Thursday, August 16, 2012

Autumn Corridors

The author sets the scene by telling readers 'this is not a story about death, it is a story about the ultimate answers concerning life and its relation to death. These answers came to me by way of these two unrelated but remarkable events. Part one: Spring Corridors - Life as It Was sets the work in motion. Chapter 1 The Family & Towns introduces the reader to key players: the author and his family. Because they are not the focus of the story the section is not long. Following the death of writer Staub's mother his father remarried bringing a step mother and step sisters into the mix. Barbara Jane Schartz, his mother, is one of the key players and she is presented in greater detail. Two Kansas towns, Ellinwood and Great Bend are the setting for much of the work. Christmas with the Schwartz', Death and the struggle for survival, The Phoenix and growth through the Ashes, and Death and Transformation round out Part One.

Part Two Life Lessons are presented Summer Corridors. The author tells us that these are the corridors that will lead us to believe that all things are possible. The Autumn Corridors, Part three bring Death and The Final Lessons. The Planned, Expected Death, the Bad Death and Life in Retrospect are presented in this section. Part Four: The Winter Corridors is where we find The Eulogy. The writer tells us to write our own.

On the pages of Autumn Corridors Writer Straub invites the reader to join him in a two decade quest as he travels the "corridors of life", tracking down answers to life's most difficult questions. He searches for answers to 'When so much seems beyond our control, how can we control our lives? Why bad things happen to good people? Why we live and Why we die? And why is it important that we accomplish both well?'

Reading Writer Straub's account of the difficulties he experienced during his mother's illness and passing were compelling. Straub was a teenager when his mother died. He knew of course that she had been ill for a long time, however he refused to give up hope that the inevitable would take place. It was a priest at the hospital who took the youngster in hand to help his face the sad reality that his mother would be leaving earth and would not be coming back. Shared memories would keep her alive. Straub discusses divorce in Part Two: Lesson 4. 'Some marriages are not healthy and need to end, for the sake of not only the couple themselves, but ultimately for the children involved.' The flip side of that coin in the writer's opinion is the fact that many marriages could be salvaged if the people involved would put the needs of their family's long-term future over their immediate short-term needs.

Autumn Corridors with a table of contents at the beginning is easily read, is divided into chapters and lessons and holds life lessons that can serve to aid those who are facing death of a loved one in their own lives. Autumn Corridors is a book that will prove a good addition to the personal reading list, the therapists' book shelf as well as individual and public library collections.

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