Excerpt: 'Losing Mum & Pup'

Though she was often in the limelight, Mrs. Buckley tended to shy from it, content to leave center stage to her husband. She often said, "I'm just a simple country girl from the woods of British Columbia," though by any account she was anything but simple and had long since left the woods of her native British Columbia. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, William F. Buckley Jr. of Stamford, CT; her son, Christopher Taylor Buckley, of Washington, D.C.; granddaughter, Caitlin Gregg Buckley, and grandson, William Conor Buckley. Shuja and I stopped at a McDonald's. We sat across from each other, eating our Big Macs and fries. Grease is the enemy of melancholy. I would put on quite a few extra pounds in the days ahead, justifying it as perfectly okay under the circumstances. Your mother died. Go ahead, eat all you want.

"What is the matter with your mother?" Shuja said between bites.

"She's dying," I said.

It just came out. It was the second time I couldn't account for my words. He nodded and gave a sympathetic tilt of the head and took another bite of his Big Mac. I felt embarrassed for him.

"I really like McDonald's," I said, trying to change the subject.

"Oh, yes..." Shuja brightened. "McDonald's is excellent."

Copyright © 2009 by Christopher Taylor Buckley All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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