Couldn't read anything but the "Maura vignette" for over a week after getting the book. Then, I dove into the rest this weekend.
Today, I biked home after church, stopping at a nifty tea room for a cup of soothing something-or-other and a chance to read some more of the book. I love the whole idea of biking somewhere I can read while sipping tea. It's all part of our new hip urban lifestyle. All I need are some organic cotton clothes and I'll be set. But, hey, I was wearing yoga pants, so that ought to count for something.
I don't know how I got through the chapter entitled "Make It Last", to tell you the truth. I had to stop every minute or so to wipe tears from my eyes and blow my nose on a napkin. I have no idea what the people next to me thought, but they kept peering at me over their laptops. Sniveling isn't part of the whole hip urban lifestyle.
The chapter details the time following Suzy's reoccurence and metastasis of her breast cancer until her death. So much of it rang so true for me, and I saw myself in Nancy and in her mom. I saw Joel in Suzy's husband and father. And I saw so much of Danielle and Lydia in Nancy.
I share similar experiences: Helping Maura to bathe when she was too weak; helping her cross the street; waiting with her time and again at MD Anderson; sometimes not talking; sometimes words pouring out so fast they tumbled onto each other. WAtching and listening as Maura allowed herself to be heartbroken for dreams unrealized.
But here is the quote that leaves me sobbing right now as well as at the Tea House:
"Because this is the place you come to when someone you love is slowly dying: You're desperate for it to be over, and even more desperate to make it last."