Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Just live. Just live?

Me Before you
Novel by Jojo Moyes
I can remember closing the book and laying it on my chest.  Then sitting up wishing I had someone to talk to about it. 
 It is one of those books that gives you an emotional hangover. 
I asked everyone…have you read Me before You?  No one had, at the time.  Until last night. 
Amanda texted Vanessa and I and said, Melib, I was looking on Off the Cuff…where is your review on the book? 
She had just finished it.  I never wrote one. 
 I told her I would. 
My copy is stained with tears.  It’s no secret I’m emotional.  I had used tissue peppered all over the floor. 
Oh my god, this book is good. 
 A total page-turner that kept me up way past my bedtime. 
A year later…I still think about this book.
It is about the issues of euthanasia, which, in my opinion, is brilliantly written like a romance novel….but it’s not a romance novel and it’s not full of politics surrounding the choice.  I liked her approach.  I loved how it was thoroughly engaging and thought provoking. 
How could you read this and not ask yourself what you might do in a similar circumstance?
If you haven’t read it, in a nutshell, this guy had it all…and one day it was all taken away.  He was now a quadriplegic. Lou is an ordinary girl, leading an ordinary life and it seemed to suit her just fine. 
Then they meet. 
I will say Lou’s lack of dreams…of wonder and possibility bothered me, so I was happy she met him.  She couldn’t have predicted to find her place in the world and for someone else to see and recognize her potential…
we would all be so lucky. 
It was kind of like two lost souls with nothing to fight for had crossed paths.  Two blind people found their light…for a while…and for a while…it seemed like enough.

“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life…or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against the window…is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are.  Or how you might seem to other people.” 

I think we all innately want to fix things…and it’s easy to hold on to imaginary hope when you’re not the person who is trapped.
It did seem ironic to me that a man who couldn’t move was the one that woke her up from a life she had settled for. 

But, you can read the book to fill in the story line.  It leads you to the end and HIS choice. 
Don’t forget that when you close the book that it was HIS choice. 
Not yours. 
That’s what I loved about this book.  It makes you think.  It made me think about my choices in life, my fears, people who have affected my daily life…and if love is really enough…if you have nothing left. 
In my opinion, NO. It honestly wouldn’t be for me.  I would have done what Will did. 

 Vanessa and I just had this conversation.  I don’t have a medical directive put in place.  I have a verbal one though, with her.  I said, Vee.  Don’t…whatever you do, let your emotions get in the way of pulling my plug if my quality of life is vegetative…or if I can’t live independently.  I don’t want that life for myself.  It’s MY choice.  She agreed. 
Sometimes, you just have to accept things won’t get better.  That sometimes, even if they are family, you have to let some people go.   Even if it’s hard.  Life can be hard.  And cruel.  It can also be amazing.  Fulfilling and full of blessings. 

I honestly don’t think the book was so much about convincing Will to live, but for Lou to understand that he wouldn’t. 
He reminded us to stand on your own two feet.  Explore your potential.  Broaden your horizons.  I loved how he challenged himself, read, traveled, studied languages…every day, he lived. In whatever way that meant to him. 

Get out there Lou. 
Take the world by storm. 
 Just like we all should. 

 Oh yea...read the book.