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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Oct '23

The End

When I got the diagnosis of colon cancer that had spread to the liver on April 22. 2022 it was a shock, but it had taken weeks to get to that point, and I got to this Zen place. I’ve lived an amazing life. I haven’t worked a desk job since I was 43. I’ve traveled the world. My heart goes out to those people who put that off until they are 65, and then they get my diagnosis. Also, VERY glad I took social security at 62!

Handed a statement to my doctor to that effect and his response was, “fine, you are at peace, let’s talk treatment”. I love you, Doctor Gold. I couldn’t have wished for a better oncologist, and after a year and a half I feel that we have become friends and I see your pain in my decline. You used every tool in your belt, but my disease was a willy one, changing courses, blowing out colon, ballooning my liver tumor.

Eighteen months later I still have that Zen feeling, albeit they are more intense on hospice meds. Today we received that last piece we need for me to get the prescription from Death With Dignity. Those who need to know the date will know. Not making it public incase that nutcase from Topeka wants to turn up and protest.

This is the last formal photo from the boat — getting dressed up and ready cost me that day’s energy, sending me to my stateroom for the remainder of the trip, but it is a great one to remember me by.

This is what I was able to complete in the 18 months of cancer and chemo:

18-Months Chemo Travel
146,253 Total Travel Miles

Air: 124,834          Drive: 3,289          Boat: 12,645         Train: 5,485

I started this blog in August 10th, 2008 after a trip to China with The Colonels – our first trip together since the 5-week Lisbon to Antarctica trip in 2004-05.

Saturday, my priest/friend/Solus flew down from Vancouver to perform last rites. While I’m not overly religious, it is an important part of Solus’ life and by extension, of his 40+ year friend. We both needed closure. He started the service with this piece, Kontakion, by Rupert Lang, composed in Vancouver, and this staging was at the main Cathedral where I was last year for The Eucharist with MaryBeth after a train ride across Canada.

Going Forward

Please feel free to comment on this page, which I will monitor while I’m still here, though likely won’t reply due to energy levels. After I’m gone comments will be moderated by someone else to keep out the haters.




24 Responses to “The End”

  1. Alicia Says:

    You are so loved

  2. Mari Jo Says:

    What a fabulous 18 months! You have had more adventure in those days then most people do in a lifetime. Kudos to you, even with the dregs you have been able to drink to the last drops from your cup of life! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos of so many of your worldly travels through your blog, it’s been a pleasure following you. You will be missed, Markie, and you are loved. Farewell, Uncle Markie.

  3. Daniel Says:

    Safe travels, my dear friend. I love you so fucking much, and am honored to have known you for 35 years. Thank you for breaking your other date to ask me out all those years ago.

  4. Roberta Goering Says:

    What a way to exit!
    I am sorry to see you go but I am happy it is on your terms.
    I am flooded with memories from 50 years ago, of a skinny kid with long dark hair.
    Godspeed, kiddo.

  5. Clayton Neff Says:

    I have so many great memories that involve you, so thanks.

    “Holy Jesus Mother-sit-on-a-rock” is still a common exclamation around our house.

    Here’s to a life well lived.

  6. Deanna Says:

    Remembering: All Souls, LRY, weekly potluck dinners, drive-in movies, the lake house, THAT truck. You lived, and lived well. You will be missed and you will be remembered with love. Thank you for this chance to tell you.

  7. Claire Says:

    Sending love, so much love to you. And hugs ongoing.

  8. Joe Fico Says:

    All the love for you.

  9. Stuey Says:

    Well Mark, after your text this evening I’ve not been able to sleep at all. So many memories are just flooding through, and that’s just the stuff I can remember! You’ve shown me a side- several sides- of this world that simply would not have been available to me; fantastic, wonderful, glamorous, chaotic. Throughout it all the food was divine, the wine, the booze, hot tub, sauna, cars, art, literature… Good lord Mark, didn’t we even go to that ancient underground steambath in Pioneer Square together?

    I am really, really, going to miss you.

  10. Drew Derby Says:

    I gotta say, Mark, you’ve always lived life to the fullest. Having known you for over 45 years I used to think of you as a hedonist… I guess I still do, but with envy. Love you.

