grace on August 21, 2006 at 10:53 pm




  13. Elliot on August 22, 2006 at 12:52 am

    Peterson, I send you all my love and hugs. Your dad is so cool, toting his bread around to those who need it. The world needs more people like you and your father. Things would be much better then.

  14. encarna on August 24, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    hey p, haven’t visited you blog in awhile. Just wanted to let you know I finally visited today and that we’re thinking about you and your family a lot. love, t.

  15. gsingjane on August 28, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Peterson, is it possible that your dad dropped off bread to us at the Branford Community Dining Room (homeless feeding program) one day last year? Branford is located about 15 minutes east of New Haven and I could swear the car, the bread and the man all look very familiar….

    Jane in Guilford

  16. Lisa on April 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    While I am posting this on an old thread, I hope you get it. I have memories of you and your sisters as little cute! Even your Grandma…:)

    My best memories though, are of your Mom and dad’s pickled eggs…and those wonderful heros your mom made…roast beef and the Italian were my faves. Your mom always had that quick wit for dealing with folks, she was funny. (to be an Italian is to know one!) I moved away , but I have fond memories of their place on the Lake from the 70’s….

    I wish you continued success in your life, and may your dreams be fullfilled. Lord knows, Lake Huntington and Narrowsburg never made it easy for anyone to do so..kinda like fighting to get out for survival. LOL! Cin Cin!

    Ciao ~

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