Just another note to thank each and every one of you for your continued love and support! Thank you to those of you who continue to donate, you are giving us the ability to focus on our mama (and wife) and her care. We’re not fretting over bills that need to be paid, all of the additional expenses for Mary’s care, and other familial expenses. You have given us the greatest gift of time and being able to focus on Mary and we will be forever grateful for that.
Thank you to all of you who have called and text the house phone and any of our cellphones. We are so grateful for you and if you don’t hear back from us, it’s just because things are crazy busy here – day in and day out. It’s also been emotionally and physically draining for everyone (Mary especially), so most days we all feel like we’re hanging by a thread. But we are so grateful for the continued love, prayers and messages.
Thank you to everyone who continues to pray! We are still praying for a miracle every single day and “thanking God heard of time!” (Blessed Solanus Casey) Sometimes the miracle isn’t what you hope for or pray for – but it doesn’t make it any less MIRACULOUS! We believe in miracles and are praying for one – and praying that we will *see* it when it comes.
Thank you to everyone who continues to send letters and cards in the mail. Mary has us check the mail immediately everyday, as soon as the mail truck comes by, to see if there is anything in the mail for her. She has read and re-read every card and keeps them in a basket next to her sitting area. Please continue to send little cards and notes her way – as you have the time. Mailing address:
Mary Cullen Bryan
1024 State St.
Brighton, Michigan 48116
We love you all so much! Thank you again for everything!
Mary has always been a story teller and a keeper of history. We want to share your stories with her and with the rest of her family.
Do you have a favorite memory, a story about Mary, or something else to share? We would love to hear from you and so would Mary. We’ve been sharing every email, story, and post with Mary – and she is loving hearing from you all! So please send us your stories – so we can share them with her and keep track of her legacy.
Please click here or below – to share your favorite stories about our sweet Mary!
We are so grateful for the outpouring of love, cards, donations, emails, texts, phone calls, and those who have reached out wanting to visit Mary. Mary has loved every single visit she’s had thus far and was really looking forward to seeing more of you this week. But, Mary has requested that we postpone all visits (outside of immediate family and hospice) until we can get her pain and symptoms under control. Last week was incredibly busy at the Bryan household, many people coming and going, and on top of that we started hospice – which meant a whole slew of meetings, assessments and phone calls. Mary was really looking forward to seeing many of you (we all were!), but Mary’s health and wellbeing is our utmost priority. And at the moment, she is exhausted – and we can’t seem to get her pain and symptoms under control.
We have numerous calls and meetings lined up with hospice over the next few days, so we are hoping that these meetings/calls will help get Mary’s pain and symptoms under control – so she can resume in-person visits and phone calls. In the meantime, please respect Mary and her family – and don’t be offended if you don’t hear back from a text or phone call. We are so incredibly grateful for each and everyone of you – and your messages and love and support are honestly giving us life!
We love you all and hope to post a more positive update soon! In the meantime, please pray for Mary and that we can find a solution to her pain and suffering.
Words cannot even begin to describe how grateful we are for your outpouring of love and support. We can hardly believe that we’ve hit $17,036.19 and that is all thanks to the love and support of friends and family like you. We honestly don’t know how we would be surviving without you, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Mary’s terminal cancer diagnosis came out of nowhere and we have been scrambling ever since – day in and day out – to keep her comfortable and help her on this journey with cancer. We don’t know how many days we have left with our dear mama/wife, but we are grateful for every moment we have – and are trying to soak up every second. Your generosity has given us so much peace in knowing that we can cover the medical bills that have been stacking up and other incurring costs (which have been nearly suffocating) over the past few weeks – and we know this is just the beginning.
Thank you so much for your love and support. Please keep praying, sharing, and sending your love to Mary! She has read every single message, post, donation note, text, card, and letter. She wants to respond to everyone, but her strength and energy are waning. So please take comfort in knowing that she’s reading them all and while you may not receive a response (or it may be tardy), Mary and the family are reading all of the notes and love – and we are so grateful!
Mary started hospice yesterday. It has been a mix of emotions for Mary and our family to begin this journey with hospice, but overall we’re all at peace with it. On the one hand, some would see hospice as “the beginning of the end.” But, for Mary, and for us, it’s just another step in this journey through life. We are so grateful that Mary is still feeling okay most days and that she’s not in terrible pain. Doctors have seemed shocked at how minimal her pain, with how rampant her cancer has run, and how healthy she is – other than the cancer. It took doctors two different ER visits and many tests to even find the cancer because all of her blood tests looked really good overall and all of her organs – other than those affected by the cancer – looked really healthy.
Our goal now is to keep Mary drinking water/fluids and eating on her own (as she has been) and to keep her comfortable and happy. And this is something that hospice will be really helpful with.
