On January 19, 2024, I attended our monthly Meet the Author (MTA) event at G.V. Barbee Library with authors Chris Corrigan and Mary Scott. There was clear interest in their books as we quickly had a standing-room-only crowd of over 25 people.  

While our two authors were vastly different in background and approach, they shared a theme of vulnerability and resilience. Both shared very personal stories about how cancer had impacted them and their loved ones. You can imagine a few tears were shed. 

Christine Shields Corrigan at FOLSOI Meet the Author event
Christine Shields Corrigan at FOLSOI Meet the Author event

Chris went first to discuss her book “Again: Survivng Cancer Twice”. It was a poignant talk about how she took on cancer for a second time and her ways of trying to create order from the chaos it brought to her life and to her husband and her kids.  Her “list-making” habits were key to her resilience and even became an organizing structure for the book as lists appeared at the start of each chapter. 

But what I really took away from Chris was her vulnerability and her willingness to tell her story so that others might not feel alone or those who watch might better understand the struggle. She also sent a great message about accepting help and letting others “care” for you. That’s something we all need to hear!

Mary Scott discusses her book “Dearest Jim”

Mary’s book, “Dearest Jim, A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Resilience,” describes her journey with her husband before, during, and after his diagnosis of cancer. With some humor at times, Mary was also very raw and honest about their ups and downs.  It felt like a love story, and she achieved this by writing it as a series of letters to her husband following his death. 

What I loved about Mary’s story is the transformation she went through, feeling at times helpless and lost but ultimately leaning on that love to find courage and determination to try new things. She took the best from her life with Jim and used it to keep living!  

Our standing-room-only crowd heard a great program; and we so appreciate both Chris and Mary for sharing their stories!