Since today is National Book Lover’s Day I want to share with you the book that become more than a book to me. I have a book series that really made my love of books take off, and I have this book that showed me that books can become some much more than just books.
Little Women by Lousia May Alcott holds a special place in my heart. This was the last book I got to read with my mother. We didn’t even get to finish reading it together. We started this book after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Once she had surgery and started radiation and other treatments we never got to come back to finish the book. I don’t know if my mother had a reason for choosing this book other than it was a cute story and I reminded her of Jo March, but a part of me feels like she picked it to remind me that there are hard moments in life and there is loss in this life, but it is a beautiful and wonderful life.
When my mother and I started reading this I got my first American Girl doll, Samantha (i had a love for the name Samantha since I was young). I would hold my Samantha doll and we would listen to my mother read the story until she was too tired to continue and then I would read a little bit until my mother was too tired to stay awake.
While we were reading the book the 1994 version of Little Women came to theater and I remember going with my mom and my Samantha Doll. My mom got us to the end of part 1 before she took us to watch the movie and we never picked the book up again together. It took me years to ever pick up the book again and finish reading it.
I’m so glad I did though. It was so full of raw emotion and helped me face some of my own emotions I was hiding inside. It gave me hope that the bad moments combined with the good would create a beautiful life that would mean nothing without those bad moments.
For me that moment that grabbed my heart the most was when Beth died. She was the picture of innocence to me. I took it more as the death of innocence. That death I had gone through myself with the life I had led (I was adopted at 5 so I grew up fast and then faster again when my mom died). Reading about her death was the moment reality hit me and I realized I had lost my childhood and innocence and I was well aware of the harsh realities of this life. Jo finding love and finally publishing her book. And Meg finding love and happiness with her husband and kids, and lastly Teddy and Amy getting married was such a beautiful and heartwarming story to read. It was a reminder I needed at that time in my life that it’s hard, and it’s cruel, and it heartbreaking sometimes, but when the entire life is looked at as a whole it is so beautiful.
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