  11. Ben Powers Says:

    Hey Mark It’s a long road traveled, literally. Enhanced by this crazy creative striving for comfort. Many thoughts,Love to you

  12. Lisa Benson Says:

    There are no words other than to say we love you. Peace my friend.

  13. Renee Derby Says:

    I am glad you are at peace. I have many happy memories from back in the day before children and many of them happened while hanging out with you! I’m grateful to know you and sending all the love!

  14. Michael Henry Says:

    We’re all dancing on the head of a pin are we not? You did it with grace, vigor, and style! While I’m sad that one of my larger than life icons will be gone I’m grateful for your friendship and the memories.

  15. Stephen B. / Tag Says:

    From Breitenbush to Butte, Seattle to Las Vegas, you were always sharing your adventures. Thank you for welcoming so many of us, for being our friend, and even now for showing us how to face things with an open heart. We love you uncle Markie.

  16. Rob Fellows Says:

    Mark, thank you for your determination to have fun, your generous nature and for the spice you add when you’re in any social situation. I’ve been happy to know you, and I respect that you’re going out on your own terms. Peace to you, I’ll miss you.

  17. stuey Says:


    Old age ought to know. Death will soon enough come to its rescue. Till the knowing ends, all that was wasted and wronged in youth—through ignorance, haste, competition, bad belief—all that was bored by middle age into one long snooze, has borne its juiceless fruit, and is now known for what it is: nothing has been righted here. Yet if desire can be kept from contamination, if it can be aimed, as one’s fingertip, at the root’s place, if it is not harnessed to the horses of dismal domination, but is allowed to be itself and realize life, then the flutter of an eyelash on a cheek will assume its proper importance; Wall Street may crash and the gods of money be smelted back into the sordid earths they came from; yet, unfazed, our heads will rest at least on one another, a fall sun will shine on the sheets, your nipple shall enter my ear like a bee seeking in a bloom a place to sleep; life shall run through us both renewed; we shall feel longing, lust for one another; we shall share rage for the world.

    William H Gass

  18. Devon Says:

    Uncle Markie, I am sitting here sipping on a single malt scotch, remembering the first time I met you in Seattle in early 2002. You served me a McCallan’s 12 at your home on Capitol Hill and asked me to sit on your lap. Of course I obliged. I have enjoyed your humor and zest for life ever since. I have followed your adventures over the years with my beautiful partner Alicia. We have most of the Pigletta books and we will cherish the many wonderful meals and laughter you shared with us over the past 21 years. Thank you for allowing Alicia and I to spend a few nights at the church on Lopez island. It was magical and romantic. It was the first time I declared my love for Alicia and you helped make that moment possible. I am eternally grateful for that experience that has led to my wonderful life that I share with your dear friend. You will be missed kind sir and I want to thank you for the wonderful gift of getting to know you. Mahalo and Aloha until we meet again. “Such a long long time to be gone and a short time to be there”

  19. Rachel Burke Says:

    Mark, you’ve been in my mind and my heart these past weeks. Remembering the warmth and friendship you and Paul extended to me years ago at Camp Rotamer(?). And the years since. It’s beenway too long as I’m remembering things so long ago. Yes, a toast to you and a life lived fully. I’ll miss you, my friend.

  20. Eric Gowins, LtCol, USAF (Ret) Says:

    Mark, as one of your “Colonels”, I’m chocked up with things I want to say, but I’ll have to just say that you have enriched my life and I’m proud to have know you. You’ll be missed by me and the other colonel for the rest of our lives.
    God bless and be safe. Peaceful travels, my friend.
    Eric Gowins

  21. Kate and Eric Says:

    Goodbye my friend. We would not have known people in your orbit and you would not have hung with the colonels but for fate. We loved you.

  22. Mindi Caselden Says:

    Thanks for the adventures and ALL the memories. Love you so much and sending comfortable, peaceful hugs. Safe travels my friend <3

  23. Auntie (DW Kana Shephard) Says:

    If someone could choose life to live as they wished, that was you. You remained an inspiration to the end, naysayers be damned. As both a friend and Fae alike, I wish you great peace and more boister in the great beyond, Uncle Markie. Will alert Evergreen to your passing, since I have many alumni moments there, too, with you, braddah. Always Auntie to your Unka… postcards on the wind.

  24. Conan L. Hall Says:

    Mark there are no words. I’m going to miss you, your smile and generosity. Love you.

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