Cynthia Lim is author of the forthcoming memoir, Wherever You Are, which chronicles her journey after her husband suffered a cardiac arrest, resulting in brain injury. Cynthia talks about the challenges she faced to help her husband achieve a good quality of life, her determination to maintain normalcy for their sons, and what she misses from her relationship with her husband prior to his disability. She also talks about how writing has helped her to understand her experience and also how painful it was to re-read her journals as she wrote her memoir.
Elizabeth Aquino is writer, disability advocate, and pastry chef. Elizabeth talks about the struggle to understand her own identity as separate from that of her now 22-year-old daughter, Sophie, who is profoundly disabled, as well as how the style in which she writes reflects this fragmentation of identity. Elizabeth also talks about the importance of creativity, what it means to give care to someone until one of you dies, and the questions that this caregiving raises about the value of a life and what it means to be human.
Cecily Young’s husband, John Ruble, underwent a bone marrow transplant as treatment for leukemia in 2005. Cecily talks about providing for her husband’s wellbeing, as well as that of their young son, during his treatment and recovery. Using the metaphor of herself as a ship’s captain, she envisioned herself as charged with maintaining morale and keeping the everyday concerns of their lives afloat. Cecily also delves into the devastating conflict she experienced with her sister while caring for their mother, as well as the feelings of resentment engendered by the significant professional sacrifices she made as a result of being persistently pressed into service as a reluctant caregiver.