My Spiritual Place

Peglow Rd - My Rock Wall

When  we were young my parents attended a small church in Perkinsville, NY run by a priest named Tim Weider.  I was very young, and don’t remember, but my parents still reflect so positively on those days.  Tim eventually moved on from that church and that’s when my parents stopped attending.  I was raised without any formal religion in my life, but often thought about the ideas of many religions.  What happens when we pass on?  Do we go to a good place, bad place, come back as a different person, another animal, or do we just stop like a battery operated toy that has been turned off?

I’ve thought about this a lot lately.  I am still optimistic about the clinical trial in which I am enrolling tomorrow, but when I do pass on, I don’t want to be buried and associated with one spot, but cremated with my ashes spread and associated with an area.  Remembered not with a gravestone, but through memories.  One of the most spiritual places for me was my childhood home on Peglow Rd; building trails and rock walls in the woods, riding bikes on the back roads, and having campfires by the pond.  No matter what happens next, I want my energy to be a part of this area; a foot hill in the Finger Lakes.  Whether it is simply the carbon of my ashes becoming a part of the landscape or something more powerful.  When my friends and family ride through the Finger Lakes and take in the amazing scenery, I hope they will think of me.

Tim, when I read your comment, which I re-posted below, I was truly moved.  Without fully realizing it at the time, this is exactly what I’ve been trying to accomplish with my blog.  So until that day comes my plan is to continue creating stories, building memories, and sharing my adventure.

Simply know that you are NOT your body.  You are the unique presence of an Infinite Creative Love.  We weave that unique Love-that-we-are into the lives of those about us…thru the words and actions of the material body that we’ve been given, that we live in…temporarily (for the time).  That unique Love-that-we-are is timeless, and woven into their lives, creates them, enables them to be more real, more fully who they are. That unique Love-that-you-are is woven into their lives, into their love, to love timelessly.  Because of your Love living in them, they are more fully who thay are.  And someday, we learn that living in this mortal body is like living in a used car.  When a dying eastern monk was surrounded by his brothers crying, “Master, Master, don’t leave us!!” he replied, “Leave you? Don’t be silly, where would I go? I’m simply trading in the old Ford.” Find Joy and Peace in the journey, Loving those you are with, from family and friends, to passing stranger, for that is where you will live, and your Love will create beyond the passing of the “well used Ford.”  You body, yes, but you my friend, the presence of a unique Love, will not die.

Day ??


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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18 Responses to My Spiritual Place

  1. Maura says:

    I recently just finished reading “90 Minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper. He was killed in a car accident, went to heaven, and was then prayed back to life. He explains his experience in Heaven, and then about the torturous recovery he had when he ultimately survived the accident and discovering his new purpose in telling those what Heaven is like.
    I found it quite interesting, and gave me a new sense of peace.
    Just thought I’d share since these things are not surprisingly on your mind.

  2. Sally Leeson says:

    Bret, now you know why your parents were so involved with the community in Perkinsville. I remember your mom and dad and you three little ones in church, standing in line for communion, sharing the “crying” room, hanging around for coffee hours to reflect on life and just to be together with this amazing community of wonderful people. I remember someone saying that there should be a special place in Heaven for mothers of three boys! Thanks, Tim, for bringing back some of the energy that was so much a part of our spiritual lives back then. I read your post and I’m sad to say that I didn’t realize it was you at the time, but now that I know it was, of course, it is SO your philosophy of life and spirituality. What inspiring words for Bret and his family and friends and “blog buddies”! Once again, you enrich all of our lives by encouraging us to stretch and to remember what we are all here for in the first place – to be that “love that we are” for those around us. Bret, thanks for giving us this vehicle (the Ford and more!) for us all to share our journey.

  3. Larry Mireles says:

    Good Luck in Boston! It is the best city. Godspeed.

  4. Dad says:

    Bret – your words today stopped me in my tracks (here in Rochester during my brief leave from your magnificent journey). You truly have wisdom beyond your years – beyond my years. I read this early today and have had to let it roll through my mind. The abrupt turn of events in your life (our lives) has caused you, our family, your friends and all those following your journey to reflect, to live and to grow deeply and richly. Thank you – “love that you are” – for leading us through this and helping us find the beauty and grace in it.

  5. Debbie says:


    Probably at this very moment you are going through the first few moments of your clinical trial in Boston and the beautiful, insightful and moving blog you posted are more than likely still wafting through your mind.

    Like your father, I was extremely moved by your words and wisdom. As I have said before here and to family members–I cannot even begin to fathom where your font of courage, love and mindful well being stems from. I would like to hope and believe that if I were challenged with the same as you (and Shannon) that I could face it head on with the same sense as you.

    I’m also touched by your wishes for your final resting place–and I think it’s perfect to return the essence of the “old Ford” back to where you found peace and spirituality during your life. But more importantly Bret–before your time to find that final resting place (and we all hope and pray it is many, many years to come)–you have already found a place a peace in your living life.

    It is evident of the lives of your family and friends you have touched just by this blog journey. From your own parents and siblings, from friends at work, relatives strewn far and wide across the country, to your extended family here in the south. Your journey has touched all of us, changed us, made us look at our own lives differently and have challenged us to “love-that-we-are”.

    Your journey brings to mind a quote –“Every man dies–but not every man can say he has truly lived”.

