Growing up, there was a multitude of words I was not allowed to say. My sweet southern spiritual mom was very strict about language. I have amazing parents, but firm believers in freedom of speech and children expressing themselves however they wished – they were not. They’ve mellowed out a lot since those days, though I am apparently not too old to be chastened for the occasional expletive I let slip. One of the words my mom didn’t like was the word hate. “But I hate that dress” or “I hate Cassie… she’s a jerk.” For the record, Cassie was a jerk, but I still wasn’t supposed to hate her. I could dislike her. I could be unhappy about the way she treated me. But hate was an ugly word. To this day, if I use the word hate, I get a funny little feeling that I’m saying something I’m not supposed to say. But I think my mom will let this one slide: I hate cancer. I hate cancer with all of my being. I hate that we’ve lost family members to this terrible disease. I hate that it attached itself to my father, then my mother, and then came back for seconds with each of them. I hate that I live in fear that it will come back for more. I hate that my friends have lost their parents and their loved ones to cancer. I hate that it preys on children. I hate that it infects our pets. That it is not selective, and it is not fair. I hate that we still don’t have a cure. And I hate that it robbed us of author Nina Riggs and her beautiful writing that I only just got to read. But I love that I was fortunate to read it. I love that Nina wrote such a raw, realistic memoir. I love her and her beautiful family. And though my heart broke, I adore how she injected humor and genuineness into The Bright Hour. This is a book about dying, but it is also a book full of life. And I feel very honored to have read it.
“We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises.
They are the only way to walk from one night to the other.”
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.