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Every person who goes through the emotional and physical upheaval of cancer has a story. Most, however, do not write it down. In this remarkable collection of poems, Judith Bynum has shared a bit of her soul. In the midst of her pain and suffering of cancer, she expresses hanging questions, lingering doubts, and uncertain futureswhat most people cannot easily verbalize. When she felt her worst, the verses came rumbling and tumbling out of her in the wee hours of the morning, calming the pain in the process. The poems were her ladder out of the hole. In times when she felt her faith and hope slipping, the poetry helped her look up, and there was God, always near. The power of the poems is that they were written in the midst of the pain, not afterward, looking back. Judiths ability to express herself will hopefully help a cancer victim who is struggling to find the right words. That in itself is powerful. Sharing her weaknesses and vulnerabilities is what makes these poems real. Often she offers a humorous view of the trials of cancer and the changes it wreaks on the body and spirit. There is no resignation or acquiescence in the words, both of which are seen often among those who are struggling; instead, there is acceptance and surrender. In the midst of her questions and pains, her faith shines through. This powerful book will inspire readers to remember that God is always near.
Dr. Judith Bynum is a retired educator in southeast Arkansas. She received her BSE at Arkansas A & M College and her graduate degrees in gifted education at UALR. She was the 1980 Arkansas Oldsmobile Teacher of the Year. In 2016, when diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she began writing poetry about the experience. She and her husband live in southeast Arkansas and have two children and two grandchildren.