It’s Not Yet Dark, by Simon Fitzmaurice
Choosing Life With ALS
The author who lives this story describes es so well the joy of love, the joy of his Ruth, his children, his life—before and after.
First his happy life, then the tense moments when he felt the first pangs of his disease. The surreal feelings when he learns the actual diagnosis of ALS in 2008.
Holding On To Every Moment
How he lives from that time on strikes a cord of hope. Consider what you would do if told you only had a couple of years to live. Think how would it change your priorities. The author longs to imprint everything into a memory that will stay with him. And with each thing he does, look like chasing his son, he asks himself if this will be the last time.
Grabbing every moment he can, all the while knowing it may not be for much longer as the ALS continues on its fatal path.
In 2010, when a lung collapse requires a ventilator many ask him why? Many at this point would choose not to ventilate, to receive palliative care until death.
Simon chooses to live.
It’s s personal choice—very personal. And the right one for him. Love is what keeps his hope alive.
Every moment spent with his family assures him it was the right choice. That decision has increased his joy with the birth of twins, long after many doctors thought he would be gone.
A Continuing Onslaught
One of the things that struck me was how he would adjust to a new stage, thinking he had that handled, then another would knock him down. Some of you can relate to that I’m sure in different illnesses, such as Alzheimers. Though a much slower course, it gives that similar sensation. Like aftershocks from an earthquake. Getting used to a terminal illness is filled with shocks of disappointment and fear when the next step hits.
The author reflects the struggle between pain and dread and the desire and urge to live, to cherish each moment. He still chooses life. His decision to live has brought much more love and joy to his life. Could you give that up?
Writing now using an eye controlled computer, Simon still challenges his illness. He has written “My Name is Emily,” the story that was building in his mind for years during his disease.
Do get a copy of It’s Not Yet Dark. You will get a sense of the battle, yet be uplifted by his joy in what he has in his life. His family. His love.
Praise for the book:
“[A] gripping, affecting, sometimes funny read by a natural-born storyteller with something to say about the weight and the value of a life…If you need a story of courage, of heart, of coming back for more, of love and struggle and the power of both, It’s Not Yet Dark could be the elusive thing you’re after.”
“A beautiful love story – in its essence that’s what this is. Survival stories are not about surviving, they’re inherently about what makes a survivor push through. A desire to remain in the light of all creation, even as a darkening is taking place. A darkening which happens to us all.”
“Part memoir, part stark document of the way [Simon] and his family have dealt with motor neuron disease, and part fierce celebration of being alive, It’s Not Yet Dark is powerful, gripping and compelling.”
—The Irish Times
About the Author
SIMON FITZMAURICE is an award-winning writer and film director. His debut memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark, was a #1 bestseller upon its release in Ireland, has been nominated for the Bord Gáis Book of the Year Award, and was ranked #2 in Liveline’s Writer’s Book of the Year.
His films have screened at film festivals all over the world and won prizes, including Best Short Film at the Cork Film Festival and the Belfast Film Festival (twice); the Grand Jury Prize at the Opalcine Film Festival, Paris; the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Award at the Heartland Film Festival; and Jury Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. His short film The Sound of People was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.
Simon holds honors master’s degrees in both Anglo-Irish literature and drama, and film theory and production. His short fiction has been short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award, and his poetry has appeared in the quarterly publication West 47. His first feature film, My Name Is Emily, was just released in both the UK and the United States. He lives in Greystones, Ireland, with his wife, Ruth; their five children, Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, and Hunter; and their basset hound, Pappy.