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I'll Stay as Long as I Can: Mother and Daughter Diaries of Love, Tragedy and Remembrance [Paperback]

Margy Nelson , Claire Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 11.95
Price: 11.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Nov 2008
I'll Stay as Long as I Can is the heartwarming story of an extraordinary family that learns the true meaning of love and humor when life hands them the cruelest of blows. This true and unique story is told through the diaries of the mother, Margy, and Claire, her youngest child. Margy faces divorce, career change, the discovery of son's autism, and finally her youngest child's illness with determination, optimism and hope. Claire starts her diary as a six-year-old girl who lives her life through her dolls, animals and fairies. Her diary is her best friend and remains by her side as she's forced to grow up all too soon, when she's diagnosed with a brain tumor at 14 years of age. Overnight, Claire goes from being a self-absorbed teenager, to an adult faced with a life threatening illness. She writes about her battle against cancer with courage, and insight. This book is told over a ten year period. It is the unforgettable story of a family that finds their love for each other gives them strength they need to face life's toughest battles.

Product details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (12 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059551071X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595510719
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,824,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

All of my life, I?ve kept diaries. I?ve also written articles for medical and doll magazines. I grew up in Michigan, became a nurse and married a doctor. We moved quite a lot after I was married and finally ended up in Atlanta, GA. and I had three children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I 'll Stay as Long As I Can is a heartwarming (and heartbreaking) story of a little girl who was forced to grow up too fast. It is an amazing story told in two diaries that are brilliantly weaved together. The book combines Claire Nelson's diary along with Margy Nelson's diary (her mother). The book is well organized so it is easy to see whose entry you are currently reading.

In her own words Claire tells about her hopes and dreams about life and what she felt about the terrible hand (brain cancer) she had been dealt. Her writing provides deep insights into her bravery and into what the human spirit is capable of when faced against insurmountable odds.

Besides the fine writing, there are many incredible poems in the book that Claire wrote. They touch the heart and lift the spirit. There are also several pictures of Claire and the family spiced throughout the book that help the reader know Claire and the Nelson family a little better.

One of the most profound moments in the book was when Claire discovered she had brain cancer. Her writing allows the reader to observe the changes from a little girl into a grown woman over night.

Claire only had a short time on this earth, but she touched a great number of people in very profound ways. This is her song, and she sings it brilliantly.

Parents with children who are going through similar challenges may find Claire's writing especially helpful to let them know some of the things their own child is thinking. There can be comfort in knowing others in life have similar challenges.

Margy's diary entries help round out the story of Clair and the rest of the Nelson clan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Young Girl who had to grow up too fast 30 Dec 2008
By C. Clayton - Published on Amazon.com
I 'll Stay as Long As I Can is a heartwarming (and heartbreaking) story of a little girl who was forced to grow up too fast. It is an amazing story told in two diaries that are brilliantly weaved together. The book combines Claire Nelson's diary along with Margy Nelson's diary (her mother). The book is well organized so it is easy to see whose entry you are currently reading.

In her own words Claire tells about her hopes and dreams about life and what she felt about the terrible hand (brain cancer) she had been dealt. Her writing provides deep insights into her bravery and into what the human spirit is capable of when faced against insurmountable odds.

Besides the fine writing, there are many incredible poems in the book that Claire wrote. They touch the heart and lift the spirit. There are also several pictures of Claire and the family spiced throughout the book that help the reader know Claire and the Nelson family a little better.

One of the most profound moments in the book was when Claire discovered she had brain cancer. Her writing allows the reader to observe the changes from a little girl into a grown woman over night.

Claire only had a short time on this earth, but she touched a great number of people in very profound ways. This is her song, and she sings it brilliantly.

Parents with children who are going through similar challenges may find Claire's writing especially helpful to let them know some of the things their own child is thinking. There can be comfort in knowing others in life have similar challenges.

Margy's diary entries help round out the story of Clair and the rest of the Nelson clan. Her diary entries let us know all the things that were going on in the Nelson household and how everyone else was able to cope with Claire's cancer.

Margy had to face the greatest fear any parent could imagine. Besides this she had many other challenges. Fortunately she maintained an upbeat spirit (whenever possible) and had some good times during the journey. Her story is also compelling, full of twists and turns and a page turner.

This book has definite similarities to the book: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
* Both books are diaries written by young girls with extremely uncertain futures.
* Both show how two young girls who were robbed of childhood, and had to grow into womanhood overnight.
* Both books allow us to know the thoughts, the joys, the dreams, the fears and the love of very brave people.

Usually in life we think of adults as teachers and children and young adults as students. In Claire's case the roles are reversed. She taught by example--and the real beauty is that she was just being herself.
I know this only too well...because you see...I was her uncle. I feel honored and privileged to have known this fine human being during her short but powerful stay on this earth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbara Northrop 23 Jan 2009
By Barbara Northrop - Published on Amazon.com
Once I recieved this book I could not put it down. I cried, laughed(at descriptions of family events, truck, dog,etc) but most of all I admired the courage, fortitude and love between this mother and daughter.
Clare's dairy writings start out with the musing of a normal pre-teen/teen whose biggest concern is which boy likes her today. However, as she nears her 15th birthday, she learns that she has a brain tumor and from this point on the writings help the reader understand what it's like
to have cancer, especially at such a young age.
While Margy writes about the reality of being a parent in this situation.
She is remarkablely honest about her feelings,the fears,the frustrations
the anger, but most of all, one feels, her love and total committment, not only to Clare,but to her other 2 children, as they struggle together with Clare's illness.
This book is a good read for anyone, but a must read for families dealing with a member who is terminally ill.
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you 19 Jan 2009
By Jeff Eberhardt - Published on Amazon.com
What a wonderful cause... to support childhood cancer research with these book sales! What a beautiful young woman brought to life through her diaries and the growing up fast forced by childhood cancer. A truly love filled young woman with a passion for friendships and experiencing life to the fullest.

I can only hope that my last words on this earth can also be "I love you, too."
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