Author Rosie Giesie has been through more than most people should have to endure in one lifetime. Having to bury three children and dealing with kidney failure and a transplant might be too much for many people. Somehow though, Rosie and her loving husband, Gene, kept their heads up, their hearts light, and their feet moving. In her new book, Keep Dancing: Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance, she tells us how she managed through the roughest of times.
Keep Dancing is part autobiography and part collective memories from friends and family members. Giesie begins by giving her own background in life and moves on to her marriage and the eventual birth of three boys. It doesn’t take too long before a genetic kidney disorder is discovered and two of the boys have passed from complications. The third remains healthy and free of kidney problems but he contracts AIDS and dies at the age of 33. Giesie and her husband, now empty nesters in the worst possible way, must come to terms with the lingering guilt, the ‘what ifs,’ and the ‘whys’ of their unthinkable situation. But they learn to dance though it all. The book ends with several story submissions from various family members and friends, remembering the last son to die, remembering the boys as they were in life, and remembering Giesie’s example of faith and strength.
Keep Dancing reminds us that despite (or in spite of) overwhelming obstacles that may make us feel like we simply cannot go on, it’s still possible to glean happiness out of life. Touching and emotional, Giesie takes you to the brink of heartache and back again with positive perspective and a profound drive. Those dealing with personal tragedy — especially the loss of a child — in their lives will find a sympathetic tone and style in Giesie. While containing some minor editing issues, the book moves along at a good pace and keeps the reader interested throughout. Keep Dancing is an easy afternoon read.
Keep Dancing: Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance
Outskirts Press (2011)