This book is a total heart breaker but also a living testament to why print platforms are so important. I don’t know Paul Shappirio, nor did I know his mother, but I can tell you with certainty that based on these pages we have more than a bit in common. This book is about Paul’s mother. She left for heart surgery and never made it home. Yep, heartbreaking.
My mother had heart surgery a few short years ago and I volunteered to come and spend two weeks with her. We brought her home from the hospital and I never left her side for two straight weeks. We slept side by side. We napped together. I cooked and watched her as she recovered. It could have easily gone another way. During the first night home, my mother sat up in bed and said “Something isn’t right.” All I could think was “Oh man, not again,” as my father had died in front of me a few years prior. But my mom said, “I think I’m okay.” “I think what I feel and hear is my heart working correctly for the first time in years.”
Paul’s mom was not so fortunate. When things go wrong there are many paths one can take. Paul chose to document the inside of his mother’s house, just as she had left it. It looks and feels precisely like my grandmother’s house. There are so many reminders in here, pricks to my skin and brain. Reflections, memories, and pain, both good and bad. This is what a book is about.
Will Paul be a hero to the outside world for making this book? Probably not. But will he be a hero to his family for putting this memory together? I would guess so.