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Why I bawled my eyes out on a plane

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 20, 2008 03:35 PM

Traveling home from Austin, TX, yesterday, I spent most of the short flight in tears–punctuated by frequent chuckles. I’m sure the lady sitting next to me thought I was a basket case as I sobbed into my Southwest Airlines cocktail napkin until it fell apart in shreds.

Why was I bawling and laughing?

I finally had a chance to read the national best-seller, “The Last Lecture,” by Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch and WSJ reporter Jeffrey Zaslow. Devoured it. Loved it. And I strongly recommend that you buy 10–20, 30!–copies for you, and your loved ones.

You’ll remember I linked the amazing video of Professor Pausch’s last lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” in September. Zaslow’s unforgettable WSJ piece about the lecture is here. Pausch, 48, is dying of pancreatic cancer–but living life to its fullest in the time he has left. He is married to his beloved wife Jai and is father to three beautiful young children. I wasn’t sure anything could top the actual presentation of the lecture, but reading Pausch and Zaslow’s account of how the lecture came together is as poignant as–perhaps more so than–watching it.

Unforgettable: The autographed photo from William Shatner, which he signed “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario,” Pausch’s discovery of his father’s Bronze Star, the Halloween photo of the Pausch family in their Incredibles costumes, the chapter on Pausch’s dreams for his children, and, of course, the last page of the book.

I better stop now before I start leaking again.

***

Here’s The Last Lecture website.

Here’s Professor Pausch’s personal blog and health update page.

Here’s info on pancreatic cancer research and support.

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