My visit with Brugh Joy

If you’ve been following the No Out There Talkshow for the past two years, you know I rarely blog about myself and what’s going on in my life.  I blog about the show or the guest  I”m going to have on the show, or the impact that guest has made in my life or why I like them.  I rarely talk about things going on with me.

It’s taken me awhile to post this even though I recorded it on my mp3 recorder that night and the next.  My intention is to be respectful and to share.

hpim0998On November 3rd, I had dinner with Brugh Joy, one of my spiritual/metaphysical heroes.  It was a delightful, magical evening.  He’s also been a guest on the show.  You may want to check it out, if so, you can listen right here:

As you read this, and my giddyness, excitement, enthusiasm, joy, awe, groupie-ness, etc., schoolgirl crush comes through, keep in mind the possibility that I may not even have truly SEEN HIM.  I may have been seeing him through the filter of who I have him be in my mind, my mind’s perception of him.  I was experiencing who I was when I was with him.  I may not have experienced him at all.

My friend Charlee, from the International Black Summit, who knows that Brugh Joy is one of my heroes sent me an e-mail back in September, asking me if I had heard that Brugh Joy was, and her actual words were, “in the process of making his transition.”  I was like, “Oh my goodness.”  She wasn’t sure where he was at the time.  She thought he might be at Lone Pine and on his way to Arizona.

Then, I guess it was about two weeks before my parents and I we left Chicago to return to Arizona, before we began the drive back to Arizona, Charlee sent me another e-mail to say that he was at Sloan Kettering in Arizona.  And I was like, “Oh GREAT!  Then while I’m there, maybe I can catch up with him.”

And then about a week or so ago (October 25th?),  I got an e-mail which linked to his website.  There was a story about what was going on with him, because as he said when we met, he’s being open and transparent about the process (treatment for pancreatic cancer, how it’s impacting him, what’s occurring for him spiritually, etc.) which I think is really great.  And I really appreciate him for sharing that.

So that evening I pressed SEND on an e-mail to ask about visiting with him and my system started acting crazy.  Whenever that happens for me, I know that this is not the time to send that particular e-mail.  It took me a couple of days and I finally got the e-mail off.  The message:  If you’re still in Arizona I’d like to come and visit with you.

Now, he had been on the show.  Like I said, he’s been a spiritual, metaphysical hero of mine since the 80′s.  He’s been on the show and it was a GREAT show.  More than 350 people called in LIVE for that show, Listened live for that show.  Hundereds of people called in.  Some people overseas were up at 2-3-4 o’clock in the morning – just to say, “Hello” to him.  I was glad so many of those folks got through to ask question, give testimonials and greetings.  It was a WONDERFUL program.

So I sent the e-mail on a Friday or Saturday night.  On Monday, he said, GREAT.  I gave him my schedule because I’d been in Arizona with my parents, doing the driving for my Dad because he hadn’t been cleared to drive after having his 2nd knee replacement surgery.  He’s doing well.  He was released to drive Friday, Oct 30th, unbeknownst to me when I sent that e-mail.  He was planning on telling me the next day.

So, Brugh Joy replied, “YES”, he would LOVE to get together.  So we set up a date Tuesday and a time, 2pm.  Sometime around 10am the timing began to be an issue for me.  When it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t work for anyone else in my world.

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THE TWINS: Bob and Brugh

Tuesday morning, November 3rd,  I checked my e-mail – Brugh said, Mayo called and changed his appointment to 1pm and 2pm wouldn’t work for him.   We agreed to 4pm,  and Brugh e-mailed back and said his friend Carolyn was coming in and we were going out to dinner..

Then we changed it to 4pm and he wrote: “Perhaps you can join us for dinner….my twin brother is here . . .he will be picking up Carolyn Conger who . . . will be joining us for dinner as well.  They will arrive around 5 or 5:30 so we will have a chance to be with each other before all gather.”  He mentioned he liked Mimi’s for dinner.

I replied, “WOW!   you have a TWIN?  and Dinner too?  I’m always ready for FOOD!

