The Last Pilgrimage by Linda Daly
My Mother's Life and Our Journey to Saying Goodbye

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The author, a convert to Judaism with a profound connection to nature, writes movingly of her spiritual journey as she faced the need to establish an independent identity. A daughter's tender tribute to a remarkable mother.


Linda Daly had a seemingly charmed life: her mother Nancy was married to the head of Warner Bros, and her parents were one of the most influential and prominent couples in Los Angeles. Even their divorce couldn’t test the bond between mother and daughter, and their family grew: her mother married Dick Riordan, mayor of L.A.; her father married songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. The extended family used their combined resources to help a number of cultural and philanthropic concerns across the country until they encountered the one thing they could not overcome: Nancy’s diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer.

So mother and daughter teamed up to begin a search for a miracle cure – a roller-coaster ride through the rigors of western medicine, the surgeries and chemotherapies, and the untested boundaries of alternative medicine. All along Linda stayed by her mother’s side, facing the fear of the unknown, as she struggled with both her mother’s diagnosis and her own lifelong issues with faith and religion. Out of choices and almost out of time, Linda and her mother put their rocky faith in one last pilgrimage: a visit to a Brazilian faith healer, John of God, during his residence in upstate New York.

Fleeing the dubious practices of the faith healer, and with Nancy’s time quickly running out, Linda and her siblings embarked on a final road trip home, in a rented, unruly RV, to bring Nancy back to her beloved City of Angles. What Linda learned on their final pilgrimage together would change her forever and speaks to the issues faced by many adult sons and daughters today: how to help those who gave you life face the end of their own.

Ultimately, The Last Pilgrimage is Linda’s love letter to her mother, proof that the end of life can offer a peaceful and comforting farewell. Nancy’s final gift to her daughter was a single moment of serenity that came with the most incredible sensation of being brushed with a thousand feathers. Peace like none other. Linda finally realized that the journey she needed to make was an interior one; that even when life is untidy, it’s ever changing patterns can be exciting and fulfilling. That closeness to God, and being a part of something larger than herself, could be found by anyone, even within the confines of an RV.

About Linda Daly

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Linda Daly is a former teacher, working for a decade with some of L.A.'s most challenging children, before starting a family of her own. Her philanthropic work began with development and fundraising at local nonprofit organizations, including a six-month consulting job at the International Medical Corps. She served as the environmental expert at the Los Angeles Times Magazine, where she also maintained the blog "Pretty in Green," focusing on the lighter side of green issues. Linda has been a founding Board member of Vintage Hollywood, which raises funds to help children in Southern California; and Global Hunger Foundation, which seeks to alleviate hunger around the globe through small grants to women's groups interested in sustainable farming. She has traveled to Eastern Chad to visit Darfuri refugee camps; to Rwanda to commemorate an anniversary of the genocide; and to the Kibera slum in Nairobi where she assisted women with AIDS. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. They have four dogs, a duck, a horse, and too many tomato plants.
Published May 1, 2013 by Counterpoint. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Professional & Technical, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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on Mar 24 2013

The author, a convert to Judaism with a profound connection to nature, writes movingly of her spiritual journey as she faced the need to establish an independent identity. A daughter's tender tribute to a remarkable mother.

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