micki portrait  Guestbook: August '99

July on porch Mid-July 1999

family photo Mid-June 1999

  Links to other months' entries are in the left-hand column.

Dear Micki, Erik, Jodie and Blake,

Just a quick note to say hi from Martha's Vineyard where I'm having a long weekend at our vacation home. My mother is here as is my son, Keith (just graduated from Northwestern), my brother David, his wife Jane, and their daughter, Katie.

Micki my mother sends her love, as do Nancy and I. I have been printing all the web site updates and mailing them to my mother in Riverdale. Blake, the web site is a wonderful way to involve all of us in your lives at this difficult time. Thank you.

Your most recent update, which referred to Micki talking about her ideas about a memorial service, reminded me of a friend of ours, a doctor, whose father was dying, and the family was planning the service with him. At some point, they could not agree on which hymns to sing. The father turned to his family and said, "Why don't you just surprise me?"

Micki, I seem to have a vague recollection that you were at some point involved at St. Mark's Epicopal Church on Capitol Hill when Bill Baxter was the minister. Well I am a member of St. Mark's to this day, even though I left Capitol Hill about 27 years ago. In any case, the minister when I was there was Jim Adams, and he has written a WONDERFUL short book entitled The Sting of Death. It was published by the Alban Institute, I think. If you'd like to read it and have trouble finding a copy, let me know and I'll send you my copy.

You'll be happy to know that my friend, John Reay, with whom you were in touch early on, continues to be symptom free of his neoblastoma. They can't even see anything when they do a CAT Scan. He has become part of a Boston study trying to find out if there is a genetic or other factor that makes some people respond better than others to chemo therapy.

Micki, Erik, Jodie and Blake, all the Condliffe family is thinking about you and praying for you. It was good to see you briefly in Toronto a year ago. We send you lots of love,


Toby Condliffe <condlif@ibm.net>
Toronto, ON Canada - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 00:30:51 (EDT)
Micki and Erik,

It has been several months since we talked on the phone, after Toby had put me in touch with you both. I'm thrilled to see that you are hanging in there. I'm also still going strong, almost two and a half years after my own glioblastoma was diagnosed. All the best to you, and keep the faith!

...John Reay

John Reay <reay@netcom.ca>
Bowmanville, ON Canada - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 01:19:47 (EDT)
Micki - We River City Writers loved visiting with you July 24. When we left we stopped at a TCBY place --- next time we'll have to bring you with us.

Somebody suggested that you put some of your sermons on here. What a great idea! I always wondered what you wrote. Hope you're enjoying that great new addition to your house. Love and stay cool, Mims P.S. to Blake: you're doing a great job with this.

Mims Cushing
Jacksonville, FL USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 12:48:45 (EDT)
To the Amazing Esselstyns:

Although we desperately miss Blake here at Equity American School, we are inspired and impressed by the love your family shares. My church congregation, St. James Episcopal, includes your family in our prayers each week, and many ask me for a Micki update -- a few have "hit" your website, and an exerpt from one of the updates was recently reprinted in our monthly newsletter. My children pray for your family eqch evening as well, although Maya, who will be 5 this month, wants to know why Uncle Blake's mom is a mouse...

May the weeks and months to come bring you much joy and peace.

With much love and admiration,

Kirsten McLagan, Frank Neville, Hannah, Maya, and Nicholas

Kirsten <kmclagan@guate.net (until next week...)>
Guatemala City, Guatemala - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 13:54:39 (EDT)
I thank the Lord for allowing you to serve St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville for the 11 months before you illness. You provided for all, a new outlook on worship. We pray for you weekly in service and often in our own silent moments.

I applaud the way you have handled this whole ordeal and know that God Almighty has given you the courage needed to carry on as you have.

God be with now and forever.


Lynda Edwards <Edwards_@popmail.firn.edu>
Jacksonville, F USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 14:43:40 (EDT)
Hi Cousin Micki, and wonderful family,

Thinking of you the other night as I frequently do when I'm feeling peaceful and blessed with beautiful people like you in my life, I ate your favorite, Mocha Almond Ice Cream after dinner, something I try never to do because of the chocolate/caffeine. Of course I woke up at 2 AM, WIDE AWAKE. I couldn't get my mind off of The Lord's Prayer!! I was fixated on critiquing the depth of my faith in each phrase, at 2AM!!
"Our Father"(Huh? as opposed to WHOSE? What about MOTHER too?!)
"In heaven" (Huh? as opposed to being HERE with us? Why NOT here?? Aren't WE going to heaven, or is that reserved for God only?)
"Thy KINGDOM come" (Where's THAT? Somewhere different from HEAVEN that God has planned for us? WHEN? Will God be there TOO, or stay "in heaven" where God already art??! Is the KINGDOM going to come to keep us from arting in Heaven?? Not fair! I want to art in heaven too, with all the saints, past, present, and future. With God. With Micki too, when she gets there, probably way after I do, if I don't get back to sleep soon.)
"Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (How about also "as it is in the KINGDOM", or is God's will being done just on earth and heaven? Does that mean KINGDOM is coming separately, AFTER "will be done"??!@# HELP, I can't SLEEP?)

