In 1968, Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. Originally, it was a day set aside to clean and decorate the graves of Civil War dead. Well into the next century, it continued to honor lost service members—but it has since expanded into a time of remembering the passing of all loved ones.
The memoir Love Pain: Stories of Loss and Survival by Edina writer Lynn Jaffee does just this. In her book, she honors and explores the last two years of her son Andrew’s life. An early childhood educator in Boulder, Colorado, Andrew was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 27. After his diagnosis, both of his parents relocated to Colorado to help Andrew through oncological treatments.
Love Pain chronicles that time from both Lynn’s journals and Andrew’s. Their words bring to life the beauty of the American Southwest, with its vast high plains, mountains in the distance and the migration of butterflies. But they also tell the journey of Andrew’s life. This memoir is a fitting read for a time of remembrance and travel.
Contributed by Maureen Millea Smith, a librarian and reader’s advisor at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist. You can find
her books at maureenmilleasmith.com.