Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#3: The End of Your Life Book Club (Will Schwalbe)

on January 24, 2013

Internet connection at home as been sketchy this week, so I’m a little late in posting. I’ll get back to the regular routine next week. I still wanted to make sure that I told you all about The End of Your Life Book Club. It was a tremendous read and one I highly recommend for other book lovers as well as those who enjoy stories about family relationships.

Will Schwalbe and his mother formed a book club of two people as they together faced the endless doctor visits associated with treatment for MaryAnne’s pancreatic cancer. Most of the discussions occurred in quiet corners of waiting rooms or while chemotherapy was being administered. The memoir is a beautifully written account of the books they shared while allowing the reader an peek behind the curtain into this debilitating disease.

I identified with the book because of my own passion for reading that I share with my mother. While we don’t spend lots of time talking about books formally, we are constantly sharing with each other what we’re reading and why we’re enjoying it (or not). It was somewhat ironic finishing the book in the waiting room of the Memphis Gastroenterology Group while Mom was having an initial consultation. (Thankfully, we are not concerned that Mom is struggling with a major health issue at this time….just some things that are making her uncomfortable.) As I read the honest account of MaryAnne’s final days, my heart broke for Schwalbe and his family. While tears rolled down my cheeks, others waiting for their loved ones to emerge from the examining rooms watched me with nervousness.

I can’t say that I fully understand everything Schwalbe expressed in his book. I haven’t experienced the loss of a parent. I haven’t sat at a bedside knowing that the end was coming soon. I can say that I feel as though I have been formally introduced to his mother, a woman with a beautiful spirit that impacted people around the world. My life has been made richer by meeting her on the pages of The End of Your Life Book Club.


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