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The Bright Hour
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying | Nina Riggs
An exquisite memoir about how to liveand loveevery day with death in the room, from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air. We are breathless, but we love the days. They are promises. They are the only way to walk from one night to the other. Nina Riggs was just thirty-seven years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancerone small spot. Within a year, the mother of two sons, ages seven and nine, and married sixteen years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. How does one live each day, unattached to outcome? How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship, and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nina Riggss breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in his gorgeous When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time? Brilliantly written, disarmingly funny, and deeply moving, The Bright Hour is about how to love all the days, even the bad ones, and its about the way literature, especially Emerson, and Ninas other muse, Montaigne, can be a balm and a form of prayer. Its a book about looking death squarely in the face and saying this is what will be. Especially poignant in these uncertain times, The Bright Hour urges us to live well and not lose sight of what makes us human: love, art, music, words.
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suzie.reads
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Pickpick

Wow! I can't even cope with how emotional this was! I laughed and I cried. What a beautiful memoir of living and dying.
Nina Riggs memoir of living with terminal cancer is truly heartbreaking ? Her boys will cherish this forever.

One of my favourite quotes from the book -
"You are fully entitled to slap the next person who tells you that God only gives us what we can handle."

Redwritinghood This was so beautifully written. I loved it too, but it was so sad. 3mo
suzie.reads @Redwritinghood it was so sad 😥 The last chapter by her husband was heartbreaking. 3mo
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MeJeMiller
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Pickpick

It‘s a book I don‘t normally read. There were times I skimmed and times I had tears. Sometimes it‘s hard to work in the medical field and read a book like this.

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MeJeMiller
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Okay update. This one made me cry.

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MeJeMiller
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After watching people die from cancer, I‘m hesitant reading this.

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AdeleReads
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”For me, faith involves staring into the abyss, seeing that it is dark and full of the unknown—and being okay with that.”
Nina Riggs, The Bright Hour

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erinreads
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Pickpick

This was beautiful and sad and tbh I‘m still crying about it... 15 minutes after I‘ve finished it. 😭 Thanks for bringing this heartbreaking memoir to my attention, @LMJenkins! I don‘t know if I ever would have read Nina‘s story on my own. 💕 #NewYearWhoDis #bookly

LMJenkins I‘m so glad. 💛 11mo
Crazeedi I'm not sure if my heart could take this book right now 11mo
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erinreads
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When you use your Kindle as a bookmark. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Ashley_Nicoletto I have been guilty of this. Whatever‘s convenient. 🤣 11mo
Patchshank 😋 I too am guilty of this 11mo
saresmoore Yes! 😅 11mo
JSW Have done. Will likely do again. 11mo
114 likes4 comments
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erinreads
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Oof. This book. 😭 #NewYearWhoDis

Redwritinghood But her writing is so beautiful I‘m still so glad I read it. 11mo
68 likes1 comment
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erinreads
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I haven‘t finished a book yet so far this year (all 4 days of it! 😂), but I plan to finish all three of these this weekend. I think I can, I think I can. 🤞🏻

tjwill 🚂 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Go for it!! But the combo of the top and bottom ones might be too intense. It took me a LONG time to read A Little Life. Partly to savor it and partly because it just made me so incredibly sad. 🥰 11mo
erinreads @BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m a glutton for pain because this is my second read of A Little Life, so I‘m nearing the worst of it and kind of dreading getting there. 😭 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @erinreads Haha. Then you know **exactly** what I mean! 😰😰 11mo
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erinreads
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And look what I‘m starting today @LMJenkins! Is this going to make me cry, though? Because maybe this wasn‘t the best read for the metro. 😂😂😂 #NewYearWhoDis

