Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Recommended Reading

I love to read. I have repeatedly told my mom that I would have lots more disposable cash if I had never learned to read. But I did learn and everyone deserves that priviledge.

We always had books in the house. Mom never minded sharing those books. So there was always reading material for me and my sister.

Every now and then you get a lucky break on a quick decision. I was in Barnes and Noble on Friday before a softball tournament. Abby plays travel softball and sometimes we may play 5 games in a day. But there are often LOOOONNNNGGG waits between games. So I am cruising through the bookstore and looking at bargain books. I picked up this one and decided just from the jacket that I would read it. Here's the description

"Harry whitney is dying. And in the process, he's losing his mind. Afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, he knows his "good" time is dwindling. Wishing to be remembered as more than an ailing old man, Harry realizes the greatest gift he can pass on is the wisdom of his years, the jumbled mix of experiences and emotions that add up to a life. And so he compiles a book of his poems for his favorite granddaughter, Emily, in the hope that his words might somehow heal the tenuous relationships in a family that is falling apart.

But Harry's poems contain much more than meets the eye... As Emily and her family discover, intricate messages are hidden in them, clues and riddles that lead to an extraordinary cache of letters, and even a promise of hidden gold. Are they the ramblings of a man losing touch with reality? Or has Harry given them a gift more valuable than any of them could have guessed? As Harry's secrets are uncovered one by one, his family learns about romance, compassion, and hope -- and together they set out to search for something priceless, a shining prize to treasure forever. They may grow closer in spirit or be torn apart by greed... but their lives will be undeniably altered by Harry's words in his letters for Emily."

See my Grandmother had a disease that had some symptoms of Alzheimer's. She did not know us at the end. She was hospitalized from March until she died in October. We were there - sometimes around the clock. I stood by her bed all night one of those nights and softly sang hymns to her. It was one of the times she seemed to relax and rest. The care she received was impeccable, the emotional care my family received was wonderful.

Mind you, I am not complaining. It was a priviledge to be with her like that. When you love someone, you are willing to do what needs to be done. I have many tender memories of that time.

Reading this book has somehow changed me. I am much more focused on preserving "my story" for my loved ones. I want them to have tangible items that tell them who I am, how I loved, what I believe, what I hope for them, how proud I am of them, what a blessing each of them is to me, what I learned from my mistakes, and why passing this on to them is important.

My way is through words and images. Not necessarily just photographs - but entire artisitic images. I will share these as this blog continues.

Take time today to share with a loved one - send a note to someone who touched you - make a difference in someone's life.

Have a wonderful day.

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