Monday, July 28, 2008

when The End comes too early

I loved the last post so much and all of the comments that I couldn't bring myself to write a new one last week. I didn't have much to say anyway. I was in the end-of-a-book blues. Do you ever get those? Of course you don't, because you're probably one of those normal people who read through a book quickly to get to the story and the great finale of it. I like to savor a book for at least a week though. It's not that I read slowly. I just don't get a lot of moments around here for sustained silent reading.

I like to find a book that's good for that. Pleasant enough that I want to live with it for a while and consider the characters friends. That way, when I do get the moments to read, I'm so excited to see what they're up to now.

Well, with this philosophy, I sort of get the blues when I finish the last page. It's like a good friend moving away, suddenly and permanently and without really finishing the whole story. Last week I finished a great memoir called The Middle Place. It was so well written, and the author was so relatable. She had cancer the year before I did. In a weird, yet typical coincidence, she talks about reading about Brad and Jennifer in a People magazine in the waiting room at the radiation clinic. I talked about the very same thing on my website, only it was Brad and Angelina when it was my turn. Anyway, I was sad to close the chapter on her. I wanted to keep hearing her voice.

Last week that seemed like a boring thing to say in a blog post. But today it seems fitting, because Randy Pausch passed away this weekend. Do you know of him? If not, get yourself to You Tube right this second and search for his name. Or go to a book store and purchase The Last Lecture. He was told he had terminal cancer not long (enough) ago, and he gave the world a really lovely gift as he was leaving us. His lecture, which is now a book has some of the simplest, most beautiful inspiration anyone could ever give, and I so wish his children could have had him longer than they did.

That's why my book blues seem fitting. Because I definitely don't feel the world was done with Randy Pausch. I know his family wasn't. And I feel so sorry for how desperately they must miss his voice.

(Photo courtesy of Cheerful Monk)


Felicity said...

My favorite parts from Pausch's speech were the three elements that make up a true apology (I was wrong, Will you forgive me, and What can I do to make it right) and the fact that his mother keeps him humble when she introduces him as a doctor, but "not the kind that helps people."

He would have had a lot of things to add to our things-life-is-too-short-for list.

Anonymous said...

:( This is very sad news for me too, I loved watching that video clip of Randy basically asking, "what would you do, when told you're going to die soon?"
Made me think, which is what he wanted. The world is going to really miss Randy, may he RIP.

Molly said...

Beautifully said. Hearing him speak brought me to a "thin place." Thanks, Randy.

AmyB. said...

I haven't heard of Randy, but when I get a chance I will listen to the video.

I was having end of book blues too. I tend to get toward the end of a book and try to rush to the end, but when it is a really good, well written book I don't want to do that. The book I'm reading now is like that. I feel myself slowing down just to keep the story going, I don't want it to end. I am really enjoying the characters. It is rare actually for me to find a book that does this for me. Some are good but the ending is part of the story, others are good but the ending goes on and doesn't really end, others end and make you go, "wait...what's the rest of the story?!" I especially don't like those, they just make me go "grrr!" :-)

Anonymous said...

I get the end-of-the-book blues too--I don't even want to THINK about picking up a new book because it feels like a betrayal. I feel like I'm in mourning! Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels like this after the last page is turned.

Anonymous said...

Some professors here have been emailing about Randy for a while and I've been wanting to read his book. I watched the ABC special on him I think it was Tuesday night - which was both inspiring and heartbreaking.