Monday, December 20, 2010

AFTERMATH: Life WIthout My Brother and MOM

THE AFTERMATH Holidays without Scott and Mom

I still can’t imagine my life without my brother and Mom being an
every day part of it. I know it is real, as real as it has been,
for the last eleven months. The knot in the pitt of
my stomach is a constant reminder.

It has been almost a year since Scott passed away.
I guess for the most part, I am doing ok; functioning, getting up in the morning
going about, and doing, what appears to be my life.
Yet, there are times when the "two-by-four" feeling and thud, strikes
me with a blow and force, that knocks me down on my
emotional ass. I stay there for a while and think and wonder...
The shock and emptiness of it all. The harsh, tragic realities that happen,
in this thing we call life.

As much as I sit here, stagnating, thinking and wondering,
I already know what they want me to do.
Stand up, shake myself off,
and get on with things; my life. LIVING.
That is what Scott asked of and wished for me,
mere hours before he died.
Not distracting myself from the pain and emptiness I feel-
but how to live and carry on inspite of it.

Scott believed that distraction is an activity that averts
our eyes from seeing what is really happening, all that is REAL.
Yes, I am a grieving sister and daughter, yes, the loss of my brother and mom
will follow me wherever I go.
I won’t distract myself from the pain that surrounds me.
I will follow their lead-
and LIVE.
Enjoy and be grateful, for all that I have.
The family and friends I have been
so richly blessed with.
Grateful for those who love and care for my brother and Mom.

Be grateful for even the mundane.
They were.

loves and hugs.
I, we, all miss you so very much.



Monday, March 22, 2010

Plagiarizing, Copyright Laws and Permission

Monday March 21, 2010

To who it may concern:

This is to inform the "anonymous" person or persons PUBLICLY,
That this blog, written by my brother, Scott H Swaner belongs and is entrusted to me, Sheri Swaner, the Administrator.

ALL Comments, posts anything and everything written from the day Scott began this blog:
Poetry and Cancer
are copyrighted. NONE of his posts, or mine, the one's following his death,
are to be used or borrowed for monetary or non-monetary gain or purposes
without consent from me, ever.

I have noticed that the font has been changed, worse still, many "comments" have been deleted from his blog, especially
his posts during the months he was dying of pancreatic cancer.

Please be aware that this will NOT be tolerated and you will be pursued, fined and contacted with and by every legal
authority possible.

I hope this is clear.

The "comments" are part of Scott's story. It is a story and blog of purpose, love, hope, family friendship loss and suffering.
It is filled with a unique voice of a brilliant,
dying man confronting a foreshortened life.
Who do you think you are to trifle with, taint, plagiarize or alter his blog?

Please realize you will be punished and pursued until this matter is rectified.

If you have any questions I can be contacted through the blog
and by email:


Sheri Swaner
Blog Administrator

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Blue [Ink] Day of Cancer

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

JUST ANOTHER DAY ... (not really)

Sheri Swaner to Joanne 10/10/2009

HI and greetings.
I am forwarding an email I received from Dr. David McCann, Scott's mentor, professor and dear friend.
David and Scott remained close long after Scott's graduation from Cornell and Harvard; both experts in their ability
to translate the Korean language and their shared gift of the poetic and written word.

David was also a frequent blogger on Scott's blog; supporting, caring, sharing and loving him through his nine months
of fighting against Pancreatic Cancer.

Dr. McCann was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, as he states in his kind and eloquent email.
I am so sick of cancer--and the many people I love and care for having to fight against this insipid
and senseless disease; all diseases and illnesses, (far too frequently)
that threaten the lives of those I (we) love.

David also attached a poem he wrote about Scott. It is beautiful and telling of the friendship they shared;
also, their fondness for fountain pens, ink and fine, wanting to be written on, high quality paper.
Paper that makes one drool and elicits, inspires one to be moved, inspired to write.

Scott gifted many of us with ink, pens, journals and great books --
the tools that symbolize, personify some of what he did; the passion
of an expressive and gifted writer and the words that touch, move and impassion us.

I want to share and pass this on to those who know David, either personally,
or through his association of knowing our brother and friend-
This and his beautiful posts and writings on Scott's blog. Whew!

I will remain in contact with David, supporting and caring for him, as he did Scott.
He is such a good, talented man. Both of them are.

Loves and best wishes to all of you.


The poem is attached, titled: BLUE INK. It is also part of one of David's recently published book of poetry,
entitled: _Sijo_.
Yes, it is published and this particular poem, dedicated to Scott.
(yes, to those that are plagiarists- It, is copywrited. ; ) Ya, goofballs.

Reminding me once again, though I don’t need to be, just how much:

Cancer Sucks!


From: David
Date: October 7, 2009, 10:35:52 AM MDT
To: Sheri Swaner
Subject: Re: sijo, Kudos and Scott Swaner

Dear Sheri,

Thanks for your message. I apologize for the delay in replying, but I've been
in sort of a rough patch. It turns out I have prostate cancer, and will be
having an operation on Friday next week. Trying to figure out the treatment
options and such has been a challenge. It does make me think of Scott, of
course; and I've written some other poems about him. I'll attach one sequence
of sijo...

I will hope to be sort of back in stride in a month or so. They say 4-6 weeks
to get going again, and then some interval even after that for the full
recovery. Let's keep in touch.

With all best wishes,


Blue Ink

This ink is blue, though you can’t know
that if you read this in a book,
nor that this ink in a bottle
was given me by a colleague
formerly at U Dub, Seattle,
up the hills from the waters

of the Sound, where one can see
on any day boats as they pass
bound in, away, a metaphor
for the traffic, our commerce, life.
His life stopped near three years ago,
the in and out of his breath.

