In January, Paul Kalanithi’s book, When Breath Becomes Air, was published posthumously. There are many favorable reviews of this chronicle (here’s one from the New York Times) of his illness and impending death, but that isn’t what I want to write about. What I have to say is: don’t skip reading this book because you think it will make you sad. Yes, it will make you sad, but it will make you think. It is a deeply thoughtful work by a man who lived with purpose even as he was dying. It’s not a “how to” guide; it has valuable insights. The book has an Epilogue by Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Paul’s wife. Her prose is as beautiful as his and much more personal. She is clearly half of this story. Read this book. You won’t regret it.
Since this post is turning out to be a grab bag of mulling, don’t miss this profile of Garry Shandling from The New Yorker. After the shocking news of his death, my husband and I watched the segment of Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee featuring Shandling and his long-time friend, Jerry Seinfeld. It is revealing of his character; the episode shows what a gentle, wise man Shandling was.
And on a feline note, CatmanDeux , our current rescue kitty, seems to be thriving, despite a few medical “issues.” He is being treated for parasites, a risk of his previous life on the streets. He has Eosinophilia, which could be from the parasites but also could be an indication of something more serious. For my part, I am not holding back on loving this cat, no matter what. I’m all in, no matter what.