What if Tomorrow Never Comes?
Life is fragile. A person can be alive one moment and dead the next — in a blink of an eye. When death strikes, it leaves a wake of grief for individuals who then need to find ways to move beyond their brokenness. If they don’t, they can find themselves, as Schwartz so aptly articulates, in galut, the Hebrew word for exile that is “commonly associated with the wandering Jew living in host countries, victim of political, national, religious, or ethnic discrimination.” In What If Tomorrow Never Comes? Schwartz explores another level that can divest a person of their dreams, their hopes, and the ability to love and be loved, to the point of crushing and destroying the human spirit. Identified as spiritual galut, this “occurs when a person is out of sync with his or her soul and struggles to make sense out of a seemingly incomprehensible existence.” Living out the full extent of that definition, Schwartz candidly shares his personal journey in galut.
In 2010, Schwartz had no idea that his uneventful and pleasant life would suddenly be turned upside down when his non-smoking twenty-seven-year-old daughter was diagnosed with lung cancer. The next fourteen months were a living nightmare. Schwartz not only had to watch the life of his beautiful brown-eyed daughter slowly ebb away, but also endure the unexpected loss of his wife who died three months prior to his daughter’s own demise. With too much thrown at him in a short period of time, he suddenly found himself “out of sync with his soul and struggled to make sense out of a seemingly incomprehensible existence.” Schwartz was in galut. His soul searching took him back to his ancestors – wondering how they dealt with the life-crisis cards that were handed to them and if they were able to escape the gripping jaws of galut. From that point, he paused to reflect the markers in his own life. It wasn’t until the strapping age of twelve that Schwartz very briefly pondered “what if tomorrow never comes” when considering his future. Little did he know that he would come face to face with this question later in life.
Heart-warming, extremely poignant, and even laced with sarcastic humor, the unfolding of Schwartz’s journey in galut is deeply human. One could only imagine the immense pain he must have experienced during that fourteen-month period, let along recounting and penning the experience afterwards. Indeed, as Schwartz has stated, “there is no quick fix to the grieving process.” However, a quote from Audrey Hepburn comes to mind: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one from helping yourself, the other for helping others.” That being said, may it be a word of encouragement to Mr. Schwartz that his message of hope has profoundly touched this reviewer.
|Page Count||216 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|