I am excited for as many people as possible to read the story of this incredible woman, who writes with such humor and vulnerability about a time when she and I feared things were not going to be good. Not good at all. After having traveled down this oath with my own family, I have come to realize that so many of us have gone through a loved one's life-or-death medical crisis, but those accounts of how they kept themselves sane during such a scary time are rarely shared publicly. I wish I had a book like this book prior to going on our own journey. (vii)If you don't know the story: Jeannie Gaffigan, mom of 5 and comedy writer/executive producer for her husband Jim Gaffigan's shows, was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Easter of 2017. In this book, she candidly shares it all: her fears; the details of her surgery, treatment, and recovery; how the whole experience impacted her outlook on the world; the role faith played in her life before, during, and after her illness. Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. Used with permission.[/caption] So what's with the pears? Jeannie's tumor was about the size and shape of a pear. So in true comedy-writer fashion, she turned a cliché on its head. It was good to read about the Jeannie's faith. When you think of most celebrities, their spiritual lives are not the first thing that comes to mind. But Jeannie's story is wrapped up in her faith. You'll read about her bargaining with God (don't we all, when things are tough?). You'll see how, again and again, she credits those little things that fell into place just right as coming together because God made it happen. The story of how she was anointed after the Easter Vigil Mass will move you:
I was aware of the nonphysical part of me in a way I'd never been before. I was alive for now, and I needed supernatural help. I knew there was a presence larger than the physical world. I knew there was a God, and he would take care of me and my family. I felt covered from all angles. I believed with all my heart and soul that I was in the right place at the right time for all of this to happen now, and the fear and doubt that were so intertwined in the deepest part of me were released. (115)When you read When Life Gives You Pears, you can expect the medical details, the celebrity bio, and the funny. And you can also expect a powerful testimony of the role faith played in Jeannie's life and in her recovery.
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Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS This article contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchases through these links benefit the author.
About the Author
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count. Her booklet, The Handy Little Guide to Prayer, is available now from Our Sunday Visitor.