"I'm getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU.
We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?"
UNFORGETTABLE is a son's spirited, affecting, and inspiring tribute to his remarkable mother and the love between parent and child.
When NPR's Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's hospital room in July 2013, he didn't know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million Twitter followers. Squeezing the magnitude of his final days with her into 140-character updates, Simon's evocative and moving meditations spread virally. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother's death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love.
UNFORGETTABLE, expands on those famous tweets to create a memoir that is rich, deeply affecting, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating. His mother was a glamorous woman of the Mad Men–era; she worked in nightclubs, modeled, dated mobsters and movie stars, and was a brave single parent to young Scott Simon. Spending their last days together in a hospital ICU, mother and son reflect on their lifetime's worth of memories, recounting stories laced with humor and exemplifying resilience.
UNFORGETTABLE is not only one man's rich and moving tribute to his mother's colorful life and graceful death, it is also a powerful portrayal of the universal bond between mother and child.
In this tender memoir developed from a series of Twitter messages, Simon, the host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, finds the last week of his mother's life to be a time for them to cherish each other and tenderly reminisce. In his daily tweets, which garnered a considerable audience at the time, Simon recorded the last days of his mother's life as significant and newsworthy. An only child, Simon was raised by his mother, Patti, in a Chicago apartment. His comedian father's drinking became unbearable and his mother divorced him before he could bring down the family; he died when Simon was 16. Subsequently, Patti pretty, kind, and accommodating sold clothes at "posh shops" on Michigan Avenue, worked as a secretary in an advertising agency, and volunteered for styling hands and hair ads. She also entertained many suitors. Her vitality informed Simon's youth. As Patti lies dying of respiratory failure in a Chicago hospital, she and her son exchange "painful truths" while listening to Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." Simon appreciates how generously Patti is treated by the staff at the hospital, which brings up memories of the "lovely" men who courted her. He takes his quirky, devoted, gracious mother on her own terms, and his work shimmers as a touching tribute.