I wanted to finish reading the book, “One Woman, FourDecades, Eight Wishes: A Journalist’s Memoir of Challenge, Change and Growth” by Marilyn Murray Willison before I wrote a review of it (which is why it’s taken me so long!) because I wanted it to be thorough. But I could have written it after only having read the first chapter; the author’s positive outlook and easy way of writing was an inspiration from the start. Organized into eight sections--the words from a nerve-calming mantra that evolved into a wish list--the book looks at all the changes and challenges that she faced during her well-lived and often enviable life.
From her early memories as an adopted child to the crushing diagnosis of MS, Ms. Willison shares the ups and downs of her life as if she were confiding in a close friend. Her writing is so accessible, I could feel the despondency as she detailed the frustrations of being wheelchair bound and the delight in finding love again. Through it all, even though I put the book down (more times than I'd like to admit) I always picked it back up again. I never gave up because she didn’t-- this book is a testament to her strength and courage. And when I say it’s an inspiration, I don’t use the term lightly: her words about her own life have inspired me to understand some of my own challenges differently.
Ms. Willison has had a long and rewarding life and career including the times of sadness and loss. Would that everyone could regard their life in such an honest and open way. Ms. Willison deserves all the accolades she can get. More power to her.
Note: Ms. Willison reached out to me asking if I'd read her book and graciously offered to read and review mine as well. This she completed promptly, while it took me an additional year to finish reading hers. I am grateful to have been the recipient of her outreach, since it gave me the opportunity to not only read an enjoyable and motivating memoir, but to get to know this wonderfully strong woman in the process. The link is included in the review--get the book and see for yourself!
Also: I recently became aware of an effort to help Ms. Willison stay in her home...this is the information page: Help For Marilyn