Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hi everyone,

I realize the blog posts and new YouTube videos have been infrequent lately, and the promised TBA website update launch date was missed.

I wanted to let you know what was going on here, now that I'm ready to talk about it.

My very dear friend and mother, Norma Gail, passed away recently.

When I say "dear friend", I truly mean it.   Mom was a bundle of fun to be around and had a tight circle of friends who loved her deeply, and until very recently was a highly independent 78-year-old who.....

.... still did her own shopping, banking, errands, etc.  

....  took online courses in Roman history, among many other subjects!  

....  read at least 5 books a week

..... ran a profitable online business on eBay in her 60s and early 70s

....  quite capable of troubleshooting her own computer and Direct TV problems, eventually putting me out of that job entirely ; ) 

She was just one hell of a lot of fun to be around.

She was very open about her desire to go quickly when it was her time, and people on her side of the family tend to hang on a LONG time after an illness or event that would have long ended anyone else's life.   She had no fear of death; what she feared was losing her independence and being unable to read, learn, and talk.

She had been diagnosed with a serious heart valve issue about a year ago, and rather than risk a stroke during what was considered very risky surgery, she decided to ride it out.  She'd slow down once in a while from the valve problem, but overall had a great final year of life.

For the last couple of years, I've taken Wednesday off to visit her. (She still lived, totally independent, in the house I grew up in.)   We'd just hang out like two old friends and solve the problems of the world while watching whatever she had taped for us to watch that week, which was anything from Ken Burns' The War to Bravo's Million Dollar Listing.


It was always a little odd leaving my childhood home at the end of a visit, especially on a spring or summer night.

For just a moment, I'd be 10 years old again, looking at where the school bus would stop to pick me up and where the community basketball court was.

And when I'd get in my car and look back at the house, I'd always give thanks for another great visit, and then I'd say...

.... "If that's the last time we spend together, it sure was fun."

And then one week, it was the last time.



I'm very grateful that Mom passed quickly.  She suffered a stroke on a Monday and passed later that same week, in hospice care.  

So all at once, I had lost my mother, a very dear friend, and my second parent.

I needed some time to absorb that. It was like being hit with massive body blows all at once, and from different directions. 

At different times, I thought the mourning was over, and then some little thing would bring it back.  For obvious reasons, Wednesdays have been tough.

But life rolls on.

Any time during that week that there was a tough decision to be made regarding her care, or a tough moment for any reason, I just imagined what Mom would say if she could sit up and talk for 30 seconds.  

And right now, she'd say "Son, it's time to get back to work!"

(Any sentence that started with "son" was serious stuff.) 

One fast thing I'd like to ask of you:

If you have a will, or are planning to write one, make sure it's a living will that spells out your desire (or lack of same) for extraordinary lifesaving techniques in case you can't speak for yourself.   It truly makes things a lot easier for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading and listening, and I'll see you here on Tuesday!

Chris B.



82 comments:

Milton said...

Sorry to hear that. my condolences.

Mike Ulrich said...

Hey Chris, a very nice tribute to your mother. Sorry for your loss but as long as you remember her, your mother will always be with you.

Pawan said...

May she rest in peace. I am sorry for your loss, Chris.

Chris Lindahl said...

Not many words can really help ease the loss of a parent, I know that first hand, but please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss.

George Sherman said...

I am sorry for your loss but overjoyed to hear how wonderful your relationship with your mother was. Your writing made me a little misty (I am at the office). Thank you for sharing this quite personal moment.

Stuart said...

Hey Chris - sorry to hear of your loss. It'll be 20yrs since my mum passed away next week and it's no longer raw or emotion packed but boy I still miss her.

Take as much time as you need and we'll see you back when you are. pax

Phillip Cooper said...

Mr. Bryant:

Very sorry to hear about your loss, but I am glad that it wasn't protracted.

Take all the time you need. It's not like you don't have content out here already. ;)

CC said...

Hello Chris. I am truly sorry for your loss. Grace and peace be with you, your family, and friends.

CC said...

Hello Chris. I am sorry for your loss. Grace and peace be with you, your family, and friends.

Kim said...

Hi Chris,

So sorry for the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

Kim Clary

Kim said...

Hi Chris,

So sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

Kim Clary

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss. Your mother was obviously a remarkable woman. Be comforted by the fact that you didn't let your work or successes keep you from making time for her every week. Those of us who did not do so could testify that this is one of life's biggest regrets.

Prayers for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I can't even begin to imagine what the day will be like when I lose my mother.

My condolences...

Jay said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.

Jay said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.
Jay, Udemy student

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.
Jay, Udemy student

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.
Jay, Udemy student

Anonymous said...

