I was reminded today about the book 5 People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This book was thrust back into the front of my mind when I was reading a twitter thread #IfIDiedTomorrow. The whole purpose of that thread was to put out there what you want remembered about yourself. I began thinking about what I would post on this thread. I drew a blank. Then what came flooding into my mind was watching my father pass away in the hospital and immediately the book I read while sitting with him popped into my head. I thought how strange that I was reading a book about death and the afterlife as I was watching someone close to me about to take that journey.
Thinking back on that book and re-reading it always hurdles me right back into the time when I was sitting in that hospital room just waiting. I can still hear the dull sounds outside the room. Smell the hospital antiseptic that is always used. I see my dad, who was dying of cancer at the time, only a shell of the man I knew. All of these vivid memories connected to one book. So, I began to wonder how many other books I could connect to such vivid memories. I was surprised with how many different books supported and comforted me through sad and happy times like they were old friends.
J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood popped into my mind immediately. I started reading these books when I was 8 months pregnant. I still remember laying in bed reading and feeling my little guy moving in my tummy. Reading them when I was in the Doctor’s office getting blood taken. I think I am so attached to this series and author partially because it carried me through my last month of being pregnant and helped me dampen nerves that were already rampant for a new mother. The distraction that was the Black Dagger Brotherhood has now intrenched itself in my life and I have become a huge fan because of how these books carried me through to one of the greatest events in my life.
Many authors effect their readers emotionally. But, Nicholas Sparks has to be one of best known authors for taking a chunk of your heart every time you read his books. So, it was strange to realize one of my most prominent memories revolves around one of his books. It was my first year of college. I didn’t have anywhere to go for spring break because I lived so far away. A friend invited me to go home with her and I went. I remember the look of the house while I sat and read The Notebook. I remember the quiet that only the deep south can give you. The breeze that blew through the house occasionally. The welcoming warmth of the family taking me in for the week. An overwhelming sense of gratitude and peace comes with reading The Notebook and it’s not from the book itself.
So, it seems that books don’t just impact you with their stories. It seems your story and emotions can tie to a book and it can become a symbol of a single moment or string of moments that are emotionally poignant to you. I know that I have many other books with these connections to my life and I foresee that many more will have an impact and become a symbol all wrapped up in the package of a good book.
So…I ask you reader…Do you have a book or story that ties you to an event in your life?