Do you like to pause while you read, sob for a while, and then continue? If so, then do I have the book for you!

“Notes Left Behind” is the poignant story of Brooke and Keith Desserich’s journey through their daughter Elena’s cancer diagnosis and the last months of her life. Honest, touching and inspiring, they hold little back as they share, through their journal entries, a combination of their day-to-day activities and their most private thoughts and feelings.

Perhaps this subject matter helped lead me to my Lenten goal of spending more quality time with my family, but let’s be frank: life proceeds in a much different way when you assume you have all the time in the world than it does when you know time is running out, and it has to. Families could not function and the world would stop effectively turning if we all decided to live like we (or our children) were dying every moment of every day. (Sorry, Tim McGraw.)

That said, there are certainly lessons to be learned here about appreciating your children, and also being thankful for good health. I know one mom who whined recently because her daughter had double ear infections and double eye infections within ten days. Okay, so that was me, but really, it was a terrible ordeal! (Note: do not bother taking a child with pinkeye to a walk-in clinic, unless you want to spend two hours there only to be told to buy some Polysporin Ear and Eye drops over-the-counter!)

Even flipping through the book again as I write this post, I am getting tears in my eyes, and can’t wait to give my girls a big hug. And maybe even more than five minutes of my time tonight.

To learn more about the Desserichs’ story, visit their Notes Left Behind website.

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