Review of David C. Howard's Paula is My Name

1996: published by Lavendar Publishing Company, Bay Minette, Alabama

Spring 1998

by Kathleen Flynn

Paula Black was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was two years old. She died in May of 1990 at the age of 43. David C. Howard, a longtime friend of Paula's, does an amazing job of pulling together the threads of her life and her writings and compiling a book of which Paula herself would have been proud. This book is a These chapters are then interspersed between essay chapters that Paula wrote for CF periodicals and local newspapers. The result is a woven tapestry of Paula's life, her musings, her loves, and her struggle to live with CF.

Paula's thoughts on CF are poetic, at times competitive (she calls CF "her worthiest opponent"), and at times accepting of her limitations. Interestingly, because of her natural inclination toward athleticism and activity of any sort, Paula remained healthy for a good portion of her adult life. Her participation in beloved events, activities and crafts furthered her dedication to living life fully even after she became quite ill and was burdened with long hours of health care.

One cannot help but love Paula-her spirit for living, her humanness, and her love of the sea, cats and children. I wept at the end of the book when she died, of course, but in truth the overall sensation I was left with was joy. I felt awe that someone could enjoy life so much in the face of the odds CF handed her. In fact, I believe most readers will find themselves inspired by her commitment to life, her antics with doctors, medications, and treatments, and her daily ability to relegate only a small portion of her life to CF. All the rest was about fighting back and enjoying life!

Paula is My Name may be ordered by writing to the author: David C. Howard 2824 W. Beach Boulevard Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542

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