Friday, June 01, 2007

My friends, the books

Today I decided to clean up the garage. Well at least organize it. When moving things about I found an old box of some of my favorite books. I quickly opened and examined them. I have purchased so many over the years, read so many but these are the ones that I will always own.
Kahlil Gibran: three by him, one, Beloved Prophet, was so difficult to find as it had not been published in many years. It took me two years searching before I located it in a rare book store in another state. it contains his love letters to the woman he loved, Mary Haskell. I have been fascinated with him since first reading The Prophet as a teenager. Some of that book contains quotes that I frequently use. I love his mind. Other books are by Anna Quindlen. Her essays in the New York Times were outstanding. She can open anyone's mind by using logic. Three books are by an author most of you never heard of, Laurel Lee. When I was being treated for Hodgkin's Disease in 1977 she wrote an article that appeared in a woman's magazine along with her ink drawings. She was living the life of a hippie (not so different from mine) with two young children. While pregnant with her third she developed a horrible cough which was diagnosed as Hodkin's Disease. She refused a late term abortion as the doctors begged her to have it. She later gave birth to a healthy daughter and published her diary of the ordeal, Walking Through the Fire. A TV movie was later made of it, but it did not do the book justice. Laurel has an uncanny sense of humor and her drawings make it rich. I do not know what became of her.
I do know that her books are two of my prize possessions.

I stopped here and went to Google her name. I simply cannot believe that I never thought to do that. I just learned that she died August 2004 from pancreatic cancer after fighting it for a year I am so saddened by that but joyful that she left behind three children and four grandchildren.
The fact is that she died at 58 but she lived each day after her cancer diagnosis at age 29 with such joy and appreciation. Her dream was to live long enough to see her children independent and she achieved that. I hate knowing that she is gone because of all the days and nights that I wrestled with the demons of fear. I knew that she was out there doing the same and overcoming them. Thank you Laurel for all the hope that you gave me for all those years. Rest in peace. I have one last book of hers to purchse, Tapestry the Journal of Laurel Lee.

I have other books........they are my friends. Sometimes on a bad night they help me. I have one book that is unread. I purchased it a few years ago and I simply cannot get through it. I refuse to get rid of it and I just know that one day I will get through it, One Hundred Years of Solitude. My new favorite read are books by Jodi Picoult. If you haven't read My Sister's Keeper, you must. I am eagerly waiting to read her latest. Hoping it comes out in paperbook soon!

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