“It’s Not Yet Dark” is a memoir written by Irish Film Maker Simon Fitzmaurice. A best seller in Ireland, this book was introduced to American readers earlier this month.
Diagnosed in 2008 with Lou Gehrigs’ Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 34, Fitzmaurice’s medical team predicted he had 4 years to live. He definitely defied those odds and now shares his journey and determination to live, in this beautifully written memoir.
Thanks to the publishers, I have a copy of this book available for a reader to win. But first, let me share why I highly recommend this book.
A Poignant and Powerful Book:
Written using an eye-gaze computer, this touching and unforgettable book is not simply about a devastating medical diagnosis, but underscores the importance of relationships and family, and our connections to each other. Ultimately, it is a book about love and what it means to be alive.
Fitzmaurice shares his inner world and emotions as he faces a stark journey of survival. With his raw and eloquent prose the reader journeys with him as he first notices his foot slapping on the pavements of Dublin, to his courageous decision to use a ventilator to stay alive. This decision in 2010 went against prevailing medical opinion.
As Fitzmaurice’s life is turned brutally upside down, he shares glimpses of his past and present as he waxes and wanes between depression and hope. His life transitions from being a vibrant, artistic film director, husband and father to being totally dependent on others for every aspect of his daily life.
Despite his devastating, and heartbreaking challenges, his beautifully composed narrative is powerful and inspiring. His deep love of life and determination shines through.
Writing this manuscript was no simple task using eye gaze technology. He chose each letter for his composition by focusing his gaze for a few seconds on each letter icon on a large keyboard display on his tablet computer.
He is a fighter and clearly expresses his reasons for wanting to live no matter the suffering. His wife, partner and stalwart supporter has helped him to face each and every battle along the way. They even traveled to Australia as a family.
Fitzmaurice has chosen life, and above all else he appreciates how precious a gift life truly is. This is a thought-provoking read, and Fitzmaurice asks many difficult questions.
“I want to live. Is that wrong?
What gives a life meaning?
What constitutes a meaningful life?
What gives one life more value than another?
Surely only the individual can hope to grasp the meaning of his or her life.”
But despite the gravity of the topic, this is not a story to be shied away from. A quick moving read, this book is relatively short. I read it in one sitting, and found it to be a compelling read – a page-turner.
Each and every paragraph is testament to the beauty of life itself. Each page is filled with love and hope from beginning to end.
Told in poignant prose the writer lives life to the fullest focusing on the joys to be found in each and every moment. In his own words ….
“For me, it is not about how long you live,
but about how you live.”
Fitzmaurice has created a legacy for his five wonderful children, and through his words they will understand how loved and treasured they truly are.
Their father has chosen to live life, no matter how difficult the challenges may be, so that he can simply be part of their lives.
He may not be able to actively assist them, but his love and devotion shines through his very presence in their lives.
A Clinician’s Perspective:
This book touched me deeply. As a physical therapist who has spent my entire career working in the field of neurological rehabilitation I have been honored to work with many who have suffered from ALS.
In 2004 I worked with a physician in Dallas to set up an ALS Clinic. And my own aunt passed away from this disease nearly twenty years ago.
Fitzmaurice’s words of advice to clinicians struck a chord with me …
“It’s only important that you remember that behind every disease is a person.
Remember that and you have everything you need to travel through my country.”
This book will stay with me for a long time. The human spirit and will to live shines through this heart warming and heart breaking story.
I hope to be a better clinician and physical therapist for having read this book. I highly recommend it to all those in the health and caring professions.
One lucky winner will win a hard back copy of Simon Fitzmaurice’s book “It’s Not Yet Dark.”
To enter just leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us if you like to read memoirs.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, September 2nd 2017, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries by clicking here.
A big thank you to Simon Fitzmaurice and his publicist for sponsoring this prize.
And thanks to all who support this giveaway by leaving a comment.
Good news. Our winner has been chosen using the randomized “Pick Giveaway Winner” WordPress plug-in.
Congratulations to …..
I’ll send our winner a quick e-mail to let her know about her lucky win.
Thanks to everyone who joined in and entered this little giveaway. And a big thank you to Simon Fitzmaurice for sharing his memoir with us. Wishing him many more years of joy as he watches his children grow.
The author, Simon Fitzmaurice, passed away in 2017. At his funeral his Uncle Bobby said:
“Somehow jolly and courageous, Simon stayed the course,
night and day Simon did it his way.
In paradise fare thee well,
may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
May he rest in peace.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)