My condolences, Chris.
I know that you have been trying very hard to keep things floating around, TBA and Udemy. Sometimes some of us students forget that there is still a life going on behind the scenes. Thanks for all you have done for me and my career and for all the hard work.
My heart goes out to you.
Jay, Udemy student

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your loss Chris. But I'm also glad you spent consistent quality time with such a great parent. Knowing she loved and you loved her is really all that counts in this world. Praying you stay strong and know she's free and happy now.

-Mike Marketg

Anonymous said...

Your story brought a tear to my eye. That's a tough loss. Wishing you well.

Unknown said...

Very sorry for your loss, Chris. I recently lost my father, also my aecond parent, and it was VERY tough... It affected my job and many aspects of my life.

Keeping you in our thoughts, sir.

Nick

Rudy Cedillio said...

Hey Chris,
Sweet letter regarding your grandmother and best friend. god Bless her.

William Grebenik said...

Blessings to you and your family, your mother sounds like a wonderful woman!

William

William Grebenik said...

Blessings to you and your family, Chris. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman!
William

Gerard Williamson said...

Our hearts go out to you and your family. RIP. I am sure she was very proud of you and the work you do.

We are all grateful for all the hard work you put into making us smarter.

Thank you!

Gordon said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss Chris. I lost my dad suddenly 4 years ago and like you I'd lost my best friend. Take your time. Those wounds take time to heal

Gerard Williamson said...

Our hearts go out to you and your family. May she rest in peace.

We are grateful for all the hard work you do to make us smarter.

THANK YOU!

Aren Abkarian said...

R.I.P

Anonymous said...

I am deeply sorry for your loss. What you wrote was well said. My God's peace be with you my friend.

---Michael T. Durham

Michael Douville said...

Sorry to hear that Chris, I feel for you as I also lost my Mother this last December. I'm glad I was close to her. Hope you do OK.

Henry Perez said...

Hey Chris,

Sorry to hear about your recent loss, I truly extend my condolences to you and the family. I think your message is heart felt and yet motivating to many who have or will surpass this at one point in their life. Its hard to loose a parent, but it's even great to find the moments of gratitude for spending time with someone so deer to our hearts, and better yet remembering key messages that keep us rolling in life.

All the best,
Henry

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you sir. Your mother has returned home.

Lennart Andersen said...

My sincere condolences, to you and your family, Lennart

Juan del Valle said...

Sorry for your loss, I didn't cry because I'm on the job, just reading this I realize the time I'm losing not visiting my mother and just passing time with her. Take all the time that you need.

Kjetil Mydland said...

My deepest condolences! Reading your blog moved me a lot, not only that she was your best friend, but also in the way she made you think back at your childhood.

Anonymous said...

Prayers and best wishes for you, your family, and your mother.

NELSON WALLACE said...

sorry for you Lost Bryant.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your mother and she was a lifelong friend to you. You were indeed very lucky.

Salvatore Nestor

NELSON WALLACE said...

Sorry for you loss Chris. It's never easy when you lose someone that you love. As long as you are alive they will always be alive in you.

cesar said...

Sorry about that Mr. Bryant, surely you missed her a lot, just remember her always, remember her tips of advice and the good days you spend with her, true life rolls on but LIFE is what you do not what you did not,and certanly she DID a lot for her loves ones.

ewells said...

My condolences on your loss, no words or thoughts can ever express the complexity of grief when it strikes nor can anyone forecast the timeline it takes to put one foot in front of another. This Bulldog alumni, sends all his prayers to accompany you on your journey.

Erik Wells

Clem said...

Chris - thanks for sharing such a poignant story, and my sincerest condolences to you and your family. I lost my own Mom a little over a year ago and I completely identified with everything you'd said. At the risk of sounding corny: Just know that she'd still be with you each and every day in your heart. We all leave this place at some point, but our memories for our loved ones, as well as the lessons we learned from them, can never be taken away.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you. May you be find true happiness.

Gabriel Selmi said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you Chris. Your personal thoughts have truly captured the joyous and blessed life that you and your mother had shared. When my father passed away last year I found a quote from Dr. Seuss that comforted me:

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened"

Peace to you.

Gabe

Angela McClain said...

What beautiful words. Mom is still there with you in spirit. Cherish them and know that even though you don't know me, you have my sincere sympathy and prayers. Thank you for your contribution to the thousands of us who seek to make our IT professional lives better using the resources that you have provided us.

Angela M.

Kay J said...

Chris, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing a part of your story and I hope you find some comfort in the lovely memories you have of your mom.

Cee Lunkins said...

Chris,

I personally have never taken a moment to picture a time when my mother and best friend would no longer be here. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and reminding me that time spent with loved ones should be cherished and appreciated.
Warmest regards,

Cee Lunkins said...