LMJenkins There may be some tears, but the writing is beautiful and there are tears of happiness as well as sadness. 11mo
83 likes1 comment
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erinreads
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Great list from @LMJenkins for #NewYearWhoDis! These are the ones I‘m hoping to get to. I already own The Clockmaker‘s Daughter and Sunburn, so I‘m excited to finally read them. And the others sound so intriguing and haven‘t been on my radar till now, so this is already satisfying to me! 😂 Thanks for setting this all up, @monalyisha! 💕

monalyisha Oh good! I was kind-of worried about you. 😆 Your list was so extensive, I thought it might be tough to find books you hadn‘t already read! Happy to see that this pairing worked! 12mo
monalyisha Btw, I hadn‘t heard of “Laura & Emma” either & was intrigued when I saw it! Looking forward to your review. 🙌🏻 12mo
erinreads @monalyisha You did well! I‘ve only read two of the books on Lauren‘s list and I loved both of them, so I have high hopes for the rest of them! 🤞🏻 12mo
LMJenkins I‘m so glad! I‘m just getting to my email and Litsy now so can‘t wait to look through your list. ⭐️ 12mo
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nelehelen
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Pickpick

4/5
Taking advantage of the very bad air quality here in SF to stay inside for a mini readathon. That said, I started this book awhile ago but never got past the prologue because I just couldn‘t emotionally prepare myself. I still wasn‘t ready, but glad I was able to finally read this memoir. Beautiful and devastating, it really forced me to reevaluate my own life and relationships through her words. And for that, I‘m grateful.

#ReadHarder2018

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Beautiful writing. You can tell Riggs was a poet. This is an unvarnished and candid memoir of living with terminal cancer. She perfectly captures the tug-of-war between living in the present and acknowledging the nearness of death. Putting sentimentality aside, she is forthright about her desperate longing for more time with her young sons and husband and her attempts to prepare them all for inevitable separation. A wonderful writer gone too soon.

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KadeLexical
Pickpick

Absolutely beautiful writing. I picked it up for content and plot, but would read again for the wonderful way she wields words. Also led me to other literature with her poignant references.

julesG Welcome to Litsy! 13mo
CarolynM Welcome to Litsy 🌼 13mo
See All 6 Comments
CoffeeNBooks Welcome to Litsy! 📚 13mo
Lel2403 Welcome to Litsy 📖 13mo
Samplergal Welcome! 13mo
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KadeLexical
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“We are certain only that there is so much of which we are not certain”

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📖💙 13mo
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nelehelen
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today was a good day 🙂

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LMJenkins
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1. I went camping at The Festy, a three day music festival in Charlottesville.
2. I am working from home, listening to an audiobook and tidying my house.
3. The tagged book was finished this week.
4. I bought a 6-month Audible membership for a friend going through chemo.
5. Hard question! I love Italian food, steak and risotto, Indian food, savory Mac & cheese and salads with lots of goodies in them like meat and nuts.
#HumpDayPost

BarbaraTheBibliophage Awww—what a great gift! 14mo
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LMJenkins
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Pickpick

I woke earlier than I needed to this morning, so I‘m reading a bit. I‘m approaching the end of this book and it‘s exquisite but torturously sad. Her sentences are perfect and as I read them, I am feeling what she must have felt or a fragment of it: knowing you‘re about to leave your two beautiful boys forever, much too early. 💔

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LMJenkins
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sb3626
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Pickpick

I originally chose this because for the Read Harder challenge but it was significantly better then I could have hoped for. I was rooting for Nina the entire way and just wanted her to live even though the title already tells you otherwise. This was a slight mistake to listen to at work because I had to stop every so often to stop from bursting into tears but it was just so heartfelt. #readharderchallenge

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Notafraidofwords
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Pickpick

I picked this one up at the library, because I‘m doing the bookriot challenge this year. This was published after the author died of cancer. She is a poet & it shows. Told in short snippets, the reader learns about the family she has to leave behind as she is diagnosed with cancer shortly after her mother. She passes at a very young age and her husband finishes the story. This was heartbreaking, so I‘m glad I finished it in a few sittings.

trazo I am half way through this book. I am loving her writing. 1y
Notafraidofwords @trazo yeah, she‘s a poet. Sometimes her words feel confusing and I have to reread. 1y
79 likes2 comments
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LMJenkins
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💛 My kiddos make me happy.
📚 Right now I am only reading one! The tagged book.
⛰ I miss a lot about my hometown, but if I have to pick one thing, I‘d say the terrain. It‘s hilly and rocky and lush.
💲 I don‘t, but I should!
🙁 Tough choice, but I really do already have “access” to every book, so I guess I‘d choose the million dollars and try to be happy without books (I‘ll be sneaky and read magazines).
#HumpDayPost