    You, my wonderful brother-in-law–has lived! And tasted the fruits of the journey.

    Love you both so much!!


  6. Makiko says:

    Bret, those are beautiful thoughts that are so appropriate for an artist such as yourself.

  7. Danielle West-Chuhta says:

    Bret, your blogs touch my heart, mind and spirit. Keep writing….it is a little bit of grace in my daily life. Wishing you health and happiness in the new year and always, Danielle

  8. Emily I. says:

    “Death is that state in which one exists only in the memory of others. Which is why it is not an end.
    No goodbyes. Just good memories.”

    A favorite quote of mine from an old, very nerdy television show…
    You are incredible, Bret. I can’t even find the words to describe the reaction that just I had to this post.

  9. Cathe says:


    Just said good night to your Dad who works in the office across from mine. I then remembered that I had not yet read your blog today, which I have been faithfully following.
    A little stressed with my day at the office… I found tremendous peace in your words.
    Thank you and Happy New Year!


  10. Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    You have touched the lives of so many and yet you make it seem so easy. You are one awesome person and I am very lucky to have you in my family. You give us all a new outlook and perspective on things. Thank you for being you and for sharing all you do with everyone.
    We love you!

  11. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Dear Bret,
    We were deeply moved by both yours and Tim’s beautiful, awe inspiring words. I too, remember reading his post previously but somehow it didn’t strike the same nerve as it did when I read it this time along with your thoughts. You are truly a blessing to all who have come to read this blog. You challenge us all to re-evaluate what’s important – to be better, to make today our best day, to find that “joy and peace in the journey”, no matter what life throws our way. Beautiful thoughts that truly touch our hearts and resonate in our souls. Thank you for enriching us all by sharing your love through your stories, adventures and wonderful memories. So awesome! Keep ’em coming – we love you!

    P.S. Ironically, a friend sent me an e-mail today with this quote: ” We do not remember days, we remember moments”.

  12. MJ says:

    I found your website through a post on facebook and find myself following your blog as I am in awe and amazed by your optimism, your strength, your love of life and the fun you are having! In my life, I have lost many close relatives including my parents to CA. I find myself angry for taking the people I love so dearly away from me at such a young age. You Bret have made me look differently at my situation….and even of loss in general. Your words of honesty and wisdom are inspiring…and the memories you are making with those you love are priceless! I think as humans we think each day what our purpose is in this life….and what kind of legacy or mark will we leave in this world? You my friend have found your purpose through your disease, through this blog. Thank you! P.S. Although I have Wegmans where i live, I cannot find thick cut lays potato chips (I have been craving them since reading about them….the way you describe and enjoy food, makes my mouth water….your next job should be food critic 🙂 You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. May God Bless you!

  13. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

    “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:12-13

    We don’t have to contemplate, wonder or hope we are good enough. It is not based on us, but what God did for us in the sacrafice of His Son. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we know. With love and prayers, Reggie & Mary Lee
    Jesus said:
    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.” Revelations 3:20

  14. Lori B says:

    Bret, I am amazed at how truly strong of an individual you are. I too like MJ lost my mother 5 years ago to Cancer and wish that we could have done with her what you and your family are doing. I went out and bought a Super Glide Custom after she passed because hey, you never know so I enjoy reading about you riding all over. Florida is very nice to ride but you have to watch out for the grey hairs!! You truly are inspirational. Jim S. from Wayland told me about your story and I find myself reading everyday waiting for your next adventure. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loving family. Good luck and keep riding in a good direction.

  15. Cousin Mike says:

    I’d like to communicate with you about this, but I think I’ll text you rather than post.

  16. Cousin Mike says:

    Ok, I’m done for now. sorry for flooding your phone with texts 🙂

  17. Jessica says:


    I believe that religion doesn’t have to be organized or formal to be bona fide. I remember a lot of spirituality from your childhood – just becase you didn’t learn it in a church setting doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.

    For me, personally, I do believe in heaven. It makes me feel better to think the people that I loved in this life are still there, somewhere – enjoying utopia. 🙂

    Happy new year, Hoefens. May this year be filled with miracles.


  18. Nader Nasralla says:

    Hey Bret I would like to share with you an alternative cancer therapy that I have found to be successful. I have been reading books about it and watching their documentaries and have found it to be very interesting and would like to share with you so maybe it can help you. I dont know if youve heard about it or not but it is called the gerson therapy which you can find more information about it on It is basically a strict healthy diet and a detoxifying process. Many people with prostate, pancreas, liver, melanoma cancers have been reversible so it may work with you. Not many doctors know about it so it is best to educate yourself so i post some youtube clips of the daughter of Dr Max Gerson, Charlotte gerson who began the institute there is one in san diego,ca. check out these youtube clips for a info but to find out more about this therapy you can watch films named The Gerson Miracle, The Beautiful Truth, and Food Matters. these 3 films has changed my view about cancer and its reversible possibilites. some youtube clips for a lil info

    if you go to the youtube channel gersoninstitute you can find a lot of testimonials but i recommend watching the films for knowledge and if you contact the gerson institute for help im sure they will immediatly contact you. my advice to begin the reverse for cancer is to STOP eating any fast food out there and begin eating healthy organic vegetables. I hope you the best. Bless

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