What if Tomorrow Never Comes?
by Neil David Schwartz
CreateSpace Independent Publishing

"We were now truly a family in crisis. As she cried, I held back my own tears. I thought about how quickly lives can change. I thought about the coming challenge of holding my family together. And I looked at the broken soul of my wife, once the source of strength for others, now grasping for the inner strength to hold on."

David Schwartz recounts in his memoir the pain of tragically losing both his wife, Joanne, and his daughter, Amy. Beginning with details of his heritage, Schwartz delves into the lives of his paternal and maternal grandparents, growing up as a boy in southern California, meeting and falling in love with Joanne, the death of his father and the birth and lives of his two children, Scott and Amy.

After Schwartz celebrates thirty years with Joanne, and the proposal of marriage to Amy from her boyfriend, Joey, their lives and future on the West coast should be wonderful and dreamlike. But everything changes when Amy grows sickly and succumbs to a rare form of lung cancer that slowly cripples her physical, emotional, and mental state. Her suffering takes a toll on her family, especially Joanne, who is so consumed with grief that she suffers a cardiopulmonary arrest and dies. Schwartz is suddenly left alone to both grieve the loss of his wife and to continue caring for Amy, who soon passes away three months later.

The second half of the book is really the heart of Schwartz's memoir, where he vividly explains the tedious and excruciating methods used by the medical industry to care for and treat a cancer patient. It is emotionally exhausting for everyone involved, but this book is more than just about the experience of how and what happens from the terrible fate of cancer. It is his attempt to find a way out of his spiritual galut, the Jewish reference for one who tries "to make sense out of a seemingly incomprehensible existence." He mourns and celebrates the beauty and energy of his daughter and the strength of his wife, giving the reader stories of his own past that are both uplifting and sad, sharing his personal story for others who may find themselves on a similar path of the journey we call life.

Return to USR Home