Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Tour and a Giveaway: When All That's Left of Me is Love by Linda Campanella

When All That's Left of Me Is Love is an intensely personal story about one family's determination to enjoy life while anticipating death. Linda Campanella's emotional account of her last year with her mother, Nancy Sachsse, wrote itself on the pages of her mind as she lay awake unable to sleep in the days and weeks following Nan's death one year and one day after a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

It is a heartwarming memoir filled with insights and inspirations that will help anyone jolted into confronting the inevitability and sudden imminence of death. Join the author as she reconstructs and relives a year of living while dying and, in the process, comes to terms with the pain and permanence of her loss.

When All That's Left of Me Is Love is indeed a sad story born of death, but it is above all an uplifting portrait of living, loving, believing, and letting go. It is a celebration of the special bond between mothers and daughters, a touching love story, a spiritual journey, a poetry lesson, and even a case for happy hour. This story of a daughter's undying love for her dying mother will move and inspire not only those who face or fear death but also those who love and embrace life.

'This book is truly a testament of love, as the title suggests. It is about love refined and deepened by grief and gratitude. It is a tribute to a mother who loved with her last breath and beyond. It is the story of a daughter who gives herself away through the gift of her pen.' -Sharon G. Thornton, Ph.D., Professor of Pastoral Theology at Andover Newton Theological School ~~ synopsis from Goodreads 

My thoughts on When All That's Left of Me is Love ~~

I don't think any book having to deal with someone, let alone a mother, suffering with cancer can be easy to read, or write, but Ms. Campanella wrote a beautiful tribute to her mother and to her family, who watched their wife and mother 'live' with cancer. That is how this family chose to think about that year and one day after diagnosis - they concentrated on living not dying.

My mother also died of lung cancer several years ago and as I was reading, I noticed a lot of parallels in the book to my life. My mother was the same age, birthdays were the same and so forth. Unfortunately, I did not have the kind of relationship with my mother that Linda did with hers. I was thinking a lot about my mom as I was reading the book, wishing that it could have been this way. I actually got a lot of comfort from reading Linda's words.

At the same time that I was reading this book, my husband's cousin was dying after her seven year struggle with cancer. As you are reading this, we will be attending her celebration of life. She was the flower girl in our wedding many years ago and has 2 young adult children. I kept thinking of them and what they have been through and what they will continue to go through. I can only hope that they were as blessed as the Campanella family was and are going to be able to go on from here knowing they loved and lived as much as they could while their mother was still with them.

One of the main points that I got from reading this book is that one's perspective makes all the difference in how a person gets through all of this. Instead of focusing on the dying, focus on the living that is left and make it the best life possible. Throughout the book are Mom-lessons and words of wisdom that are applicable in anyone and everyone's life, not just those dealing with cancer. Here are just a few that meant something to me.  
  • Laughter is the best medicine. 
  • Be thankful for what you do have.
  • Love, always love.
If you are interested in reading this amazing story of life, 
enter my giveaway below. 

About the author, Linda Campanella

I am an accidental author. When All That's Left of Me is Love, an account of my last year with my terminally ill and eternally wonderful mother, essentially wrote itself in the weeks of intense grief following her death in September 2009. Chapters poured out of me at all hours of the day and night, flowing directly from a broken heart to a blank page. I finished the manuscript by mid-December, in time to give it to my father for Christmas, his first without his wife and sweetheart of 52 years. It is a story I never intended or expected to tell, but now that it's written, I am happy to keep my mother's legacy of love and her joyful, generous spirit alive through its pages.

Professionally I keep busy as a Connecticut-based management consultant; my solo practice serves nonprofit organizations of all sizes and missions. Previously I have been a corporate executive, a college administrator, and a trade negotiator. (I am a walking advertisement for the value of a liberal arts degree. See where a major in German can take you?!)

I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have three sons in their twenties and a one-year-old mini-goldendoodle whose unconditional love is no substitute for my mother's but sure makes me feel good.

Linda Campanella on Facebook and her website

Other stops on the TLC Book Tour

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  1. I totally agree that one's perspective and focus can completely change the way one views a terminal illness. Sounds like this one was a wonderful read!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  2. That's awesome! Thanks for stopping by!


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