Simon Fitzmaurice pursued his dream career and gained international success as a film maker. He found the love of his life and started a family. In other words, he has it all. Since 2008, ‘all’ has included Motor Neurone Disease, the debilitating condition, which, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, the world knows as ALS. In his book, It’s Not Yet Dark, he invites us into his rapidly-changing world.
The author is many things, but above all, he is a communicator. Fitzmaurice has a way with words and understands the power of imagery. He leads us backward and forwards and in and out, of his life, his relationships– most poignantly with wife Ruth–his vocation and his ailment.
I look up, the warmth on my face. I see an approaching cloud. How long before I am in shadow? I follow its path towards the sun. I catch myself. Close my eyes. Feel the warmth on my face.
Written in the present tense, It’s Not Yet Dark is subtitled a memoir. But it doesn’t feel like that to me. Rather, it seems that Fitzmaurice is guiding us gently through his life as it unfolds before him.
It’s only important that you remember that behind every disease is a person. Remember that and you have everything you need to travel through my country.
The overriding impression is of a man who, through the prism of illness, has come to understand that he is not defined by physical limitations. Rather by his intellect, his creativity, his insight and above all, by his mighty spirit.
Youtube Channel: CBS Sunday Morning
Feature image of Simon and Ruth Fitzmaurice with Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie and Hunter supplied by FSB Associates.