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Well-ReadNeck
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Today‘s entry for #MonthOfMemoirs is a five tissue read. Brings all the feels.

https://wellreadneck.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/the-bright-hour-nina-riggs/

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LMJenkins
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I‘m sitting on my porch in the shade with a big tumbler of ice water, trying to decide which one of these beauties to start right now. Help me choose!

candority I haven‘t read any of them, but Little Fires Everywhere has been on my TBR since it came out! 1y
Cinfhen I‘ve only read one and it was a quick and gripping read 1y
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irre Absolutely love 1y
LMJenkins Thanks all! I decided to go with The Bright Hour first. 👌 1y
38 likes6 comments
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steepedinpages
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Pickpick

This book was incredibly heartwarming and inspiring. It‘s incredibly sad that Nina lost her fight with cancer, but she spent her remaining time leaving behind a legacy that will encourage many others.

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KaitiWinchell
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❤🍨📚❤

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KaitiWinchell
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50 pages in and loving it. ❤

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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

What a beautiful, sad book. Unflinchingly honest and as beautifully written as you'd expect from a poet.

JennyM This was a beautiful read. 1y
arlenefinnigan @JennyM I really want to read her poetry. 1y
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 17: a book published posthumously

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UrsulaMonarch
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This is so terrible and also completely relatable.

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UrsulaMonarch
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Pickpick

This book is marvelous. Devastating, hilarious, touching, honest, poetic, and shockingly compulsively readable, even as you dread the end of the book. I recommend it even to those who may be reluctant.

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michiganvol
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Good morning! Nothing like a lazy Saturday with a new book. Making slow progress with my #ReadHarder challenge, I thought I'd be farther ahead by now! This one covers the first book challenge. I have the tissues ready.

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UrsulaMonarch
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I started this book ten minutes ago and it's already devastating and amazing. 💚

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trazo
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Finally going home. I love reading on the train! 🚊 📚 ♥️ 😊

DivaDiane Me too! 2y
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RachLovesTV
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Pickpick

A beautiful written memoir, not just about dying, but also about living: how you go on living with terminal illness, with chronic pain, with the death of your mother, with the knowledge your kids will have to go on without you. Riggs tries to work through these and other thoughts as she deals not only with her own diagnosis, but that of her mother, dying of a completely different type of cancer. 💔😭 #cancersucks

bookandcat She urged her husband to meet with (and then he later married) the wife of the author of 2y
RachLovesTV @bookandcat I heard that! An article about them actually led me to both these books - I read When Breath Becomes Air last month. I don't think they are married yet, but what an amazing story. It's like something out of a movie. 2y
Rhondareads An amazing heartbreaking book, 2y
UrsulaMonarch @bookandcat @RachLovesTV I did NOT know about this!!!! 2y
RachLovesTV @UrsulaMonarch You couldn't script a better story. It's pretty crazy! 2y
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RachLovesTV
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I knew this one would be a tough read - aren't all cancer books, especially when your family has been personally impacted by cancer? What I wasn't expecting was to go through the death of Nina's mother with her. It's definitely hitting close to home. 😢

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RachLovesTV
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Just started listening to this one today. It feels a little disjointed, but I'm enjoying it so far. New fun fact: the author met her husband in the same town in which I went to college: Carlisle, PA!

#audiobook #cancersucks

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melrailey
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Pickpick

Totally should have waited to read this book as it hit way too close to home. Still a good listen.

mrozzz Heartbreaking. Beautiful. I already want to reread it! 2y
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TLFinn
Pickpick

Love this book. Poetry.

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JennyM
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Pickpick

Sitting in the car waiting to pick the kids up, and I can‘t stop the tears. I am nearly the same age as Nina, and also have 2 kids the same age. My heart breaks for her family. Life can be beautiful and cruel.
Go well, Nina.

