What I haven't wanted to write

I didn’t really mention how our Christmas trip to Albuquerque went. You might have seen on the Flickr page that yes, we made it there; we walked around Old Town to see the luminarias on Christmas Eve, and the next day Chris and I took the tramway up to Sandia Crest. And we spent time with my family: my aunts and my brother and my father and my mother, and it was good, but it was too short of a visit, considering the situation. Just after Christmas, my mom, who has late-stage ovarian cancer, started hospice care. (This is the part I haven’t wanted to write.)

On New Year’s Eve, I booked a flight to go out there again next week. Last night, based on what the hospice nurse is telling us, I changed my flight to this Sunday instead. I hope you can figure out where this is all going. The last time I talked to my mom she sounded comfortable. She’s comfortable and she’s at home. Some of you reading this may know her, or maybe you have some sense of who she is from stuff I’ve written, and if you want to send prayers or good thoughts her way, I’m sure she’d welcome that.

As for how I am, I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s hit me yet.

There is this little building at the top of Sandia Crest called Kiwanis Cabin, this stone hut perched right at the edge, and from the steep side of the mountain it looks remote and wind-whipped and God-forsaken, and when I saw it from the tramway and through my camera I wondered what it was like there. It looked, well, rough—like a place where you’d have to endure the elements, and someplace you’d go only if you were really lost. Later I searched Flickr for photos of the place and realized that people get there just by hiking up the other side, the “easy” side, up what looks like a pretty ordinary trail, with pinon trees, and grass, and everything looking enough like the rest of the world for you to almost forget how thin the air is getting. I can see that sometimes you might not know how close you are to that place until you’re practically there.

That’s kind of how it is right now: one side of the mountain or another.

This might be the last post for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to let you all know what is happening.


  1. Amy says

    A year ago tomorrow 1/9 my father died unexpectantly. I had a chance to make it to the hospital in AZ to see him regain conciousness only briefly, and for a moment our eyes locked and he smiled lovingly, and in his eyes I saw “I love you”. He was not expected to wake up and I am grateful he rallied to say goodbye. A little while after I returned back to CA from the funeral someone had sent to me the web site for the weight watcher cards. Appropriate or not I laughed hysterically and could barely contain myself and thought “Thank you Wendy” It was a much needed relief from all of the sadness. I hope you can find some comfort in all of the comments in this blog, Although most of us do not know you personally, we feel we do and care what happens. Fuck cancer.

  2. says

    Wendy, I’m a huge fan of both your blog and your book. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I went through the cancer thing with my dad, and it does suck…but it WILL get better. Hang in there.

  3. says

    hey wendy, so sorry to hear this. my grandfather died in hospice late last year, and as hard as it was, he was peaceful and comfortable at the end. i wish the same for your mom, and healing and good thoughts for you.

  4. says

    Another “you don’t know me,” but your writing entertains me a great deal, for which I’m grateful. I’m sad to hear about your mom, and I hope that she’s comfortable and that your family and friends are doing OK too.

  5. Laura says

    Hi, Wendy.

    I’m so sorry about what is happening right now, but hope that it is some comfort to you that people are thinking positive thoughts for you and your family.

  6. Julianne says

    Wendy, I am so sorry. I am sending positive thoughts to you and your momma. Take care, and, I know you have great friends, but, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.

  7. MLS says


    I’ve read your site for a few years now and never commented, but I wanted to let you know that you have one more person praying for your mom.


  8. Gayle says


    I am so sorry. I will send good thoughts out to you and your family. Take care of yourselves.

  9. says

    Oh, Wendy.

    I hope we get to hang out soon, and I can give you a gigantic hug. I had not stopped by your site for a while, and so I was very sad to read this post.

    Big love from me to you.

  10. Lezlee says

    Wendy, I am so sorry. You brighten all of our days and I wish that there was anyway for us to do the same for you right now.

  11. says

    I just finished your book, then I surfed over here… such sad news. We wish we could save the people we love. “She’s comfortable and she’s at home” is sometimes the best we can do. *hugs* from Madison, Wisc.

  12. says

    Wendy, I am thinking about you and your family. I wish I had something magical and comforting to say, but alas, it just sucks. But you’re not alone. Hug hug.

  13. Laura says

    Wendy, I, too, am very sorry to hear about what is going on. Take care of yourself and your mom and know that there are a great number of us sending peaceful good vibes your way.

  14. says

    Wendy, my thoughts are with you as you embark on this most difficult journey, and with your mother as well. I hope her passing is as peaceful as possible.

    It’s tough to be left behind, especially when it’s your mother doing the leaving. (My mother died of breast cancer nearly three years ago.)

  15. Ellen says

    Dear Wendy,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

    Having gone through this one year ago I wish I had some magic wisdom. Please be gentle with yourself. How wonderful to be there for your mother when she will need you most. May you find peace and comfort in the love of family and friends.

  16. moxobee says

    Dear Wendy,

    Just yesterday I lent your book to a friend of mine after she fell in love with the WW recipe cards on your site. I’ve been reading your site for years, and your writings have given so much joy and comfort that the least I can do is give you my condolences now.

    Grieve in whatever way helps you, and take care of yourself.

  17. says

    You don’t know me as I just found your blog when I saw pictures of Sandia Peak on your Flickr account. I live in Albuquerque and lost my own mother almost 14 years ago and my heart goes out to you.

    A big hug from a total stranger. My thoughts are with you.

  18. says

    I’m a little late, Wendy, but I wanted to send you my best wishes as well. You’ve brought me laughter, perspective, and the sense that I had a very cool friend in Chicago who I just hadn’t met yet. In return I’d like to offer my sincere condolences and hopes for many caring hands to guide you through and ears to listen.

  19. says

    Oh, I’m so, so sorry and sad for you right now. I’m also thinking lots of warm thoughts in your direction, and very much hoping you’re taking care of yourself. Xx, Evany

  20. says

    I hope you manage to find some peace right now. Sometimes thinking is unbearable. Be with your loved ones and take care.

  21. says

    Wendy – we are complete strangers, but like so many people who have posted comments here, I have read your book and check into your site. When I read your news my heart broke because I know all too well what it is to lose a parent. I wish you and your family peace and love.

  22. says

    I am late in reading, but just want to offer my condolances. So sorry for your loss. Your mother sounded like a neat woman and the love between the two of you is very obvious. Take care of yourself.

  23. says

    Dear Wendy, I was so very sorry to read about the loss of your mom. I hope your memories bring you comfort. Please take good care of yourself to the extent that it’s possible right now. Big e-hugs, Jenny

  24. Jerry says

    Just another stranger who admires your writing and feels so incredibly sorry for your loss. There’s just nothing that doesn’t suck about a parent dying. I’m so sorry. Please, take care.

  25. Ada says

    I have only posted here once before, and hadn’t stopped here in weeks. I was so sad when I read about your loss. My condolences. (many hugs)