Monday, February 4, 2008

Book: A Three Dog Life, a memoir

By: Abigail Thomas

Heart-rending but short. I read it in about 2 hours, part while eating breakfast, the rest on the couch with the cat in my lap. It's written by a woman whose husband suffered traumatic brain injury. The writing is beautiful, but the story is sad. I recommend it, but line up something happy for when you finish it is my advice.

The part that stuck out to me most was how, in the wake of this tragedy, she has put together a life for herself that she can like and that she can enjoy at times, and how it used to be hard to live with the knowledge that she wouldn't have the life she does if her husband hadn't been hurt. I feel like that a lot. So many things in my life would be different if my mom hadn't died and even died when she did. I wouldn't have met The Professor, at least not in the same way. I wouldn't have my cat. I wouldn't have this house, or her car, or the ability to take this time to find work I love. I doubt I'd even be in Ohio. It's a very strange thing to realize how much one thing changes your life, and how it causes this weird schism when you don't like the thing that happened, but you do like your life. Here's what she writes:

So now today I look up acceptance and the definition is "to receive gladly" and that doesn't sound right. I flip to the back, and look up its earliest root, "to grasp," and discover this comes from the old English for "a thread used in weaving," and bingo, that's it. You can't keep pulling out the thread. You have to weave it in and then you have to go on weaving.
That pretty much sums it up.

And what am I doing reading this tragedy anyhow? Someone told me it was good, and even though I knew it would be sad, I'm still a sucker for memoirs. The writer is also a knitter. No good reason, but at least it was a quick read.

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