ForeWord Reviews

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George's Journey

The Writings of a Man Facing His Own Mortality with Faith, Hope, and Love

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

“You’ve got to live by faith, regardless of what is on your plate.” An easy motto when life is easy. George Waites lived this motto in the face of pancreatic cancer. George’s Journey is a compilation of blog entries he posted during his illness. His wife, Robin Waites, occasionally contributed to that blog, taking over the task as George neared death. She has published the blog entries as a tribute to George and his faith.

George viewed a break in a cloudy day as a sign from God, not just a change in the weather. Readers who are reticent to share this view, or to embrace illness as a faith-strengthening gift, will have a difficult time with this book. George even admits that his tendency to spiritualize events may “…drive them [bloggers] mad.” However, if the reader persists, George will emerge as sincere, engaging, unfailingly optimistic, and unselfish. For instance, he urges his fellow bloggers to pray for others, as well as for him, and counsels bloggers to “…focus on what you can do, not what you cannot do.”

In the first quarter of the book, George talks about anger just once, and thereafter, only about the temptation to anger. He most often talks about simple pleasures: the night sky, peanut butter and jelly, okra, and sweet corn, for example. He brags about his children, loves his wife and sports, worries about his parents, and complains about the volume level of movies. Mostly, he talks about his disease: the hope and disappointment, tests and medications, indignities and pain. George wanted his blog to “…encourage others going through cancer treatment.” What a reader will most remember is George’s unwavering faith in God. He remained prayerful even when his prayers were not answered.

The nearly daily blogs cover the time from diagnosis to George’s death 22 months later. Most entries include references to the Bible. His wife chose not to edit any entry, so topics like the family garden and pets are frequently repeated. The book’s photos are generally of poor quality. A less emotionally attached editor might have created a different but more tightly shaped book. This one gives us George.

Geraldine Richards