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LauraBeth
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1. The Bright Hour - see tagged book for synopsis 😿
2. Reese‘s Peanut Butter Cups
3. Forever Winona in Reality Bites
4. Apple Watch
5. Super Bowl party 🎉

#humpdaypost

vivastory I ❤ Reese's minis pb cups 2y
LauraBeth @vivastory 🙌🙌 2y
WhatDeeReads Reese‘s for life 2y
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merelybookish Winona! ?I was explaining to my daughter the other day about how she was the "it" girl for my generation! 2y
daena Winona Forever 🖤 2y
mrp27 Granny dresses and Mary Jane doc martens a la Winona was my uniform back in the day. 2y
LauraBeth @merelybookish I remember she had a Rolling Stone cover that said Venus In Blue Jeans 😀 2y
LauraBeth @daena 🙌🙌 2y
LauraBeth @mrp27 I bet you rocked that look 😀 2y
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chelreads
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Pickpick

This had me feeling all the feels! 😫😫😫 #80in18

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LauraBeth
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I started this today. Do y‘all know how terrified I was to open this? And yet - it is a book filled with joy, hope and positivity. If you‘ve been avoiding this book because it‘s a grief memoir - you may want to reconsider and try reading it.

“And there it is: The beautiful, vibrant, living world goes on.”

8little_paws So apparently her widower, and Kalanithi's widow, are in a relationship now. 2y
LauraBeth I read about that ❤️! @8little_paws 2y
emilyhaldi Wow thanks for the tip!! #stacked 2y
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MallenNC I‘ve also hesitated to read this one. This makes me Thai might be able to read it after all 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I quite liked this book! 2y
Redwritinghood It is a gorgeous, inspiring book. Enjoy! 2y
LauraBeth @MallenNC I had Hesitation with a capital H! But I saw it at the library and decided to start reading it and couldn‘t put it down. 2y
LauraBeth @BarbaraTheBibliophage I really like her writing! 2y
LauraBeth @Redwritinghood well if you liked it then I know I‘ll enjoy it! 2y
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kristina_with_a_k
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Finished this one last night. I picked it up after reading that the wife of the author of When Breath Becomes Air and the husband of the author of this book are now a couple, having lost their respective partners. #thereisbeautyindying #cancer #fuckcancer #cancersucks

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mrozzz
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1. Oooohhh... I really liked Clarissa Explains it All (favorite animated series might have been Ahhh Real Monsters!)

2. Tagged. The Bright Hour was splendid. Megan Stielstra‘s is a close second.

3. Sushi. But I don‘t like most fish.

4. Seeing Zadie Smith and getting her new book! Also taking a couple writing “master classes” with J. Courtney Sullivan & Chloe Caldwell.

5. Done 💗

#FriYayIntro

readordierachel Your TV choices are the BEST. 2y
mrozzz Hehe @ReadOrDieRachel thanks! The characters in both are all sort of... strange right? I felt at home with them 😁 2y
amvs1111 Yes! Clarissa!!! 2y
mrozzz @amvs1111 😊👌🏻 2y
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LittleFawn2012
Pickpick

I've never read such a beautifully crafted account on death and dying. Not nearly as depressing I thought it might be. This book explores terminal illness, cancer, parenthood, loss, grief, and - most importantly - LIVING with whimsical prose.

mrozzz Good review... great book 😊 Welcome to Litsy!!! #LitsyWelcomeWagon 2y
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MattieH
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I thought about this last night as I read about a 14 year old boy who died of cancer yesterday. He had suffered tremendously. I watch him deteriorate on Facebook through his mother‘s posts. I wonder how she will go on now with her baby being gone? Did she really realize this was coming or did they just fight one thing at a time? One complication remedied and another in its place. Was the big picture lost in all the little things? Myopia.

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MattieH
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Starting The Bright Hour this afternoon. I just opened the book and immediately love the pages. The actual pages. I‘m not big on reading on a kindle or phone or any other way, I like to hold the book in my hands and turn each page. And I LOVE when the pages have a little texture on the edges!

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Well-ReadNeck
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Pickpick

This was such a gorgeous book. So real and so raw. I cried buckets. 😭😭😭😭😭

DimeryRene Oh my word! Read the description. Woooooow! Must read. 2y
Blaire I just saw this recommended as a top audiobook. 2y
86 likes7 stack adds2 comments