Yesterday I picked up a stack of books I had ordered...usually these sit on a TBR pile somewhere for quite a while. They are books I think I just can't live without, but the ones I have checked out from the library seem to take priority and these new treasures often get moved to the bottom of the stack, or under the bed, or somewhere where I just don't see them for a long time. Last night I decided I would look through my new purchases, and even let myself read the first page of a few of them. This system worked well until I started reading Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt. One page turned into two, and then 25 pages later, I forced myself to stop reading. This morning I continued reading and by noon, over my lunch break, I finished the entire book. I absolutely loved every word of this devastatingly sad memoir. Rosenblatt writes of his daughter Amy's unexpected death, collapsing on her treadmill while running, and the discovery of a heart condition that proved fatal. Amy left behind her husband, Harrison, and three young children. Her parents, also devastated by her death, move in with their son-in-law and grandchildren to assist with the tasks of daily life and child rearing. This new arrangement is not a short term fix, and Rosenblatt tells his granddaughter, Jessi, they are staying "forever" when she asks. Throughout this book bits of Amy's life are shared - small remembrances that help readers feel they know this woman who passed away before this book was written. Amy as a fast runner in elementary school. Amy as a doctor. Amy as a sister. As a mother singing songs to her children. And we come to know her children who enjoy their grandparents' presence, but who long for their mother.
Rosenblatt is careful to note the number of other people he knows who are suffering the loss of a child as well. There is some comfort in knowing other people understand this type of grief. I was not familiar with Rosenblatt as an author before, but I enjoyed his writing style immensely. My only wish is that this memoir did not end. I enjoyed hearing about Amy, her children and husband, and their extended family.