“What a Community!” Reading The Book of Mev by Jean Durel

My friend Jean sent me the following…

Have so loved The Book of Mev — even though my heart was breaking at times and tears were streaming down my face.  Of course I knew the end, but I had no idea what the journey would be like.  I so enjoyed reading about Mev’s and your budding relationship; was touched by many of the readings from other places that you included; especially loved reading about Mev when the pope went to Denver.  That was impressive!

But I was ill-prepared, even though you hinted at what would come, for Mev’s final journey and what havoc the brain tumor would cause in her body.  Unbelievable.  I had not heard the term, “the Arco Angels,” even though I knew the area had a closely knit community.  How vulnerable you allowed yourself to be and how supportive they were!  What a community!

Right now my next door neighbor is dying from stage 4 melanoma.  He is in hospice near Mercy Hospital so Helena and I went out to see him yesterday.  He is weak but alert and can whisper. Family and friends were visiting and of course there was great interest in some sports game on TV.  Later Helena commented that people don’t talk to the dying person about the fact that he is dying, thank him for his life and all he shared, etc.

She definitely has a point, but I was trying to imagine myself in my neighbor’s position and wondered how I would react if everyone who came in felt they had to talk to me about dying.  Think it would get old quickly.  But then again, maybe not.

So I thought about you and the Arco Angels and wondered how people dealt with that over the 7 or 8 mo. of Mev’s illness.  Anyway, wondered if this might sometime be an appropriate theme for one of the Sunday gatherings.


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