Synopses & Reviews
“You keep fighting, okay?” I whispered. “We’re in this together. You and me. You’re not alone. You hear me? You are not alone.
5:38 p.m. It was the precise moment Sean Manning was born and the time each year that his mother wished him happy birthday. But just before he turned twenty-seven, their tradition collapsed. A heart attack landed his mom in the hospital and uprooted Manning from his life in New York. What followed was a testament to a family’s indestructible bond—a life-changing odyssey that broke a boy and made a man—captured here in Manning’s indelible memoir.
"An only child's final months caring for his dying mother proves an ordinary, universal story--and tremendously moving in the hands of Akron, Ohio-born journalist Manning. After complications from a heart attack, Manning's mother, a 58-year-old nurse who had battled asthma and Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier in her life, spends a year in Cleveland Clinic's Respiratory Special Care Unit undergoing intensely painful and intrusive treatments including feeding tubes and lung suctioning. When his mother grows increasingly debilitated, despite moments of hope, and isn't strong enough to undergo the radiation needed to combat a cancerous clot found in her lungs, she's eventually moved to an Akron hospice. At the time, Manning was a journalist and caterer living in New York City with his girlfriend, Elaine, and just turning 27; he moved to Cleveland, visiting his mother daily and advocating for her care. He re-creates this wrenching time with the help of his Aunt Claire's journal, alternating these events with memories of his growing up in Akron, attending St. Vincent St. Mary's school, into Cleveland's professional sports teams. He expresses by turns his incredulity and anger at his mother's final agony, resigned to his powerlessness, and simply determined to do what he could until the end: love her. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
An only child and a son of divorce, Manning left New York City to return to his childhood home in Ohio to be with his mother during her long battle with cancer and to pick up the pieces after her death. Ultimately, the experience led him to a profound sense of self-discovery.