I’d never been to Mimi’s.  I Googled it and was able to check out their menu online .  Their regular standard menu not the daily specials.  Clicking on an entree or the item gives you the caloric content.  I’m so glad I looked, otherwise, I would have ordered the most high caloric item on the menu, the Asiago Chicken.  1800 calories and 1/3 of them, 580 something were FAT grams, OH MY GOODNESS!  So I narrowed my choices to the salmon or the  Asian chicken.  I ended up with the Salmon with Honey Mustard sauce and it was very, very good.  Anyway, Mimi’s – check them out.  It’s a very nice restaurant. 

Before going to Mimi’s, I was to meet Brugh at the apartment where he was recuperating from treatment for pancreatic cancer.   There was a little glitch at the guard station so I had to phone him to get in the gate.  What I noticed first was that I had remembered his voice as a lot stronger, however, that had been some years past at his seminar.  And then I saw him.  He walked out the front door of his building and gestured for me to come.  I have to tell you, if I hadn’t known that detail about his health prior to seeing him, I wouldn’t have known it.  I thought, “WOW.  He really looks GREAT!  He’s standing tall and strong.”

I parked the van and began walking towards him.  What I noticed next is that he had a skull cap on.  I pointed to it and asked, “Is that to keep your head warm?”  He replied, “Yes, I lost my hair.”  I knew that from his website.

Brugh said he really liked the place he was staying.  His comment was, “they don’t nickel and dime you.  They provide you all the amenities.  It’s furnished.’”  We took the elevator upstairs.  His apartment was on the 3rd floor.  It’s really a beautiful place, very nice.  Kind of dark for me.  Brown leather.  In my world, a guy thing.  And yet it looked, oh the view.  A HUGE pool.

The architecture reminds me of a Spanish-style motif.  His apartment was furnished with browns, soft brown leather couch, etc.   His apartment didn’t over look  the pool yet you could see a good view of  it from his room.  I wish I’d taken a picture of that.  I didn’t think about it at the time.  I was busy talking.  And listening.

He was a gracious host, offering me various juices to drink upon arriving.  I had my first taste of pomegranate juice.  Earlier in the week I had purchased a couple of pomegranates and wondered how commercial pomegranate juice tasted.  He mentioned it was a bit sour and offered several times to water it down.  Instead I asked for a water chaser because I wanted to taste the juice au natural.  Besides, my usual drink of choice is water anyway.  Sometimes it’s good to be adventurous and check out something new!

At his home prior to heading out for dinner, we had a really, really, really GREAT conversation while we were awaiting his brother Bob’s return from the airport with Carolyn.  He let me know he had set aside time before dinner so that we could talk.  And we talked about any number of things.  One of the first things Brugh shared with me was that his appetite was good and that the chemo was not impacting him as he thought it would.  He told me that he was exercising and swimming almost daily.

We spoke about Internet technology, i.e. BlogTalkRadio, YouTube, streaming video, etc.  and how it was such a wonderful medium that now allows you to reach everyone from everywhere. 

I told him a bit about me and No Out There.  I shared that I didn’t have big ambition, didn’t want to be a doctor or lawyer or anything like that.  All I had ever wanted in my life was to have a good relationship with my parents, which I have now.  I shared that I was sad and angry most of my childhood and what I had learned about anger was now part of No Out There.

We talked about Michael Jackson’s movie, “This Is It”.  He said that people, who had childhood’s similar to Michael’s become heroes. That you have to go through something really great like that, something very traumatic or some struggle, some deep thing happening in their childhood.  And we see that played over and over again.  (That supports his theory of the archetypes which get repeated in our cultures.)   He also said he thought that it was time for Michael to go.

At one point when he was speaking about Lone Pine, I mentioned that he had met a group of people with whom I have participated for the past 19 years, The International Black Summit.  He said, yes, he did recall them.  He asked what the Summit was about.  I shared it’s purpose and Declaration .  He was so moved by the Declaration, he suggested I speak more about it with Carolyn and reminded me that he thought she’d be a good guest for the show.

He mentioned that as we age, we come to see in the threads of our ENTIRE life what the blessing was and how it all fits together.  We come to see it later on.

