“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.” – Aza Holmes
I started listening to this on Audible while unable to sleep at night thanks to a cold. It’s one of those books that you won’t want to put down (or press pause if you’re listening to an audiobook). After telling her about it, my teenage daughter read a few pages one night and finished the entire book the next day! I must admit I love when I pick out a book that she can’t put down, teens can be harder to please ha! I’ve been on a roll this past week in the book selection department.
We experienced a range of emotions as we talked about this story, Aza’s story; a 16 year old with mental illness (and some stellar detective skills). While parts of it were hard to read, parts were funny, disgusting, slightly scary, suspenseful, heartwarming, encouraging and left us filled with hope. Despite her challenges Aza’s life was never void of promise. In the words of Aza’s mother:
“Your now is not your forever.”
Thankfully, in addition to a loving present mother, Aza had the gift of a best friend who may not have understood what she felt like on the inside but loved her for who she was nonetheless. Aza had someone who was there for her because as a teen now can definitely feel like forever (can you relate?!).
Perhaps *that* is the best gift of this story, the reminder of what a gift it can be to be there for someone, to see them for who they are and choose friendship. Choose them. Love them. It’s one of the best gifts my dearest friends have given me. To know my flaws, my quirks, my fears and my dreams. To love me in spite of but to also love me because of.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green