It's all your fault, Micki, for loving Mocha Almond Ice Cream too. I just have to have some, every time I see some, and nearly every time I think of you. Did YOU influence my nighttime delirium? If it will help you to sort out my faith for me, I'll keep eating Mocha Almond AFTER dinner every night, as long as it takes. Bless you.

Love, John

John Bingham <PrestaBing@compuserve.com>
Lincoln, MA USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 14:51:36 (EDT)
Dear Micki: I told you that I was recently talking about you
with Bill Webber at NYTS. Shortly afterwards I was at dinner with Rabbi Emily Korzenik and her husband Sidney (Emily and

Jack Healey <Jakan34@aol.com>
I - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 15:38:05 (EDT)

Micki: My computer skills are still "evolving" and I think my last message got garbled. I wanted to tell you of my dinner with Emily Korzenik who turns out to be an old friend of your mother. We talked of you affectionately. Love, Jack

Jack Healey <Jakan34@aol.com>
USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 15:41:11 (EDT)
Dear Micki,
This is my first attempt on the web-site, so I hope (trust) it's successful.
I've been keeping up with your health and family news from what St. Andrew's has been providing in the Narthex. I truly miss you still. You had such an impact on my membership and faith during a time of uncertainty, you know? I have a picture of you holding Benjamin during his baptism framed on my dresser. It looks like you may be singing. You have such a wonderful voice; a talent I've always wished I had.
I think of you all the time. I believe God sent you to St. Andrew's for me. (I'm sure for many others and reasons as well.) And of course, you are always in my prayers.
You are so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and children. You must be extremely proud and grateful.
Well, I'll try to drop by the site again soon. Hope this note finds you in good spirits and peace and comfort.

Sincerely and with our love,
Laura and Ben

Laura L. Welkenbach and Bejamin Michael <welkenbach@ilnk.com>
Jacksonville , FL USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 16:01:05 (EDT)
Dear Micki and family,
Thanks so much for the updates, you are truely "inspiring"people! I wish you all much laughter, sunshine on your faces and may every minute be an eternity.Blake I am impressed with the site, i take my hat off to you.Remeber: The Memory Is A Wonderful Treasure Chest
For Those Who Know How To Pack It. I have a feeling Micki is an outstanding "packer" and no doubt you have taught your family well. May God be with you always.
Mary Menis

Mary Menis <uzimenis@netvision.net.il>
Kibbutz Maagan, Israel - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 16:26:48 (EDT)
Hello Pastor Micki and family,
How nice it is to have this site where we can talk to you. I must say that you are indeed a courageuos and loving person. My, what love you have for our LORD and what a testimony you are showing and giving of HIS love for all. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful., caring and loving family. I bet you are so proud of them that you could just burst from happiness. Buttons Too!
My God bless you, Eric, Jody and Blake each day and surround you all, in HIS loving arms.
We, at St. Andrews pray for you and your family constantly. You are always on our minds......

Joyce Doty

Joyce Doty <Djdoty@aol.com>
Jacksonville, Fl USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 21:19:09 (EDT)
Dear Micki,Eric,Blake and Jody,
We hope you are having a wonderful visit with Jody in town this month. With the intense heat I doubt that you are able to fully appreciate the fabulous new porch, but that should change soon.
The article in the Sun was a marvelous tribute to your courage and faith in addressing Micki's cancer head on.

Carole and Bill Zegel <cez@sa.co.alachua.fl.us>
Gainesville, FL USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 21:30:14 (EDT)
to finish my thoughts...
We have you in our prayers each day and remember the fun times we've shared here in Gainesville.
Your caring for our Guardian children is my treasured gift that you have given to them and this community.
Fondly, Carole and Bill

Carole and Bill
USA - Sunday, August 01, 1999 at 21:55:45 (EDT)
I have just returned from three weeks in Maine and felt really down. then i clicked on you rwebsite for an update and immediately got a lift- your new guestbook is just awesome- I would love to read the sermons everyone is referring to- I amso glad we have a way to communicatewith you! I love reading the guestbook entries. They are a blessing to the readers and I pray they are to you all as well. I do believe Maine is truly God's country. You , however, have remended me that His spirit is everywhere!
Best love!
Sandy Bright

Sandy Bright
USA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 09:48:23 (EDT)
Micki,Erik,Blake,Jodi:Thanks for this new way to communicate with you and be part of the circle that loves you and is inspired by the love that you are sharing with us all. On this sparkling summer day in Ct. it feels as if you are right here and I reach out with much love and hugs.

ray <rfoote23>
greenwich, ct MickUSA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 10:36:49 (EDT)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh
my help. All my help cometh from the Lord which made Heaven
and earth.
May the Lord eve be with all of you!
The Adams

The Adams Family <cadams@hp.ufl.edu>
Gainesville, FL USA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 15:54:21 (EDT)
To you wonderful esselstyn people, what a great idea!!! So often we go through life not taking the opportunity to express ourselves and our love for one another. This is a gift to us, as i am sure the words that people write are a gift to you as well. Know that I am thinking of you and sending you much love as you pass through each step in the process. Your consciousness and communication are an inspiration to me. love Beth Wheeler

Beth Wheeler <BettyBum@aol.com>
Takoma Park, MD USA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 15:54:21 (EDT)
FABULOUS new picture with the new "hairdo," so NOW, how about some great BIG funky earrings?! Micki, you look as though you've got the world on a string! You are a joyful inspiration! THANK YOU!!!

