As mentioned in Reading Non-Fiction, my goal is to share what motivated me to read the books and some thoughts that came from said reading.
While visiting family in the summer of 2010, I discovered this little book lying around and asked my step-mom what it was about. She told me the book was about a guy who had ALS. She said that since a close family friend had been diagnosed with ALS just a few months prior, reading the book was helping her gain an understanding of the disease and get a realistic perspective of how the disease affects not only the person with it, but those closest to them.
I was intrigued. I hadn’t even heard of ALS before. So, when we got back to Vancouver, I checked it out of the public library and began getting acquainted with Morrie and ALS.
As I got into the heart of the book, it made me feel uncomfortable. I felt like it was too intimate. Perhaps I felt this way because it was only the second non-fiction book I could remember reading in some time, but I think the real reason was because it so vividly and tenderly shows the reader what the disease is and does to a person. And for me, this wasn’t just Morrie, a name on a page. I kept seeing Morrie as our family friend.
The book gently reminded me how fragile life is and how I constantly take it for granted. I know talking about death/dying is one of those uncomfortable topics. But why? I think the root of the matter is because it brings us face-to-face with the reality that we aren’t in control. So is it acceptable to just live in fear of death, something that is completely inevitable? I don’t think so. That’s why I think we need to ask the uncomfortable questions. And that’s my main reason for liking this book.