Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her
first and only child, Ronan. He would be smart, loyal, fearless, level-headed, and
fun. He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father. He would be
an avid skier like his mother. She would speak to Ronan in foreign languages
and give him the best education. But all of these plans changed when, at
nine months old, Ronan was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare, fatal
degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three, and he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months.
Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they
knew about parenting. They would have to learn to live with their child in the
moment—to find happiness in the midst of sorrow and to parent without a future.
Still Point of the Turning World is the
story of a mother’s journey through grief. Rapp’s response to her son’s
diagnosis was a need to “make [her] world big”—to make sense of her family’s
situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology, and myth. Drawing on a
broad range of thinkers and writers, from C. S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel’s
theories to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Rapp learns what
wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child. In
luminous, moving prose she reexamines our most fundamental assumptions about
what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful
life. Download and start listening now!