If I were to read a ‘How to Write a Book’, I’m pretty sure no one would suggest the heroine should commit suicide in chapter one because the doctor said she had inoperable brain cancer.
But that’s how my book begins. Cass gathers up all the painkillers, and her really old dog, goes to the garage, turns on the car and dies by a combination of CO2 and painkillers.
Horrible right? Why would Cass kill her dog?
She hoped if they died together, they might come back together.
Before you become too outraged, Jess was 21 years old, making him one of the oldest Shiba Inus in the world. Jess also hoped by dying with Cass, he’d reincarnate with her, but sadly that’s not what happened.
We don’t know what happened to Jess, but it appears he had a twelve year life without her before he died yet again. Someday I may write his story, so I don’t want to discuss it here. However, I’m sure Jess remained very brave, willing to take on anything but mountain lions.
And if you are upset at Cass for taking matters into her own hands, let me reiterate she had inoperable brain cancer. My mother died, having both brain and liver cancer. She insisted she wanted to die at home, which meant two of her three children and her mother had to take care of her twenty-four hours a day. I worked on the east coast, so every Friday I’d fly to Arkansas, then fly back every Monday to do the weekend shift, day and night.
Those months were so bleak and horrible for everyone involved that I won’t share them. But there were no loving last words. No happy moments. Just pain that the pain killers could not mute, and my mother’s hateful accusations that I was trying to kill her — she was no longer in her right mind.
Thus, Cass’s choice to go out quickly while she still retained her mind is in my perspective a brave and kind act to both herself and to her loved ones. There is no glory in dying a long painful death. And I am positive our real God does not care if we choose a better way to die.
In this situation, we are much kinder to our animals. If an animal has pain that cannot be cured, we will, with love, have them put to sleep.
I realize I’m pushing a lot of buttons by writing this blog, and even more so by writing such a first chapter. One reviewer said she was so offended by chapter one that she almost didn’t read on, but she had committed to writing a review, so she forced herself to continue, and she really like the rest of book.
So why didn’t I drop the first chapter and just start with Chapter two. I could do it, I suppose, deemphasizing her death, making it backstory, but that felt like a cheat to me. If Cass is brave enough to end her life in a clean and simple way, than she deserves to die openly in Chapter one.
Cass wanted to say goodbye to all who loved her, but she couldn’t because then someone would, believing she would better off dying in a hospital or a nursing home, would alert the authorities of her plan.
I strongly believe every state should have a right to Die with Dignity law that enables people to choose how they die. Right now, only three states have Right to Die with Dignity laws that are enforceable: Washington, Oregon, and Vermont.
To qualify, the patient must have a terminal disease, must have an attending physician and a secondary physician confirm the disease is terminal, a phycologist must agree the patient has the mental capacity to make decisions and the patient must be a qualified resident of the state. (There are a great deal other detailed laws, but these are the key ones.)
Dying with Dignity is not considered suicide and thus life insurance policies must pay the recipients.
No person will by charged criminally for assisting a person’s right to die with dignity. But neither will any health care person be forced to participate.
Had Cass had such an opportunity in New Jersey, she could have had Jess put to sleep, sprinkled his ashes in Jess’s favorite hiking park, then notified her loved ones, had one last party, handed out her belongings and with her loved ones surrounding her, given her last bits of advice before quietly falling to sleep.
Instead she dies in her garage with her beloved dog in her arms, expecting she’ll return as a newborn baby.
Boy, is she in for a surprise.
Book 1 of the
Requires Rescue Series
When 80 year old Cass Goldman learns she has inoperable cancer, she decides to end her life, peacefully on her terms. So imagine her horror when she wakes to find herself in a hospital with strange rich people staring at her. It’s not until the doctor arrives to examine her that she realizes she’s no longer old. She’s in the body of a seventeen year old teen named Casey.
Unfortunately, her new body comes with some serious baggage. First of all, the kid has burned every bridge imaginable. Secondly, those ‘people’ in her room are her outrageously rich parents and while the Dad seems friendly, the mother wants nothing to do with her. The moment they take her home to a horrifically huge mansion, which she dubs Tara, she’s abandoned to the care of the butler.
While Cass is determined to turn this train wreck of a life around, doing so is far harder than she expected. In fact, without help, she’ll end up dead just like the last occupant of this body. Thankfully, her dad has his hunky head of security become her body guard. Between her eighty years of life lessons and hunky Troy’s help, she just might live long enough not to be jail bait.
Cass Goldman took the news of her death with stoic silence. She’d lived a long and fruitful life and was ready to discover what happens next.
“We’ll start chemo as soon as possible,” her ridiculously young doctor stated as he shuffled paper about his desk, looking anywhere but at her.
She opened her mouth to ask him what the hell chemo could do when he just told her she had inoperable brain cancer, but instead, she remained quiet. He might have already explained it in all his chatter. She’d stopped listening after “Miss Goldman, there’s a tumor in your brain, and it’s not operable.”
To her surprise, his words brought a flood of relief. She had fought growing old tooth and nail, but every year it just got harder.
If she met God in her future destination, she’d tell Him or Her that young people needed valuable lessons on what is truly important in life early on. By the time people figured stuff out, they were too old to do anything but barely breathe. Babies should come pre-programmed with useful life lessons.
Cass thought back to her youth, all her angst over what the other kids thought, her inability to see herself as a pretty young woman, all the foolish taboos about sex. What a damn waste of time! If she’d known then what she knew now, Cass would have treasured her youth and made it the best time of her life.
Honestly, her life hadn’t truly begun until she divorced her abusive husband when she was twenty-five and started over, alone and unfettered. And even then, she progressed in starts and stutters, like her Cessna with only half the magnetos firing…not enough power to fly against a headwind.
And life was full of headwinds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor is a nut.
Not a real nut, but she is prone to being a smart ass at times, and not surprisingly her heroines say odd and inappropriate things in her book, as well. So even in a suspense novel you can expect to laugh along the way. That’s because Liza loves to see humor in the crazy world around her.
Saving Casey was actually the first book Liza published. Having recently reclaimed her rights to the book, she is happily re-publishing it as her 18th book. And because her books sell better when in a series, she using Saving Casey to kick of a new series called Requires Rescue. It will be different from her other series where the same characters show up in each book. This series will be about strong women who are trying to go it alone, only when help is offered, they have the good sense to accept the helping hand, because in all of our lives, there will come a time you need someone else to help you. Being strong doesn’t make us invincible. Book 1 is Casey/Cass’s story. Book 2 will be about an entirely different young woman who desperately needs help before she’s murdered on the streets of NYC. Book 3, well the plot is super unique, and more books will follow.
You’ll be able to read the series in any order you want, but in each case, you’ll have a strong young woman, a guy stepping up to help when no one else does, and danger galore with humor stuffed in anywhere I can.
I hope you’ll come along with me so you can laugh, love, and get revenge.
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Musings from Michigan