Yesterday I found an old pen
and cleaned it, soaking, wiping,
twisting the screw control, ink
drifting away from the nib
overnight. Then I made it drink
a barrel full, my friend’s ink.

And I sit here on the couch
writing in this deep blue ink
across the white notebook pages,
anticipant of my own course
of treatment, hoping, ill or well,
to write the end with his gift.

--- David R. McCann

One Reply: Joanne Lee (Scott’s Birth mother)
A very fine writer, herself, and someone I am forever grateful to
for “the gift,” the blessing of Scott.

Joanne Lee to me


Hi Sheri,

Thanks for the poem. Yes, Scott - pens, ink, paper. Of course I didn’t know that about him in the beginning.
Well, not the beginning beginning but the middle beginning. Our beginning. I sent him moleskin notebooks while he was in Korea.
He wanted to know how I knew. He seemed slightly embarrassed by his notebook fetish. I have it, too.
Nothing to be embarrassed about, I said. I shopped pens for him but never bought one.
The ones I wanted for him (for me)? were hundreds of dollars.
Carved. Fine metals. Sleeping smugly in their padded beds.
For years I have had beautiful small potent bottles of colored inks.
They sit, waiting in my art studio. Waiting. For what?
They are so full of that potent beauty that I have never wanted to ask more of them.
Never wanted to stretch their beauty out across a page.
To dilute it. Isn’t it enough to be beautiful in that small potent way?
And paper. I still lust for paper. Collect it. Stack it. Fondle it.
And sometimes, even use it. Splash paint across it.
Frame it under glass – though by then it plays second fiddle.
Melting behind the narcissistic image. Holding space.
Letting its beauty be usurped.

How is it that the very mention of Scott, the memory of Scott brings poetry out of us?
That he lives on in the pens and ink left behind.
Maybe I will buy one of those outrageous pens.
And invite Scott’s spirit to dwell there. In its padded bed.

Sweet Sheri. Thanks for being you.




For: Tiffny , who brought me back to Life.
My Thanks, gratitude and love, always.

Bright Petaled-roses
Scattered on frozen concrete,
Your name
Etched and scrolled
Lay frozen on the ground.

Were you there?
Sitting, waiting for a glance?
Perhaps a chance
To meet
To greet
She is the one I talk with you about?
The “she”
that makes the corners of my mouth
Turn Up-wards
Closer to where you are;
Closer, always closer
To where I look for you-
The space, place of you;
The one that feels at home

Yes, (with her)
I feel like I am home.

I came to visit you
No, Not in the usual way.
(Alone, but not lonely)
I brought her (My “she”)
to introduce-
For you to meet and greet.

Concrete softens,
Falling like rain;
Gentle and wet,
Puddles and memories
Of life
Of death
All mix into One...

Splash, splash
Pitter pitter
pat, pat pat
My HEART now beats
21 Love poems
per minute
For 21 (effulgent) days.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Missing Mom: In Memory, Nadine Cox Swaner

January 13, 2010



September 13, 1927 ---- January 13, 2006

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dear family, friends and loved ones,
Today, at 3:25 p.m., our wonderful, beautiful Mother, Spouse, Grandmother,
Aunt and friend,
Nadine Cox Swaner, died at the Huntsman Cancer Institute;
Surrounded by her family.

We held her hands, sang to her, and read her stories.
Stories, that for years and years she read to us.
We stood around her, listening to her breathe-
Even, and especially, as it became less frequent and more shallow.
Thinking, just how beautiful and complete she was.
How formidable, how strong, how determined and selfless she has always been.
A true "Saint of A Mother" to be sure.
And yes, she did make the best Carrot Cake.

It was only one week ago that we were together with many of you,
As we grieved, honored and paid tribute to our brother, her son, Scott.
They were such dear and tender friends;
Their bond and love for one another was deeper and stronger
than one could imagine.
This is a tragic and unexpected loss.
We can only hope they are together,
now both free from pain-
Together, continuing to make a difference.
Together, glowing,
Together, teaching.

The loss of our Mom, the loss of a Mother is especially difficult.
She has loved, protected and taught us so much.
She is unique in all the world.
We count ourselves particularly lucky and blessed to have been hers.

She is grand, eloquent, beautiful, selfless and long suffering.
She will be remembered most for her graciousness, generosity,
unconditional love and magnificent strength.
She lived a determined and purposeful life. Always.
She is the strongest woman we know.
Her faith and love for her Heavenly Father is unparalleled.

Our Mom was a gentle woman, with a twinkle in her eyes
And a smile that could light up every room and brighten any heart.
She brightened all of ours.

We love you Mom! Infinitely and Eternally.
We will miss you more than you will ever know.
Our hearts are broken and we are so sad.

No one, and nothing prepares one adequately for the loss, the death of your Mother.
We promise that we will love and cling to each other, forever and always
And think of you every minute of every day-
We are grateful for every moment and memory we shared with you.


Hal, Sue, Sheri, Stacey ( and Scott )

Please feel free to contact us and we will help as best we can.

Sue Swaner:
Sheri Swaner:
Stacey Swaner Moore:
Harold Swaner:

A Mother's Love
A mother's love determines how we love ourselves and others.
There is no sky we'll ever see
Not lit by that first love.
Stripped of love, the universe
Would drive us mad with pain;
But we are born into a world
That greets our cries with joy.
How much I owe you for the kiss
That told me who I was.
The greatest gift--a love of life--Lay laughing in your eyes.

Because of you my world still has
The soft grace of your smile;
And every wind of fortune bears
The scent of your caress.

Nicholas Gordon