I thought and thought- what can I write about hospitals. I am a doctor but not practicing now- so what relevance does hospitals have for me other than some nostalgia at not seeing patients any more ? My husband carries a smell of hospital with him when he comes back from work and he carries some of his hospital work with him when he returns. But other than that hospitals are a thing of the past for me.
Then it struck me- why not write about a beautiful book I was reading overnight- Thursday- it was called a Walk to Remember. Some of you might remember the movie. I have never seen the movie or read the book before yesterday. My daughter took one look at the book and said- this is a famous movie book and I asked her- do you know it ? She said, ” yes, everyone is talking about it. Everyone dies in the end”. Really ? I cannot read book about dying these days- how am I going to deal with it ?
But its intriguing, gripping plot kept me reading till the end. And there is mention of hospital and illness in the book.
Jamie the heroine or unlikely heroine is unattractive and just opposite of what a teenage high school girl of the time would be. She was not into rock and roll or short dresses or make up. She was nerdish by modern parlance. The hero, her classmate, all of 17 belonged to one of the social elite families of Beaufort, North Carolina. The location of NC struck a chord with me, since many of the bloggers whom I follow and read reside in NC- Anne Merhling who writes at Mehrling Muse writes often about the glorious Smokies. Another blogger who writes at rabbit patch diary blogs about the NC mountains. But the location of this book was the seafront town of Beaufort, NC, which has a coast.
Jamie’s one desire was to act in her Father’s play, which he had written for Christmas and she wanted the hero of the story also to act in the play. They were not friends by any means. But she asked him anyway. He was a socially prominent boy of the times in that town and would have hated spending time with Jamie, even under normal circumstances. Jamie was the daughter of the Baptist priest in town. She walked around with a Bible at all times- she quoted from it often and often talked about praying for one. She was a total, vociferous believer and a true practicing Christian. Visiting a nearby orphanage and spending time there was one of her pastimes.
After acting with Jamie in the play, the hero of the story Carter, comes to know why acting in the play was so dear to her heart. She was fighting a losing battle with an illness, one that had no cure at that time. She had spent time traveling to hospitals and the prognosis was always the same. She wanted to spend the rest of her time on earth doing good for people.
I can’t begin to tell you how this story affected me. When I got the book from our library, Thursday evening, from a free pick all you want book exhibition outside our library, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. A book by Nicholas Sparks( never heard of him either), but no harm in trying it out- was my first thought.
But though hospitals figured largely in the second part of the book, the focus of the book was not Jamie’s illness or her visits to hospital. It was about the spiritual healing of the hero, who needed to have direction in life and Jamie picked on him to treat him in her own sweet way, so he could see his life’s direction and pursue it instead of wasting his time on earth. Jamie bequeathed her legacy on him and she lived through him, long after she was gone physically from the world.
It has been a long time since a fiction book has touched my core so much. I would recommend it to anyone who needs some positivity n their lives.