Kate Begien <GammieK@aol.com>
Brookline, Ma. USA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 20:37:50 (EDT)
Meeting you has been a wonderful gift from the universe to me. Sharing in the joy and love radiating from you and Erik was a wonderful gift. May your heart and mind continue to sing the songs that fill you with pleasure.

Do know I think of you often.

Much love to you and yours,

Yulonda Evans <yulonda@teleport.com>
Eugene, OR USA - Monday, August 02, 1999 at 22:12:20 (EDT)
Micki, Erik, Jody, Blake, and Jeff -
You were very much in our thoughts as we traveled the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and as we sat viewing the vast site that your ancestor studied. Hiram Bingham was given much praise during our trek and we've collected a photo or two for you of the plaques commemorating "the discoverer".
He was on his own journey of discovery, as are you all.
We sent you our prayers, as promised, from a shadow cast by a wall at midday, as we sat and marveled at the beauty of the ruins and the surrounding mountains. You were all very much in our thoughts as we climbed up and down the Inca steps, in part retracing Hiram Bingham's journey of 1917 along the trail. It felt very much as if we were doing this trek for and with you. We'll send you photos of the plaque as soon as they're ready. For now, we send much love---
Cyndy and Ray

Ray and Cyndy Aten <rayaten@earthlink.net>
New Haven, CT USA - Tuesday, August 03, 1999 at 21:38:39 (EDT)

My thoughts and prayers are with you always. You are a marvel to me how you have inspired people to acknowledge the love in their hearts by your shining example. What a wonderful gift to your family for all time.


Angie Wagner <awagner@thi.com>
New York, NY USA - Wednesday, August 04, 1999 at 08:50:21 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyns,
Wes and I wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you all, as always. I hope you all enjoyed the ice cream. We love you all very much and look forward to more updates. They are wonderful.

Much Love,

Bets and Wes

Betsy Howell Wesson
USA - Thursday, August 05, 1999 at 01:03:23 (EDT)
Hi Micki, I hope you remember me from the Torah study classes with Rabbi Lehman. I remember you very, very well. Your input made the class interesting and instructive. I'm saddened by your severe illness, and I pray that God in his infinite wisdom will heal you completely.
You must promise to get well so that I can buy you some more calling cards.
Love, Marvin

Marvin Green <motl@alltel.net>
Mayo, FL USA - Thursday, August 05, 1999 at 16:34:25 (EDT)
Of course, this greeting is for everyone, but in particular to friend Eric, the Essie of long-ago Yale, the carpenter of hinges on old church doors, the Don Quixote doing battle with environmental dragons (please don't stop), and my example of how to nurture and embrace one's family. Sunday at United, I'm going to sing you two old (non-United) pot-boilers, "Ride on King Jesus, no one can hinder me" and "Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling....Come home" I'll try to sing VERY L O U D so you can hear. Love you both. George

George Buchanan <geojos@aol.com>
New Haven, CT USA - Thursday, August 05, 1999 at 19:29:46 (EDT)
Hear my cry, O God: attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, and when my heart is overwhelmed! Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I; So much higher than I.

USA - Friday, August 06, 1999 at 14:56:51 (EDT)
Blake and Micki and Eric (and, of course Jody)

It is such a wonderful thing to be able to keep up with you
and with Micki. Micki, your courage is so inspiring to
me personally. I could tell you were stong and light
from the first time I met you, but this is only proving
how right I was and reinforcing my idea that something
survives when we die. I know it, actually, because I've
on certain occasions, felt my father with me.


Lola Haskins <lola@cise.ufl.edu>
Skipton, YK England - Friday, August 06, 1999 at 15:26:49 (EDT)
Micki and Erik,

We were so touched by the article in the Gainesville Sun July 17 that we wanted to drop you a note. While I(John) only met/spoke with Micki on several brief occasions, I saw the light in Erik's eyes as he watched you touch others lives with your compassionate approach to living! God has blessed Erik with you, and you with him. May he continue to bless you and your family for many years to come.

