The Blog of Author Robert K. Lewis

Where I’ve Been.


I thought a LONG time about this post. This blog is supposed to be about my writing, and about writing in general.

I was going to update it, over a couple weeks ago.

Then…? Well, life happened.

My mother died, after her long walk down Alzheimer’s Way. That photo above is of her when I believe she was about sixteen or so, out on Long Island, NY. Probably at a cousin’s house. She died having left me memories of a highly neurotic, psychotic, anorexic, wonderful, bright, hysterical mess of a person. She died an enigma.

She died May 5, 2012, at the age of 82.

Then, about five days after that? I had an… episode. I was sitting on the couch, felt suddenly weak and sweaty and weird. Got up to go to the couch, and…

… I woke up an hour later, in the ER.

I had some form of epileptic seizure. I would’ve died, had it not been for my wife, who was home with me. I had taken like five steps in complete darkness, totally out of it, then body slammed… well, face planted, to the hardwood floor. She heard this bellow of sound, like a Wildebeest going down, followed by an earth shattering slam. She found me on my back, bloody foam frothing from my lips, in a total seizure, eyes at 3 and 9, if you can believe it. She got me on my side so I wouldn’t choke to death on my blood from my broken nose, and called 911.

I lost an hour of time. There’s this hole now in my life of an hour. Weird, that.

I stayed in the hospital overnight, as my pulse dropped from 72 down to 30 suddenly, for no known reason. Everyone at Highland Hospital in Oakland was AWESOME, by the way. Totally awesome.

So now I have to go get an EEG, and an MRI. Life has gotten a bit more… complicated.

And there’s the passing of my mother on top of it all. She was crazy wonderful, and often times just crazy. That photo above? Well, I can’t reconcile that with the anorexic woman who would sit for hours at the dining room table she won on The Price is Right back in like 1973, smoking Taryton 100 cigarettes while she read fashion magazines, lamenting she had to make dinner again.

But, she was awesome. 151 I.Q. Had a job offer from Disney at one point, back in the early 50’s I believe (or so the story goes), but she turned it down, wanting to get married instead (again, or so the story goes). She was a very talented artist, but lacked the ego an artist needs. She loved bowling, and telling jokes. Here’s one she told again and again:

You hear the one about the Mohel that did circumcisions for cheap?
He only took the tips.

It’s strange. Her death, and my almost death. Like the universe was somehow realigning itself in some way, shape, or form. Dunno for sure, but I can tell you that I’m thinking about it. A lot.

I think about how, as I got off the couch and everything went black, that THAT could’ve been it, man. It could’ve been over for me. My wife tells me she heard the crash, and came around the corner, and there I was, and she started saying, “No no no no no no no…” and that THIS could’ve been my last moment here.

And I wonder… how would’ve I have felt about my life, up to this point?

Would I be okay with it? Disappointed? Angry?

My goal has ALWAYS been that I’d be okay with it. That if I got struck down by some freak accident and killed, that I’d leave this life with NO regrets.


NOW I realize exactly how HARD that is, my friends. NOW I think I’m beginning to understand why there are not more Buddhas out there in the world.

Live. Live your life. Live it well. Live it as free and open as you can. Because wow… now I’ve had a glimpse, a SMALL glimpse, of how just like a flash of light it can all go away.

But for my mom? Well, her journey was much longer. Years and years.
Here’s to you, mom. I love you, and will miss your smile and laugh.

If you’re reading this, please go out and hug someone. Your spouse, your lover, your dog, your cat, your stuffed animal… whatever it is that YOU LOVE. Just hug them. Or, if nothing else, then just sit there. BE, in this moment. Because EACH ONE is SO FUCKING PRECIOUS, man. Trust me on this one, ok?

Back soon with some VERY cool news and a VERY cool image.

And you know what? Thank you for indulging me in this HIGHLY personal post. 🙂


4 responses

  1. I’m teary eyed, heart broken and relieved … all at the same time. I’m so very, very glad your wife was with you – hard to even imagine the hell she went through at that time. My sympathies again about your mom. It’s so damn hard. Please take care of yourself so we all have you around for many more years. Okay, I’m off to go find a few family members to hug…

    05/24/2012 at 1:20 am

    • Thanks, Jemi. 🙂

      Hope you hugged those family members, nice and long. As I’ve said many times recently: a CRAZY couple of weeks, for sure.

      Glad you stopped by! 🙂

      05/24/2012 at 2:55 am

  2. Great post.

    Funny how living Carpe Diem doesn’t mean being ready to be done. A few years back I had about 48 hours where it looked like I had a very bad disease (the kind where you are lucky to live 2 years). I kept thinking “I don’t want anything to be different I just want more” and I was scared as hell. But, looking back at those hours after I got the all-clear I realized I was damn lucky because how many people wouldn’t change a thing? So maybe Carpe Diem at least reduces regrets.

    05/24/2012 at 5:54 pm

    • Good point. Yeah… I’m still working through all of it. I seem to be living in a constant state of amazement, mixed with denial. A weird frame of mind, and one I’m just not used to.

      Good to see you here, Madam. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      05/24/2012 at 11:59 pm

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