First published on 6th April 6, 2008 in StarMag
WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER
By Sally Nicholls
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books, 200 pages
IT was hard for me to read this book because it’s the story of a little boy who’s dying of leukemia. Not only do I suffer agonies reading anything that describes children suffering, I also happen to have a son who has congenital heart disease. He has already had several operations to correct his heart deffects, and he is on longterm medication, but he’s not an invalid and you wouldn’t guess, to look at him or watch him play, that he has a problem. He was diagnosed at birth and has lived his 11 years knowing that he isn’t like his friends. He is quite matter of fact about it, only ocassionally expressing irritation that he has to remember to pop pills thrice a day and not to exert himself physically. When he was born, his dad and I were told that he wouldn’t survive for more than a month if he wasn’t operated on right away. But even after corrective surgery, Elesh’s chance of survival isn’t certain.
I guess one of the worst things about being the parent of a child who has a serious health problem is knowing that you might well outlive him. Because of how I feel about Elesh, I could totally identify with Sam’s dad who is in denial. For a parent of a sick child, denial could be seen as a form of hope even if it is hope that’s not based on reality or hard facts. It flies in the face of the truth or, rather, it turns its back on the truth. It waits for a miracle or to wake up one morning to find, like Pamela Ewing did in Dallas, that it was all just a bad dream.Read More »