Joelle and John Stokes <uf1gator@aol.com>
Gainesville, FL USA - Saturday, August 07, 1999 at 11:44:42 (EDT)
Thanks for your updates. I too have just returned from an extended trip to Maine with Sandy, then New York, Dallas, New York, Las Vegas and finally home last night. Just like carney folk moving around the country peddling their wares. Blake, you shoyuld certainly go into publishing or editing as your managing this web site has been so insightful. Our best to the whole family, and again, thanks.
Peace and love,
Fred Bright

Fred Bright <fredbright@ibm.net>
Charlotte, NC USA - Sunday, August 08, 1999 at 10:40:07 (EDT)
I feel like you are ministering to me Micki, by your inclusive way of including so many of us, me, in your daily life, thoughts about living with cancer, thinking of the life ever after. Your web site is inspirational with its changing photos. I know I am remote but I feel included. Charlie joins me in sending his love and admiration to all the Esselstyns.

gretchen kingsley <gretch322!@aol.com>
Stony Creek, CT USA - Monday, August 09, 1999 at 17:50:56 (EDT)
We have missed you all and now miss you more than ever--remembering with such fondness all you all have done for us. Thank you for sharing and keeping us up to date. We are with you.

D. G. Martin <dgmart98@mindspring.com>
Chapel Hill, NC USA - Monday, August 09, 1999 at 22:41:40 (EDT)
I was just on an ego search, and I found your mom. Hi Micki from Micki. It is great to see another woman with this name and spelling.
I hope you feel good today and tomorrow. Take care and peace.
Micki Ratliff

Micki Ratliff <rnmrat@bright.net>
West Liberty, OH USA - Tuesday, August 10, 1999 at 09:10:47 (EDT)
Dear Micki,
I am Jody and Jeff's minister in New Haven, and I am so glad to know of this web site. We have been holding your whole family in our prayers here at the Church of the Redeemer, UCC. Our congregation has been blessed by your family in the past, present and, I trust, the future.
In Christ's Peace, Lillian Daniel

The Reverend Lillian Daniel, The Church of the Redeemer, UCC <lilliandaniel@snet.net>
New Haven, CT USA - Tuesday, August 10, 1999 at 12:03:50 (EDT)

Greetings from Vermont.
Just wanted you to know that this summer has been filled with many thoughts of and prayers for you and your family.
This website is wonderful. I feel like I have been introduced to the entire clan now. How nice you were all able to spend the summer together.

MARLENE BRYANT <mmb55@yahoo.com>
USA - Tuesday, August 10, 1999 at 18:05:51 (EDT)

NEW HAVEN, CT USA - Friday, August 13, 1999 at 00:28:36 (EDT)
Dear Micki- Miscellaneous thoughts on a Saturday morning here in Hogtown-

You are too cool. You are a most impressive person. You have created a marvelous community of caring people who help you. And, the gift is that you help all of us.

I love you. Thanks for letting Kate and Debby and me come to see you. Kate loved bouncing on your big bed. You looked marvelous. I am so proud of you. You are such a wonderful person.

I love your voice. I love the way that you sing. You are one of the most alive people I have ever met.

Thanks for the advice on reading the book about Morrie and Tuesdays. I read the book and bought three additional copies to loan to my kids and friends. What a story. Wow.
I finished the book about Morrie on the plane coming back from Virginia. I was reading the chapters to a friend who was sitting next to me on the plane. I was crying my eyes out.. Here I was sitting on this airplane, about to land in Orlando and I was crying like a baby. I was so touched by that book.

I went out and bought the book on tape. I wanted to listen to it in my car, over and over. I discovered at the end of the tape that Morrie is on the tape. Wow. What a neato discovery. I had watched one of the Nightline shows and in listening to the tape, I was able to hear his voice again. What a gift.

That is one of the things I liked the most about visiting you. I was able to hear your voice. You have such a rich voice. Your voice is a metaphor for the rest of you. Your voice is rich and vibrant and has many colors and textures. Your voice is pleasing to hear. I love you and admire you so much. Thanks for letting us come see you. I would love to come and visit you again soon.

Eric, please call and let me know if we can come and visit again.

I am not all that crazy about this being posted on the site. If you guys want to post this, that is ok. But it is really meant as a letter to a friend. I love you all. You guys are a pretty marvelous support group for each other.

We leave for Maine on Sept 4. We will return on Sept 14. We would love your ideas on places to go and see. We love you all.

with great warmth and admiration...

John Schert

John Schert
Gainesville, Fl USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 09:55:02 (EDT)
Darling Micki,
I've been living in a suitcase all summer. Great contrasts:
Turkey (animism,shamism, chauvinism [atta-boy-Ataturk], paganism, Christianism, Islamism, fundamentaliam, and funs-amentalism);Rome (Pagans and Bernini);Washing-town, D.C.,(where everyone forgets to dryclean his/her dirty linen);Mass., Maine, lobsters, deer, fox; Bal-i-mur,MD (my neice is PREGNANT!at 39!Hallaloooja!); and back to Jacksonville, where the only wild life on the road is on the road...spoted a family of exqusite little black pigs,grazing the median on 95! Miss you so much. Thought of you many times in Turkey (St. Paul, St. John, Mary, all there, with you in my thoughts), and New England, so beautiful, just like you. Love, and love, and love to you and everyone. Margaret Koscielny

