Wow, this is a book you definitely have to prepare yourself for. Written by an actual descendent of Ralph Waldo Emerson, this memoir is a beautiful, almost poetic reflection on dying. Not only does the author contend with the death of her mother from multiple myeloma (a form of cancer), but then she has to face her own impending mortality, as she battles her own aggressive form of metastatic breast cancer. As we follow her through her musings and her fears, we glimpse into her very heart — sometimes full of self-deprecating humor, sometimes of abject sadness, and sometimes of sheer tranquility.
There is, of course, a lot of sadness here. You cannot escape that when you’re talking about cancer. But there is a lot of sweetness and humor as well. Nina did not have a polyannish view of life at all – on the contrary, she was fairly sarcastic – but she did keep a faith and a hope for her future that was positive while still being realistic. Her discussions with her 2 boys are honest and yet often comical, maintaining the innocence that young boys deserve. She includes some details of her pain and suffering without dwelling on these. She chooses to appreciate the days she has rather than lament those she has not. This is something I think we can all learn from!
So while your heart will inevitably break from this book, it will also be touched in important ways, if you choose to read this one.