Saturday, May 22, 2010

If you haven't read this you MUST.

The Middle Place and Lift, both written by Kelly Corrigan are musts. Especially if you are a mom. And especially if you have dealt with tragedy, a disease, a SYNDROME or a whatever. I read The Middle Place after I was sent a video of Kelly reading a speech that was making its way around youtube (just google her-the video is called transcending) and was emailed to me. I ordered the book immediately after I watched that video. I devoured the book. Its so real and Im really down with being real. You laugh and cry on the same page. Its fantastic.
Even better? I got to meet her last night! Just by chance and at the last minute a fellow Rett mommy got invited to this very intimate reading at a home not far from me. She invited me to be her guest because it was from me that she heard about Kelly. Also because we had been hounding Kelly to be our special guest at the Strollathon in October. Let me back up. In December I went to a charity fundraiser in SF that a good friend was co chairing and Kelly Corrigan was the speaker. As soon as she walked up to the podium I burst into tears. It had only been a month since Avery had been diagnosed and I was a little fragile. By the time she had finished her readings (we were the first to hear from her new book Lift) there was not a dry eye in the house! She had mentioned to find her on facebook and of course I got my iphone out and friended her. I attached a message as well to let her know that her remarks had really touched me in light of Avery's new diagnosis. She accepted and responded to my note saying she was so sorry to hear and if there was anything I ever needed not to hesitate to reach out. So....when the Strollathon fell in my lap, right about the same time, i thought she would be a perfect special guest speaker at our Stroll! I emailed her, and Facebooked her and mini stalked her. She did end up getting back to me and said she would unfortunately be out of town that weekend. Oh well, I was glad that I tried.
So when my fellow Rett mommy told me we could go and meet her and hear her read I thought-I'd love to but he might be a little freaked out! Im kind of a stalker. So we are mingling and I see her coming near and I dont know if its because I saw her on the Today show recently but I get all star struck. Finally when I couldnt pretend that I didnt see her anymore, I introduced myself. We chatted. I told her more about the Stroll and Rett syndrome. She was so cool and normal. I dont know how she does it. In a room full of people who all think she is our best friend and she knows maybe a few.
She read an incredibly funny part of The Middle Place -everyone was dying laughing. It was hysterical. Hearing her read it made it even funnier and we got some extra stories and fun side notes too. Then she read from Lift (we all got a signed copy to take home!) and it was wonderful. She explained the title of the book-it came from a conversation she had with a hang glider and how what he told her was really a metaphor for life. Basically you cant get lift without turbulence. And that not everyone makes it past the turbulence. But when you get to the lift, you are in a certain place where things that never would have happened do and people you never would have met become your friends and all I could think was "if Avery didnt have Rett syndrome I wouldnt be standing in this room". It all resonated so much with me and what my life is like these days. I cannot do her words justice at all. I wish I could-but I guess I dont have to-just go buy her books and read them. You will be so glad you did! Im halfway through Lift already!


Anonymous said...

OK, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why her name sounded familiar. Then I looked her up -- she is an alum of the university where I worked before having Joe!

I worked in the marketing department, which publishes the alumni magazine. She wrote an AMAZING piece for it about her cancer experience, and there was not a dry eye in there when the draft got passed around. You feel like you know her from her writing.

I'm putting these on my must-read list. Thanks!

Erica said...

lia-thats just weird! i love small world things like that. She is definitely one of those girls that you think-man why cant I be like that?? did you see the video i referenced? Transcending? Its ridiculously good.

Kelly said...

I think I need to get my hands on a copy of that book!

The MacDonald Family said...

Awesome post. I'm so going to look her up and read her book! I'm almost finished with one and have been wondering what the next was going to be. Thanks!!!

mj said...

i call i'm borrowing your copy when i see you in june. i'll bring back the middle place, which of course, i loved. loved. i have a few other books now that i think you might like. i read 4 in hawaii. :)