Book Review: Mother’s Stone (2013)

The end times and extraordinary life of Phyllis Joy
by Brian Wright (reviewed by the author)

Mothers_StoneThe idea of this book stems from a series of columns I wrote as a diary of my mother’s ‘end times.’ She was victim to a genetic illness known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD). As a patient she traversed the modern medical bloodletting system, availing herself of the best technology health insurance covers… and survived it in style for three-plus glorious years. Moreover, the universal meaning of her life ‘as a whole’ transcends the short period of her end times and is what I have aimed to capture as a message from the sages: health lessons learned and freedom lessons shared.

I originally speculated that Mother’s Stone might serve as a focal point of national and international (and non-national) discussion on how to achieve ‘better outcomes’ in medicine—at least kidney surrogate technology. I feel the diaries of Part I do a fair job of showing how the system works (and doesn’t work) today. It’s not all bad and we can do a whole lot better. But in “Part II: The Life” I take off the gloves: the restoration/reconstruction of such a marvelous life as my mom’s offers not only inspiration but a healing balm.

Icon of the Humanitarian Revolution

That’s the phrase I come up with that best expresses what impelled me to write Mom’s full life and times: she’s not just my own mother, she’s a symbol of the hope any good carrier of the Life Force instills in her offspring, as well as her peers. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a tomorrow.

The dedication:

To all the mothers of the world
who nourish and cherish and want the best for their children,
who create excellence and cultivate joy in their own lives,
who become a shining light of benevolence to others,
and who deeply inspire the future of the species.

What’s in the book?

Part 1 contains the seven journals of mine describing Mother’s navigation of the modern world of medicine at the end of her life, particularly kidney disease treatment and care for heart attack and stroke. The all too common American Way of Death. Much to improve on, much to learn… by everyone… myself included. I’m no saint. I have purposefully left intact the raw and often judgmental—even angry—quality of my recorded experience: I’m telling this ‘seed’ part of Mom’s story as the one more and more obliged to take charge of my mother’s treatment. It isn’t like I had a user’s guide to refer to; indeed, contributing to such a general set of instructions was a big part of my initial motivation for writing down my reflections.

Part 2 recaptures the totality of the life of one Phyllis Joy Andersen, who lived and breathed among us unlike any other, whose accomplishments are as noteworthy as they were quietly realized, and who gives our graceless age an opportunity for redemption as sure as I write these words. In so many respects, my mom is a paragon of the best of humanity—how she raised her children, how she struggled for identity and joy, and how she gave back.

In marketing terms, here are practical reasons for reading Mother’s Stone:

  • Mothers Stone 2It’s a tour de force of the modern world of American medicine as it faces the Kafkaesque Obamacare. For the elderly and infirm this is how we roll.
  • As a practical matter—for the roughly 350,000 individuals currently undergoing dialysis in America and the nearly 20 million people with chronic kidney disease—the book presents what it’s like to deal with kidney disease, provides tips and ideas to help you and your family thread this modern  maze.
  • Mom’s exemplary life beckons to us, as individuals and Americans… even as a species. She is a paragon of the Greatest Generation who shines a light along our own unique spiritual paths toward fulfillment.
  • Her political advocacy is compellingly practical: She detested torture, war crimes, and gross treason by the bipartisan elites. She endorsed Nullification of unconstitutional federal power as a prudential legal step toward liberty. Prescience to the highest power.

I almost want to advocate for Mother’s Stone by telling people, “Read this book, because if you’re human it will make you feel something.” And that today—with the state about to rain down weaponized drones on our heads and stick radioactive biochips up our ol’ wazoos—we desperately need to feel human… en masse so we may overwhelmingly rebel against our high-tech slavery and destroy the Men of the Power Sickness for good. My mother’s life wholly cultivates our second, and final, Declaration of Independence.

Let me open the door to the general public: please read Mother’s Stone and help me with the marketing by telling me what you see in its pages. Send your comments to me at brian@brianrwright.com.

The Benevolence is the Message

I feel the world today desperately needs the message my mother’s life conveys. The waves in the sea of time caused by Mom’s rolling ‘stone’ blend simple benevolence into the most sublime struggles of humanity. Her myriad quiet accomplishments, her love of Nature and Nature’s forms, her towering courage and grace under the Byzantine pokes and prods of the ‘Sick Care’ system….

Mothers Stone 3Tom Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, but curiously left Mom out of it (maybe yours, too). She’s the epitome of that era. Why? Because for one thing she never parked her mind in the slot that masquerades blind obedience to authority as patriotism.

Most of all, she shows us how to connect with others and with the warm spiritual center of life. I doubt anyone can read her story—Part I or II—without feeling her joie de vivre springing directly into the reader’s soul from the pages. With Phyllis we’re all one big happy family on a voyage of adventure aboard the universe’s Love Boat—even recovering prodigals… she rides exactly as Jesus would.

At Mom’s remembrance reception I played a benediction, simply the scene from the John Wayne movie Rio Bravo—Mom loved the Duke—where Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson SunFLOWercroon “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me.” The song wholly captures her spirit. Some night when you feel quiet in yourself, grab the DVD, find the track, and press Play. Her eternal ‘everymom’ presence will saunter by and brace you with a smile.

How to Obtain Mother’s Stone

I want to see that the book receives a good early wide audience by sending a signed free copy to any individual who asserts he or she will:

  1. go to the page on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Stone-extraordinary-Phyllis-Andersen/dp/1490358889/?tag=thecofcoa-20) and write a few favorable comments and
  2. recommend it to others

So if you wish to obtain a copy under these conditions, please send me an email at brian@brianrwright.com with your mailing address and I shall get a book out to you as soon as possible. If you do wish to make a donation, $10 will cover it nicely; you may either PayPal me at brian@brianrwright.com or I’ll send you my mailing address for a check. Hope to hear from you. Live Free.



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