I Am Flying: Reviewed by Fran Lewis

The canvas of an artist’s painting often reflects his feelings, emotions, and life, if he chooses to create the important moments he has lived through his artistry. Each picture, each stroke of his brush that he paints, will depict an important moment that will live forever. The lens of a camera often provides the ability to record a sunset, a single rose, a favorite place, as the shutter is pressed and the picture is taken with a camera that has seen many years. Martin Connor has reached the final sunset—or twilight—of his life, and what he remembers and will leave to the world has been stacked and packed within the tight confines of boxes he has placed in his lonely room. Married for many years to his precious Marie, he recounts the many special moments that they spent together. But, living in a community barren of family and few friends, Martin Connor contemplates his life and his next step.

Living in this home or community, he is subject to the rules imposed by others, the frustrations he faces each day, and the loneliness he feels in his heart. An administrator who is dictatorial and commanding, a social worker who needs retraining, and the few possessions that he owns, Martin Connor has only one choice that will set things straight and give him the feeling and ability to soar or fly.

Throughout this novelette, you hear the voice of this man, read his words as he shares his journal that only you the reader and Martin can read, and comprehend to understand the final moments of this man’s life. Planning his exit will take energy, fortitude, and the help of two others. Trying to convince the administrator to forgo giving him his meds is ingenious. With his plan in place and convincing everyone he overdosed on aspirin and the way he managed to do it, Martin Connor is one man who no one can get one over on, and who is determined to execute his plan and final day his own way.

While he explains to his friend, Brenda—who lives in the room opposite him—what he wants done with his boxes and where to send the contents when he is gone, he manages to take one more ride to visit the one person he cherished the most. Did you ever decide to plan your exit from this world? If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, would you decide to give up or would you fight to live longer? What if you put your thoughts and ideas in a journal, and yet only you could read them, and only you could fulfill your thoughts and words?

Living alone and feeling that life has no more journeys and paths, the author relates quite graphically, vividly, and clearly the feelings that many people have when they realize they have nowhere to go, no one to care for them, and nothing else they want to do. But, Martin Connor is special, and his departure would be unique and definitely well-defined and planned out as he enlists the help of a past student to take one last ride. With his camera at hand, he enters DannMemorial Park for the last time to visit a place that was special to him as a child—a place where he played and near where his family lived. The Bench: a reminder of his wife Marie. Something so ordinary, yet so precious, in his thoughts and mind as he hopes to spend one final hour there sitting and watching the world go by and hoping for a jelly doughnut. The memories he shares with the reader relate to his life with his wife Marie, whose mother would visit his mother, as they played as children together. The Bench holds some special memories as he remembers sitting there holding Marie’s hand on their Bench Date, and watching the sunset. “I came back,” he says. “Our last date. Until now, courage eluded my desire to come here and sit with you one more time.”

A story told from the heart in the first person by the character himself, you feel the pain in his heart, the love he felt for his wife, and the freedom he wants to take his final journey the only way he can. Author James F. Ross takes the reader along with Martin Connor, Brenda, and one special man named Bobby on the lasting journey that will be so memorable and heartwarming, yet heartbreaking. It will remind everyone what happens to those who are forgotten and put aside in homes where they feel all alone, and just one person who really does not matter to those who run the facility. Everyone has dreams, and no one should deflate those of another person. As Martin returns to the home, and Bobby to his wife, they both realize the precious things in their lives, what will be left behind, and the wonderful thing he did for this man’s family that will keep him in their hearts and minds forever.

As he returns to the home and falls asleep from a fever, what he does will surprise the reader and make you realize how precious life is, how we need to care for the elderly in the right way, and the honesty and determination of one way to find his own way to Freedom: I am Flying. Just what that means and how this title fits so perfectly, you need to read for yourself.

Just how does someone get their final peace of mind? Just how does someone say farewell when there is no one to say goodbye to? Read i am flying to find out. This is definitely a book that will give you much pause for thought, make you understand how people feel when diagnosed with a terminal illness, and understand that those running facilities need to show more compassion, understanding, and love to those that have been placed in their care.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Let’s give this book: FIVE BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS

August 14, 2012 
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This entry was posted in The Bench series, Works In Progress and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Am Flying: Reviewed by Fran Lewis

  1. Julie Catherine says:

    Lovely review by Fran Lewis, James! :)

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