Margaret Koscielny <AviARTrix@aol.com>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 11:41:13 (EDT)
Darling Micki,
You are so interested in everyone and everything, that I've decided to share my long overdue happiness with you. You always show so much joy about life and what God's blessings bring to us every day. So here are His/Her blessings in a whirling dervish "dance" of ecstasic verbalism: I've been living in a suitcase all summer. Great contrasts Turkey(animism,shamism, chauvinism [atta-boy-Ataturk], paganism, Christianism, Rumi-Dervishes, Islamism, fundamentaliam, and funs-amentalism);Rome (Pagans and Bernini);Washing-town, D.C.,(where everyone forgets to dryclean his/her dirty linen, but the art museums are wonderful);Mass., Maine, lobsters, deer, fox; Bal-i-mur,MD (my neice is PREGNANT!at 39!Hallaloooja!); and back to Jacksonville, where the only wild life on the road is on the road...spotted a family of exqusite little black pigs,grazing the median on 95!
I miss our conversations about all the things which matter.
You (and our friend, God) made a tremendous impact on my life and thinking, and by extension, my sister's.
I thought of you many times in Turkey (St. Paul, St. John, Mary, all there, with you in my thoughts), and New England, so beautiful, just like you.
Love, and love, and love to you and everyone.
Margaret Koscielny

Margaret Koscielny <AviARTrix@aol.com>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 11:54:55 (EDT)
Darling Micki,
You are so interested in everyone and everything, that I've decided to share my long overdue happiness with you. You always show so much joy about life and what God's blessings bring to us every day. So here are His/Her blessings in a whirling dervish "dance" of ecstasic verbalism: I've been living in a suitcase all summer. Great contrasts Turkey(animism,shamism, chauvinism [atta-boy-Ataturk], paganism, Christianism, Rumi-Dervishes, Islamism, fundamentaliam, and funs-amentalism);Rome (Pagans and Bernini);Washing-town, D.C.,(where everyone forgets to dryclean his/her dirty linen, but the art museums are wonderful);Mass., Maine, lobsters, deer, fox; Bal-i-mur,MD (my neice is PREGNANT!at 39!Hallaloooja!); and back to Jacksonville, where the only wild life on the road is on the road...spotted a family of exqusite little black pigs,grazing the median on 95!
I miss our conversations about all the things which matter.
You (and our friend, God) made a tremendous impact on my life and thinking, and by extension, my sister's.
I thought of you many times in Turkey (St. Paul, St. John, Mary, all there, with you in my thoughts), and New England, so beautiful, just like you.
Love, and love, and love to you and everyone.
Margaret Koscielny

Margaret Koscielny <AviARTrix@aol.com>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 11:58:07 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyns,
The next three entries are mine because I don't know what I'm doing on this computer, but you can consider that this plethora of messages is one big loving hug from me in triplicate!
Your goofy, inept friend, Margaret

Margaret Koscielny <AviARTrix@aol.com>
Jacksonville,, FL USA - Saturday, August 14, 1999 at 12:07:11 (EDT)
We are in awe of Micki's courage and are so appreciative of Blake's expertise that enables us to get to know you online as a family who has always lived each day to the fullest.

Susan Fort
USA - Monday, August 16, 1999 at 20:00:08 (EDT)
Dear Micki:

I and my wife Eliza met you at Dr. Simontons's retreat in March, and you and your husband touched us very much. I don't believe that I have met anyone with such grace as you, and your singing was truly like a prayer. You both have served me with such inspiration. We have gone through some rough times since March, as couples fighting cancer do, and I have as such a beautiful reality to hold on to the blessing of seeing you both together, exchanging loving glances and singing so harmoneously...It has helped me to weather our storms.

Life's path is funny, the way we come to meet special people at special times. You are one of those special people for me, and I hear your voice and see your face, even so many months and miles away. You may not intend to influence so many people, but by golly you do!

I thank God for you. Take care.

Mark and Eliza

Mark Mrohs <markmroh@ix.netcom.com>
Northridge, CA USA - Monday, August 16, 1999 at 20:13:53 (EDT)
My dearest "HELLO" to you Micki & family,
At the risk of sounding redundant, & I know I have expressed this to you before, not a single day goes by, that I do not think of you Micki, and all of you guys, as a family. This web-site has and continues to be such a gift to all of us so far away, in miles....but we are brought so much closer to you through this site, with the messages of the heart and the visuals of faces & smiles!!

By the way, I read "Tuesdays with Morrie" and actually saw the entire Ted Koppel series of interviews w/him. I can onlly say that my life was altered by this man's incredible outlook on life. (His philosophy & perspective reminded me
of my Dad's. Both having lived similar early childhood lives filled with hardship.)
But you all are doing so much of the same incredible work for those who are staying in tune w/ the site, all the goings on, updates, messages and for this I have to praise you all the more. And I am incredibly proud, beyond words, to know you, personally, and have you in my life. My life is forever "altered" by your honesty and openess, so genuine and so real. ( I can only truly experience this kind of interaction, in this world, w/ "Northfielders"! It saddens me that I can't seem to find an other community of such like minded souls, and fit it into my life, as well!)
Anyhoo, I am probably rambling again!
(Micki if U R still wearing my thick, black jeans in this unbearable heat, your nuts!! Feel free to cut them down to shorts! I certainly won't feel badly!)
For now, I will close my message in the tone of a whisper, while my ears tune into the melodic mantra of the summer evening hum of crickets outside my window. May this image bring you into a soft, relaxing, space, after a bright,warm summers day and remind you that each time you hear this same sound or visualize it, it is all of us, who love you so very much, out here in your cyber world, singing a lullabye to you!
All my love, to all of you,
Carol C.

