When I was creating a loose reading guideline for myself, I added the genre of non-fiction, largely, because of the one that was in front of me at the time. I thought to myself “I really enjoy getting swept away into the great beyond…wouldn’t it be cool if I gave non-fiction a chance to do the same!?”
Now, I may have cheated a little bit, being I was a fan of the subject matter but my non-fiction read for January was The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze.
Just in case you need a reminder of where you may have seen Patrick, here you go…
My first memory of Patrick Swayze was actually from a shirt my mom use to wear when I was a little girl. One of her jobs while my brothers and I were growing up was at the local video store and I guess she use to get free merchandise with the movie shipments and this one was a favorite of hers, and mine too.
The combination of her working at the video store and growing up in the 80’s meant I got to watch a lot of cool movies. I can’t recall exactly when I watched them but I have seen, almost, all of the above movies and have ALWAYS been huge Patrick Swayze fan (and not just because of Johnny Castle).
As it was probably destined, my sweet Momma read this book first and had so much fun telling me about it, until she decided I should read it myself. I am glad that happened because it added to the enjoyment of the book to know she read it too 🙂
In The Time of My life Patrick takes the reader from his formative years, until the year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the book was published before he passed away).
Within the pages you are taken behind the scenes of his career and personal life, as he navigates his passion for dancing, singing, acting, nature and Lisa. Over 30 years are covered in the book and it’s a wild, wild ride for sure.
I wasn’t expecting the book to fit so perfectly with where I am in life. As I get older, my desire to be authentic, vulnerable and totally transparent was met in kind by Patrick as he laid everything out in words written, much as he did in all of his auditions.
Patrick Swayze wanted to bring his best into whatever he endeavored, often suffering physically and personally to achieve it but he didn’t sugar coat it in the re-telling. With every punch thrown, every part not gotten, every breakthrough, every accolade, and every heartbreak, he lets you in to what it meant to be him.
I appreciate every page of this book for the part of his self he left on the pages and I think that it finding me almost a decade after his passing makes the resilience found within in it speak even louder.
Over the years, friends/family have often gotten a chuckle out of how deeply connected I feel to people I have never met. I had no idea why I felt Patrick was one of those people until I read it in his words. He was a strong man but also, felt too much, like me and some of the hardships he faced, he barely made it through. His life story resonates with me.
There was a really beautiful reflection on the passing of a beloved animal, Cody (who also passed away from cancer).
Although I knew his spirit was free, I felt an incredibly deep sadness that he wouldn’t be here with us anymore…
When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person (or animal) was trying to teach you and make it true in your own life.
It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.
If I believe anything in life, it’s that last line. Somewhere out there Patrick’s spirit knows that he made an impact in the life of little ole me and that brings huge smile to my face and small stream of tears to my eyes.
His story still matters and I am grateful I have the opportunity to share what I can from it with you all ❤
One of my favorite artist, Matthew Lineham, has something fantastic coming up next in a few weeks…check out his Instagram.