Chris,

I personally have never taken a moment to picture a time when my mother and best friend would no longer be here. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and reminding me that time spent with loved ones should be cherished and appreciated.
Warmest regards,

Tyson said...

Sorry you lost your Mom good sir D:. If anything else she raised an interesting person!

Anonymous said...

Chris, I'm sorry for your loss.
I agree that Having Health Care Directives and end of life decisions spelled out are an enormous help.
I have even more respect for you now that you shared this experience with us.

Kenneth Vargas said...

My condolances Chris, I am deeply saddened for your loss, One never knows what to say in a moment like this, but be strong Sir.

Dan Saunders said...

Chris - you have written a beautiful tribute to your mother. For those of us that have already lost our parents we applaud your heartfelt sentiments. My sincere condolences. I thank you for sharing your time of sorrow in a most inspiring manner.

Dan Saunders said...

Chris - you have written a beautiful tribute to your mother. For those of us that have already lost our parents we applaud your heartfelt sentiments. My sincere condolences. I thank you for sharing your time of sorrow in a most inspiring manner.

Dan Saunders said...

Chris - you have written a beautiful tribute to your mother. For those of us that have already lost our parents we applaud your heartfelt sentiments. My sincere condolences. I thank you for sharing your time of sorrow in a most inspiring manner.

H L Drew said...

My sincere condolences to your loss.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure your mother was a very special soul and she is much better off now, glad to hear there was no pain and suffering and that she went quickly. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing, by helping many up and coming network engineers to be the best that they can be!

Anna said...

i am so sorry for your lost. Take the time is necessary

DJ STEVEN KING said...

My condolences, to you and your family

DJ STEVEN KING said...

My condolences, to you and your family

Anonymous said...

My Prayers are with you and yours....

Tcowles said...

My sincerest condolences to you and your family, God bless you all.. Wishing you and your family the very best during this difficult time.

cloyd delfinado said...

sori for your lost my friend, condolence.

Cecilia said...

Hi Chris,

I'm so sorry about the loss of your Mom. What a blessing to have had such a wonderful person in your life. Wishing you and your loved ones healing and peace.


Naveen Anjeri said...

Sorry to hear this.. may her soul rest in peace..

Al Green said...

Your mother sounds like the person I want to be...Bless her and bless you Chris.

Simon said...

Condolences

Brian L Carter Photography said...

Not everyone takes the time to value a parent as a close friend I truly applaud you for treasuring such a relationship, my condolences to you and your family on losing your mom who seems to have been a true "golden girl"

Alexander Ovalles said...

I am sorry, Chris. I thank you for letting us know and learn from your experience.

Alexander Ovalles said...

I am sorry for your loss and I thank you for letting us know and learn from your life experience.

Robert McCormack said...

Hello Chris,
The pain of your loss is tangible. May the bond & love you shared give you strength at this time.

My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Robert Scarborough said...

Chris I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. You truly have my condolescences. My mom is in Virginia battling after effects from Chemo related to her breast cancer battle. We are all with you. God Bless

Ajay Kumar Singh said...

my heartiest condolence with you Chris. May God rest her in peace. Life go on this way.

Rennie said...

Chris

so sorry for your loss, My condolences to you and your family.
take all the time you need

Gerald Amasol said...

Chris,

Condolences for your loss. I lost my father early and understand the sentiment of cherishing your time with the remaining parent. I can only hope to have the same good times with my mother that you obviously had with yours. Hope you take all the time you need to heal and come back to us Bulldogs with renewed energy. As a bonus, you now have two angels watching over you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I'm sorry for your loss. It's never a good thing when a parent/best friend dies. A very touching tribute to your mother.

May she rest in peace, also accept my most heartfelt sympathies to you and your family in this time of need.

Take care, and take as long as you need.

J dot said...

My condolences to you, Chris.

Nickelby Thane said...

I am sorry for your loss Chris. I am proud to be a student of yours who shares such a cherished friendship with his mum.

localsquad said...

Sorry for your lost Chris...RIP

John L. said...

Chris - I'm very truly sorry to hear about your mother passing. Sharing your feelings towards her is what shows how much she must have meant to you, and I'm sure many others in her life.

I heard once in a eulogy, that it's what you do with your 'dash' that counts. The dash is that small line on one's headstone between the DOB and DOD. The dash. It seems to me that your mother used her dash very very well, and passed that along to her son, and I'm sure others.

Be well, and rely on the comfort of knowing your mother will always be with you in spirit.

Take care.

P.S. - Shawshank Redemption is my all time favorite movie - and that scene is one of the most memorable for sure.

Kevin Allamby said...

Chris, Sorry for the passing of your Dear friend and Mother...may she RIP.

Kevin Allamby said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, Chris.

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