Carol Costello <cacgg@aol.com>
Boston, MA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 1999 at 23:35:04 (EDT)
I don't know you, Micki... and yet, I think I do through the obvious love and commitment I read in the comments of your family and friends, and because I know Essie. It seems hollow to "wish you the best," especially since you so obviously already have it!



Lou Greer <greer@ncd.com>
San Jose, CA USA - Wednesday, August 18, 1999 at 14:52:42 (EDT)
Hallo Blake
Remember our time in Kent playing tennis and travelling in the boot (trunk) of the hired car with us and the Downes in 1988? We are thinking of your mother but just as much about you. It's a precious, precious time. Don't be too brave. The best is yet to be but maybe not till after a bumpy ride. The risen Christ continues to bear the nail marks.
Our love and prayers for you all.

Stephen & Margaret Brown <StephenJamesBrown@compuserve.com>
Harrogate, N.Yorks. England - Wednesday, August 18, 1999 at 17:10:45 (EDT)
You don't know me but we both were at Ted Runions workshop on the labyrinth at Holy Trinity. Oh, and you spoke at Holy Trinity - on simplicity? - before that. I know I would like to know you better, however I understand you're a little busy right now. :-)
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Because you are so willing to share this time, I am having the chance to know you little better.
I went to the United Church today for the Ingathering of the Waters. What a wonderful and creative liturgy! My brother is a Methodist minister and I am sending him the bulletin. And Larry spoke of you. Made me feel a little closer, somehow.
You know you are blessed, so I don't have to say it.
just - thank you,
Ann Case

Ann Case <ann@library.health.ufl.edu>
Gainesville, Fl USA - Sunday, August 22, 1999 at 16:17:30 (EDT)
We enjoyed visiting with you Micki and I hope Jonah's jump on the bed/trampoline wasn't too tiresome for you. I wanted you to have a taste of the real Jonah (who is almost three). Jesse (who turns eight on wed.) forgot to tell you her latest joke. What did the Momma doll tell her baby doll? You look adollable! See you soon. Love, Allison

allison jesse jonah greg
g'ville, fl USA - Sunday, August 22, 1999 at 20:35:14 (EDT)
Micki, Erik, Jody and Blake - How inspiring it is to read your updates and the guestbook. You're loved and loved and loved, each one. We're just back from Westport where we have more than one memory of Micki and Erik and are now back in Northford where we have pictures of the family all over the house. We think of you all the time and hold you each in our hearts so tenderly and so fiercely. Knowing Micki's affinity for jokes and knowing that she's always looking for more, I offer a few here. I'm not sure how long these entries can be but here goes:
A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were 2 boy kittens and 2 girl kittens. "How did you know?" his mom asked. "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied, "I think it's printed on the bottom."
Another 3 year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. She said, "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet." He looked up at her with a raised brow and said, "Don't kid me, Mom, I know they're my feet."
And a couple of "spiritual" ones -
A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." His son asked,"What happoened to the flea"?
A 4 year old girl was learning to say the Lord's Prayer. She was reciting it all by herself without help from her mother. She said "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some e-mail. Amen"
Enough already, but there are more where those came from. We love you all and send you big hugs. Wendy and Wheel

Wendy Wheeler <wenwheels@aol.com>
Northford, CT USA - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 at 08:29:14 (EDT)
My Dearest Esselstyns-

In procratinating yesterday from hours of med school studying, I decided to look through some photos from my Yale days. I came across a true gem that brought a smile to my face - a smile I would like to share with all of you. It was a photo of a beaming Mrs. Esselstyn, surrounded by Duke's Men and holding a little alarm clock in the shape of a chicken, complete with sun glasses and guitar: "Hey baby, Wake Up! Come and dance with me....Wow! Yeah!" I wish that I had had a video camera with me at the time, to capture not only the music, but also the little dance that Micki was teaching us. The photo, however, opened a wonderful treasure chest of memories.

As I continued to stroll down memory lane, Micki, I was also reminded of another song that I will always associate with you and with the peace and love that you bring to all that you touch. I was honored to sing it at your ordination and I send its comforting lyrics to you now:

"Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh-
Shadows of the evening
steal across the sky.

Jesus, give the weary
calm and sweet repose;
With thy tenderest blessings
may our eyelids close.

Thank you for continuing to show us all how to dance, laugh, and find comfort.

Yours in peace and love-

Mike Hrycelak

Mike Hrycelak <hrycelak@buffalo.edu>
Buffalo, NY USA - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 at 11:30:32 (EDT)
Micki, just a line or two to say that prayers and love come to you every day from this little corner of the Kingdom. Cousins "Downes" and Sherry keep us abreast of things and , thanks to Blake's wonderful skills, we are moved and inspired by our frequent visits to the site. We also stay in touch through the Downes connection. Beyond telling you that together with all who know you, Liz and I wish you strength and courage. And please tell Blake how very much all of use treasure the chance to be close to you via his good works.

