The Last Pilgrimage: My Mother's Life and Our Journey to Saying Goodbye

( 7 )

Overview


Linda Daly had a seemingly charmed life: her mother Nancy was married to the head of Warner Bros, and her parents were one of the most influential and prominent couples in Los Angeles. Even their divorce couldn’t test the bond between mother and daughter, and their family grew: her mother married Dick Riordan, mayor of L.A.; her father married songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. The extended family used their combined resources to help a number of cultural and philanthropic concerns across the country until they ...
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The Last Pilgrimage: My Mother's Life and Our Journey to Saying Goodbye

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Overview


Linda Daly had a seemingly charmed life: her mother Nancy was married to the head of Warner Bros, and her parents were one of the most influential and prominent couples in Los Angeles. Even their divorce couldn’t test the bond between mother and daughter, and their family grew: her mother married Dick Riordan, mayor of L.A.; her father married songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. The extended family used their combined resources to help a number of cultural and philanthropic concerns across the country until they encountered the one thing they could not overcome: Nancy’s diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer.

So mother and daughter teamed up to begin a search for a miracle cure—a roller-coaster ride through the rigors of western medicine, the surgeries and chemotherapies, and the untested boundaries of alternative medicine. What Linda learned on their final pilgrimage together would change her forever and speaks to the issues faced by many adult sons and daughters today: how to help those who gave you life face the end of their own.

Ultimately, The Last Pilgrimage is Linda’s love letter to her mother, proof that the end of life can offer a peaceful and comforting farewell.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Philanthropist and environmental activist Daly writes about her spiritual search as she shared her mother's courageous 4-year battle with the ravages of pancreatic cancer. Before her diagnosis in 2006, the author's mother, Nancy Daly--former first lady of Los Angeles during her husband Dick Riordan's eight years as mayor--was a charismatic celebrity in her own right. She was a larger-than-life figure who was chair of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a prominent activist on behalf of abused children. In her early 60s, she was "at the top of her game…a beautiful, happy, selfless and extremely well dressed woman, busy doing exciting things." Though her mother took the diagnosis in stride, for the author, it was terrifying. After surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission and Nancy gamely resumed her normal schedule of activities despite a regimen of medications. In 2007, the cancer metastasized, and her health deteriorated rapidly. Nonetheless, she maintained an upbeat attitude, resuming chemotherapy and palliative treatment. Daly writes of her own struggle to master her fear and pain as she faced the reality of her mother's worsening condition and the need to overcome her continued psychological dependency on her. When it became clear that the cancer was spreading throughout her body, Nancy turned to alternative medicine and a Brazilian faith healer, John of God, in hopes of a cure. In a last-ditch effort, mother and daughter traveled across the country to meet the faith healer. Nancy died peacefully in the back seat of an RV during the journey back to Los Angeles. The author, a convert to Judaism with a profound connection to nature, writes movingly of her spiritual journey as she faced the need to establish an independent identity. A daughter's tender tribute to a remarkable mother.
From the Publisher

“This book is two stories, a child’s and a dying parent’s, and each of us has both of those stories in us too, whether we tell them in a book for the world to read or tell them for ourselves alone, around the family table, as our turn comes to care for the dying and then, eventually, to be among them.” —Patt Morrison, The Los Angeles Times

“It’s like a scavenger hunt for salvation. But at the core, this is a story about a family coming together instead of falling apart when the glue that held them together is about to die.” —Nancie Clare, former editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine

“The Last Pilgrimage is a gorgeous love story and spiritual travelogue wrapped in a wonderfully written, funny, and fantastic memoir. It is the best kind of biography; like life, reality bites and blossoms on every page. A vivid and loving portrait of Nancy Daly, painted by her daughter's unflinching, touching, and warmly humorous reflections.” —Jamie Lee Curtis

“I am so glad Linda chose to write this story for two reasons. One, I think Linda is a very good writer —she writes with humor, sensitivity, insight, and depth. Two, because I believe that Linda’s account of Nancy Daly’s final days after her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer should be read. It is a story of love and strength; the importance of family and friends, and mostly about a woman who refused to see the bottle as half empty even when it was down to its last ounces.” —Carole Bayer Sager

"This is a beautiful book with an appropriate title, as sorrow over her mother's cancer became the author's conduit for her search for God. Linda Daly has mined the extraordinary depths of the love a daughter feels for her mother, and the sadness she feels at her passage from this world. A wonderful testament to the power of love." —Marianne Williamson

“The Last Pilgrimage presents the age-old archetype of a child facing a parent's death but with a unique voice and vision, namely the ability to mix the material with the metaphysical. I can't think of a more contemporary mother/daughter tale — filled with questions of life and death, love and money, identity and family — or a more qualified author/daughter to write it.” —Annie Jacobsen, bestselling author of Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base.

