Why 37days?

Meta_graduation_1Dear Friends,

Meta’s story touched many people. Her too-young death and the extraordinary leave-taking given to her by her family and friends brought lessons and insights to me, to many.

On February 25th at 5pm EST, her family and friends will gather in the mountains to release a dove in memory of Meta and in celebration of her 21st birthday, which will be the next day.

I’ll be too far from home to join them, but have committed to Meta’s mother, Mary Anne, that I will light a candle at that same time, to send energy to them all – and to the world – in Meta’s memory. Please join me if you can in memorializing Meta and holding her family in peace and in love at 5pm EST on Sunday, February 25th. Mark your calendar, join me.

If you’d like to send a birthday greeting to Meta, leave a comment; I’ll gather them all and send them to her family.

Meta_and_mary_anne_2It feels unthinkable to imagine Mary Anne’s grief over the past few months; I cannot approximate it, I won’t even try. But like the penguin movie I referenced in that essay about Meta, life just keeps coming at us. And sometimes, dear friends, even though I try to find meaning and sense in day-to-day life, sometimes – like right now – I’m left without a reason for things. I don’t know why. I despair sometimes at a larger sense, though I feel certain there is one, even if it is only in me, and not out there somewhere. But I’m digging deep today to make sense of the news I received recently: Meta’s mom, Mary Anne, has been diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.

Meta_one_dove_up_2I believe in the power of intention and attention and hope you will keep Mary Anne lifted up in your thoughts as she undergoes chemotherapy in her journey back to health. It is hard to reconcile so much pain and suffering being focused on one family; they need all our prayers and good wishes. They deserve better. Raise them up. Release a dove in your heart for Mary Anne and her guardian angel, her little penguin Meta.

In an email from Mary Anne telling me gently of her diagnosis, she wrote "And here is the beautiful thing I want to tell you: every single person I have encountered so far in the medical or financial office world has been absolutely open hearted, kind, considerate and honest with me. I feel like Meta is on my left side (as usual, in so many pictures and memories of her she is hanging on, hugging on my left) I have even given some of the people involved her ‘Ambassador of Love’ card. Where this story is going I don’t know; I am scared but also peaceful somehow." I wrote her back: "please know that I’m thinking of you and that no matter what happens, you have an angel on your left side. and above you. and all around you."

Meta_ambassador_of_love Mary Anne is referencing these cards handed out at Meta’s memorial service, an acknowledgment of Meta’s new path to bring love into the world.

This is just too damned much pain for one family to bear.

If you pray, or light candles, or modazz things–whatever your tradition of hope is–please keep her in your heart these next days. I so believe in the soul and generous spirit of those of you who read 37days. I think we can do great things together. Let’s start here.

5pm EST on Sunday, February 25th. Release a dove for Meta…and for Mary Anne. Mark your calendar, join me from wherever you are in the world. Let’s let Mary Anne know we remember Meta, and that we hold her up in love to triumph over cancer.


PS – Mary Anne is uninsured, like so many people in this country, and has been hit with medical costs she cannot begin to bear. If you can send even $5.00 to help, it will add up. Send donations or cards (checks payable to: Mary Anne Bowers) to: The Circle Project, P.O. Box 18323, Asheville, NC 28814 and I’ll get them to her

Charlie Altman says:

I just saw today that Mary Anne died and I once again feel a mixture of grief at the loss of another great Bowers girl and complete admiration for Raj and how he has handled all of this. I’ve known Raj for a few years, and Meta and I shared an apartment the year before her death. I was at Meta’s memorial which was one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever witnessed, and I could only think how perfect the whole event was, and how Meta would have loved it. I haven’t seen Mary Anne in a little over a year (I moved to NYC last July) but she had the same amazing spirit even when she was in the thick of her cancer. She was something else alright.

Anyway, I googled Mary Anne’s name and this popped up. Very touching. I’m sure you brought Mary Anne a lot of comfort.



I may not be able to donate money at this time, but felt inspired to write to you. I pray that you have faith in GOD, because he will deliver you! I am a single mother and a business owner who has a 13 yr old girl. My real mom died when I was five. I have over come many battles and did it with the help of my angels and with GOD. They are Real to me and know that they are there with you during this trial. My prayer is that you are restored to perfect health soon. May your lives be touched and blessed by unexpected income. AMEN

diana says:

Is Mary Anne local to you? (I’d love, love, love to meet her, too!!) Hannah’s Death Day feast is the 24th… I shall include her *new big sister* in the party! I’ll be sending big Mother’s Day love to Mary Anne on her sacred day.

jasper says:

I shall think of Mary Anne and Meta, and those who care and love them.

Can I ask the members of this little community of 37 days not to release balloons into the sky. After they deflate and drift back down, they are sometimes swallowed by sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, and birds who die rather painfully and unnecessarily. They mistake the balloons for jellyfish.

Marilyn says:

Oh god, Patti, this is just heartbreaking. How DO we maintain hope in the face of news like this? I have found solace when things like this happen to people I know in my belief (which grows ever stronger all the time) that certain people are chosen for certain gifts. It’s extraordinarily hard to wrap our minds around the idea that something so terrifying and heartbreaking could be a gift, yet on some level I hold onto the notion that some souls are willing to sacrifice themselves for the better good. I’m not articulating this well… What I mean is that great love can be generated in the face of enormous pain…and some people can be powerful catalysts for that love…which, for me, makes them angels in human form. I will hold powerful good thoughts for Mary Anne and for the spirit of Meta.

sognatrice says:

A lit candle, a heartfelt prayer, and a virtual dove will be headed to North Carolina from southern Italy on February 25th. Auguri (best wishes) to Meta and forza (strength) to Mary Anne. And many blessings to you, Patti, for sharing their story.

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