It took much longer for this reviewer to read, Live, Die, Live Again.than anticipated. After all this book is a call to action I plan to read it again and again. Almost immediately I began to take notes, many notes, there’s a lot going on here. So get ready, it’s gonna’ be a bumpy ride!
This book will serve as a worthy bible to those wanting to embrace sobriety, regardless of the addiction, be it food, (yes, food can be a drug of choice), drugs or alcohol.
Ron’s childhood memories swing between neglect and humor. His recall is nothing short of remarkable in its detail, and yet at an early age he seems to have been able to take it all in stride seeming downright adult as he meanders along viewing it all with a jaundiced eye.
As his young life continues to deteriorate, neither parent overly involved, luck intervened by way of his aunt Merle, who suggested he be placed at Arden Shore, a place for disadvantaged youngsters that was created by the wealthiest members of the community. Ron says, “Arden Shores allowed him to escape his parents without being homeless.”
His stay at Arden Shore continued through adolescence. Despite the occasional fall from Grace, he had the advantage of partaking in some outstanding travel experiences that would include meeting a young Senator, Jack Kennedy. This was the beginning of a life that would include chance meetings of the rich and famous.
After leaving Arden Shore he joined the U.S. Marines. The young man was drawn to adventure and he found it everywhere he went. Explicably drawn to all things Asian, his time as a Marine allowed him to follow this passion. This lucky man found love with a sweet, beautiful, Philippine wife. They have been married more than 20-years and have beautiful children and grandchildren.
DEATH-DEFYING ACT II
Everything changed on December 18, 2012. He stopped breathing! His face hit the floor! He was dead! And home alone! As he stopped breathing he had managed to hit 911 on his cell phone. It was nothing short of a miracle that the Burbank Fire Department received that call. They came to his home, broke down the door and got him to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. The fact that he survived is a remarkable story in itself.
Irwin is a man who is cleverly iron and grimly humorous, replete with snappy answers. As a friend, I say he is inimitable and indomitable. His friend Carl Bernstein says, “He has a spirit borne of massive inner strength.” And he has managed here to prove it in his death-defying Act II to come face-to-face, through brutal honesty and insight, to write down what he had to do and what changes he had to make to shed a huge amount of weight, give up his cigars and booze and live again for those who love him and to accept the love and support of his family. Not easy for a Marine! He has claimed and embraced a new way of life.
As I said before, Live, Die, Live Againis a call to action. I can’t wait to read it again. It is in the end, a life well lived.
Elizabeth McCallan worked at the Tolucan Times for many years and now lives in Texas.