Survival Lessons: A little gem…wise, witty and wonderful.

November 11th, 2013 by Gladys · No Comments · Uncategorized

Survival LessonsI was drawn to Survival Lessons, the little gem of a book by celebrated fiction author Alice Hoffman, as family members and friends of mine endured  trauma and health challenges this past year.  A cancer survivor herself, Hoffman’s impulse for writing this book was her need for a “guidebook” to help cope with long-term illness, to help see the “beauty of life…all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss…And to remind myself that, despite everything that was happening to me, there were still some choices I could make.”

Survival Lessons is beautifully and gracefully narrated by Xe Sands, who seems to channel Hoffman’s spirit in this reading. I was hooked after the first sentence. It is full of down-to-earth advice, endearing stories, and practical lessons for making choices that enrich one’s life and make each day an opportunity to thrive, not just survive; to experience beauty and joy along with the sorrow and pain. Hoffman says, “I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other.”

Alice HoffmanAlice Hoffman‘s many suggestions are found in a series of short essays or lessons, beginning with Choose your Heroes, Choose to Enjoy Yourself, Choose Your Friends, and she encourages us to make the best brownies, boil the perfect egg, make time for an old friend, plan an interesting trip, carry on the work that we adore—these can all bring love into and enormously enrich our lives as we endure illness.

Although short in length, Survival Lessons is a generous road map that I will turn to again and again. I will share it with others in my life who could benefit from the gifts that it generously shares—caregivers, friends, co-workers, neighbors—anyone, really, who feels the impact of illness in their lives and want to thrive, not just survive.

“Love is complicated, love can be hidden, love, above all else, is loyalty.” ~AH

Tags: ········

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment