Title: The Boys: Or, Waiting for the Electrician's Daughter
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Gaspereau Press August 2005
1554470110 / 9781554470112
Seller ID: 85785
Prognosis varies. Duchenne's muscular dystrophy generally strikes during childhood and results in death within 10 to 15 years of onset. Death commonly results from sudden heart failure, respiratory failure, or infection. John Terpstra, a poet and carpenter, married Mary Ann, the electrician's daughter. Her three younger brothers, Neil, Eric, and Paul, were all stricken with the disease. The parents, Corey ('Boss') the electrician, and his wife Fran ('Mumphy') took what was given them and created a home for this family- a backbreaking labor almost impossible to imagine. This book is John Terpstra's memoir of a family's life together. It is a memoir in poet's terms, each sentence bearing the weight of a paragraph, each paragraph a book. It is written with great beauty and reverence, yet sparely: the author never forces emotion on you. His subjects wouldn't have wanted it. They lived normal, even joyful, lives, within an extended family and community of care marked by understated heroism, and within the bounds of the extraordinary suffering they endured, nearly without remark. God is questioned, but never cursed: Would it be correct to say that you made them that way, that is to say, diseased? I have no problem saying that you made them. Do we say then, that you made them as they were, that there is a divine image that they, their bodies, made manifest? There was nothing lovely in their disease. Read: you make all things lovely. Yet a loveliness of spirit and of flesh was upon them. There was nothing desirable in what their disease did to their lives. Yet their lives attracted. The Boys died within six months of one another: the youngest, first; the oldest, last. Their brother-in-law has rendered enough of their exuberant or quiet natures to give you a sense of the loss and to concur with his dismissal of the well-meant condolences, 'It's better this way,' 'He's in a better place.' Of the Boys, he just says, They are beautiful. And of the family, They were saints. Are. 144 pp.