“Philanthropist and environmental activist Daly writes about her spiritual search as she shared her mother's courageous four-year battle with the ravages of pancreatic cancer… a convert to Judaism with a profound connection to nature, [she] writes movingly of her spiritual journey as she faced the need to establish an independent identity. A daughter's tender tribute to a remarkable mother.” —Kirkus

“Daly offers a beautifully written and compelling account of a struggle with illness that showed all the fault lines in the mother-daughter relationship as they embarked on a roller coaster of treatments, setbacks, minor miracles, and the final descent.” —Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619021174
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,374,435
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Linda Daly served as the environmental expert at the Los Angeles Times Magazine, where she also maintained the blog Pretty in Green. Linda was a founding Board member of Vintage Hollywood, which raises funds to help children in Southern California; and Global Hunger Foundation, which seeks to alleviate hunger around the globe through small grants to women’s groups interested in sustainable farming. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. They have four dogs, a duck, a horse, and too many tomato plants.
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Read an Excerpt


Even though Western medical intervention had given her much more time than had originally been thought, my goal oriented mom decided to look elsewhere. For her, there was another world of available options. All her previous dabbling in the world of alternative cures was just practice for what the next few months would hold. All the recommendations we had gotten before were dusted off and invited in to conquer the house of cancer. The time had arrived for her to fight from a different place now. She continued with a renewed fervor, her exploration in alternative ways to cure her cancer and calm her soul.

The time had come for a real miracle.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Sparkleshine&co

    By Cobaltstorm(or Swiftwind I guess). We will miss ya.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Devil

    Bye bye Swift :(. Sorry i nearly killed you i mean you stepped over my boundry line. Im going to miss you like i would for the rest of my buddeys.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Death

    Goodbye Swift. I feel bad that i didnt get to know you. I also know how you feel. I started rping in December 2012 too, and in 2013 i quit rping for a little while because i was getting overwhelmed. I hope you are okay and i wish the best of luck to you for life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Striking ェ

    Funny, Xena, thats my dream job too. Mdr)) Swifteh! Imma miss mah only friend dat has stood by me foreva and eva. Youre da coolest person in da world. (You, Karmy, Tox, et Devil are actually...) I hope you visit often and (hopefully!) daily. Bai mon amie...:*( ~$triking &#12455

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Swift

    Dearest BloodClanners, <br> I've been thinking a lot, and I came down to my final desicion. I. Am. Quiting. Rp. Tonight. I know this is a late notice, but I didn't know how to break the news. I came accross rp in December of 2012. I joined BloodClan, Devil was going to kill me, but Heatpaw, saved the day. I was often ignored then. A couple weeks later, I sent in an application to join The Elite. I wasn't good enough for The Elite, but Devil, talked to Thorn, and let me join. I've been rping in BloodClan for awhile now. I rped in The Elite till it died out. I had so many memories in BloodClan. Memories that will not be forgotten, I will always remember you guys. I rp in many clans' and human rps, but nothing is like BloodClan. You guys are the reason why I kept rping. You've always make my day. I will miss each and everyone of you. I rped Dew, best friends with Striking and Karma. Yeah, that's right I rped Dew, till she died of a badger attack. Life and Striking were always there for Dew, as well as OutCast. I still remember Out as a kit, playing with Deepkit,((aka DeepThorn)) I remember every sliver of my memories. I love my stooges deeply. ((My friends!)) And I'll miss everyone of you. Now my goodbyes; <p> Randi-My best buddeh! I will mis you very much. I had so much fun with you. You always lighted up my day. I'll never forget the memories we've shared. <p> Striking-My gretest buddeh! I will miss you sooo much!! Even though people say your a bas cat, you'll always be a great a great cat to me. Your a special cat to me. And I'll never forget you my buddy. &hearts <p> Outtie-I know I don't know you that well, but your a great buddy! Life will get better! I'll miss you! <p> Shatter-Thanks for the message! It made me cry! Your so inspiring! I will miss you! <p> Dismay/Darkness-Hello craycrays!! even though I didn't get to know that well, I think of ypu as my brother and sister,((in rp!)) Ajd I will miss ypu deeply. <p> I will also miss all my friends who aren't listed. I hope you guys will remember me as the happy, crazy person I was. I also hope that my legacy will live on. ((I don't know why I always say that!!)) The past is in the past, today is a brand new day. Treasure your memories for they could be your last. When I put my nook down tonight, I will think about all of you and how special you are to me. I promise I will come visit. I will offically quit at 11:00 PM ET tonight. Please understand. This is my desicion. None of you did anything to make me quit. I love and will miss you all! Best of luck and wishes for your future. Until we meet again. Over and out, <br> ~SwiftWind &hearts <p> Never forget abput me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Nazi

    Aw, bye!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2013

    This book is a must read, telling an incredibly interesting stor

    This book is a must read, telling an incredibly interesting story from the author's perspective of the long journey through her mother's illness and how it affected her and the family. The journey is incredibly interesting and is written from such an honest and vulnerable place, it allows the reader a very real and intimate look at a very painful journey. Well written, beautifully told story, the reader will be intrigued throughout the entire narrative. The relationship between mothers and daughters is very complex and this book delves into many areas that every reader can relate to. Well done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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