February’s Book To Live By

Only months after giving birth to a beautiful, healthy, 9½-pound girl, Maryanne O’Hara began to sense there was something wrong.

At age two, baby Caitlin was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic, progressive disease with a path that is unpredictable. Maryanne and her husband were told: “She could live a long life, or she could die by Christmas.”

They learned to live in the moment. “Life had never been so uncertain nor so precious,” Maryanne writes in her extraordinary memoir of love and loss.

It is an honor to announce that our February Women on Fire Book To Live By is:

Little Matches: A Memoir of Grief and Light by Maryanne O’Hara

202202_BTLB_Little Matches

We know from the beginning that Maryanne lost her only child when she was 33. Still, as we too grow to love and admire Caitlin, we are filled with hope and gripped by the twists of fate she faces. The story is raw yet inviting and comforting.

Caitlin’s voice is clear and honest throughout. It is expressed through journal entries, emails, blog posts, and cherished memories. A small sampling of her wisdom: “Being kind and true feels like the most important thing in life.” “When I feel myself flailing, grasping, panicking with pain or hurt, I get a notion in my head, always, and remember that there is courage.”

Maryanne gives us the story as an inspiration for us to contemplate “what might really matter at the end of our temporary, beautiful lives.”

The book is so much more than a medical history. Maryanne shares with us what she learned while trying to understand life, death, and beyond. She describes the multiple synchronicities and glimpses of the unexplainable that touched her life through her willingness to live with vulnerability, courage, and appreciation.

Maryanne O’Hara is also the author of the award-winning novel Cascade, a Reiki master, and a certified end-of-life doula. You can learn more about her at maryanneohara.com.

Little Matches is compelling and lovely in every way. It will stay with you.

With love,

Debbie Signature