Doyle Family Support Fund
Any donation small or large will be appreciated. Mary may not be able to work, as she will be busy and exhausted, and to know we can help, will be such a blessing.
from a U of P interview...
"What Brian really wants is for people to keep laughing.
“I’ll hear all laughter,” Doyle said. “Be tender to each other. Be more tender than you were yesterday, that’s what I would like. You want to help me? "Be tender and laugh.”
Love, tenderness and laughter...
Brian is thankfully out of pain, much more himself and tolerating his first round of radiation and chemo treatments well, other than complete exhaustion.
Mary reports "that complete rest and the good food made with love dropped off at our doorstep is helping him strengthen and heal."
A BRIAN DOYLE THANK YOU NOTE
"Every single day kindness and love walk through the door. Every single day we are inspired elevated touched moved by the astonishing grace and generosity of so many. Every single day there is a moment when we realize we are being held up by so many gracious hands. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for taking care of our family."
Brian James Doyle
Day 4 in the hospital progressing slowly but surely.
I wrote to the kids yesterday that I feel deep, deep in my soul how Brian is, how all of us are, being carried above the recent land mines held high on the arms of prayer.
I believe in believing, which doesn’t make sense,
which gives me hope.” -- Brian Doyle (Grace Notes) --
The road map of the last few weeks has shown nothing but complications and more complications and yet through brilliant caring minds and methods and medicine, through deep and abiding friendships and family and many we haven't even met, hands are clasped, letters are written, masses are being offered, butter lamps are being lit, salmon is being sent, generous words and donations fill the pages of this story, writers are reading, and our brave feeble very sick Brian still has woken up every morning with a wink and a smile, asking for his morning coffee.
That is the miracle we speak of. When he's not resting which is most imperative, he charms everyone on task, he's preached to the nurses they haven't lived if they haven't seen a Springsteen show, he discusses Argentinian authors with the the transport staff, he's grudgingly doing his laps and he was thrilled to eat pizza with our son last night and talk about sports and life as a senior in college.
Every night our family utters prayers of gratitude for all the people holding hands against the dark with us
and for all the intentions of those suffering in the arms of ill health or on the road unintentionally, especially children . If you feel frustrated not being able to do something more for Brian please take action for one of them.
I write this morning to let you know, each and every one of you, please realize that you ARE doing something extraordinarily magically connective and truly mind boggling for us and we feel it and we are overwhelmed and humbled and grateful.
With grace and love,
I am in awe of the community of people that have shown their love for the Brian Doyle family. I am so happy to report that we are so close to the 100k goal. As I read through the comments I see that some contributors are just now learning of our famous author's brain tumor.
I have raised the goal, as new people are still coming online wanting to help and express how much his writing has meant to them.
Thanks so much for being "tender."
Brian will be proud of all of us, and he'd say, "keep on laughing too."
Over the last couple of months people have expressed to me their appreciation and thanks by saying "it's great what you have done" (in starting this fund for the Doyle Family). I politely reply "thank you", but thought to myself it's really nothing I've done other than fill out some forms, set up some security and open an online site where people can contribute.
But last week on a trip to Portland I finally got to visit Brian briefly in his hospital room and his first words spoken to me were "Thank you so much Cassie you don't know how much this (Fund) means to me. I'm so concerned about not being able to provide for Mary and my family and this has been such a relief for me to know the money is there to help."
I said to him "you're welcome Brian, so many people have been amazingly generous, but all I really did was just set it up."
In his reply he said this, "you opened the door," these words stuck with me and made me realize how much better things are and can be, if we make that effort to open the door and share what we have behind those doors that often stay shut.
A heartfelt thanks to all the donors in this fund, in the last couple of months you have all opened your door, and some more than once. You have let out your love and expressed your admiration and made Brian feel more secure in these difficult days.
Mary, Lily, Joe and Liam also expressed to me and to all of you in turn their gratitude for each of your contributions and comments. In addition at home, the family has boxes overflowing with letters, gift packages and additional private contributions.
It's been an up and down time period for Brian, from feeling good and uplifted by sharing a candlelit meal, a short walk, a short visit to write in a school office to being exhausted and disoriented by infection. He is now home, his spirits lifted by out of town family visits and being back in the warm, bright and cozy home Mary has created. He and his family hope to enjoy some private, quality time together.
From his own words written in 2009 about cancer:
"All of them spoke of endurance, survival, the mad insistence of hope, the irrepressibility of grace, the love and affection and laughter and holy hands of their families and friends and churches and clans and tribes. All of them were utterly lacking in any sort of cockiness or arrogance. All of them developed a worn, ashen look born of pain and patience. And all of them spoke not of winning but of waiting.
There is a great and awful lesson there, something that speaks powerfully of human character and possibility. For all that we speak, as a culture and a people, of victory and defeat, of good and evil, of hero and coward, it is none of it quite true. The truth is that the greatest victory is to endure with grace and humour, to stay in the game, to achieve humility."
The Doyle Family truly is enduring with grace, humour and humility.