Peter has been at home in Brighton for the past few weeks, but needs to head back to Clemson to get ready for his classes to begin in August (Peter is professor at Clemson in South Carolina). So he’ll be leaving this weekend to head back – and will travel back to Michigan as he’s able/whenever needed. And the girls (Kate, Moira and Delia) have been taking turns, making sure one of the girls is almost always at the house in Brighton every day – to help with anything needed by Mary and Bill. Having hospice to fill in when we’re not able to be there and having them on call 24/7 will be incredibly helpful for the family and will bring a much needed resource into “the fold.”
We are grateful for this time we have with Mary and she’s so happy to be home – and she’s so appreciative of the visits (both in person and on the phone) and she’s loving all of the messages and emails too. So thank you all for all of your love and support!
Dear family and friends (who have become family!),
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all of your love and support over the past few weeks. Our family is going through so much we honestly wouldn’t be surviving in this way if it weren’t for your prayers, and your love and support. So, thank you!
We are so excited to share with you that we’re at $12,410.72! We have been bombarded with medical bills, expenses we never anticipated, and so many bills/expenses that we were blindsided with. We were drowning, in all honesty, but you are helping us pull ourselves up by the bootstraps (Mary included!) and we are more at peace and able to cover the bills/expenses that are coming in. So, thank you.
This is not the end, this is just the beginning… and we know that this is just the beginning of the bills/expenses. So please keep sharing and if someone asks you what they can do to help us – every dollar counts. A donation of $10, $25, or $50 can make a massive impact and it’s all adding up to help us reach out goal – to cover the expenses that are coming down the pipeline.
Thank you so much for your love and support! Please keep following our posts and please share – and encourage everyone you know to pray and support Mary and our family in any way you can! We love you!
Our mom would love to hear from you. She obviously has a lot of time relaxing and we’re trying to find things to keep her wild spirit up and hearing from people is one of the things that is really feeding her soul right now.
You can mail cards to:
Mary Cullen Bryan
1024 State St.
Brighton, Michigan 48116
You can also message her on Facebook or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also – do you have a story, a memory, something that you remember about our mama – share it with us now. We’re reading all of the emails to our mom and would love to use the email to collect some of our favorite stories with our mama. Email your memories, stories, and experiences you shared with Mary at: email@example.com
Your generosity is incredible! We are so beyond grateful and are brought to tears every time a donation comes in. Thank you all so much. We are praying for each and every one of you and we look forward to thanking you each individually for your love and support in the coming days and weeks.
We have already been able to use these contributions to buy Mary (and Bill!) a new bed and mattress, new sheets and cozy blankets and pillows, pay off accrued medical bills from the past few weeks, pay off other accrued expenses for Mary and her health and wellbeing, pay the down payments and feeds for the burial and funeral, buy numerous groceries and meals for Mary and the family, and more. Your gifts have given us so much peace and confidence during this difficult journey and instead of acting out of fear or intense frugality, we have been able to cover the costs that we need to pay at this time and begin setting ourselves up for what is to come.
Medical bills Expenses not covered by insurance Manual Wheelchair rental Ramp rental – for her wheelchair and walker New bed Prescriptions and medical supplies Expenses and miscellaneous bills Meals for the family Groceries Travel expenses for immediate family Housecleaner to help keep up – bi-weekly Dogwalker 2x per week Preliminary funeral expenses (we’re already making these arrangements)
A few people reached out about a post that one of the siblings wrote about a 3am ambulance ride before we had the change to post about it. People were very worried, but we can assure you – Mama Bryan is ok! In the wee hours of the morning on Thursday July 21st, Mary woke up and was terribly ill. She was able to rouse Bill and Peter and all three of them weren’t sure exactly what to do. Finally, Mary said she didn’t think she could make it in the car to get to a local urgent care, so they decided to call 911 and have an ambulance come. The ambulance came and hooked Mary up to an IV immediately – to help with hydration – after being so violently ill. Then they accessed what was going on and determined that she needed to go to the hospital for further tests. The ambulance took her to the local Trinity Hospital (10 minutes away) and they ended up doing a few tests to make sure that there weren’t any blockages or anything more serious going on. After all of that, they ended up determining that our mom was dehydrated and constipated (sorry, folks! Just being real!) We are so grateful to report that it wasn’t serious and actually this has helped us in our further discernment in what Mary needs to focus on and work on during this time. So although she took a little 3am ambulance ride, Mary is doing well – and we’re all taking this journey day by day.
Today, the Bryan family (with a few Cullen’s and a friend in tow) attended the Blessing of the Sick service at the Blessed Solanus Casey Center in Detroit, Michigan. It was an awe-inspiring experience for the entire family and we each stood with Mary and prayed with her as she was blessed with the relic of Blessed Solanus Casey. We then each went up for our own individual blessings and each one was powerful and fit each person and their own journey so beautifully and uniquely. One of the priests also came up to us after and talked about the miracles of Blessed Solanus Casey. Incredible!
We were grateful to experience this service together and we spent time at the tomb of Blessed Solanus and prayed for Mary, as well as each and everyone of you. Thank you for walking on this journey with us and for all of your love and support. We are so incredibly grateful. We love you.