By Cathy Harasta
The Texas Catholic
Debbie Bane rests a spiral-bound notebook on her lap and touches its unassuming dove-gray cover with tenderness and reluctance.
Her husband, John, found it only this morning.
Their eyes say that maybe it’s too soon, on this last day of November, to see what’s inside the notebook. Debbie hesitates before taking that next step of flipping open the cover. That might mean absorbing words that they never will hear spoken out loud by their author, their son, Michael.
Michael, diagnosed with nocturnal epilepsy in 2005, had been writing a book, making notes as he had time. He died on Nov. 9 after apparently suffering a seizure.
He’d told his family that children and young adults who shared his medical condition needed someone to tell them not to be afraid. They needed a book written just for them, by one of them.
John looks out the living-room window toward the front yard, where a flower bed encircles a Victorian lamppost and breeze-driven leaves dance on the sidewalk.
Michael was in the second grade when he moved with Debbie, John and his older brother, Jonathan, into this pleasant East Dallas house with its shady yard and reassuring feel.
On this day, cube-shaped tissue boxes stand like sentries on the polished tabletops, a couple on the coffee table, one near a lamp where Debbie sits with the notebook that reveals, as she opens it, her son’s printed prose.
It is more of a lifeline than a book outline.
As she reads aloud from the pages, Debbie can reach the tissue box, which is a good thing because unexpected tears come right along with the unrelenting ones.
John clears his throat as Debbie reads aloud a particularly stirring line:
“…I hope I have a long life and that I am still a lot of fun when I’m older…” (June 8, 2011.)
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