Speaking of Memorial Day and writing, have you viewed this wonderful story from CBS Sunday Morning yet? It’s so worth your time as a writer!
This is the story of two amazing heroes, not one. First of all it’s about the phenomenal life of 95-year-old Louie Zamperini, an Olympic hero at age 17, who survived against so many amazing obstacles including a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp called “Extermination Island” during WWII. Louie’s life is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s latest book “Unbroken.”
But do you know the story of Laura’s life? Truly a story of unbroken fortitude and courage! She wrote it up for this New Yorker piece back in July 2003.
She has suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) since she was 19. If you know nothing about this devastating illness, go read her story in the New Yorker, and then you will understand why Louie believes Laura is the real hero in their partnership.
Laura’s body truly has been “under siege” for decades, just like my husband Mike, with relentless bouts of sudden, completely unpredictable pain , fatigue and illness, which saps all strength, clouds the mind, and seems to be barely treatable and certainly incurable by today’s physicians.
This disease can be a killer, simply because it wears you down, with few doctors who can help at all. Mike has suffered terribly since 1989, losing first his marriage and then various jobs because of the need for regular disability furloughs. Suicide is not uncommon among those who suffer from CFS.
Life never goes back to normal when you suffer from CFS. You may feel better for a while, but it almost always comes back eventually. Mike and I met seven years ago, and Mike says today that I saved his life. I do not judge him for his disabilities, I just love him for who he is and how generous he is to just about everyone.
That is why I say Mike and Laura Hillenbrand are my heroes! In spite of incredible odds, they go on as role models for the rest of us. Laura became an amazing writer, where she now shares the stories of other heroes. Mike goes on helping others whenever he can.
Their lives symbolize the often challenged, but still “unbroken” human spirit.