Over spring break, I found time to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies: reading. Because my mother had been raving about the novel “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, and because there’s a movie coming out in April that’s based on the book, I decided to download the story onto my Kindle.
The synopsis truly doesn’t do the book justice. I expected it to be boring, and I certainly didn’t expect the book to touch my heart the way it did.
The novel provides an inside look at what it’s like to age, lose independence, and process it all while experiencing intense nostolgia.
The story follows an elderly man who’s reminiscing about the time in his life when he met his wife. They both worked on a circus together during the Great Depression.
I think this book came at just the right time for me. Both my fiance and I are experiencing our grandparent’s decline in health. Chance’s grandmother was recently diagnosed with dementia. She has good days and bad days, mostly bad ones. When we were home for spring break she could hardly speak. She wanted to be in her wheel chair to sit and see us, but her leg hurt her too much. She couldn’t physically say that her leg hurt, so she just kept yelling. We didn’t know what was wrong. She’s also lost the ability to swallow in the past couple of days. They’re trying to figure out why.
My grandmother is moving into my parent’s house. After surviving two heart attacks and breast cancer that has returned twice, she has very high medical bills and is just physically very weak. She’s also started to buy multiples of things, which is a little scary.
I think Water for Elephants was an eye opening experience. It takes this elderly man that people have seemingly forgotten, and provides him with a mind, a voice, expectations and disappointments. It shows that just because someone is old, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have hopes and dreams for the future. Whatever time they have left should be cherished. It answers the question of: What do you look forward to when there’s seemingly nothing left?