Portsmouth, RI USA - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 at 12:43:56 (EDT)
Dear Micki,
I just found out about your illness from a teacher here at ISP. Over the past hour or so I have been reading Blakes updates and descriptions and I felt compelled to send along this belated message. Our families prayers are with you and your family. I remember how pleased we were when you took the time to visit us in the Keys. I also want you to know how special Blake is to all of us in Panama. As I am sure you know, you have raised an incredible young man. We miss him very much. Take care Miki, I know we will meet again.

Jim Doran

Jim Doran <jimdoran@isp.edu.pa>
Panama City, Panama - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 at 15:45:44 (EDT)
Dearest Micki, Eric, Blake and Jody,

Eventhough we only met you one time here at our house in Tallahassee, when our mutual friends the Burts were in town, I have felt that I knew you through Jane Leighton's wonderful stories of your adventures together over the years.

I have been moved by the open-hearted and compassionate sharing of your process of letting go. I feel that you are giving all of us an incredible gift.

I send you loving and healing energies from myself, from Bob and from the healing circles here in Tallahassee.

Shalom, Bonnie Gadless/Bob Scanlon

Bonnie Gadless <bgadless@freenet.tlh.fl.us>
Tallahassee, FL USA - Friday, August 27, 1999 at 16:06:01 (EDT)
Dear Micki, Erik, Blake and Jodi,
Feeling called to somehow respond to Erik's latest update. Know that you are all in my prayers. Wanting to reach out and hug you all and sorry for the distance between CTand Florida. Appreciating the ways in which you have all shared this latest part of your journey. May there be peace and God's presence in your awaiting time... Blessings and Love, Barbara

Barbara Libby <Barblibby@aol.com>
New Haven, CT USA - Friday, August 27, 1999 at 16:27:03 (EDT)
My wife, Linda Dupree Bell (Micki's rommate at Smith) just called from Raleigh, NC, halfway home from her visit with the Esselstyn family. Despite floods in NYC and huricanes in Florida, Linda was eurphoric (sp?). In 1975, we both were in North Carl;onina just before Eric developed cancer. Later, we helped plant trees in Clavarak, NY at the Esselstyn family farm. Micki and Eric have hiked our land in Connecticut, in the fall when we were warm before a cold winter and when they were cold from a Flortida summer. Over the years, we have introduced the Bingham/Esselstyn concept of positive survival to friends and relatives.

As yo can tell by the tone of this missive, we love them. We honor them. I have just printed out all messages left to Micki and Eric (many pages) and will read them all during our weeek in the country before Labor Day. Micki has always been special. Eric, Jody, and Blake must also have been special forever, given their positive involvement with Micki and all of us. Micki, I think of your smile, your songs, your positiveness about everything. I will do so for as long as I live. It will be easy - you have given love and hope to all of us over the years. My love to you all of you now. I regret I could not have joined Linda on her visit.

Frank Bell <fbb@msn.com>
New YTork, Ny USA - Friday, August 27, 1999 at 21:12:14 (EDT)
Your July 17th entry, Erik, is very beautiful. As I read it, I felt as if I were in the room with Micki and you and Blake and Jody.

Indeed you have created a masterpiece these last few months which has infomed and enriched probably thousands of people. In an age when many people choose to avoid or ignore the subject of death, your family has not only looked it directly in the face but shares the agonizing pain of impending separation and exhilerating joy of the sharing of your lives. I believe this website and your visiting has been a wonderful extention of the workshops you have done.

Your faith comes through loud and clear and spreads to others in this process. What a ministry you have all been doing.

I was in the choir at Northfield as we sang to Micki with faces awash with tears. Micki introduced me to "Eagles Wings" a long time ago at Northfield and I sang it to my mother as she died. Your visit to Northfield was truly a great gift to us all and gave us the opportunity of saying goodbye which is so often missed when someone leaves us.

Thank you all for the many gifts you have given with your presence and your sharing these last months. Truly you have each made a difference in the world.

And especialy thank you Micki for being a radiance presence in this world and I am sure in the next one. God Bless you all. Love, Nancy

Nancy Ramsden <njramsden@aol.com>
Salem, MA USA - Friday, August 27, 1999 at 22:32:33 (EDT)
Dear Micki, Erik, Jody and Blake:
I worked with Blake at Equity School in Guatemala -- what a wonderful website! As Kirsten has said, you all are in our thoughts and prayers both at home and at our church, St. James.

I can only say that I have received so much inspiration about living my life to the fullest having read your website-- as, that is how it appears that you do it, Micki -- you are an inspiration.

