Our lives aren’t composed like a headstone with a straight line that marks the date of the first breath we take to the last; the journey we’re on is really a zigzagging series of unexpected detours. Every detour is a destination unto itself, and regardless of our plans, it’s what we don’t see coming that often affects us most…
This excerpt from Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly…How Ziggy Saved My Life provides a small taste of the emotional feast famed cartoonist Tom Wilson delivers in his deeply personal memoir. Much of his story is centered on the journey he took with his young wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With stunning honesty he details what it’s like on the other side of the hospital bed after a radical double mastectomy:
"The hype is there before you see it, to prepare you for a horrible disfigurement…It’s not that way. You don’t see the woman you love as any less of a woman for lack of breasts…What you see is that she’s hurting and afraid, and the only thing that repulses you is the disease that brought this heart-wrenching agony upon her (and) the excruciating frustration you feel as a man from knowing that there’s very little you can do to help take her pain away. When cancer is quietly going about its malignant mission, hidden beneath soft and familiar skin, you never get to see your enemy. But when breast cancer suddenly declares war, comes out in the open and shows itself in the tracks of sutures left behind, you suddenly realize that the woman you love more than anything in the world has not only come under attack, but has herself become the battleground. This makes you love her all the more and takes your love in a direction and to a height you never could have imagined possible…”
I cannot recommend this inspiring book highly enough—especially during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a time to honor the memory of those we’ve lost, celebrate survival, and commit to doing whatever it takes to find a cure..