When independent single-dad Aubrey reveals that he has stage 4 cancer, “normal life” goes out the window for his ex-wife and their thirteen year old son. They and others witness his brave efforts to heal himself in his final months of life as he struggles to come to terms with his mortality. The family learns on their feet as they encounter each new situation. The narrative shares an unsentimental description of the patient’s experiences with hospitals and nursing care, the end-of-life decisions he encounters, the activities of his caregivers, the responsibilities of his health-care advocates, and the role of professional helpers such as Social Workers and Hospice.
This real-life story showcases what millions of people in the USA go through when dealing with end-of-life choices and healthcare, the governmental and health insurance bureaucracies, and the profound effects of poverty on health. In the face of all these challenges, it is the generosity of Aubrey’s family, friends, and community that makes all the difference.
This unusual hybrid book conveys half of its story visually, through hundreds of cartoons, comics, and painted illustrations integrated with the text. There is a tremendous depth of tenderness in the telling, even a dose of humor. Ultimately, this book is a heart-warming celebration of life and love.
Emily Bracale is a lifelong artist and educator. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and College of the Atlantic. Her professional experience includes classroom teaching at public and private schools, art education for children and adults, graphic design, landscape design, watercolor landscape painting, and nonfiction writing. She is the author and illustrator of In the Lyme-Light: Portraits of Illness and Healing (2010) and the revised edition, In the Lyme-Light II: Portraits of Illness and Healing (2014).