To read the entire article go to eureka street.com.au and search for: On not beating cancer Brian Doyle.
I first encountered Brian's lovely style in the back pages of yankee magazine 26 years ago when I found 'waiting for lily'. I was also 'waiting' for my daughter and was the same age as Brian. I kept that short essay at my work desk for the last 26 years and now it is pinned to my dresser mirror. I still cry when I read it as if it was written for me. God Bless Brian and his family and I'll hold him in my prayers at mass.
Dear Brian, you offered me an honorable mention, with a few lovely notes, in a Ruminate's 2013 nonfiction contest-- and to be honest, I entered the contest just so I could know YOU would be reading my essay. I will pray for you and your family. You matter so very much-- your dear perspective on the world matters so very much, the tone of your voice when you claim to be doing a reading (as you are clearly not reading from a page, but from the words written on your heart by God)-- this matters so very much. I will pray. You, keep being beloved.
Thanks to Lily, DJD and others for the assurances, and sorry to be a skeptic. I've made my contribution and am offering up my prayers for the best possible outcomes.
I adore Brian and his writing and I'm horrified by this news. I'm also skeptical of crowd fundraising sites like this. I'm wondering if Catherine Green can identify who she is and say anything to let us know that this money will really get to Brian and his family? Or get the family to officially endorse this site?
Every so often, once or twice a year, I get online to find and read Brian Doyle's most recent Portland Magazine essay. That small jewel of writing at the beginning of each issue always lifts me - as does all his other writing I've read. In particular, The Wet Engine. I go back to that book over and over. I read passages aloud to family members. I give copies to the doctors who care for my young daughters. Today, I searched "Brian Doyle Portland Magazine," and I found The Beacon's initial article about the brain cancer, and then I found this page. We will support as we are able. And we - my husband and I - will carry you and your family in the front of our hearts, Mr. Doyle, in prayer, in joy, in hope, in gratitude. You have given me and so many others so much in your writing. As much as I can give back to you, I will.
I have read your work, Brian, since you started writing for Daily Guideposts and have been continually moved by your words. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and look forward to your complete recovery. Yes, I believe in miracles and am counting on one for you.
I hope you remember meeting my grandson, Paul Steiner, at the library two years ago. He told you about our reading Mink River at the same time and and discussing it via email. That encounter elicited a gracious letter from you to me, which I shall always keep, as well as the continuing joy of reading (sometimes re-reading) your beautiful books. Thank you, Brian, for all of it. Suzanne Palumbo
I have been thinking of Brian the past few days, wondering how he was doing. Really appreciate the updates. I love Brian. His writing speaks to my soul. Sending love to him and all the boots on the ground caregivers. If I lived in Portland I would send over a lasagna Brooklyn style ❤️
Dear Brian, So glad to hear that you are not in pain and that treatment is progressing. Thinking about you and your family every day and praying for your complete healing. Wondering if you are at home now? Judy Arthur
Thank you, Catherine, for posting BD’s beautiful thank-you note and his “self-portrait of the artist as a young man.” That picture is the only way I remember Doyle now, a young man at Notre Dame attacking life. And when I reread theses words: “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”, I will always think of Doyle moving on from ND, heading west via Chicago, and then to Oregon following Joyce's vision. God bless.
Sending love to you all. I've loved reading Brian's words in The Sun and The American Scholar for years. Always happy to see his name. I live in Portland and I have 1.5 year old twins. And a niece named Lily! I'm so sorry your family is going through this. I wish I could take it back for you. My cousin had a rare brain tumor at 34 and she is now about to be 41. I'm hoping the same for you. My dad had leukemia. I know how hard it is to realize your father is not invincible. I hope you feel the love of the world -it's coming from far and wide. Hang in there, one step and one smile at a time. In the darkest moments know that we are right there with you.
I saw this story about a church created lovingly out of living trees and the natural, sacred beauty of it made me think of Brian - so I offer it up with all my continued heartfelt prayers. http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/07/tree-church-new-zealand/
My book club is also a Brian Doyle fan club. We are all writing real letters and want to send a donation. Do you have a PO Box or mailing address we can use, please?
Thank you for this update, especially the description of Brian's demeanor. I'm so sorry to hear of the complications. You are all in my thoughts, and I hope the path becomes easier very soon.
Thank you for the update. I pray for Brian daily.
I first read Brian's writing in The Sun, well before I moved to Oregon. Now I am trying to gather past issues together to read them again.
Ian Frazier’s annual Christmas poem in The New Yorker (Dec. 19 & 26 issue): But first I’ll strings of lights uncoil With my good buddy Brian Doyle (THE Brian Doyle, the Portland sage; His writing’s really all the rage) The poem’s last lines: Do not let yourselves get down. Faith’s more a verb than it’s a noun.
Dear Brian Mink River is my favorite book of all time. And I have loved your pieces in The Sun, and enjoyed your other books as well. You are a hero to me. Your open-warmheartedness, your gentle love of your characters, of nature, of life are and will continue to be an inspiration to me. You are in my prayers, and in my heart dear dear man.