Two Rare Birds: A Legacy of Love
by Lily Myers Kaplan



CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. ISBN 978-1-493-74039-0.
Reviewed by Martha Meacham
Posted on 06/24/2014

Nonfiction: Memoir

The lessons from Two Rare Birds: A Legacy of Love: Stories of Life, Death, Courage and Purpose by Lily Myers Kaplan linger with me as I carry on with my work-a-day world and savor the richness of their layered meaning. Even after finishing this book with the umber-hued cover adorned with the images of two ibis in flight, the author's words resonate. She says: "My losses have led me to accept that being born, living a life and facing death are parts of one whole package."

It's one of those books I mention to friends as I recall a poignant piece of it. It is grounded, without sugar coating, in the difficulties of relationships during tough times.

Given the topics of death and grief I didn't expect to be profoundly moved by the deep sense of love, life and purpose that triumphed in the end. What I hold dearly and close is the message of universal spirituality that transcends any particular belief system or religion. Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, and Indigenous traditions and practices are woven seamlessly together in support of each other throughout this narrative. With the author, we bear witness to the sacred circle of life and that dance between the worlds of life and afterlife.

The way Kaplan reveals her growing awareness as she supports her sister and brother-in-law to heal from spreading cancers is exquisitely honest. She doesn't shy away from the hard conversations we might choose to avoid. She shares the nuances of compassion to honor her sister, Lois, with nurturing without hovering, and with guidance and respect to allow her to make as many decisions as possible.

Other than the obvious emotional parts delving into the love between Lois and her husband, Dave, who are the two rare birds, other threads throughout the book are related to sisterhood and matriarchal lineages.

If you have done soul-searching and reflecting about how your family history has shaped your identity you might find this book to your liking.

There is deep significance at many levels for the choice of the title for this insightful book and it was a joy to discover the hidden meanings as the book progressed. The imagery in Kaplan's prose is inviting. I admit I am partial to the backdrop of the Texas Hill country for parts of the story and to the archeological site of Chaco canyon that she describes.

From the temple of her soul she relates: "As humans, we are privileged to have the opportunity to serve Spirit. Being embodied is a great honor, for it is through the matter of our physical beings that we are able to serve Life. For this I give great and humble gratitude."

Kaplan's process for writing the book was a spiritual journey and reading it became one for me. This book has peeled away another layer to my core to help me better understand that "Love is all that matters."


Lily Myers Kaplan, the author, is also the founder of the The Spirit of Resh Foundation that honors her sister Lois and brother-in-law, Dave, for whom the book is titled. Her writing draws upon her journals. She also has a business to help people build lives with meaning and purpose called Soul Works.

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