USC Upstate News

Bob and Judy Fisher Share “Life Is A Gift: Inspiration From The Soon Departed” As Part Of USC Upstate’s Authors@Upstate Series

01- 08- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Dr. Bob Fisher, president of Belmont University in Nashville, and his wife Judy will speak about their book Life Is A Gift: Inspiration From The Soon Departed on Saturday, January 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the White Oak Manor Lecture Room of the newly-opened Health Education Complex. This free event is part of the Authors@Upstate series.

The Fishers spent considerable time interviewing 104 terminally ill at Alive Hospice in Nashville, TN. The authors conversed with each patient and asked such questions as: What are you most proud of? What has been your greatest joy? What has been your greatest disappointment? What's the most important thing you've ever done? What do you regret? What comes next for you? If you could give one message to the world, what would it be?

The Fishers recognized they had a wide spectrum of people to get to know and understand. While most of the individuals were elderly, some were young (the youngest being five-year-old Maddie, who suffered from neurofibromentosis), but all had a common message to share.

Medical science has been unable to cure their specific illnesses, and they realize each day is indeed a gift. The trivialities of life have been pushed aside, and what once seemed like huge issues are quickly discarded. Instead, they spoke in themes that emerged time and again. "Family. Faith. Forgiveness. Gratitude." These were the touchstones of heartfelt conversations and that summed up a meaningful life. The Fishers also noted that there was a sense of fearlessness amongst the patients as they ended their lives. Laughter, too, was another recurrent theme as was living in the now and not letting regret or fear of past mistakes ruin today's precious moments.

Readers will learn about such diverse subjects as seeing the blessings of earth; living in the moment; finding purpose in life; how important reconciliation becomes; loving people unconditionally; learning to laugh at life; getting along even during the tough times; and defeating regret through proactive discipline, a healthy perspective and by treasuring one's relationships. The Fishers also discuss how vital it is for all individuals to seek forgiveness and be forgiven. Each story brings some thoughtful, reflective musing. Life Is A Gift is sure to be an encouragement to men and women alike, no matter where in life's journey a person finds himself or herself.

The Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate is co-sponsoring this event. Dr. Fisher will autograph books following the presentation. The book will be offered for sale through the University Bookstore. For more details, contact Susan Hodge, senior director of community engagement at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5275.

The public is also invited to attend the basketball matches between USC Upstate and Belmont University that will follow this presentation. The men’s game is at 1:00 p.m. and the women’s game is at 4:00 p.m. in the G.B. Hodge Center.