Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson’s Disease

Publisher
Ballantine

Author
Morton Kondracke

Central Theme
Greater love has no one than to lay down his or her life for a friend.

Overview
Morton Kondracke is known as a no-nonsense, independent-thinking journalist who, in addition to writing, appears on shows like The McLaughlin Group and Fox’s The Beltway Boys. But through his wife, his life has been touched by Parkinson’s, a disease that affects over a million American. This disease is just now getting attention in the broader culture through people like Michael J. Fox, who has revealed that he suffers from the disease. Saving Milly is a love-story and the story of two people’s transformations; Milly has been transformed from an energetic, independent woman into a still feisty, but wheel-chair bound women dependent on others for life’s basic needs; Morton has been transformed from a self-centered, hard-drinking, ambitious man, into one who now realizes his calling from God is to ¢â‚¬Ëœtake care of Milly.” Morton’s spiritual journey is a key part of the story.

Beliefs num
–A man can change!
–The most important key to a mans success is to marry well and marrying well has more to do with the person’s essence than their pedigree.
–Life changing disease can strike anybody at any time.
–With these diseases medicine is an imprecise science.
–Taking care of Milly is the one thing Mort is committed to ¢â‚¬Ëœdoing right.’
–Medical research is driven by politics more than need so that HIV is disproportionately funded in this country.
–As controversial as it may be, stem cell research holds great promise for treating Parkinson’s.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What do you think it means to marry well?
–Are there essential things you need to change in your life?
–If you or someone you love was struck with a debilitating disease, are you prepared to serve and ¢â‚¬Ëœdo it right?’
–What does ¢â‚¬Ëœdoing it right’ mean when caring for a person with a life-threatening disease?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Just at that moment, on cue, his wife, Sally Reston, walked out of the Hanover Inn and across the street to a bookstore. And he said, you see that woman there? If it hadn’t been for her, I’d never be the man I am today.
==James Reston on the importance of marrying well. MK from DSS interview.
–Finally, one day I just, you know, had a dinner party and I couldn’t remember what had happened at the dinner party. And on the Sunday after Christmas, 1986 was the last drink I had. And I went to AA that night and haven’t had a drink since.
==MK on giving up drinking. DSS interview.
–She’s processing it in ways that seem to me out of character for what you know of her up to this point. Like, what have I done wrong? God is judging me.
==Milly’s reaction to news she pas Parkinson’s.
==MK, DSS interview.
–I-I’ve developed a theology which I call, Christian stoicism. I guess it could be, you know, any kind of religious stoicism. But it basically goes like this: You know, you play the hand you’re dealt as well as you possibly can, and then you just ask God’s help everyday, multiple times a day. And I couldn’t do this without God’s help. I mean, I-I-I pray for help and strength and Millie’s deliverance, of course, all the time. And-and I simply could not do this without feeling that-that I was doing God’s work in a small way, that this-that this would¢â‚¬¦ And I’ve, you know, I’ve asked God innumerable times, you know, so what is my purpose here on earth? Hoping that, you know, that he will add a new and grandiose dimension to this, which he never does. The message always comes back the same. Your job here is to take care of Milly.
==MK. DSS interview.
–Each time I look at her my heart melts. I still do not know how this story ends. Thankfully, it is not ending soon.
==MK.

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