Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Never Give Up

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Book Review - Never Give Up

About the Book
They had no idea their lives would change so significantly.

Up until January 7, 2005 Ruthe Rosen enjoyed the “perfect life.” Well okay maybe it wasn’t perfect, but let’s just say it was normal. But things changed drastically overnight. Her daughter Karla was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor at the age of 14.

She was in the middle of her early teen years with all the excitement, drama, mood swings, hormones, and changes those early years entail. But then there were the headaches, that came suddenly and were so sudden and severe they would drop her to her knees in agony. After one episode they decided to go get a CT scan.

Then the phone call came. There would be no dance practice today. They found a mass growing on Karla’s nervous system.

For one year, Ruthe Rosen and her family did more than cope with the unimaginable, they embraced it. In their love and faith they found the strength to be there for Karla in every way. Karla had brain surgery and was in and out of hospitals (one stay was for an entire month). She had several sudden emergency room trips, bouncing back and forth between doctors. She endured chemo therapy and radiation treatments daily, simultaneously.

For a while, she regained her spirit and even went back to playing on the soccer field. She amazed everyone. But after a year of hopes lifted and hopes dashed, 15 year old Karla suddenly lost her fight and died of inoperable cancer.

In Never Give Up, Ruthe Rosen tells the story of how she and herfamily immersed themselves in the ordeal of taking care of her daughter. She discovered her daughters’ courage and unwavering optimism. She realized that although she was scared she never succumbed to self-pity or despair, and because of her spirit and uplifting outlook, neither did the people around her.

Drawing upon the wisdom and personal experiences she acquired, she skillfully takes the mystery out of the many lessons to be learned from her daughter’s experience. She describes how to provide caring support that allows the family to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives and sustain hope as they battle the most serious illnesses. She offers important and helpful guidance for those forced to face the reality of being a caregiver for a seriously ill family member. Here are just some of the valuable insights:

Embrace the journey. Take one day at a time.

In order to embrace it, you must first accept it. You don’t have to understand it all nor be able to figure it all out, but no matter how dark your struggle,embrace every single moment of it or you will miss the opportunity to find joy and purpose.

Plan for your tomorrow but live in your today.

If you spend your time worrying about the if’s and what might’s instead of enjoying the right now’s it will rob you of your joy today. Sometimes you just have to say, “If it’s not happening and it’s not a fact, then I don’t want to talk about it.”

Reserve the right to crash at anytime. Embrace the crash when it comes.

It is okay to be sad, mad, depressed, empty, lost…embrace it! Feel! Live it! Then get the heck out of dodge so it doesn’t consume you.

Stare down your fears. Look them straight in the eyes.

Don’t turn and run, because if you can find the courage to look it in the eyes, you have just accepted one of God’s greatest gifts of strength.

Maintain a sense of normalcy and you will discover your new normal

Continuing the activities and the routines as best as possible for your other childrenallows them to still be kids and not bring worry and fear to them. Keep it real, and so you don’t lose yourself in the chaos of circumstances. When you find yourself experiencing rare moments of normalcy, don’t feel guilty, soak it up and enjoy it and give yourself the gift of not worrying about tomorrow.

Just because life has taken away some of our choices, doesn’t mean it has taken away all of our choices.

Make the ones still available to you. Sometimes being selfish is the most generous thing you can do you for a sick loved one.

Even if something terrible is happening doesn’t mean you can’t laugh

Find humor in the moments that you can. True laughter shared with a loved one, no matter what the circumstances is never inappropriate.

Expect days that you will doubt your faith. They will come.

And when it happens, get your strength from what you know not what you are feeling at the time. Faith isn’t about believing everything will be all right; it’s about knowing you’ll be prepared when it isn’t.

No matter what the percentage of the prognosis given to you by your doctor; living everyday with 100 percent hope is a choice. 

About the AuthorRuthe Rosen is a lifelong resident of Southern California. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, she owned a small business, was director of sales and education for a professional nail-care company, and traveled the country as a flight attendant. Today, Ruthe lives her purpose as president and cofounder of The Let It Be Foundation, and shares her journey as a public speaker and family advocate. She lives in Chino Hills with her husband, Michael, and their two boys, Brandon and Cole.

My Take on the Book
This book was both motivational and inspirational. As I read it I tried to place myself in these parents shoes, but I have to be honest and say that I could only hope that I could be as strong as they were. I was so inspired by the author and how solid she stayed through everything, helping her daughter in every way possible up to the very end. What was even more amazing was the foundation that they built after their daughter's death. It was amazing to see how her daughter's life has made a foundation that has come to help so many more.

This is a great book and resource for any family that is dealing with illness within their family. The book will give you hope as well as remind you of what is most important, which is the love, hope and shared moments that you have with your loved ones!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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