Dare to Connect – A year to challenge your mind, heart, and understanding.
On December 19th, I found out that my memoir, Wild and Precious Life, had a two page spread in the Holiday Spectacular – 2016 – One Spirit publication, Dare to Connect. One Spirit is a book club that is always on the lookout for the next great read. It was such an honor that Wild and Precious Life was in their holiday publication!
Seeing Wild and Precious Life in the publication made me think of additional ways to continue spreading Brittany’s words…wishes…and legacy. I have been travelling and doing book talks, signing books, and doing my best to spread awareness. But, I know that the most meaningful connections and conversations come with those we spend the most time with. So, in an effort to continue sharing and keeping my promise to Britt, I hope that you will consider Wild and Precious Life as a book for your list of “reads” in your 2017 Book Club list.
Having been a part of a Book Club in the past, I know that attempts are often made during the first meeting of the year, to make a list of book selections. I ask that you consider Wild and Precious Life as part of this years selection process.
Book Club Selection for 2017
To assist you in considering Wild and Precious Life as an option, I am going to link you to my page on the Simon and Schuster site, which includes an excerpt for you to read and discuss as a group. Wild and Precious Life is a book that will, no doubt, spark conversations. You will get to know each other in a deeper, more meaningful way. I believe that when we push our minds to understand things we’ve never had to face in our own lives, we broaden our own knowledge and understanding. That does not mean that we will all agree with the choices or beliefs one shares, but it does mean that we can do our best to support and listen to each other’s needs and wants. By choosing a book with such a thought provoking topic and emotional depth, you are sure to walk away with a deeper, more meaningful bond with those that share your love of reading.
First, listen to my writings in the Preface as they are read in the “Hear an Excerpt” at the bottom of this Simon and Schuster link. Then, read the excerpt located just above it. The excerpt provided for reading is Part One of Wild and Precious Life: Catastrophe; 1. Foreboding. After listening, reading, and discussing, I hope that you will understand the meaningful dialogue that can be shared during group discussions centered around Wild and Precious Life.
To assist, I have created some questions for discussion based on the excerpt provided on the Simon and Schuster site.
- In Part One, Foreboding, I receive a phone call that forever changed my life as I knew it (pg.3). Have you ever received a life altering call? Have you ever had to make a call that would alter another’s life? Please share.
- Brittany had been experiencing debilitating headaches for over a year. She saw a neurologist and was told it was potentially a combination of newlywed stress and hormonal imbalance. She was prescribed injections for pain but they hadn’t helped. Once the tumor was found during an emergency room visit, with a CT scan, and other doctors were asked for second, third, and fourth opinions. They all defended the fact that an MRI hadn’t been done prior to the emergency room visit. They stated that if doctor’s ordered an MRI for all of the patients experiencing migraine-level headaches each year, the medical system would go bankrupt (pg.7). Do you know anyone that has had a serious condition “overlooked” or ignored due to medical costs, doctors being overloaded with patients, or insurance issues? Please share.
- After my life altering phone call, I flew to the hospital to be with Brittany. As I walked into the ICU room for the first time, Brittany was unresponsive. The machines beeped endlessly with flashing red numbers. A doctor was holding her limp head, prying her eyelid open and checking her eye with a flashlight. I was ordered out of the room (pg.9). Discuss what this must have been like. Have you ever shared a similar situation with a loved one? How would you have reacted?
- Brittany whispered, “I’m sorry, Momma. I’m not going to be able to take care of you when you’re old, the way you take care of Grandpa. I’m not going to live that long (pg.11).” Have you ever had a gut instinct; knowledge of something that hasn’t been verified, but you are 100% sure of the outcome? She knew. How did she know? Was I in denial? Had a mother’s love blinded me? Or, was she scared and just reacting to fear? Discuss.
My goal in sharing a few discussion topics, centered around the free excerpt provided, is to allow you to fully understand the way this book will open discussions that allow you to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with those in your Book Club. My wish is to share Brittany’s legacy and have discussions taking place that start the “conversation”. Death is not an easy discussion topic. We might discuss our investments, retirement, college funds, and our will with loved ones. But, rarely, do we discuss our actual death and our needs and wishes that go along with it. It is important to start the conversation. When we start discussing and sharing, we will find that it is something that can bring us closer to our loved ones. When we can tear down our emotional walls and be honest about our own needs, bonds are formed and there is a comfort for the loved ones surrounding us during our death. They know our wishes and can focus on grieving, rather than questioning what we want during our departure from life.
Please Stay in Touch
If your book club chooses Wild and Precious Life as part of their list for 2017, please let me know. I would love to hear about the responses from your group. Please stay in touch and offer me insight on topics that you find the most meaningful and thought provoking. You can comment on this page to stay in touch with me. I also encourage you to follow my Facebook page.
If you found these discussion topics helpful, I would be happy to provide additional questions for consideration. If you do not belong to a book club, I encourage you to consider starting one. They are a wonderful way to meet people and share deeper, more meaningful conversations about books you are reading. However, if you prefer to read alone and like the discussion topics, you could always use them as journal entries. I learn a lot about myself when I write. I hope you will, too.
May 2017 bring about more knowledge, love, acceptance, understanding, healing, health, and continued growth for us all.