I recently received the book “Salt In My Soul: An Unfinished Life” By Mallory Smith.** Through the course of the book Mallory shares about her life with Cystic Fibrosis, and so, so much more. When I got it, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t thrilled to read it. I assumed it would be the typical story about someones foghtbfor their life, with the sappy ending that we see so many times. But that could not be further from the truth. The book is a compilation of the journal that Mallory kept during the last years of her life, that her mother put together into a book following her passing, at her request. The book takes you through the most important times in Mallory’s life while she fights for life with Cystic Fibrosis. You read Molly through prom, highschool graduation, moving away to college, college graduation, multiple hospital admissions, treatment failures, falling in love, and the eventual downturn of her health. Throughout the entire book Mallory demonstrates the fact that she was truly wise beyond her years. She looked at her life through eyes of someone much older and much more wise than her teen or twenty something self. Throughout the book she addresses the big questions that we all ask ourselves at sometime in our life. Questions on mortality, existence, love and purpose. She was the perfect example of how you can live your life to the fullest extent and achieve your life long dreams while being sick. Even on her sickest days she still made sure to do the things she loved and reach for her dreams. She never let her chronic/ life threatening condition change her dreams. Sure she had her bad days where she questioned if she should continue following her dreams, or stay on her treatment. As her health got worse she even began to question if she was too much of a burden. During those times her dreams may have taken a backseat for awhile, and the journey may have had a few detours along the way. But she never gave up on them. Once she set her mind to something she was going to do no matter her health status.
This was so much more than a book about living with a chronic illness, it was a book about living life. It truly made me look at my life and how I live each day differently. There were so many times when it would have been easy for Mallory or her family to give up. To say the fight was to much, or too expensive, or too hard on Mallory. But they didn’t. Instead Mallory always had a positive attitude, and she as always looking for her next adventure. She didn’t spend much time focusing on the negatives or the things that could bring her down. She was always thinking about the good things in life, her writing, her relationships with friends and family, or the next time she could get away to Hawaii. It honestly amazed me how positive she was. I don’t know many who would have kept a positive outlook like she did. But she inspired me, she inspired me to change the way I look at my life.
We have very different diseases with very different outcomes, but living similar lives in the long run. I can not count the number of times I shook my head in agreement, underlined something that hit home, or my eyes filled with tears because I knew exactly how she was feeling. This book hit home with me in a way I never expected. I didn’t expect to feel like she was speaking to directly to me at times. Nor did I expect to be so impacted that I would still be thinking about after finishing many days ago. This book may have a focus of chronic illness and how one amazing girl fought her amazing fight. But I think anyone and everyone could relate to some part of her writing. I truly believe that no matter who you are or where you are in your life that this book is for you. If you are a perfectly healthy 50 year old man, (the exact opposite of Mallory) or a thirty something female fighting a chronic illness, there is something in this book for YOU! I can’t say enough positive things about this book, And I really hope that you give it a read.
I would like to close with a quote from the book! On 12/2/16 Mallory writes, “I feel like people with CF are privy to secrets it takes most a lifetime to understand. How lucky we are to be alive. How lucky anyone is who has their health. How we should be appreciative of anything that’s in our control since our health is not. That we can leave behind a legacy when we go that will impact others. That simple things are often the most beautiful. That love and happiness are the most important things to strive for. That ultimately, we shouldn’t give a damn what other people think, because everyone’s making their own way and everyone’s facing different struggles that others aren’t aware of. CF has given me my value system and ultimately, no matter how hard it is, I’m grateful for it.”
If you would like to purchase the book, here is a link to amazon! https://amzn.to/2JVOtjT
**I received this book from the publisher, as arranged by The Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, for review. I was not paid in anyway for my work. My thoughts are my own.