My friend, Asya, made a really interesting statement the other day. In the wake of the Kobe Bryant tragedy, she mentioned that she’s fixated on “last moments.” She and I could not imagine the last moments of Kobe, in the helicopter with his daughter, and what would have been going through his mind. After Asya mentioned this, I, too, realized that I am very fixated on last moments. As a mother, it’s hard not to be. You would want your last moments to be peaceful for you, but most importantly for your children.
I heard an NPR interview with Julie Yip-Williams last year and was instantly drawn to her story. A mother, in her late thirties, who was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer that ultimately kills her. Sounds like a real downer, huh? But, what I was amazed by is how calm and at peace Julie seemed in this last interview she had with NPR before her death. I knew then that I wanted to read her memoir about dying.
The Unwinding of the Miracle is a beautifully written tale of the last years of Julie’s life. Was she always at peace with leaving her young family behind? No. Was she scared of them forgetting her? Of course. This book covers every emotion that Julie felt and it was all written so honestly – it was amazing. The fact that Julie fought so valiantly for her family, while at the same time just wanting to give up and die…it was relatable. So many times we do things for our families that we don’t want to, and this final battle that Julie embarked on was the most selfless act imaginable.
While this book is not as easy read- and certainly not light- I am really glad I did read it.