THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER What would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry. In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44 ...Read MoreTHE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER What would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry. In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining. She decided to live that year with joy. She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she would never attend. She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working. And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2013-02-18 Journalist Spencer-Wendel discovered she was ill when her left hand suddenly became withered. As she struggles to come to terms with knowing something is wrong-not wanting to find out, then not fully believing the doctor's ALS diagnosis-she writes with courage and strength. When she gets the news, the 40-something author is in her prime, blessed with a great reporter job at the Palm Beach Post and loving family. Using benefits from an insurance policy, she quits her job and decides to take trips with her family and friends, so that she can have all of the amazing experiences she's put off and create lasting memories. She goes to the final space shuttle launch with her youngest son, having never been to Cape Canaveral, even though her home is only hours away. A few months later, joined by her best friend, she sees the aurora borealis in the Yukon. It's there that Spencer-Wendel's philosophy plays out, as it does many times more, as she briefly caught the lights before tripping and missing the rest. She is appreciative and grateful for those few seconds and banishes regrets. There are certainly moments of heartbreak that she doesn't shy away from, such as when she goes shopping for bridal dresses with her teenaged daughter, knowing she'll miss any future wedding. Spencer-Wendel's life will sadly be cut short, but in writing her story, she shows her family and friends how to go on, choosing happiness and love over fear. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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