Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cory: My Dreamishness

Cory had cancer.
In 2001 she was diagnosed with an agressive Stage II breast cancer.
She had excellent doctors and did all the things one does with cancer. After surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation; she had reasonable expectations that she'd beaten it. She was cancer-free for seven years.

And then in 2008, after a routine check-up, it was discovered Cory's cancer had returned.
Her breast cancer had moved and taken up residence in a new neighborhood--her lungs. And after surgery to remove one of the lobes of her lungs, Cory spent the next three-and-a-half years in and out of radiation and chemo. When cancer comes back and moves to another part of the body, it's a totally different ball game than when one has it it the first time. The odds are more steep. It didn't matter to Cory. She kept working and travelling. always talking and planning for the future. Always smiling. Always worrying about everyone else more than herself. It's just who she was.

Cory fought her cancer with every bit of courage and strength she could summon until she had absolutely nothing left to give. And then she died quickly and quietly. She couldn't have planned it better if she tried.

I knew she was heading out, I just didn't know when. Her last weeks were truly an amazing time between us. We were able to share so many memories of the life we lived together for 30 years. We had something extra special and we both knew it.

For as much of a public person I am in the comic book industry; behind the scenes I'm a very private person. I don't really have much to say beyond what I'm saying here.

But I thought I'd share something with you.

I'm not quite sure when I drew it or how it came to reside in this little frame. Cory was never sure either. But we both remembered it was a little present at some point early on as we were falling in love. The colors aren't according to Beanworld canon. There are trees along the horizon. Beanish has red shoes! This drawing is older than than the official Beanworld continuity.

Wherever we lived, this little drawing was always somewhere in the bedroom. It might not be accurate in a Beanworld sense but it is perfectly true from a Cory and Larry point-of-view. Beanish and Dreamishness were born in personal comics that I drew just for Cory. Most of those comics will remain private until I'm gone too. You can read about that here (second column--2/3 way down) and continued here .Can't remember which cat was responsible for breaking the glass but it has a nice Duchampian feel to it.

No one loved life more than Cory. Others have written far more eloquently about the impression Cory made upon them. Charles wrote an amazing piece. Heidi built upon it. and Ivy kind of wrapped it up.

People have asked about Cory's favorite charities.
Cory supported virtually every animal cause there is.
But the two that stand out most in my memory are the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and Best Friends Animal Society. 

As for me?
I'm doing as well as one can expect to given the circumstances.

But I never forget that I was married to Cory and for three decades I was one of the luckiest men on the face of the earth. After all--she really was my Dreamishness.


Splinter's Iroonna said...

Having recently lost a sister to cancer (not to mention a father and mother) I am extremely sorry for your loss. Nothing anyone can say will make it better, but nevertheless, I offer you my sincerest sympathy and best wishes.

Chris Hallbeck said...

I will now smile a little wider whenever I see Dreamishness.

Peggy said...

All I can really say to that is, I'm sorry.

And that I wish you the best of luck in carrying on.

JJA said...

I am so very sorry that you lost her, and glad that you had a beautiful life together.

Simon Russell said...

You don't know me but you have touched me with your work and with this piece an each time I have felt enriched. Thank you and good luck

Mark I. said...

Larry, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Yet that image of Dreamishness and Beanish leaves me with a smile. (I'm guessing Cory would have approved.)

Wonderjudas said...

I lost a parent in a similar fashion. Between checkups, the disease had spread to the liver, the spine and the bones. She was gone two weeks after being admitted to the hospital because she felt inexplicably tired.

Reading Beanworld for the upteenth time (and focussing on the natural life cycle therein) helped me cope.

I send you my deepest condolences and wish you the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Larry,

I'm Marcus, the guy who drew the "Surf the Thin Lake" picture years ago. We talked about it at WonderCon recently.

Let me say how sorry I am for your loss. I lost my father to cancer in February, so I've seen firsthand how bad it can be. I've seen that death, so valiantly resisted for so long, can still be a relief in the end... And I've seen how finally letting go can be the greatest act of courage.

Thank you for sharing such a private part of your life with us, and thank you for sharing about Cory; I promise that your story will help someone out here on the other side of your computer screen.
As in Beanworld, we are all connected.

I have a picture of yours on my wall, one I bought at WonderCon... a single bean in a moment of pure joy. I will remember now the inspirational source of that feeling.


Your fan,


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the drawing and the story. A loss this great is always painful, but a part of her will always be with you and telling the good stories about your life together will always help. (plus it reminds all of us to cherish the 'NOW!" with our own Dreamishness.)

Unknown said...

Larry, thank you for sharing the drawing and the story. A loss this great is always painful, but a part of her will always be with you and telling the good stories about your life together will always help. (plus it reminds all of us to cherish the 'NOW!" with our own Dreamishness.)

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you, my friend. I can't imagine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry,
I am so saddened to see the news about Cory via the Ugandan email.
I know Cory from the travel industry, probably as long as she had been an A&K rep in Long Beach/Lakewood. She and I shared a love for wild and domestic animals and she helped me with my 1st safari to Africa in 2004 with my boyfriend (of 26yrs) and a girlfriend. Both now gone as well. Last time I saw her she helped me with my 2009 safari with my Mom. After that we tried many times to get together. Invited her to HSUS sponsored events including "Born to be Wild" about Sheldricks Wildlife Trust. We loved our baby eles! I think her last foster was Chemi Chemi and we would always chat about our fosters (I have 6). If anyone is interested I know she would smile if someone continued her fostering of Chemi Chemi in her memory. I know this is a great loss for you, her family, the kitties, and the humane and environmental groups she supported and loved. My heart breaks that we lost such a beautiful spirit.
Susan Vidor

Chloe Ross said...

Another lost comment. Encore.

We recently lost a Beloved to cancer (May 10). Each grief is its own. None welcome and for me a very gruelling place to be. I hurt for your grief. Cory loved elephants and Best Friends - she is close to my heart in that. Cancer is a losy, infestation with no conscience - much like a politician. Greedy and needy. Please accept what shared thoughts can help.
A longtime fan
Chloe Ross

Cathy said...

Dear Larry,
I just found this website in one of your books. My 7YO son and I read Beanworld every night. We love it. It is simply his favorite book ever. I will now think of Cory every time we get to the pages with Dreamishness. Thank you for giving our family such a wonderful gift and much peace and strength to you.