In keeping with my theme this week of reviewing memoirs by friends of mine, I would like to mention another great read for your Labor Day weekend – Long Time, No See by Beth Finke.
Beth Finke and I were intrepid reporters and editors for our high school newspaper, the York-Hi. I fondly remember Sunday pasteup nights in a bygone era when we had to put together each page of the newspaper manually (a lost art in this digital age).
I learned early on that Beth had Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, and that she took it in her stride as a teenager. It wasn’t until our ten-year high school reunion that I realized the terrible toll diabetes can take on an individual. In the class memory book, we were each invited to give an update on our lives. In Beth’s, I read, “I am busy learning to be a blind mother.” Although I knew blindness could be a side effect of diabetes, I was stunned to realize that my former classmate could no longer see.
Years later, I reconnected with Beth and discovered that she had continued to write and that she had penned both a children’s book about her disability entitled Hanni and Beth: Safe and Sound and a memoir with the cleverly named title Long Time, No See. Reading the book gave me a new window onto the world of my former classmate and, more importantly, into what was lost and gained by her blindness.
With humor and honesty, Beth chronicles the many hurdles she faced growing up with a life-threatening disease. She clearly illustrates the strength of her indomitable mother Flo as well as her own ups and downs coming to terms with her illness and her eventual succumbing to blindness. Beth’s adult life has been marked by job discrimination, infidelity, and caring for a severely disabled child. It has also been marked by love, determination, and the support of family and good friends, as well as her husband Mike.
I loved Long Time, No See, and I appreciate Beth’s willingness to share her story. It certainly opened my eyes about many things in life. I highly recommend that you give it a look.
For more information, go to bethfinke.com.