July 5, 1970 is a day that Lynda will never forget; they day her family went from a bustling 2 parent, 3 child household.....to a shell of its former self with two inhabitants left behind. On this day, her mother (Rita) and two sisters (Carla and Wendy) were flying from Montreal to California; the rest of the family already having made the trip on a prior flight. The plane was making a stop over in Toronto when something inconceivable happened. This would be the final flight for all 109 passengers on board as it made a crash landing just outside its destination. Who was to blame? It was never truly determined, but it certainly wasn't the passengers nor the families they left behind.
For me, the story was powerful not only in regards to the tragedy that occurred and those followed in the passing years like so many rain drops from the sky, but also in messages delivered. Never give up. Keep on trying. Every rainy day ends with a rainbow. If I had to pick a song to go with the message, it'd be an oldie but a goodie.....try "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick on for size. Seriously...if you haven't heard it before, take a listen. It reminds us, as does the book, that friends whether they be of blood relationship or simply bonded for life are there through the good times and the bad. They can be depended on and leaned on in times of need.....and you know why? Because we'll be there for them when they need us.
The relationships she formed in later years with her grandparents, friends, and future husband all go to show that good things can still happen in trying times. The openness with which events are shared no matter how small is touching, almost as if we are being invited into her circle of friends. You can feel the love she had for those that touched her life in immeasurable ways as well as the contempt for those that tried to stem not only the healing process but her ability to choose what happens next. The life he built for herself with the help of loved ones is a true testament to the power we have over our lives no matter how small it may seem in our own hands.
Secondly, I'd like to echo a comment from her relations on "the other side"; live your life in the now. It's great that you were able to make a connection with them for all parties involved. I'm certain it acts as a comfort for everyone while answering many a question that has been haunting you and your family, but those things can not be changed. Time can not be reversed and to lose a minute of the second chance at life you were given would be the real tragedy. Always keep them in your heart and by your side, but let the here and now fill the void they're departure created. You've already seen the benefits of doing so in smaller bouts; imagine if you made the choice to do so on a broader level.
Recommended for anyone who has had tragedy touch their own lives as a means of sharing the experience, but also for those looking for the inspiration that comes from having found that silver lining in the dark clouds. Before I close, a few side notes you may find beneficial. Many have expressed curiosity as to the cover of this book....it is actually a photo from one of the news clippings regarding the crash. The doll taking center stage in this heart wrenching display belonged to one of her sister's...an unfortunate visual confirmation/reminder of the tragedy that took place. Second, one of Ms. Fishman's many accomplishments to note was the creation of the Adventure Valley Day Camp which aims to provide an enjoyable experience for every camper in a safe, fun-filled environment...including those with special needs; a truly "one for all and all for one" endeavor the whole family takes part in.
Special thanks to author Lynda Fishman for the review copy. (THANKS!) For more information about both book and author, visit the books website or follow along on Twitter.
Until next time...happy reading.