The Still Point of the Turning World

The Still Point of the Turning World

Large Print - 2013
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Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had big plans for her first and only son, Ronan. He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, and level-headed, but fun. Then Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease. Not expected to live beyond three, Ronan would be stalled at a developmental level of six months. In this story of a mother's journey through grief and beyond it, Rapp shares the wisdom to be gained from parenting without a future.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, c2013.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781410457349
1410457346
Branch Call Number: 616.85887 RAP LP
Characteristics: 335 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.

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LZLibrary
Apr 23, 2013

This is a gut-wrenching read. Rapp circles the same questions throughout this memoir - what is a life? what does it mean to live well? how does one face the impossible task of parenting a dying child? She turns to words, her own practice of writing, poets, novelists, theologians, Zen Buddhists, and mostly it feels like words fail. Friends and strangers say the wrong things. There is little comfort beyond moments where she feels absolutely in the present moment with her son, instead of catapulted into thoughts of the future without him. There is no narrative arc to this memoir. There is the diagnosis of Tay-Sachs and then there is the struggle to make meaning. To do a thing that is impossible except you have no choice but to do it. You love because as a parent that is what you can do. This book is a sustained note of fierce grief and unconditional love, and the reader bears witness.

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