Just about this time, Bob came in the door followed by Carolyn.  As she followed Bob into the apartment, I thought, she looks just like her picture!  I thought I was on her e-mail list and couldn’t find anything so I had Googled her too prior to this meeting.  I came across two wonderful MP3s of hers entitled:  Self-Healing and Inner Wisdom, and Altered State and Transformation which can be listened to online and/or downloaded for later.  I had listened to Self-Healing and was immediately relaxed.  I also found a short bio or her along with her photo.  I learned Carolyn is a consultant and teacher who conducts seminars internationally in the arenas of self-healing and dream interpretation.  She has lived with tribal societies throughout the world, studying their healing and metaphysical arts.

She and Bob, Brugh’s younger brother and twin, had a beer while we got ourselves together to go to dinner.  As we were about to go out the door, Carolyn stopped at the kitchen counter and asked Brugh what pills he needed to take.   His caring friend had brought me back to REALITY and reminded me, yeah, he looks fine . . . those pills.    Why should I be surprised?  I look fine and I have hidden things going on, i.e. I’ve had four operations on my ears and still hear below normal, my knees pop and crack all the time since I was 5 and ache from time to time, and I was experiencing pain in my right shoulder and forearm, tricep area.  So we all have things, I guess.

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L/R Llenar, Brugh, Bob, Carolyn

Let me tell you, I enjoyed a most delightful and magical evening having conversation with Brugh Joy, his fraternal-twin brother Bob and Carolyn Conger, PhD, Brugh’s friend of 30 years at Mimi’s in Phoenix, AZ.

The twins, Bob and Brugh opened the doors for Carolyn and I.  They were perfect gentlemen.  They were great.  He and Bob offered Carolyn their arm.  Brugh offered me his arm.  They escorted us to the table and waited until we sat.  Brugh said he thanked his Mom for that training and that it wasn’t about being chauvanistic or anything like that.  It was about being a gentleman, showing appreciation for the feminine. 

Prior to beginning our meal, Carolyn asked about joining hands, so we did, blessing the food and getting in communion with one another.  I felt the energy begin to flow.  I felt the familiar tingle begin in my fingertips.  Then I began to feel it in my head.  I let it wash over me.  Whew, it was just amazing.

Brugh had a GREAT appetite just as he said previously.  He ate a 5.5oz steak with asparagus.  I don’t recall what else he had I was so busy eating what was on my plate.  We were having a conversation about asparagus and how we liked it prepared.  Oh yes, he had a Caesar Salad – no anchovies.  We all had a conversation about anchovies, why we don’t see them in caesar salads too often, anchovy pizza, etc.  Red wine, Cabernet which I wasn’t going to have because I was driving – however, it’s one of my FAVORITES so I relented to having one glass after all the protests that I could have at least ONE glass!  The pumpkin bread was very good and they told me the chocolate walnut bread was very good.

Bob, a former school teacher and administrator, had the pot roast.  He told me about Black Box Wine.  That they have Cabernet Sauvignon and that its from vineyards in California.  Carolyn, who also had 5.5 oz steak dinner, said they blend them wines from the various vineyards together and they are very good.  They have a Shiraz and Merlot also. When I returned to Chicago I looked for Black Box Wine.  So far I have not been successful in locating it in the Chicago area.  I’m having fun testing OTHER box wines though!!!

Llenar and Carolyn Conger

Llenar and Carolyn Conger

Carolyn brought Brugh greetings from so many people.  They spoke about an artist friend they have in common who had, in one room painted, EVERYTHING.  He had painted over the wall, the couch, the ceiling the floor, the books that were in the bookcases.  He had painted everything.  They said it looks like a shrine in there.  All I could think was what creativity.  What mind would think to do that.  I had an image of what it might look like and thought, “WOW, now that’s creative genius.”  I think I said, “WOW.”

At one point, Brugh asked me to tell Bob and Carolyn about the International Black Summit.  Again, I shared the Purpose and Declaration.  Carolyn and Bob said they were almost in tears and were very impressed with the Summit what we’re up to - “that our community manifest itself in the world, as a contribution in the transformation of the universe.”

The most endearing moment in the entire evening for me occurred when Carolyn asked Brugh, “Well, what did you talk about (on the show)?” .   Brugh kind of hung his head in a schoolboy kind of way, looked up sheepishly and pointed towards me with his fork and responded, “Whatever SHE wanted to talk about!”