Please know that with many others here in Guatemala, you and your family remain in our thoughts and prayers --

Much love and peace, Julie Hendrix

Julie Hendrix <hendrix@pronet.net.gt>
Guatemala, Guatemala - Saturday, August 28, 1999 at 02:10:09 (EDT)

Dear Micki and Family,
I wish you all strength through love. thanking for sharing your lives. And Micki, my dear, I wish you sweet dreams.
With good wishes for all of you,
Mary Menis

Mary Menis <uzimenis@netvision.net.il>
Israel - Saturday, August 28, 1999 at 03:22:29 (EDT)
So moed by all your family is and shares during this grace-filled time. What a tribute to who each of you is and how great you are together! Moved to tears by so much of your sharing with us. With you in prayer. PS We think of you at least once a month when we have our WIDL (Women in dialogue lunch) which you initiated. Be sure the memories will continue.

barbara conell and mary schaefer <scmm_eh@snet.net>
East Haven, CT USA - Saturday, August 28, 1999 at 20:30:13 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyns,
As friends of Jody and Jeff from YSN (Yale School of Nursing), we too raise our glasses to you all for the masterpiece you have created and so boldly shared with so many. Having witnessed through your remarkable daughter Jody your strength and courage, we have learned from you to approach loss with openess, dignity and grace. We wish you moments treasured and burdens lessened. Thank you for sharing your courageous masterpiece. Its light will shine on us for many years to come.

With Love and Prayers, Robyn and Robert Duran

Robyn and Robert Duran <duranre@biomed.med.yale.edu>
New Have, CT USA - Saturday, August 28, 1999 at 23:12:24 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyn Family,
We were your next door neighbors a long time ago in Charlotte, NC. Although I have not known your family in many years, this website has certainly provided me, and so many others, an opportunity to become a part of your lives again. It is overwhelming to read the letters and prayers you have received from people all over the world. Celebration of your "masterpiece" is deserved! You are so loved, as evidenced by this out pouring from people whose lives you have touched--even those who do not know you! You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love and peace,
Hannah Bright

Hannah Bright <hannah.bright@hotmail.com>
Manhattan Beach, CA USA - Sunday, August 29, 1999 at 10:39:05 (EDT)
Micki, Erik, Blake and Jody,
Even though I am a nurse and have had people in my family die before, I have never been so affected by the process as a am now. Thank you for keeping us your friends informed and involved as your family goes through this terrible ordeal. The grace and dignity that Micki is displaying is an example to all. I was blessed to have Micki in my life for only a short time at St. Andrews. During that time I came to love her and the idea that her time is limited is just unbeliveable to me. I keep your family in my prayers and now that I am online I will be checking in from time to time. Micki, I love you.

Stephanie Johnson <cayman0021@aol.com>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Sunday, August 29, 1999 at 14:44:03 (EDT)
The updates to Mickinews mean a lot to us.
Sending love & hugs to you all, J&J

Jim & Jill Sheffield <jimsheff@aol.com>
NYC, NY USA - Monday, August 30, 1999 at 08:51:48 (EDT)
The updates to Mickinews mean a lot to us.
Sending love & hugs to you all, J&J

Jim & Jill Sheffield <jimsheff@aol.com>
NYC, NY USA - Monday, August 30, 1999 at 08:52:22 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyns, I just returned from vacation to find Erik's latest entry. I'm at a loss for words but not for tears. Yes, all of you are doing a magnificent thing and it's clear from the entries in the guestbook that you continue to touch many lives. There will be a ripple effect, I am sure. All of you are in my prayers and I send you my love -- Susan Olson (Smith '64)

Susan Olson <SuOlson@aol.com>
Atlanta, GA USA - Monday, August 30, 1999 at 18:47:38 (EDT)
Micki and family, John and I just want you to know that you have been and will remain in our thoughts and prayers. It is wonderful to be able to keep up with you via this medium. We are touched by the beauty and grace of your stories. We send love and blessings.

Fonda and John Eyler <eylerfd@peds.ufl.edu>
Gainesville, FL USA - Monday, August 30, 1999 at 22:08:27 (EDT)
Our prayers are with you and the whole family of course. Dragonflies are migrating now, flying the water, stopping at Gray Rock for rest and recreation and then moving on.The moon last night was spectacular. Nature continues to refresh and sooth our souls. I hope you can experience some of the positive power of the universe even at this difficult time. I am so pleased to hear Shirley Martin is flying in to give hugs today. Love love love to you. Gretchen and Charlie..

gretchen and charlie kingsley <gretch322@aol.com>
USA - Tuesday, August 31, 1999 at 10:43:41 (EDT)
Dear Esselstyns: I just got a copy of the WholeHealth Library Times and read the article about your family and Micki. I was shocked. I've met you twice, both times at the Holistice Nurses Meetings in G'ville. Your story was so wonderful and the interaction between you honest and loving. As a teacher at SFCC in the dept of nursing, I always was thinking of the many different ways I could share your experiences with the students. This is the first web site I have seen like this - and another wonderful example of your true holism. Thank you for coming into my life and sharing. I've read your "things to do" and I would love to pray for you. God loves you, he has made you very special to a lot of people. Peace, Sandy Dolan

sandy dolan <bsdolan@aol.com>
gainsville, fl USA - Tuesday, August 31, 1999 at 16:34:13 (EDT)
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