Middle Place gives readers a wake-up call

By Mara Pranzarone – Staff Writer

The big C:  the word that none of us want to hear associated with ourselves, let alone anyone we know or love.  Cancer.

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan may have never been written if it wasn’t for that heartbreaking diagnosis, but this memoir is definitely not solely centered on that subject.

Anyone who has known an individual with cancer will say how that person is so brave and so strong.  This memoir is about Kelly; a woman of that description who shows us her weak moments, though not a soul would consider them so.

At the age of thirty-six, Kelly Corrigan was a married mother of two who wrote a weekly newspaper column.  At this same time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Before Kelly was diagnosed, she almost wished to herself that her results would be positive. She wanted to know if she was the type of person who could handle it.  Was she strong enough?  Could she do it?  In an instant, she took it back.

You may be thinking, why would anyone wish for such a thing?  But don’t we all wonder what our limits are?  Most of us never get to test how far we can go or how strong we may be.  Most of us will never know what kind of person we would be in her situation, but do you not wonder?

The Middle Place, according to Corrigan, is “that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap.” “And that’s what this whole thing is about. Calling home. Instinctively. Even when all the paperwork —  a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns — clearly indicates you’re an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you’re still somebody’s daughter.”

Kelly takes you down memory lane. She tells tales, past and present, of what and who has shaped her into the kind of woman that can take on cancer, let alone any other obstacle life may leave in her path. The love for her family, especially her father, is absolutely tear-jerking.

At any time or another, you could find me either crying or smiling about this woman’s life, while taking my own into perspective with her help.

I believe that sometimes we all need a little reminder to bring us back to reality and make us appreciate what we have, even for the brief span of reading a book.

At one time or another, we all need a wake up-call.  That was what Kelly received when she was diagnosed with cancer, and that iis what it gives her readers with her story.

E-mail comments to wltrumpet@westliberty.edu

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