Joy's Way BookI laughed and said we talked about him and how he was one of my spiritual/metaphysical heroes, about  Joy’s Way, and the moment he told that intern the WHOLE TRUTH as to why Brugh was letting him off the hook concerning the patient treatment.

And Brugh had dessert!!! Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream in which he dropped my camera.  That was so funny.  I wish I’d had a movie camera to get that moment.  He was about to take a picture of Carolyn and I, wall of a sudden, the camera was in the ice cream and apple crisp.  Streams of  ice cream were dripping down his nice batik-maroon shirt, his nose, cheeks and beard!   (Well, he calls it a beard, it looks more like a long goatee to me!)

And as you can see by the photos above, which were taken AFTERwards, the ice cream didn’t hurt it a bit. “It took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’” – kept on clickin’ I should say.  However, Brugh was MORTIFIED about what happened with the camera and now I have a fabulous SONY camera with smile and blink detector amongst other features!  What a man!

And then it was time to pay the bill.  Brugh either didn’t have his wallet or had no money in it.  I pulled out my wallet and was told to put it away.  Carolyn didn’t have quite enough cash to cover it and Bob was nowhere to be found.  After the camera in the ice cream this was too funny.  We began to laugh and joke.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Bob was last seen talking on his cellphone, I think making plans with to visit his son the following day.  Finally, Bob came back to the table, Brugh explained the dilemna and Bob and took care of everything.

I wanted a photo of all of us so Brugh and I called out to a lady at a neighboring table who had noticed the ice cream incident.  She was most happy to oblige us.

As we left the restaurant, Brugh offered me his arm and I offered Carolyn mine.  They opened the doors for Carolyn and I, and as Bob drove us safely back to the apartment, Carolyn and I made plans for her to be on the talkshow.  She’s going to come on the show and the 1st time will be talking dream symbols and how to interpret and use them in life.  I’ve already booked her for two shows.  The 2nd show she’ll be discussing self-healing.

I hugged Bob and Carolyn good-bye.  Brugh gave me his arm and walked me to the van.   As he stands proudly and regally, he has a long stride.  Normally my stride is pretty long.  I was having to take two steps to keep up with his.  I adjusted my stride match his as best I could.  He noticed and asked what I was doing, when I explained, he walked a bit slower.

After seeing the photo's I took, Brugh sent me this photo and suggested I use it.   So here it is.

After seeing the photo's I took, Brugh sent this photo and suggested I use it. So here it is.

I told him I’d had a WONDERFUL time.  I thanked him for letting me hang out with his family.  I hugged him good-bye.  He said to look him up when I returned at Christmas time and if he was in the area – let’s get together.  I didn’t realize until I was driving home that I hadn’t invited him to come back and be on

When I got home I e-mailed a Thank You for the conversation and dinner.  I also invited him to the show again.  He thanked me for the invite and said pretty much he’s going with the flow these days.

POST SCRIPT:  If you have read this far, I add this on Sunday, December 6th.  A few days ago Carolyn was on the show.  I asked her how Brugh was doing because once the camera arrived I didn’t hear from him.  I figured he had to get back to his treatments and life.  Carolyn asked me if I was keeping up with the updates in “the  community”.  I told her I had been to the website and read what was on the front page.  She said, “To read the updates, you’ve got to be a member.” I told her I thought I was, however I hadn’t looked in awhile.  She proceeded to tell me how to sign up in case I wasn’t or couldn’t remember.   So I did, right away.

Being somewhat self-centered, I immediately checked out the update submitted on November 6th, because I was SURE he mentioned our gathering.  There was no mention.  What WAS there left me humbled, amazed and stunned.

Midway down the page I discovered that the afternoon of November 3rd, at that 2pm Mayo Clinic meeting, he had received news, from the nurse assistant to the oncologist , that  the cancer had spread.

I don’t recall asking him what happened at Mayo (I would have considered that intrusive), nor do I recall him mentioning it.  He was a gracious host while holding that information.  Seems everyone, the three” knew but me.  And for that I am grateful and humbled.  What LOVE he and they had for “human being” me.  All I can say at this moment is:  “I apologize.  Please forgive me.  Thank You.  I love you.  I APPRECIATE YOU, BRUGH JOY”.

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