Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Power of a Book

Have you ever read a book that completely consumes you? From the first page, you struggle to put it down and find yourself hanging onto every word? I'm not usually that person. I love to read, but I've never had trouble putting a good book aside. Until I picked up our book club book for the month, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," by Garth Stein. I completely and utterly devoured this book. I felt as though I couldn't breath until I finished it consuming the words as they flew across the page.

When I started the book, I wasn't sure I'd be able to read it. I won't give anything away because I want others to enjoy this amazing literature as much as I did. The story is told through the eyes of a dog as he goes through all of life's obstacles with his "master." I knew it would be difficult. The same way that reading "Marlo and Me", as fun of a book as it was, could only lead to tears because that's what those books always do. I was barely through the first chapter of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and I was already crying...

Losing Rani was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. And it still is. In some oddly human way, you almost feel guilty mourning an animal so deeply. Within the span of a month after Rani died, we lost a close family member and my sister lost a good friend. It seemed wrong to be so overwhelmed with the death of an animal, so I pushed it aside. This past week has been hard again though for reasons I'm not sure I could explain.

After fighting through the initial tears, I allowed myself to get lost in this book. I made myself go to sleep knowing I would be dreaming about it all throughout the night. Somehow this morning I was able to finish it - all 400+ pages of it. I read it while we played with cars and trains, while we ate our snack and drank our tea on the porch, while little r was a chef preparing me pretzels and sausages... The book made me feel Rani with my every being. It was amazing. The writing was incredible and the words were empowering and courageous. Through the pages I started to understand why losing a dog is sometimes harder than losing a friend.

The final chapters left tears streaming down my face. I walked back inside from the porch and I felt like I had to get out. It's a beautiful day, and I hadn't gone for a walk in what felt like ages. Since kindergarten has been on break and the temperatures have been crazy hot, I hadn't taken to the trails in awhile. I missed having my furry walking companion. That companion that always assured I got the fresh air I needed and walked the trails whether rain or shine. Even when I didn't want to, she knew I needed it.

So I put my shoes on and told little r to come for a walk with me. When my toes hit the trail, I started balling. I couldn't hold it back. The tears flowed and my breathing sobbed. I decided to let it all out. Crying is healing and I knew I needed the release. Little r put his sweet hand in mine and walked up the path to the hill all the while he was telling me about how Rani was going to come back next weekend and play in the field. Sometimes as a parent you can find the willpower to say all the right things in these sorts of situations, and other times you just nod your head and say, "ok."

When we got up to the field, I told little r that I missed Rani so much. He just smiled at me and gave me the sweetest hug and held me tight. Then we walked the rest of the trail back home and talked about the wind blowing in the corn fields and picked apples from a tree.

It is a beautiful day. The power of a book can be amazing, don't you think? If you are a dog-lover, this is a must-read. You will thank me for recommending it to you later...




1 comment:

  1. Nan, I loved this book which was a book club selection for Mary's club. Now every time I look at Cali I wonder what she is thinking. I'm sure she wants thumbs.
    I totally understand how it made you feel; I cried and my beautiful dog was sitting next to me. I agree this is a must read.